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Preparing for WSU’s SURCA or Showcase

Preparing for WSU’s SURCA or Showcase

With March around the corner, whether you’re assisting your student or finalizing your own research, we want to help you prepare for Washington State University’s poster season: SURCA, Showcase, and the GPSA Research Exposition. Each event caters to a different group of the University community, but all are focused on sharing your research with a public audience.

What do I need?

There are primarily 2 things you’ll need to prepare for these poster sessions, the most time consuming part being the presentation poster. This will be the visual representation of your research and conclusions, and it will act as the piece that will draw the public toward you to learn more about your work.

You will also want to have talking points prepared that highlights the main parts of your poster. This will be the “elevator pitch” version of your work, although it may be a little longer. Practice these talking points so you feel comfortable speaking about your project.

How do I make a poster?

As you’re finishing up the research part of your work, you’ll want to start thinking about how you want your poster to look as well as consider any size requirements the particular event may have. For both Showcase and the GPSA Research Exposition, they ask to keep your poster size under 48” x 48”, but if you have a different sized poster from within the last calendar year, you can still use it. For SURCA, there is a size maximum of 48” x 48”.

You can find PowerPoint templates on our Making Posters webpage. They will download at the correctly sized slide and are preloaded with a branded look so you can focus on the important part—the content! The webpage also has a handy guide and a price calculator so you can get an idea of the printing cost ahead of time.

Things to include in your poster:

  • Title of your project
  • Who is involved (yourself, coauthors, mentors, etc.) and their affiliations
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
  • References (if applicable)
  • Graphs/images/tables (keep in mind the resolution for print clarity later on)

The Office of Undergraduate Research uploaded a poster workshop that covers helpful information, especially if it’s your student’s first time presenting at this kind of event.

Remember to keep your audience in mind for the poster—this event is open to the University community, so there will be many people who will not be versed in your topic at all. The content should be concise and written so the audience can get a basic understanding of your research.

Where do I get my poster printed?

Once you’re happy with how your poster looks and anyone who needed to look at it has looked at it, it’s time to go to print! Design and Printing Services will be ready to print your presentation poster. You’ll want to save your PowerPoint as a PDF so our print software will be able to work with the file, and then you can submit it directly into our production queue using our posters website.

Our standard large format turnaround time is 24 hours from time of submission. Depending on the payment method you use, you can either pick it up once it’s finished (someone here will notify you), or have it delivered to you!

From there, you’re ready to set up for your event! For SURCA, setup is from noon to 2:00 p.m. on the day of. If you’re presenting at Showcase or the GPSA Research Exposition, you will need to set up between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on March 25.

When: March 30, 2020 | 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Where: M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom
Who: WSU undergraduate students

When: March 26, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. to noon
Where: M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom
Who: WSU faculty, staff, and graduate/professional students

GPSA Research Expo
When: March 26, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. to noon
Where: M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom
Who: WSU Pullman graduate/professional students

Design and Printing Services: Your design and printing partner!

Design and Printing Services: Your design and printing partner!


Hello there! If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a member of the Washington State University family—whether you’re a student, or staff or faculty member, whether you’re in Washington or you’re abroad—if you need help with design, printing, or mailing, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re a print shop located across from the Public Safety Building on Grimes Way in Pullman. In the Cooper Publications Building:

  • We have project coordinators designated to your department or unit, so you always know who you can go to for help.
  • Our professional designers are knowledgeable and carry out the WSU brand, so your messaging will always look its best and support the University.
  • Our press and production team has over 200 years’ experience, meaning they’ve seen all kinds of projects and worked all sorts of equipment, and they will be able to help your project run the most efficient way possible.

And we’re dedicated to seeing your project through from start to finish.

We’ve created postcards, newsletters, HTML emails, and marketing campaigns (to name a few). You can access branded promotional items in our store quickly, at an affordable cost, and at a low minimum quantity. Think of us as your partner! We are here to provide support for your marketing needs and do everything we can to create a final product you’re happy with.

We’re starting a new blog series to provide you with helpful tips, tricks, and other information to take your project to the next level. Watch this space as we share our knowledge about topics like variable data, large format, addressing, and more.

Have questions or is there a topic you would like to know more about? Email Jessica at