101st Annual Meeting Session Chair Information

101st Annual Meeting Session Chair Information


Thank you for agreeing to chair a session at the AMS’s 101st Annual Meeting, to be held virtually 10-15 January 2021. 

Since this year’s annual meeting will take place virtually, many elements of the meeting, including session chair responsibilities, are a bit different than in the past. A few important items to note:


  • Register for the 101st Annual Meeting as soon as possible to ensure that you receive all relevant information regarding virtual attendance. You must register by 8 January in order to serve as session chair. If you are not registered by 8 January, we will assume that you are unable to serve as session chair, will remove your name from the conference agenda, and will look for a replacement.

  • Please let the AMS Meetings Department ([email protected]) know as soon as possible if you are unable to serve as session chair for your session so that we may find a replacement. The earlier you let us know, the more smoothly the session and annual meeting will go. 

  • Reach out directly to the speakers in your session to confirm their participation in the live session and remind them to upload their files by 28 December. AMS will email you the contact information for your speakers on 3 December so that you can reach out and get back to us by 10 December. 

  • Familiarize yourself with the use of the Zoom Webinar platform. For more information, please see here: https://zoom.us/docs/doc/Zoom-Video-Webinars-FAQ.pdf 

  • Watch the Session Chair/Volunteer Tutorial Video:

  • Attend the Live Session Chair/Volunteer Training Session tailored for your session type:

    • 5 January (for Lightning Sessions)

    • 6 January (for Keynote and Panel Sessions) 

    • 7 January (for Presidential Sessions)

While we strongly encourage you to attend Training Sessions, please note that they will be recorded and posted afterwards. 

  • The virtual meeting platform will launch on 4 January 2021. Please plan to log into the platform, familiarize yourself with its features, add your session into your agenda, and view any pre-recorded and homework content submitted by speakers (especially for any of your sessions so that you are prepared to properly introduce your speakers and moderate the Q&A), poster presenters, and exhibitors from 4-9 January 2020. 


  • Attend the Session Chair Tag Up each day that you are chairing a session. This will take place each day of the meeting 9-9:30am EST. We will send the invites to these tag ups at a later date.  It is important that you attend the tag up on your session day(s) so that we can communicate any last-minute information and details related to your session, and answer any questions you or other session chairs may have.

  • You will receive an email from an address that looks like this AMS25Producer <[email protected]> (please note that the number in the address may vary - we suggest you search your email for "[email protected]") with an invite and link to join the Zoom Webinar as a speaker. If you do not receive your link links 72 hours before your session begins, please reach out. Please accept that invitation to confirm receipt. Join your session via this link 20 minutes before it is scheduled to begin (not through the virtual meeting platform) so that you can answer audience questions during your presentation. If you cannot find the email with your link to join Zoom Webinar, please email a[email protected]

  • Make welcoming remarks/housekeeping notes at the beginning of your session. Please see here for the script. The first ten minutes of each session is set aside for attendees to join the zoom webinar and for you to make these welcoming remarks. Please do not start your speakers before those ten minutes are up. 

  • Introduce each speaker in your session.

  • Keep your session running on time. Use of a stopwatch on your phone can be helpful here.  If a speaker is about to run over, please send them a  message through the Zoom Webinar chat to ask them to wrap up in one minute. When time is up, you will signal the end of the speaker’s time by turning on your webcam to introduce the next speaker. 

  • Moderate Q&A portions of your session. We will be using Zoom Webinar Chat to collect questions from the audience. Attendees will type their questions into the Zoom Webinar Chat to ask questions during the live session. (New!)

  • Prepare at least one question per speaker in the event that the audience does not ask any questions.

  • Should you need any assistance during your session, please reach out to technical support or the volunteer assigned to your session. Before or after your session, please contact the program chair for your conference/symposia, who can connect you with the applicable AMS staff member. 

Please note that each session has been assigned two session chairs so that you may split the above responsibilities. We encourage you to reach out to your co-chair to discuss your session, especially the Q&A portion. 

Support Responsibilities

Program Chair

  • Attend live sessions and reach out to lead planner with questions or concerns
  • Alert AMS Meetings Department about any changes to the agenda
  • Available to personally replace or find replacement for session chairs in an emergency

Session Chair 1

  • Log into session 20 minutes before live session begins
  • Make welcoming remarks/ housekeeping notes to begin the session and introduce each speaker in the session (script provided, Video and Mic ON)
  • Moderate Q&A by choosing attendee questions asked in the zoom chat and ask own question if there are no attendee questions (Video and Mic ON)
  • Moderate Panel Discussion (if applicable, Video and Mic ON)
  • Keep session running on time. When time is up, signals the end of the speaker’s time by turning on webcam to introduce the next speaker.

Session Chair 2

  • Log into session 20 minutes before live session begins.
  • Ask own question if there are no attendee questions.
  • Step in to assume Session Chair 1 responsibilities in the event of an emergency.


  • Log into session 20 minutes before live session begins
  • Send a wrap up warning message through the chat when speaker has 1 minute remaining.
  • Act as a liaison between AMS Meetings Department and session chairs, speakers, attendees

Technical Support

  • Launch zoom webinar 20 minutes before live session is scheduled to begin
  • Share screen with presentation slides (summary slide for lightning talks or slide deck for keynotes or THM)
  • Troubleshoot and provides technical support during the live session
  • End the zoom webinar at the conclusion of the live session

Speaker Responsibilities

Lightning Speaker

  • Log into session 20 minutes before live session begins
  • Present summary slide and answer audience questions asked by the session chair (Video and Mic ON)

Keynote, Lecture, or THM Speaker

  • Log into session 20 minutes before live session begins
  • Present slide deck and answer audience questions asked by the session chair (Video and Mic ON)


  • Log into session 20 minutes before live session begins
  • Present slide deck if applicable, and participate in panel discussion (All Panelists and Session Chair will have Video and Mic ON)