#MyGlobalLife / Cate's Global Story / Travel

Let’s Change How We Talk About Re-Entry

Last week I presented at the SIETAR-USA conference in Portland, Oregon. I opted for the poster session because I wanted to do something different than the typical break-out session. Have you presented a poster before? I assumed we’d all stand in one room next to our poster while conference attendees walked by, read our poster, and asked questions. Well, this poster session turned out to be a little different.

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Session #1- we’re in the far corner.


Here’s how the poster sessions worked: three to four poster presenters were assigned to a room and given a table and an easel. I was in the 90-minute session, which meant attendees could attend three 30-minute poster talks.

I wasn’t sure if the expectation was to spend most of the 30 minutes in conversation or if I was supposed to present for most of that time, so I decided on a brief presentation of one idea and then conversation. I also decided to create a virtual poster so that participants could access it after the conference.

I focused on my idea of changing how we talk about re-entry and showed the infographic that I created for my virtual poster (see below). I also gave participants a quick overview of the free re-entry resources I linked to the virtual poster. Then, I asked participants to share who they were and what drew them to the topic of re-entry.

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Session #2 – new group of ideas and experiences!


What I liked about this type of poster session was the small, focused conversations. Attendees can try out a few different topics in a short period of time. I also liked that we were sitting around a table sharing ideas.

If I were to do it again, though, I think I’d bring an activity that participants could try out and take with them to use later. I think I’d also print an actual hard-copy poster of the main ideas because I think the virtual poster might have been hard to read on my laptop, even in a small group.

If you’ve attended or presented at this type of interactive poster session, I’d love to hear what works well for you as a presenter and what you like as an attendee!

And here’s the infographic I created for the virtual poster – what do you think?


Image credit :: Tatyana Fertelmeyster and Rachit Raj Shrestha

About Author

Hello, I'm Dr. Cate Brubaker! Are you a returnee who has been surprised to find your return "home" harder than going abroad? I created the Re-entry Roadmap workbook just for you. If you work with returnees, I'm here to help you with innovative resources and training that will make it easier to provide meaningful support for your returnees.