Session Chair Information

The conference will take place in an on-line platform called OpenWater using Zoom.

If you missed the training session, you can re-watch it here.

As a session chair, your job at the meeting will be to introduce your session and your presenters and to keep your session on time. All presenters will be sent instructions to upload their presentation for viewing prior to the meeting and each oral session block will be one hour in length with six 5-minute overview talks by the presenters followed by a discussion period. Some sessions have made special arrangements. If you are chairing one of these sessions, please adhere to your format. It is very important that all talks begin and end in their allotted time. It is also your job to lead the discussion and handle any questions that will be put into the chat.

Each room will have a technician and some rooms will also have a student volunteer to help with any questions or challenges you might face. Closer to the meeting, full details on how to contact the technician and over valuable information will be sent.

Should there be any cancellations, an addendum will be posted during the meeting and will show the most recent cancellations, changes in presenting authors, or scientific program revisions. Presenters have been instructed to also notify their session chairs when canceling.


As a session organizer, you must be registered for the meeting if you are going to attend. If you have not already done so, you may register on-line any time between now and the meeting at:

Live Training

There will be a live training session for session chairs on Tuesday, 15 June at 14:00 UTC (10:00 am EDT). The session will last for one hour and will be recorded so that it can be reviewed by anyone who can not make that time. Details have been sent to all chairs via email. 

Invited and Tutorial Speakers

If you have any invited or tutorial speakers you wish to designate, please email the title of those presentations to [email protected]. Include your session number and whether the presentation is invited, a tutorial, or both.

Session Chair Duties

Below is a recap of session chairs responsibilities:


  • Take time to familiarize yourself with the Zoom platform and attend the training schedule.
  • Review the schedule and check the pronunciation of names and institutions.
  • Prepare a slide introducing your session with the title to help those entering the room to know they are in the correct place.

15 Minutes Prior to the Start of Your Session

  • Start the session by clicking on the start meeting and join as a host. (Instructions will be included in the training session.)
  • Ensure that all your presenters are present. 
  • Make sure the closed caption button is on.

Start of the Session

  • Let attendees in from the waiting room and disable the waiting room feature.
  • Introduce yourself and give a brief introduction to your session. 
  • Remind the audience to mute their mics and use the chat feature for questions.

During the Session

  • Be aware of the time for each presentation and move your session along.
  • Facilitate discussion and manage the questions and answers.
  • Ask for technical assistance for anything you have questions about.
  • Conclude your session and remind the audience to leave the session room.

If your plans or personal obligations have changed and you will not be able to attend the meeting, please let us know. You need to make sure that your session is covered during the meeting. If you do not have co-chairs who are attending the meeting, please make arrangements for another participant or for a presenter in your session to act as chair.

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