2019 eResearch Australasia Conference – Session Chair Guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to be a Session Chair at the 2018 eResearch Australasia Conference


Please check the online program to re-confirm the day, time and room of the session/s you have been allocated. Whilst we don’t anticipate any changes please check the program again prior to your session.

Below are some tips to assist you with the chairing process. Most importantly, please ensure you start and finish all presentations on time and keep to the order in the program.

Please note: a “Session” is the full time slot between one break and the next (ie all inclusive, consecutive presentations that run from the end of morning tea until lunch).


Before the Session

  • Review the abstracts for your session which are available via the online program.
  • Use this information to introduce the speakers. Ask the speaker how much of his bio he/she wishes for you to use. Generally 1 or 2 sentences is sufficient.
  • The abstracts are also available in the conference app. Downloading instructions will be sent to all delegates prior to the conference, with instructions also included in conference holding slides. 
  • Please go to your room 15 minutes prior to the commencement of your session to meet the presenters and familiarise yourself with the room.
  • Introduce yourself to the presenters and the AV technician allocated to your room.
  • There will be a space reserved for the session chair in the front row of each room with time cards (5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute), and a bell for signalling the end of each presentation. Please use the lectern microphone to introduce the presenters and at the end of the presentation for questions. Thank each speaker at the end of their presentation.
  • Each presentation runs for 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for Q&A and changeover. Audience members wishing to move in or out should do so quietly towards the end of question time.
  • Lightning talks run for 5 minutes each, with Q&A discussion held collectively after all of these talks are completed. Lightning talk sessions run for 40, 60 or 80 minutes, as indicated in the program.
  • BoF sessions have defined lengths of 40, 60 or 80 minutes.
  • Solutions Showcases run for 15 minutes each, including any Q&A.
  • Advise the presenters that you will be signalling the time and ringing the bell when they have to stop. If presenters keep talking too long, ring the bell repeatedly or use other persuasive means to force them to stop.
  • Presenters should have loaded their slides in the Speaker’s Preparation Room prior to the session. If a presenter arrives with a USB to load slides, please direct them to the AV technician.  Technicians will be roaming between the session rooms to provide assistance and troubleshoot technical issues in the unlikely event these arise
  • You will be advised of any housekeeping items or program updates by the registration staff or committee. Please announce these at the beginning of the session. The housekeeping notes will be left for you with the cards.
  • In larger rooms there will be a Q&A microphone on a stand in the aisle. Ask a member of the audience to be a microphone ‘runner’, if required, or direct delegates asking questions to go to the microphone.

During the Session

  • Begin the session on time and ask that all electronic devices are turned to silent.
  • Please use your phone to keep to time. If you don’t have one, talk to the registration desk before the session starts and a clock will be provided to you. Your phone is more accurate than having individual clocks.
  • Introduce each presentation with the title, the presenter, the presenter’s affiliations and biography overview. Presenters will be asked to sit in the front row of the theatre, so they can move to the lectern quickly at the end of the previous presentation.
  • If a presentation is withdrawn or a presenter does not arrive do not bring the next presentation forward, use the time for questions. Delegates will be planning to come to your session based on the published session times. You will be given further instructions by the Conference Organisers, if an alternative presentation can be arranged in time.
  • Ensure each session starts and finishes on time. The length of each presentation is listed in the program. It is very important that you do not delay the start of the session by waiting for latecomers
  • At the end of each presentation be prepared to ask a question yourself, if time allows and no questions are forthcoming from the audience.
  • At a suitable time, the Program Committee asks all Chairs to conduct a quick head count for each listed full presentation or BoF at their respective sessions. At the conclusion of your session, please visit the registration desk and let a member of the team know how many people were in your session and the name of your room.  
  • Do not ask any questions if the presenter has used all their allocated time.
  • Use any remaining time for questions and discussion.
  • At the conclusion of the session, thank the presenters and note that rather than provide individual gifts today we have donated a maths teaching kit to children in need through UNICEF



If you have any queries or require assistance please email mail@conferencedesign.com.au prior to the conference or visit the registration desk during the conference.