Chairperson and moderator guidelines for live sessions

As session chair or moderator, your main responsibility is to ensure the session runs smoothly, is lively and interesting, starts and ends on time and participants treat each other with respect. Sessions will in general be organised as zoom meetings, some of the plenary events may be organised as zoom webinars.

Before the session

  • Look at the extended display material that has been uploaded by the authors presenting in your session. There will be a link “Uploaded presentations” on the main programme page so you can quickly get an overview how many of the display presentations have already been uploaded. Based on the material presented in these uploads prepare one question for each presenter that can be put to the author in the plenary part of your session during Q&A directly following the lightning talk – in case there are no questions from the audience. Conveners also see an overview of all uploaded lightning talks and display material in the session modification.
  • Check the overview of uploaded slides for lightning talks whether material has been uploaded for each scheduled talk.
  • Let the Copernicus staff know in advance of your live session (ideally 24 hours before the start) whether you would like to have a break-out discussion room for each of the presenters (could be up to 12 rooms) or prefer to group the presentations/presenters in thematically arranged discussion rooms and provide names for these (max. 32 characters including spaces). These will be created in advance of the actual live session.

At the live session: part I – Lightning talks (60min)

  • A conference assistant will be available in each virtual meeting room and assist the chairs in the running of the session. The assistant will share the presentation material of the current scheduled presenter to the screen and assist the participants in being assigned to break-out rooms if necessary.
  • Enter the room 15 minutes before the session starts. The conference assistant will be in the room, and explain the key technical aspects and how things will proceed behind the scene. The assistant will also inform you if for any of the scheduled lightning talks no slide deck or video has been uploaded; in that case you and the assistant will need to check at the start of the session whether the presenting author is actually attending the session.
  • Open the session exactly on the scheduled time, and introduce yourself to the audience.
  • A slide with rules for the running of the session will be on display at the start of the session (screen share by conference assistant); please draw attention of the audience to the main points, including that slides will be handled by the conference assistant, and that microphones should be kept mute unless one is presenting or invited to ask a question.
  • If convenors of the session you are chairing have scheduled a 5-minute introduction, then prepare what you are going to say in advance: you may want to give a thematic introduction to the topics covered in the session. If you want to show a slide, you can share this from your screen.
  • Lightning talks are scheduled as 5 minute slots (15 minutes for solicited), with 3 minutes for the lightning talk and 2 minutes for Q&A. Let the presenters know which sign you will give them to indicate their time for the talk is over and they need to wrap up. There is a slight flexibility for the 3 min deadline, but you should be strict on the 5 min deadline for each talk since this is what is assigned in the official programme and potential attendees will trust it to come listening to a particular talk.
  • The conference assistant will share the slides or video of the presenters when scheduled. As chair you should announce the respective presenter and title. In case no slides have been uploaded, the author – if present - should speak without a slide support.
  • For a smooth running of the Q&A component after each lightning talk a co-chair should monitor the chat box and decide on the order in which questions can be put to the presenter.

At the live session: part II – Break out rooms for each presenter (30 min)

  • Break out rooms will be created for each lightning presentation (at the discretion of the chairs they may also be grouped into less break out rooms).
  • Each attendee of the session can freely choose which break-out room to join, leave at any time, and join a different break out room. In case of difficulties to join, the conference assistant can assign people to the room of their choice.
  • As chair you should join some of the rooms during these 30 minutes. Ideally the convenors assign two or three chairs, so they can share attending break-out rooms of all the presenters in their session block.
  • Two minutes before the scheduled end of the discussion in the break-out rooms, all participants will be notified through a message appearing on the screen.
  • The chair may decide to have a short 1-minutes closing of the session at the end; this would be announced before the break out rooms open.

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