Session Chair Guidelines

Chairs/Speakers Roles and Responsibilities |
Information for Authors
| Speaker Guidelines | Session Chair Guidelines | Manuscript Guidelines |
Poster Presentation Guidelines
| Copyright Form | ITAR Restrictions | Visa Information

• Contact the primary author of each paper in your session. Introduce yourself, thank the author, verify that their manuscript will be delivered on schedule to IMAPS (in pdf format) via email to Brian Schiemant at, and find out if they have any questions. A list of authors with contact information will be provided by IMAPS to each Session Chair. IMAPS contacts all of the authors with detailed instructions (a copy of the letter to the authors will be sent to Session Chairs as well). Due dates for abstracts, extended abstracts, final manuscripts and/or presentation materials will be posted on the event sites.

• Verify that any foreign speakers have initiated the visa process.

• Contact your co-chair and decide on how you will divide responsibilities. It sometimes works well to divide the session, so that each co-chair contacts half the speakers and is responsible for introducing them during their half of the session, while the other co-chair collects attendance data and monitors the sound/lights at the back of the room. You can switch roles halfway through the session.

• Register for the symposium prior to the cut-off date for advanced registration. A reduced fee is always provided for Session Chairs/Co-chairs.

• Session Chairs are required to review each final manuscript in their session and select the best paper. You will be emailed the url of the manuscripts once all have been received and posted on-line. Manuscripts will be in pdf format. Please email the title and author of the best paper in your session to Brian Schiemant at These evaluations will be used to select the Best Paper and Outstanding Papers of the Symposium.

• Contact your speakers again, make sure they are registered for the symposium and that his/her visa and travel arrangements are finalized. Remind them to bring an electronic copy of their presentation on a CD or USB device (and, if possible, to email you a copy for backup). Suggest that they bring their own laptop (for backup), and find out if they have any special equipment requirements. Each session room will have a digital projector and laptop computer with Windows XP, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat software. However, there were computer problems last year, and a backup laptop is desirable.

• Also remind your speakers that they are required to attend the Speaker's Breakfast on the morning of their session. (Symposium Only)

• Attend the Speaker's Breakfast on the morning of the day you will be chairing your session - this is mandatory. This will give you a chance to meet all the speakers in your session and give them final instructions. Make sure your speakers are prepared, and put them at ease. (Symposium Only)

• Each speaker will be given a small gift as a token of appreciation. This gift may be included in their registration packet. Verify that your speakers have received their gift. (Symposium Only)

• Arrive at the meeting room at least 20 minutes before the session starts. Make sure the computer and projector are booted up and working. Upload all of the electronic presentations onto the laptop. Familiarize yourself with the microphone, pointer, timer and overhead lights.

• Start the session on time. Manage the session and control the timing of each presentation to maintain the overall schedule of the papers. The allotted time for each presentation will be posted on the event site.

• No paper should be started ahead of the scheduled time. In the event that a paper is cancelled, an intermission should be announced (Symposium and Conferences Only). In the event that a workshop speaker does not show, it is recommended that the Session Chair surveys the attendees before adjusting the presentation order.

• Use the short biography as provided by IMAPS Staff to introduce each speaker before their presentation. If bios are not provided for all speakers, you should meet with those speakers prior to their presentation and have them prepare a short bio at that time.

• Be certain that the speaker can be heard by the entire audience (the co-chair can help with this at the back of the room). If you feel it is necessary, interrupt the speaker and ask him/her to speak louder and into the microphone. This is a common problem with first-time speakers.

• During the Q&A, ask that the questioner use a microphone, or that the speaker repeat the question. There is a lot of inconsistency in adhering to this practice, but it is important for the rest of the audience to hear the question.

• If there is time for questions and none are asked by the audience, the session chair should have a question prepared.

• Have your session co-chair complete the Session Chair Check List during the session (number of attendees per paper; overall presentation; questions). The check list will be given to you at the Speaker's Breakfast. Return the completed check list to the IMAPS registration desk once the session is over.

• Remind the attendees to fill out the evaluation form.

• Contact your speakers and thank them again.

• Please give feedback on the session and suggestions for improvement to IMAPS.

Any questions, please email Brian Schieman at

Chairs/Speakers Roles and Responsibilities |
Information for Authors
| Speaker Guidelines | Session Chair Guidelines | Manuscript Guidelines |
Poster Presentation Guidelines
| Copyright Form | ITAR Restrictions | Visa Information

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