Session Chair Guidelines

The role of session chairs is important to the success of the sessions at the conference. Each session at the SETAC Africa conference is led by a chair together with a maximum of 3 co-chairs. Session chairs are asked to view and follow the below guidelines (or download the pdf version) to ensure smooth operations of the conference in general and their session(s) in particular.

Note that session chairs are advised to communicate with co-chairs and familiarize themselves with the abstracts in their sessions prior to the conference. 

Platform Sessions

Platform sessions

At the beginning of the session, chairs should briefly introduce themselves, stating the session title and the session duration.

Prior to the start of the session, the chair should:

  • Arrive 20 minutes before the starting time of the session. We have asked presenters to arrive 20 minutes early and introduce themselves to the session chair(s).
  • Check that presentation slides for all presenters in the session are available on the presenter’s laptop. A volunteer will be available in the session room for assistance and will check the following: that presentation files are ready, manage the presenter and audience microphones, and assist with any general technical issue related to the presentation.

At the start and during the session, the chair should:

  • Welcome the audience and presenters, and provide a 3-minute introduction summarising the theme and objectives of the session.
  • Introduce the presenter by name and affiliation and then announce the talk title.
  • Keep the schedule and talk timing according to the overall program. Should there be a missing presenter, the session chair should engage the audience in a discussion until the next scheduled presentation.
  • Formulate a question to ask each speaker ahead of time, particularly if there are none from the audience.
  • Ensure that the session runs smoothly. If for any reason the Q/A period becomes unprofessional, please attempt to refocus the discussion.

Poster spotlights

If your platform session includes a poster spotlight, please note the following:

  • Poster spotlights are meant to be a very short (3-4 slides maximum) presentation of posters. The purpose of the spotlights is to stimulate the audience to view the poster and to discuss the research with the presenter during the poster breaks the exhibition area, where the poster is displayed on the same day. This format does not allow discussions after each poster spotlight.
  • Please ensure that the individual poster spotlight presenters keep to the scheduled time, i.e., 4 minutes per presentation. In case of a no-show or cancelled spotlight, you can either conclude your session earlier or use the time for extra discussion.

At the end of the session:

  • Thank the presenters and the audience.
  • If there are any housekeeping announcements on behalf of the conference organisers, please make.
  • Formally announced that the session has ended.

Poster Sessions

Poster sessions

Scientific posters must be displayed in the poster area in the exhibition hall (Syndicate 4) from 8:00–18:00 UTC on the day of the author’s assigned poster session. The authors will receive instructions on where to hang up their poster and volunteers will be available to assist. Each poster board will be identified by a poster number.

As a poster session chair:

  • Your presence is not needed during the poster set-up;
  • Check all displayed posters for appropriateness;
  • Encourage attendees to view the posters in your session.

During the poster session, the chair should:

  • Ensure posters are attended by authors. Presenting authors have been asked to stand by their posters during the poster break. Please note any unattended display. Chairs are not required to stand by the poster boards in their session the entire day, however we do ask that one of the chairs visit the posters periodically.
  • Interact with each poster presenter and help facilitate interaction between presenting authors.
  • Ask for feedback from authors and attendees.

After the Meeting

A short survey will be sent to session chairs after the meeting, allowing chairs to give feedback on their sessions. 

Furthermore, session chairs are strongly encouraged to spotlight their key discussions and lessons learned in SETAC’s home journal, the Globe. This is a magazine-style news outlet and not a scientific journal, the summary should focus on the relevance of the session and important discussions and conclusions. Please have a look at the guidelines.

If you are interested in other options to publish your work, SETAC offers additional opportunities before and after the meeting.