Session Chair Information


The Session Chair's primary responsibilities are as follows:

Before the Conference

  1. Abstract Solicitation. Solicit abstracts for your assigned topic area (a minimum of 8 abstracts are typically required to maintain a stand-alone session)
  2. Abstract Review. Review abstracts placed in your topic area by the Program Chairs
  3. Abstract Placement. Make placement decisions (platform or poster) for the abstracts assigned to your session
  4. Register for the Conference. All Session Chairs are required to register and pay the standard Conference fees. No exceptions are made to this policy.


At the Conference

  1. Attend the Conference. Onsite Session Chair involvement is vital to the success of the session and the Conference overall. Last minute cancellations/replacements place a significant strain on the Conference to replace your role.
  2. Attend the Required Speaker/Session Chair Meeting. The Conference Office will provide information on the time and location of a required speaker meeting on the day your session is scheduled. This meeting will give you the opportunity to meet the platform presenters in your session and review their biosketch information. During this meeting, Conference staff will provide a brief overview of timers and other equipment in the session room and any other important reminders.
  3. Keep the Session On Time. Start your session at the scheduled time and keep it running on time based on the provided agenda so attendees can move between presentations as scheduled. Session Chair introductions or preliminary opening remarks should not exceed 2 minutes.
  4. Introduce Platform Speakers/Facilitate Q&A. Introduce each platform presenter based on the information provided to you from their biosketch. You may find individual biosketch information for the presenters in your session by clicking on their name in the online program. Platform presenters have been reminded to include this information in their profile for this purpose.
  5. Manage the Speaker Timer. Start/Stop/Reset the speaker timer for each platform speaker and enforce the speaking time limits. Instructions on the use of the speaker timer will be provided in your required meeting.
  6. BREAK for No-Show/Fast/Ill Speakers. If a speaker doesn’t show up, finishes early, or becomes ill, take a break, and wait until the next talk is scheduled to begin. 


Session Room Set Up & Equipment

  • Audience Seating. All session rooms will be set with theater-style seating facing the stage. 
  • Session Chair Table. A table will be set up facing the stage for you to sit at. The table will hold the speaker timer and a microphone to facilitate running the session/making introductions.
  • Session Room Layout. A stage will be located at the front of the room with a podium. The projection screen will be located to the left or right of the stage. A Tech Table will be located towards the back of the room.
  • Audio Visual Assistance. A professional AV tech will be located at the Tech Table to coordinate sound, lighting, and equipment. The AV tech will manage pulling up the slides for each speaker. The laptop in each room is located at the Tech Table, not at the podium. 
  • Microphones. A podium mic and slide advancer with built-in laser pointer will be located at the podium. A lavalier mic (if the speaker prefers it) will be available at the Tech Table in the session room.
  • Slide Advancer. A slide advancer with 3 buttons: left & right arrows to advance slides/go back, and the laser-pointer button, will be on the podium so presenters can control their slides.
  • Q&A Period. An aisle mic will be available for audience Q&A. Ask participants to use the aisle microphones to ask questions. If they do not, please repeat the question so everyone can hear it.


Other Important Information

  • Platform Talk Timing. Platform presenters are allotted 25 total minutes for their remarks, including Q&A, and transition to the next speaker.
  • Platform Author/Presenter Biosketches. We will collect biosketches from your platform speakers before the Conference and give them to you at your required meeting. The biosketch forms will request that the speaker provide one or two questions you can consider using if needed to start the 5-minute Q&A.
  • Author/Presenter Pre-Conference Contact. It is not necessary for you to contact any of the authors/presenters in your session before the Conference and the Conference Office is not permitted to provide author/presenter contact information to you. The Conference Office will send periodic reminders of due dates to all presenters. If you would like to contact all the presenters in your session, the Conference Office may do so on your behalf.
  • Poster Author/Presenters. Please plan to visit the posters in your session during the Poster Presentations & Reception in the Exhibit Hall.