Online BoF Guidelines

Thank you for delivering a BoF at eResearch Online!

We want to ensure your BoF runs smoothly and have put together the following guidelines and resources to assist with your preparation and participation.

Should you have any queries regarding the information provided or your participation please contact

Importantly we ask all BoF conveners to provide their session agenda by 7 October



Birds of a Feather Sessions (BoFs) will be LIVE sessions, 60 minutes in duration.

The conference team will work with BoF conveners in the planning and delivery of their sessions to maximise the engagement with participants.

All BoF Conveners and Presenters are required to register for eResearch Online and pay the prevailing registration fee.

If you have any queries or concerns about delivering your BoF at eResearch Online, please contact

The format of BoFs can be customised but could include:

  • A welcome and overview
  • Presentations
  • Panel discussions
  • Breakout rooms
  • Wrap up and concluding remarks

Attendees will have access to:

  • Text Discussion Forum (text)
  • Live Q&A (text)
  • Handout documents and web links (for example, links to Google Docs for collaboration and annotation)
  • Text box to make session notes
  • Breakout rooms


The main platform for the 2020 eResearch Australasia Online Conference will be “OnAIR”. We are using this platform for registration, to stream sessions, and to have enhanced functionality including the chat and Q&A functions throughout the conference.

Within OnAIR, we will stream BoFs using the inbuilt AIRCast function. Some of the AIRCast features include:

  • The host can manage all content and presentations broadcast to attendees
  • The host and presenters can see different functions such as Media, Recordings, Live Q&A, and Discussion Forum
  • Multiple breakout rooms for up to 20 people per rooms
  • The host and presenters can access the control room for support
  • The host can change the layout of the ‘main stage’ which is broadcast to attendees
  • The host and presenters can share their screen to present slides or deliver a demonstration
  • A green room where presenters are placed when entering the session. Presenters are then elevates presenters to the preview pane then main stage when presenting.

In the lead up to the conference, Conference Design will work with each Convener on the requirements and delivery for each BoF session.

At the time of the conference, a Conference Design team member will be on hand to assist with hosting the session and managing AIRCast.


Conference Design will act as the “Host”, whilst Conveners and Presenters will be “Presenters”.


  • Up to 9 presenters can access the portal at any given time
  • Presenters can share their screen to present slides
  • The portal allows Gallery view for Panel discussions
  • Presenters can be promoted to and removed from the main stage as required throughout the session


Breakout Rooms are virtual rooms where attendees can move into for conversation and screen sharing.

There are two ways breakout rooms can be created and managed:

Automatic Assignment

  • OnAIR randomly assigns attendees to rooms
  • Host can set maximum number of attendees
  • There is no limited to the number of rooms that can be created.
  • You can have up to 20 attendees per room
  • AIRCast Studio will automatically create as many rooms needed so all attendees are in a room
  • Presenters can move into and out of any room as required

Attendee Selects Breakout Topic

  • Host can define up to 10 breakout room topics
  • Attendees can choose to enter the breakout room of their choice
  • If the maximum number of attendees for any room is met, OnAIR will create additional breakout rooms with the same topic name
  • You can have up to 20 attendees per room, and AIRCast Studio will automatically create as many rooms as required
  • Presenters can move into and out of any room as required

If nominating breakout room topics, please submit a list of topics with your agenda to Conference Design by 7 October. 


We recommend BoF Conveners plan and prepare for all aspects of their BoF. Consideration should be given to:

  • Presenter’s experience with presenting online and functionality such as screen sharing if presenting slides.
  • The order of presentations, and who will be facilitating the session.
  • Timekeeping. BoF sessions will end sharply after 60 minutes hence careful time keeping is important.
  • Who will manage the Live Q&A and Discussion Forum feed for the session.

To assist conveners and presenters with their participation we encourage you to take a look at the resources available in the Presenter Toolkit.

Visit the Presenter Toolkit

BoF Conveners must provide the Conference Managers a firm agenda for the session including timings no later than Friday 2nd October.

Agendas should be submitted as a single word document; we will add the agenda to the online program.

If predefining breakout room topics, please include a list of topics with your agenda.

Email agendas to

Conveners and presenters will have access to the online conference portal approximately two weeks prior to the event. We recommend conveners and presenters log in early to:

  • Familiarise yourself with the presenter dashboard
  • Check session information including your abstract and biography
  • Upload a photo of yourself
  • Familiarise yourself with the Live Q&A feed
  • View any handouts you may have provided in advance
  • Preview your session

Conference Design will conduct rehearsals with all BoF conveners at a mutually agreeable time leading into the Conference.

The rehearsal should take place no later than 7 October. This will allow us to identify any technical issues and implement adjustments for your session if needed.

BoF Conveners are able to upload handouts via the abstract submission portal. Handouts can be:

  • PDF’s
  • Video’s
  • Web links

Click here to log into the abstract submission portal


We recommend presenters log in early on the day of their BoF. This will allow you to:

  • Familiarise yourself with your equipment and make sure everything is in good working order (ie microphone and camera working, plenty of battery if using a laptop, stable internet connection).
  • Review your online content (presentation video and handouts if supplied).
  • Familiarise yourself with the Live Q&A feed.
  • Connect with your fellow presenters (if you are co-presenting you will be able to connect with your fellow presenters via the presenter chat).
  • If you have any issues or queries, you can connect with the support team through the Control Room Chat or log a Live Support ticket.

Please join your session 30 minutes prior to the commencement time. This will allow us some time to finalise online set up for the BoF and allow you to complete any final preparations the group may need to go through prior to going live.

Please join your session 30 minutes prior to the commencement time.

  • BoF sessions will go live to the audience via the conference portal at the advertised session start time and run for 60 minutes
  • Attendees will see the broadcast as soon as the host clicks ‘presents’
  • Presenters and content will be visible to attendees as promoted to the main stage
  • A Conference Design team member will act as host and manage the session including the main stage (for example promoting and removing speakers to the main stage and ensuring any shared content is broadcast to the attendees).
  • The Conference Design team member will also manage the broadcast layout (for example gallery view for a a panel discussion, or shared screen when presenting slides).
  • Conveners and presenters should be logged into the online conference portal throughout the session in order to see the Live Q&A feed, Discussion Forum, handouts, visit breakout rooms, text chat with other presenters and contact the support team if required.
  • Throughout the BoF, audience members can type questions into the Live Q&A box at any time.
  • Presenters are able to answer questions via text throughout the session, or save responses to the end.
  • Audience members and presenters will also be able to participate in a discussion forum throughout the BoF. The discussion forum should be used for general discussion, with questions for presenters asked via the Live Q&A feed.
  • Presentations, Live Q&A and the Discussion Forum will end immediately at the advertised time. There will be a timer counting down to the end of the presentation.
  • Delegates will be able to log back into the BoF to view the recording “on-demand”. Live Q&A and Discussion Forum content will also be available.
  • At the conclusion of the BoF, presenters can go back to the timeline and participate in the conference as usual.

Live support will be available throughout the conference opening hours and will include dedicated IT/AV support.

Should presenters require assistance at the time of the conference they should contact support by:

  • Control Room Chat: this chat feed is easily accessible via your presentation in the online conference portal. Queries will be quickly picked up by the support team
  • Live Support Hub: live support is immediately accessible via the icon at the top of the online conference portal. Users should log their query in the live support chat box and a team members will respond as quickly as possible.

In lieu of individual speaker gifts, we are donating a maths teaching kit to children in need through UNICEF.

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