For all sessions, Chairpersons are asked to do two key things:
- act as the Master of Ceremonies for the session and maintain the scheduled timekeeping
- act as enabler of interaction and discussion – this is one of the most important aspects of a research conference, so please foster active discussion.
At the beginning of your session, please ensure that all the presentations are uploaded, introduce yourself to the group, and remind them of the timings. You will have three coloured cards with 5 minutes (white), 2 minutes (yellow) and STOP (red) written on them so that you can give the presenters a clear indication of the time left.
Each room will also have a student host and you can ask him/her to facilitate the session and help with uploading the presentations and staying within the allocated time.
Specific details for different session types are outlined below:
Your role is to manage the smooth flow of the symposium. Introduce the presenters and discussant, and check everyone knows the timing. Each presenter has 20 minutes and the discussant has 10 minutes. This will leave 5 minutes for discussion after each presentation and 10 minutes for open discussion at the end. It is your responsibility to facilitate this. You will be given three colored cards with 5 minutes (white), 2 minutes (yellow) and STOP (red) written on them so that you can give the presenters a clear indication of the time left.
Chairing Single Oral Presentations
Your role is to manage the timing of the presentations and check that all runs smoothly. Introduce yourself to the presenters and encourage them to upload their presentations before the session begins. Remind them of the timing: this format allows for 15 minutes of individual presentation time followed by a 5 minutes discussion for each paper. There should be around 10 minutes at the end of the four (or five) presentations for general questions and discussion. You will be given three colored cards with 5 minutes (white), 2 minutes (yellow) and STOP (red) written on them so that you can give the presenters a clear indication of the time left.
Chairing Interactive Poster Sessions
Your role is to make the poster sessions a vibrant opportunity for exchanging research. If presenters have not already done so, encourage them to put up their posters on the boards. Each presenter has 1 minute to present him/herself and the topic of the poster in front of an audience gathered as a group. After the authors’ brief introduction, an in-depth discussion between them and the audience follows in the area of the poster displays. Poster sessions are scheduled for 75 minutes. As Chairperson, you will need to explain how the session runs as it may be unfamiliar to some delegates. You will also need to manage the timing and coordinate a fruitful discussion for each poster.