Chair Guidelines

This information was provided by and has been modified to fit SFA's facilities.

Session Chair Guidelines

  1. Prior to departure for the meeting, check the program on the web-site to determine the number and order of the abstracts to be presented, the time allocated to each abstract, and if there are any supplementary abstracts assigned to the session you are chairing.
  2. Upon arrival at the meeting, check the printed program to determine if any supplementary abstracts have been assigned to the session you are chairing, or if any abstracts have been withdrawn.
  3. If possible, arrive at the meeting room about 15 minutes prior to the start of the session and familiarize yourself with the controls for lights, a-v equipment and the timer. If you encounter problems, you should immediately alert the meeting managers.
  4. At the start of the session, briefly introduce yourself and explain the timing system to the audience, and as often during the session as you think necessary.
  5. Start the session on time - announce the first abstract and author, and start the timer.
  6. Please adhere to the time schedule listed in the program so that simultaneous sessions are as closely synchronized as possible. Many attendees move from session to session in order to hear specific abstracts.
  7. The normal allotted time for contributed abstracts is 12 minutes (10 minutes to present; 2 minutes for Q & A). If you are chairing a session that includes both contributed and invited abstracts please be aware of the different times allocated for each and set the timer.
  8. Speakers must be asked to stop when their allotted time is up in a courteous but firm manner. Keep in mind that the session must end on time, and that the last speaker has just as much right to an audience as does the first speaker. Should a speaker fail to appear, call the author of the first supplementary abstract assigned to the session, if any. If that author is not in attendance, call the author of the following supplementary abstract, and so on. If there are no supplementary abstracts assigned to your session, allow the preceding discussion to continue, or recess the session until it is time for the next scheduled abstract. At the end of the session, call again for the regularly scheduled abstract, if time allows.
  9. If any problems arise that you are unable to handle relative to successfully chairing the session, either go, or immediately send, someone to the registration desk to alert the meeting managers of the problem.