Instructions for Session Chairs

Acting as a session chair is an important responsibility and service to our community. It is also an opportunity for newcomers to raise their visibility. You will have the opportunity to volunteer to be a session chair during the abstract submission process. Questions? Please contact Ian Grooms.

  1. Please arrive in the presentation room at least 10 minutes prior to the session start time to meet the presenters and verify pronunciation of their names. Ask if they want to announce their title and co-authors, or if they prefer you do it. A student assistant will help the presenters connect to the video system.
  2. Just before the session begins, briefly introduce yourself to the audience. If the room is sparsely seated, encourage the audience to reseat themselves closer to the front of the room. If the room is approaching full, point out empty seats to those still standing. Explain the timing system to the audience.
  3. Start the session on time. Announce the first abstract and author when the monitor timing system signals the beginning of the talk.
  4. Strictly adhere to the timing signals. The purpose of these timing signals is to allow attendees to move from one session to another and to be able to rely on the exact time of each presentation as listed in the program. Speakers must be asked to stop when their allotted time is up.
  5. You will be expected to encourage discussion and moderate the question period. Consider preparing a question to get discussion started. Make sure questions can be heard and understood, repeating them if necessary. Please ensure that all presenters (students in particular) are treated with professional courtesy. Keep an eye on the clock, and intervene to suggest extended discussions be postponed until after the session ends.
  6. Please check the Session Updates and program agenda for your session. If a presentation has been withdrawn or should a speaker fail to appear, allow the preceding discussion to continue, or suspend the session until it is time for the next scheduled abstract. You may allow a speaker who misses his scheduled time to speak at the end of the session if time allows.