Regular / Special sessions last 90 minutes; each individual presentation should take no longer than 15 minutes; the remaining time is dedicated to questions and discussions.

Speed talk sessions last 45 minutes, each individual presentation should take no longer than 5minutes; there is no time allocated for discussion.

Before the Conference:

  • View the Conference Programme for the information on the session you are chairing.
  • Check the online Conference Programme for any changes/cancellations to the session (date, time, room number, list of speakers). The online Conference 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 which 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.
  • Think about a general introduction to the session. Some session participants may not know the topic well.
  • Contact the speakers beforehand to receive information from them on how they should be introduced by you at the beginning of the session.
  • Think of the method to introduce the presenters (at the beginning of the session or before each presentation), to manage the duration of each presentation (e.g. how to indicate to the speaker that the end of the presentation is approaching – e.g. using a red card) and to invite questions (at the end of all presentations).
  • Prepare a few questions or topics about each paper to be asked in case there are no comments from the audience in order to initiate a discussion.
  • Arrive at the indicated room at least 10 minutes before the beginning of your session.

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 the technical service.
  • 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 their 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 the end of 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 the participants that questions will be taken at the end of the session, together with a discussion.
  • Remember that the Chair is the person who conducts the discussions, not a speaker.
  • Encourage questions and answers, discussions, comments and interaction among the participants within the time limit.
  • During discussions, ask participants to identify themselves and speak audibly so the audience can hear the questions as well as the replies.
  • 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.
  • In case of problems, please inform your assistant immediately, so that the relevant help can be provided.
  • Close the session with a short summary or closing remarks.

After the session:

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