Session Chair Procedures

Session Chair Responsibility

  • Assist with the smooth flow of your session
  • Ensure the session environment is distraction free
  • Ensure the equipment for the presenter (audio-visual equipment, microphones and lighting) is satisfactory
  • Ensure presentations follow the scheduled program

A Symposium Assistant will be assigned to assist you in carrying out these important responsibilities.

Before the Session

Please pick up a Session Chair (light blue) ribbon at the Symposium Assistant Desk or the MRS Help Center. 

Plan to be in the meeting room 30 minutes before your session to assist the presenting author in setting up their personal equipment.  Please ensure the projector and microphone are in the room.  Lights in the meeting room have been preset at a level of brightness which will enable attendees to take notes.  If there are any audio-visual or temperature problems, please ask your Symposium Assistant to seek help.

Introduce yourself to your Symposium Assistant (wearing a green ribbon) who will be assisting you in the meeting room and responsible for the following:

  • Posting session sheet on sign outside of meeting room
  • Providing the laser pointer and timer
  • Recording attendance, presenter changes and no shows
  • Notifying MRS staff of any special symposium needs

The Symposium Assistant will give you the Session Sheet listing the latest program information.  Invited talks are 30 minutes and are indicated on the session sheets by an asterisk before the abstract number (e.g. *NM07.03.01). Contributed talks are 15 minutes.

Presenter No Show

If you have a “presenter no show,” you cannot rearrange the schedule of presentations. Use the open time slot for discussion or review. It is important to maintain published program times in order to facilitate attendee scheduling. Also, staying on time insures the availability of meeting rooms for important noontime and evening functions.

Substitute Presenters

It’s important for MRS to know if someone other than the presenting author delivers the talk; therefore, the Symposium Assistant has been asked to make note of all such changes. Please help your assistant by clearly identifying all authors who are substituting for the presenter noted in the published program.

At the Beginning of the Session

Make any general announcements including any program changes, remind attendees to silence cell phones and read the following MRS recording and photo policy. 

Recording of Presentations is Strictly Prohibited

No individual or entity—including a presenting author—may electronically record or broadcast any portion of the MRS Meeting without prior written consent of MRS. Unauthorized recording (audio, video, still photography, etc.) of presentations during sessions, posters, workshops, tutorials, etc., without the express written consent of MRS and individual authors is strictly prohibited. 

MRS reserves the rights to any approved audio and video production of presentations at all MRS events.

Press representatives must receive a Press Pass and photo/recording permission from MRS.

Those who do not comply with the MRS recording policy may be asked to leave the premises.

Photo Policy: Attendees or exhibitors are encouraged to network and enjoy the meeting experience. As such, capturing memories of casual meeting activities and networking is permitted with the permission of those being prominently photographed.  Photographing formal meeting presentations, posters or displays is forbidden without permission of MRS and the presenter.  Those who do not comply with the MRS photo policy may be asked to leave the premises.

Videos and Photos for MRS Use: MRS Meeting attendance implies your consent to be photographed, filmed and/or recorded for use on the MRS website or news publications.  Please note that no presentations will be recorded without prior consent of MRS and the authors.

Introduce the Presenter to the Audience

Indicate his/her name affiliation from the Session Sheet.  Also, as a courtesy to attendees and other presenters, interrupt the presenter if he/she is not finished at the end of his/her time.  It is important to maintain published program times in order to facilitate attendee scheduling. 

If Your Meeting Room Has People Standing

There may be available seats throughout the room.  Please ask attendees to move over to enable seating access by others.  Then ask those standing to come forward to take a seat. If this does not solve the problem, ask the Symposium Assistant to report to the Symposium Assistant Desk or MRS Help Desk.  Remember: it’s normal for all symposia to experience standing-room crowds at times; MRS will intervene if such overcrowding persists throughout the day.

After the Session

Please return the laser pointer and timer and initial the Symposium Assistant’s time sheet.

Thank you for volunteering!