Session Chair Guidlines

Session Chair Guidelines

Oral Session Hours
8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.

11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.

4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.


Empty Oral Presentation Slots

If a withdrawal is from an oral session, the session chairs can request that a poster presentation from the accompanying poster session be moved to replace the withdrawn oral presentation. This can only be done to and from accompanying sessions and only with the authors’ explicit consent. Please send an email to with the details of the withdrawn abstract, the details of the abstract that will be moved into the oral presentation slot, and the email or message where the poster presenter has given consent to being moved to an oral presentation.

Note: New abstracts CANNOT be added to fill empty slots in either oral or poster session.


Oral Session Chair Responsibilities

  • Due to safety regulations, please stress that your audience members not sit in the aisles. This will allow for the maximum number of attendees to attend the session and ensure that the city’s safety department will not close the session room or stop the session.
  • Use any reasonable means to stop a speaker who has exceeded the allotted time. The session must stay on schedule for both the audience and other speakers, per the approved program.
  • Only an author listed on a paper may present. No other substitutions are permitted.
  • If a paper has been withdrawn or a speaker does not appear, call for discussion of previous papers in that session or call a recess. Do not start the next paper until the time listed in the program. Please note any “no-shows” presenters on the Chair’s Evaluation, which will be provided in advance of the meeting.
  • Familiarize yourself in advance with the pronunciation of names and affiliations.
  • You may interrupt speakers in order to ask them to speak more audibly, slowly, or clearly; to face the audience; or to briefly explain the message of an illegible slide.
  • The Chair, not the speaker, conducts the discussion by recognizing participants on the floor. During discussions, ask participants to identify themselves and speak audibly so the audience can hear the questions as well as the replies.
  • If a paper draws no questions from the floor, you are encouraged to ask questions in an attempt to stimulate discussion, if time allows. However, some papers elicit more than the usual number of comments; judge accordingly.
  • To maintain the schedule, it may be necessary to defer lengthy discussions to the end of the session or to suggest that the discussion be continued in private, once the session has ended.
  • No new presentations may be added to the session.
  • Each oral session room is equipped with computer projection equipment. All presentations MUST be uploaded in the Speaker Ready Room and sent to this equipment for viewing.
  • Speakers cannot connect their laptops into computer projectors. Speakers have been instructed to load their presentation in advance in the Speaker Ready Room.
  • As Chair, you must keep the session on schedule. Do not go to the next presentation, and do not allow the session to overrun while a projectionist is trying to solve problems.
  • Please note, if you are chairing multiple sessions and also submitted abstracts to the scientific program the Scientific Organizing Committee CANNOT guarantee that you will be free of scheduling conflicts at the meeting due to the size of the program. Please ensure the co-conveners of the session are available to step in to chair a session if the need arises.
  • An online evaluation will be sent to you a few days prior to the meeting. Please be sure to complete it as soon as your session is complete. Include an assessment of the session’s attendance as well as any papers that were not presented.