Onsite Session Chair Guidelines

The Session Chair's responsibilities are to:
  • Assist with the smooth flow of the session
  • Ensure the session environment is distraction free
  • Ensure the equipment for the presenter (audio-visual equipment, microphones and lighting) is satisfactory
  • Ensure the presentations follow the scheduled program
A Symposium Assistant will be assigned to assist you in carrying out these important responsibilities.

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, ask your Symposium Assistant to seek help.

Introduce yourself to your Symposium Assistant who will be assisting you in the meeting room.  The Symposium Assistant is responsible for the following:

  • Providing the Session Sheet on sign outside of meeting room
  • Providing a Session Sheet that lists the latest program information
    • NOTE: Oral presentations are 15 minutes.  Invited Speaker presentations are 30 minutes and are indicated on the Session Sheets by an asterisk before the abstract number (e.g. *NM07.03.01)
  • Recording attendance numbers
  • Notifying MRS Staff of any audio-visual problems, as well as any special symposium needs
  • Recording no shows and substitute presenter information
  • Recording attendance numbers for each presentation on the Presenter Sign In/Attendance Form
* If the Symposium Assistant does not show, an MRS staff person will place your session sheet in the sign outside of the room and will provide you with your blue Presenter Sign In/Attendance form. Please record your attendance numbers, then return forms to the Symposium Assistants Desk, Hynes, Level 2, Hall D.

Before the Session

Make any general announcements including any program changes. In addition, there are sanitizer wipes available to wipe the microphone between speakers. Also, remind attendees no video or photos and to please silence phones.

For your reference, the MRS Recording and Photo policies are below:

  • 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

Name and affiliation is listed on 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 their presentation time. It is important to maintain published program times in order to facilitate attendee scheduling.

Presenter No Show

If you have a “presenter no show”, do not 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 is important for MRS to know if someone other than the presenting author delivers the talk. 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 on the session sheet.

Meeting Room

If the meeting room is overcrowded, please ask the Symposium Assistant to report this to the Symposium Assistant Check-In.


It’s normal for all symposia to experience standing-room crowds at times; MRS will intervene if such overcrowding persists throughout the day.

Following the Session

Please initial Symposium Assistant’s timesheet.

Thank you for volunteering!

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


Symposium Support