Past conference organizers have provided the following suggestions about when and what to do when chairing a session at IASSIST.
Initial Contact with Presenters ( sample letter )
• Notify them of the time/date of the session.
• Confirm that the information on the program (name, affiliation, title, abstract) is correct and ask them to notify us of any changes. A draft version of the program is up at IASSIST/Program. (Related, please confirm that your name as chair is listed correctly on the program.)
• Ask for biographical information for introductions. Bios will not be included in the printed or online programs.
• Confirm with them their preferred speaking order. The group can go with the draft order as listed in the program or you can propose an alternative order that you think better; please ask the speakers to respond to either the order in the program or an alternative you may propose. It is important that the order of speakers ultimately listed in the program matches the order in which people will speak (conference attendees will sometimes move among concurrent sessions based on the order of speakers listed). You can also begin to think about whether or not you would like to take questions after each speaker or hold them until the end. That is up to you to decide as a group, although feedback from previous years suggests that it’s better to hold questions at the end of a session (to avoid time delays).
• Let them know how much time they will have to present their papers (15-20 minutes of speaking time per paper, to allow for setup, transition, and questions).
• Describe the standard audio-visual setup (a computer with PowerPoint (Office 2010), a data projector, and wireless Internet) and ask about additional needs.
• Ask about any special accommodations needed.
Reply from Presenters
1-2 Weeks before IASSIST ( example letter )
• Describe the final logistics, AV information, and room arrangement.
• Coordinate working with the presentations off of personal/conference computers; try to get all presentations on the same machine.
• Explain how you’d like to handle introductions and questions. As mentioned earlier, this is up to you to decide as a group, although feedback from previous years suggests that it’s better to hold questions at the end of a session (to avoid time delays).
• Remind them to have multiple copies of presentation (if technical difficulties), handouts if applicable.
• Consider obtaining and reviewing the presentations ahead of time for moderating.
• Provide information from the Publications Committee about publishing in IASSIST Quarterly.
• Say how to get in touch with you for any last-minute needs.
• Check on the room arrangement, AV, etc. Tech staff will be on hand to help.
• Ensure that the presentations are transferred to the available machine.
• Remind speakers of the length of time they have for their presentation & how you will handle introductions and questions. (Time limit cards are included in the session chairs’ conference registration packets.)
• Moderate: introductions, field questions, commentary/summary when possible.
• Use the Session Chair Notes form to keep track of the papers in your session so the IASSIST Publications Committee can follow-up on potential submissions to IASSIST Quarterly. Please return this form to the registration desk.
• At the end of your session, please drag and drop all of the presentation files on the conference room computer to the “Completed Presentations” desktop folder. IASSIST organizers will be collecting presentations from these folders to post on the conference website.