SICB Annual Meeting 2013
January 3-7, 2012
San Francisco, CA

Instructions/Specific Information for Chairing Oral Sessions at the SICB Meeting

Thank you for your willingness to chair a session at the upcoming SICB Meeting. Your functions as a Session Chair are:

  1. Audio Visual. A computer will be provided in each session room. Presentations for each session will be loaded from the Ready Room (California Room, on the ballroom level of the San Francisco Hilton Union Square) approximately 15 minutes before each session begins.
  2. Bring or borrow a reliable wristwatch. Synchronize your watch with a reliable time signal (e.g., on television or radio or ready room) the evening before your session.
  3. Check the SICB web page prior to the meeting for changes to your session as cancellations/updates are made on a regular basis prior to the meeting. Stop by the Ready Room (California Room, on the ballroom level of the San Francisco Union Square) about 20 minutes before your session begins to learn of any last minute cancellations, changes in the schedule or announcements that should be made to the audience at your session.
  4. Before the first speaker is scheduled to begin, introduce the session, introduce yourself and any co-chairs or assistants, make any announcements, and state the session rules. These are generally:
    • (a) Every talk is allotted a total of 20 minutes, typically 15 minutes of presentation and 5 minutes for questions.
    • (b) Every talk needs to end on time.
    • (c) If a speaker speaks for more than 15 minutes, question time will be reduced correspondingly.
    • (d) The chair will signal the speaker when 6 minutes are left (= 1 minute of speaking time) and 1 minute is left of the 20 minute slot.
    • (e) If time is needed for a speaker to deal with audiovisual difficulties, this comes out of the speaker's time and not the next speaker's time. Begin these announcements so that they are finished before the first speaker is scheduled to begin.
  5. Introduce the papers and maintain the schedule times listed in the Program.
  6. Each paper has been given a time designation and is allotted a maximum of 20 minutes including questions. It is ESSENTIAL to adhere to the schedule so that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak. There will be a speaker timer on each podium, visible to the speaker, to help with this responsibility. Please make sure that the timer is set (either by you or the student A/V assistant) before each talk begins.
  7. If a speaker fails to come to the session, or if a paper has been withdrawn, cancelled or is a 'no show,' DO NOT ADVANCE THE SEQUENCE OF PAPERS. Please stay on the schedule shown in the final program by filling their time with discussion/questions or take a short break. If a speaker does not stop at the end of the 20-minute slot, whether in answering a question or in completing the presentation, you must interrupt the speaker and introduce the next speaker and/or begin the scheduled break. If you do not do this, you will disrupt the schedules for every subsequent speaker that day as well as those of audience members moving from session to session.
    • a) Make sure that the speaker repeats the question if some people in the audience did not hear it.
    • b) If there are no questions from the audience, you should be prepared to ask a question - this means that you should read the abstracts before the meeting and have a question ready. You can access the abstracts through the website prior to the meeting.
  9. There are 20-minute coffee breaks scheduled during and/or between morning sessions. If your session precedes the breaks, please remind attendees that the coffee break will take place in the exhibit/poster area (Grand Ballroom).
  10. Audio Visual emergency procedures:
    • (a). There will be a student assigned to each room. If any of the equipment fails to operate reliably, ask the student to get help immediately. The student will go either find the on site roving audio visual person or will get in contact with them from the registration desk.
    • (b). If for some reason the student is not in the room at the time of the emergency, follow the procedure yourself.