Dros21 Session Chair Responsibilities

Overview of session chair responsibilities

You must be registered for the conference to chair a session.

Coordinating with speakers

You will be sent an email with contact information for all of the presenters in your session. Please contact all of the presenters by March 16 to re-confirm their participation and to see if they have any questions. GSA will send you suggested text along with the email addresses of the presenters. If there are any technical questions that you cannot answer, the presenter should forward their question to jason@warpspeedtech.com and copy gsaconferences@genetics-gsa.org.

You should check your session day and time by viewing the Schedule of Events. All times are shown in Eastern Daylight Time/GMT -04:00/UTC -04:00  View Schedule of Events » 

Presenters and session chairs will be asked to join their session ten minutes before the start of the overall session (not just their specific talk). During the session, the chat window will be used for communication between the session chair and the presenters.

In the week before the conference

  • You will receive an email from Zoom with a “panelist” link for your session and a password. If you have not received your email two days before your session, please email jason@warpspeedtech.com. THIS LINK SHOULD NOT BE SHARED.
  • Download or update the Zoom client on your computer (phones and tablets are not recommended for presenters). Please use https://zoom.us/test to test your Zoom audio and permissions in advance, so you are not asked to set your permissions during your session. Be sure you are using Zoom 5.3.0 or higher.
  • Contact all of the presenters in your session by March 16 to re-confirm their participation and to see if they have any questions.
  • Make sure you are registered for Dros21.

During the conference

10 minutes before your session starts

  • Close all programs and apps.
  • Click the special Zoom presenter (panelist) access link emailed by Dros Zoom. Enter the password found in the same email. If you can’t find it, contact jason@Warpspeedtech.com. In an emergency, you can access the session as an attendee by logging in to the Conference App. Once there, type a message in the Chat window to the Zoom Host informing them that you are the session chair and need to be made a presenter.
  • Open the Chat and Q&A windows. Chat will be used for technical support.
  • Verify that your presenters are all in the session.
  • Ask presenters to practice sharing their screen and unmuting their microphone.
  • Test your sound by speaking to the technical support staff and any waiting presenters.

During your session

Welcome, code of conduct, and introducing speakers

At the beginning of your session, a slide will automatically be shown announcing the name of the session, your name, and other important information. The session chairs are also asked to make the following oral announcements at the beginning of the session:

  • Each presenter will have a total of 15 minutes. After 15 minutes we will move on to the next presenter.
  • Be advised that we will monitor this session for Code of Conduct violations.
  • This session is being recorded.
  • If you have questions for the presenter, type your questions in the Q&A window at the bottom of the screen and we will get to as many as possible at the end of each talk.

For each talk, announce the title and the presenter’s name.

Keeping time

It is important to keep your session on time. Each talk is allotted a total of 15 minutes allowing 12 minutes for the presentation and three minutes for questions. Zoom will automatically cut off the session five minutes after the scheduled stop time so it is critical that you keep speakers on time to make sure all speakers are able to present. Additionally, attendees will be coming in and out of sessions based on the scheduled time of individual talks.

You will need to designate one of your chairs to keep track of the time. Give a verbal cue, if needed, as follows, to let the speaker know how much time remains:

  • After 12 minutes, “3 minutes remain, start Q&A”
  • After 14 minutes and 30 seconds, “30 seconds remain, wrap up”
  • After 15 minutes, “STOP”

You will move on to the next talk after 15 minutes. If the speaker is still presenting you will have to politely interrupt the speaker to move on to the next person so that each speaker has their full amount of time.

Monitoring, choosing, and reading questions

Attendees will submit questions using the Q&A window. The questions will be visible to you and the presenters only, until either you or the presenter mark the question as “answered”. Presenters have been instructed that their talk should be 12 minutes and to allow three minutes for questions. Based on the available time, you will select questions from the Q&A window to ask the presenter. If no time remains for questions, you will move on to the next presenter. If there are no questions and there is remaining time, please be prepared with your own question to ask the presenter.

A transcript of the questions posted in the Q&A window will be made available to the presenters after the session

Technical problems

To keep the session on time and in sync with other sessions, if there are technical issues on the presenter’s side that are not quickly resolved (less than 10 seconds), you should move on to the next presenter.

Poster previews

After the last 15-minute talk, you will introduce the poster preview presentation that includes up to four, two-minute poster previews. Please encourage people to view the related posters and attend the live poster sessions being held March 30–April 1. Technical support will begin the slide show after you make that announcement.

Frequently Asked Questions - Session Chairs

What if I can no longer chair my session?

Do I need to contact my presenters?

How will I know if my presenters have all confirmed?

What if one of the presenters in my session has technical difficulties during the session?

Who do I contact for technical help?

How do I enter my session as a speaker?

I can’t find the email with my session link. What should I do?

Why did I receive an email from Alerts@ATIVsoftware.com?

Will people be able to record or download my session?

Who will be able to view my session recording?

Can presenters opt out of the recording?

What should I do if my internet speed doesn't meet the requirements?

Do I need a webcam?

What are you doing to prevent Zoombombing?

Do I have to attend the Zoom demo?

Do I need to download Zoom?

How do I report a Code of Conduct violation?

Where do I get the slides that open and close my session?

How will I manage the timing for my session?

What should I do if my internet speed doesn't meet the requirements?

What should I do if someone is trying to disrupt the session?