Guidelines for chairs

Please remember that:

  • regular/special sessions last 90 minutes; each individual presentation should take no longer than 12 minutes; the time remaining until the end of the session is dedicated to questions and discussion;
  • speed talk sessions last 45 minutes, each individual presentation should take no longer than 4 minutes; there is no time planned for discussion

Before the Conference:

  • View the  Conference programme for the information on session you are chairing.
  • Check the online Conference programme to be sure if there have been any changes/cancellations to the session (date, time, room number, list of speakers). The online programme is always the most up-to-date one.
  • Read each paper in your session in advance. If some papers are not available, read the abstracts that you can find on the Conference website in the description of each session.  Knowledge of the context of each speech will help you to have a meaningful discussion.
  • Prepare a few questions or topics about each paper to be discussed. In case there are no comments a valuable discussion can be initiated.
  • Think about a general introduction to the session. Some session participants may not know the topic well.

During the session:

  • During each session you will have an assistant who will help you with the organisation of the session. In each room there will be also a person from technical service.
  • Arrive at your designated room at least 10 minutes before the session beginning.
  • Ensure that all speakers in your session are present in the room at least 5 minutes before the session starts.
  • If a speaker is absent at the beginning of the session, reschedule her/his presentation.
  • Introduce yourself, the session topic and welcome the participants.
  • Remind everyone in the room to silence or switch off mobile phones.
  • While inviting speakers to present papers, announce their full names, affiliation and the title of the paper.
  • Start and finish the session on time. Manage the session and control the timing of each presentation to maintain the overall schedule of the papers.
  • Inform about the time devoted to each paper and explain speakers the method you will use to notify them when they are near to their presentation time limit (2 minutes before the time limit – regular/special sessions, 1 minute – speed talk sessions) and how you will interrupt them if they have reached the end of their allocated time.
  • Ensure that each speaker starts and ends the speech on time.
  • Inform that questions will be taken at the end of the session, together with a discussion, also questions via Twitter. A special hashtag will be presented on the screen at the beginning of the session and during the discussion. Your assistant will help you with the Twitter account.
  • Remember that the Chair is the person who conducts the discussion, not a speaker.
  • Encourage questions and answers, discussions, comments and interaction among the participants within the time limit.
  • As an expert, you may share your own knowledge, research, experience and observations very briefly.
  • To maintain the schedule, it may be necessary to suggest that the discussion be continued in private, once the session has ended.
  • Close the session with a short summary or closing remarks.
  • In case of problems, please inform your assistant immediately, so that the relevant help can be provided.

After the session:

  • Fill in the Session Chair's Report immediately and return it to your assistant.