Guidelines for Session Chairs

Guidelines for Session Chairs

Before the Congress:

  • Please familiarize yourself with the program, session and speakers.  You can view the interactive program here.
    • *Please note, the program is subject to change and it is important to check the program prior to the start of the session. 
  • Please prepare some backup questions.

At the Congress: Before the Session Starts: 

As all sessions have a Q&A component, through the congress App*, please arrive at your session hall at least 10-15 minutes before the session is scheduled to start, to meet with an IT technician and to receive an iPad.  *This will further be explained in a communication prior to the congress.

Approximately two minutes before the start of each session, please ask people to take their seats, encouraging them to sit towards the front and center. You should announce each speaker and supervise discussion from the head table using the microphone provided.

One minute before the first scheduled presentation:

  • You should introduce yourselves by name and affiliation.
  • Announce the title of the session.
  • Ask people to set their mobile devices to silent and request that they do not take photos of the presentation slides or record the session.

During the Congress:

As the session chair, you are responsible for the time management of the presentations within your session hall:

  • Welcome the audience there as well as those joining online.
  • Please introduce the speaker and presentation title as indicated in the Mobile App which will have the most up-to-date program details.
  • Please follow the schedule closely.
  • It is essential to adhere to the scheduled start and end times of each presentation. This is so that people can move from one room to another and find the presentations as announced in the program.
  • Please announce a two-minute warning so that a speaker can time the end of their presentation and not overrun.
  • If the presenter is speaking too quickly and cannot be easily understood, please ask them to slow down.
  • Please ensure that the speaker uses the microphone.
  • If there is a long or complicated question from the audience and/or if the speaker does not understand the question, please summarize the question for the speaker or ask for clarification.
  • Notify the in-hall AV Technician immediately of AV equipment problems.


  • For delegates attending onsite, questions can be asked live during the session and through the Congress App.
  • For delegates attending virtually, questions can be asked through the Congress App during sessions which are being lived streamed.
  • For all sessions, let the virtual and onsite audiences know that questions can be directed to speakers directly by finding the speaker’s name in the online platform and initiating a chat.
  • Pre-recorded speakers will be available on the virtual platform for participants to reach out to with questions. These speakers will not be available live for questions during the session.

If the session gets ahead of schedule, do one or more of the following:

  • Solicit questions from the audience and lead a discussion.
  • If you finish before the allotted time, you may let the session out early.