Session Chair Guidelines

Session Chair Guidelines

General info

Each session will have a chair and an assistant. At the start of the session, chairs should briefly introduce themselves, declaring the session title and the session duration. The main tasks of the Session Chair are:
  • Introduce the speakers by name and affiliation and then announce the talk title.
  • Give highlights from the speaker’s Bio-profile and invite him/her to start.
  • Ensure smooth sessions
  • Keep the schedule according to the overall program
Prior to start the session, the Chair should:
  • Confirm with the assistant that the pointing device is working properly and the Bio-profile is available
  • Invite the speakers to sit in the front row to facilitate a quick hand over
At the end of Session:
  • thank all the participants and the audience
  • please make, if there are, any housekeeping announcements on behalf of the LOC
  • formally announce that the session is closed.
Chairs are recommended to check the conference programme about the time and place of the session they are chairing: please try to arrive 10 minutes before the starting time of the session. Each Chair is asked to position him/herself in a position clearly visible by the speaker NB – In case of a missing speaker: the session will be suspended, the chair will announce a break and the session will resume at the next scheduled presentation. The job of the assistant is to:
  • manage the speaker and audience microphones
  • Check the countdown timer if it is running properly (NB: it is managed by  the Venice Convention Centre Audio Visual technician)
  • Ensure the pointer device and remote control for slide advancement is available and in working order.
  • Ensure that a hard copy Bio-profile is available on the stage desk.
  • Assist with attaching the microphone for the next speaker
  • Assist with any general technical issue related to the presentation.

Presentation slides

All the slides will be loaded in advance after quality assurance checks by the Presentation Managers in the Speaker Preparation Room. The Venice Convention Centre Audio Visual technician will bring up the correct slides on the presentation laptop (No personal laptop, or thumb drive download is allowed). For details about slides preparation please see the SPEAKER PREPARATION GUIDELINES Talk timing
  • Invited: 25 mins + 5 mins (questions)
  • Contributed: 15 mins + 5 mins (questions)
Please keep sharply the published schedule and talk timing . If necessary, intervene and use your desk microphone to inform the speaker that his/her time is over. Be courteous but firm. The  setting up of the presentation timers will be managed by the Venice Convention Centre Audio Visual technician. NOTE: If a presentation is withdrawn, a presenter does not arrive, or a presentation finishes earlier than scheduled time, please use the time for questions or a short break (do not anticipate the subsequent talk, since delegates will be planning to come to presentations based on the published session times).

Speakers introductions

Speakers were requested to provide a short Bio-profile prior the beginning of the Conference. These bios will be provided to each session chair by email and as printed copies on the stage. In order to ensure the maximum time for speakers’ presentations, introductions by session chairs shall be as brief as possible. In case of long bio-profiles, chairs are recommend to mention highlights only.


Please use the chair table for speaker introduction and your own questions. Speakers should have their microphone attached before the start of their talk. The session assistant will be responsible for this. Speakers should return their microphone to the sound table or session assistant promptly after their talk is done. Two earpiece mics per room will be provided to be shared between speakers. There will be two runners in the room equipped with handheld microphones to take questions from the audience. Ensure that either the chair or presenter always repeats any question that is asked by an audience member without a microphone.

Question time

Ideally, questions should come from the audience. However, the chair is warmly encouraged to always be prepared to ask a question or two, in case no others come from the audience. A comment that could unify all the talks in the session is also appreciated. Please check if any question has been posted on the App’s chat. Do not ask any questions if the presenter has used all their allocated time. If the chair should feel contention or grandstanding in a delegate question to the speaker, recommend that the parties may discuss the point privately after the session.