Session Chair Information


Thank you again for chairing a session this year! Below are some helpful tips and information for your role as a chair. Please take a few minutes to read all of this important information as well as file this email where you can find and reread before your assigned session. 

Speakers will be advised to copy their presentations on the presentation laptop/desktop computer in the assigned session room prior to the start of the session. Only for special reasons (such as software presentations) should speakers request a head of time to use their own laptops. If this is granted they will need to test the laptop and bring their own connection cords during a break or at least 30-minutes before the session starts.

Your tasks as session chair:

  • Appear in the room at least 20 minutes before the session starts. A volunteer will be assigned per session room familiar with the in room technology to also assist during each session. 
  • Bring your program at a glance (available online or in the mobile app) to have the speaker names and titles of their talks ready.
  • Bring a watch or phone or similar for keeping the time.
  • Prepare a list of the planned end-times of each talk. Pay attention to each timeframe as some sessions are either 60, 75, or 90 minutes long. For example, typically in regular 90-minute parallel session, each speaker has 18 minutes, of which 15 are intended for the talk and 3 for questions and changing speakers.

Like in the past at other conferences, the same for IMPS 2022, our policy this year again will be that all chairs stick to the time slots announced in the program. This means:

In case there are less than the program scheduled talks in your session (as indicated in the program in advance or due to unexpected no-shows), do not extend the length of the other talks and do not allow the presenters to begin earlier than their designated time.

In case of no-shows, leave a break for the absent speaker, inform your audience about it, and have the remaining talks start at the time slot announced in the program. This policy ensures that attendees can rely on the time slots announced in the program and can move between sessions. (Instead you may also consider allowing more question and answer during that open timeframe.)

 Tips for IMPS Session Chairs:

  • Welcome the presenters when they come into the room.
  • Assist the speakers to copy their files to the laptop and show them how to use the equipment. (Plan to familiarize yourself before the speakers arrive.)
  • Ask presenters how to pronounce their names.
  • Let presenters know how you will help them keep the time (see below per the bulleted information noted “signal to the presenter.”)
  • When the session starts, briefly announce the plan for the session (e.g. “Welcome to the session on X. We will allow 15 minutes per talk and 2-3 minutes for questions.”).
  • If you have no-shows among the presenters, tell the audience that you were asked to stick to the schedule nevertheless and/or extend the question and answer timeframe. (e.g. “The second presenter is not here. Following the conference policy, we will leave a break during this slot and resume with the remaining talks afterwards, so that people can switch between sessions.“)
  • Briefly announce each presenter.
  • Signal to the presenter when they are getting close to the end of their allotted time. In the room you will find cards to signal 5 minutes and 1 minute remaining for the talk itself. Hold the cards up until the speaker signals that he/she has seen them, e.g. by nodding. In case a speaker does not come to an end after their allotted “X” minutes, stand up to politely signal the end of the talk.
  • If there is time for questions:
    • Invite the audience to ask questions.
    • If there is silence, consider asking a question yourself. For this it is helpful that you note down potential questions during each talk in case you need them.
    • Let the audience know when there is only time for 1 (more) question.

Thank you again for volunteering to chair this year. We hope you enjoy the conference!

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