Session Chairs and Moderators

Session Chairs and Moderators
Thank you for acting as a session chair/moderator for the 104th AMS Annual Meeting! We are grateful to you for helping to make your session, and the 104th AMS Annual Meeting, a success. Session chairs can fulfill this role either in-person or virtually. Please note each session is required to have at least one in-person session chair. We encourage in-person and virtual session chairs of the same session to communicate (i.e. private messaging within Zoom, exchanging contact information, or other messaging services). All sessions will also have an in-person student assistant.

All sessions held at the 104th Annual Meeting will be hybrid, meaning presenters and attendees can participate either in-person or virtually (through Zoom). For more information about the hybrid experience at the meeting, please visit this page

If you plan use social media to promote your session, download some tips and templates here.

Session chairs are responsible for the flow of sessions and speakers. Specific responsibilities are included below. We encourage you, especially those participating virtually, to familiarize yourself with Zoom.

  • For those who cannot use the desktop app, information on Zoom webclient can be found here.
  • Screen sharing on Microsoft Edge requires Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. It is not supported on Windows 10 Home. If you are running Windows 10 Home and need to share your screen, we recommend using Chrome or Firefox.
  • Screen sharing is not supported on Safari.
  • Additional Zoom tips and resources can be found here.

Before the Conference

  • Register at the Session Chair (or Full Member, if you are a Full Member) rate.
  • Check the online program to confirm the date and time for the session(s) you are chairing/moderating. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the speakers and abstracts being presented in your session!
  •  If you’re active on Twitter, take a moment to let everyone know about your session. Include the #AMS2024 hashtag and @ametsoc handle. See our social media kit for social media guidelines and templates. We encourage you to post on other social media platforms and use any individual conference hashtags as well.
  • Review the Session Chair/Moderator emails sent from the AMS Meetings Department for more information on managing and chairing your session.
  • Reach out to the speakers in your session directly to confirm their participation. When reaching out, confirm if the presenter will be in person or virtual. A document will be sent to all chairs in December to track this information. 
  • Remind speakers about how much time they have to present. Be sure to leave enough time for Q&A and speaker transition.
    • For example, for a 15 minute slot, we recommend allotting 11 minutes for presentation, 3 minutes for Q&A and 1 minute for transition. 
  •  Make sure speakers know about instructions for uploading their presentations
    • Information on presenting can be found here
    • Make sure that in-person presenters are aware that they need to upload their presentation via Presenter’s Corner or onsite. If they are uploading onsite they will need to do this in the Speaker Ready Room prior to the start of their session. 
      • The Speaker Ready Room is located in Room 331 at the Baltimore Convention Center, and the hours are listed below.
        • Sunday, 8 January 12:00 P.M –3:45 P.M.
        • Monday, 9 January 7:30 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
        • Tuesday, 10 January 7:30 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
        • Wednesday, 11 January 7:30 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
        • Thursday, 12 January 7:30 A.M.–4:00 P.M.
    • Please note that virtual presenters do not need to upload their presentations ahead of time. They will be able to share their screen during their presentations. If you would like, you may request that your virtual presenters send you a copy of their presentation, or a prerecorded video for you to play if they are unable to screen share.

During the Conference

  • Arrive at the session before the live session begins.
    • Virtual session chairs should plan to join the Zoom 20 minutes prior to the session's scheduled start time via the "Join Now" button found within the online program.
  • Make sure all of your speakers are present and their presentation files are prepared.
    • In-person presenters should have loaded their talks onto the conference computers using the Confex Podium Software well before the session (either online or at the meeting itself before/after sessions and during breaks). 
      • We encourage you to check with the Confex tech onsite in the Speaker Ready Room prior to your session to see if all in-person presenters have uploaded their presentations. We recommend this is done the morning of each session day.
    • Virtual Speakers will be sharing their screen to show their presentation. 
  • All in-person session chairs should have the session Zoom open on a device (ie laptop or tablet) to engage in the Zoom chat feature.
  • Make welcoming remarks/housekeeping notes to begin the session and introduce each speaker in the session.
    • Please take time to familiarize yourself with the presenters in your session. 
  • Work with the student assistant to keep the session running on time. 
    • AMS requires that you stay close to the published schedule. If a speaker doesn’t show up, the general rule is not to just move ahead with the next speaker, thus throwing off the timing for the rest of the session.  In this time, you are able to:
      • Use this time for a Q&A and/or discussion period. Perhaps you can lead the discussion by bringing forward your own relevant thoughts about the research presented.
      • Take a break.
      • End the session early if the no show falls at the end of a session (before a coffee/lunch break or end of the day).
      • Start the session 15 minutes late if the no show is at the beginning of the session.
        • Should a session end early or start late, please communicate this with virtual attendees, presenters, and/or session chairs. 
  • Moderate the question and answer period.
    • Virtual presenters and attendees are able to use the Zoom Chat feature or unmute to ask their questions aloud.
    • You should choose the questions rather than letting the speaker take charge of this interchange.  That way, you can cut it off easier when time is running out. If a speaker runs long, you are under no obligation to hold a question and answer period.  Simply say, “We need to move on to the next speaker,” or “You are welcome to approach Dr. Smith during the coffee break and ask your questions then.”  
    • In-person attendees will ask their questions at the aisle mic within the session room.
    • Prepare one or two questions for each presenter in case no questions are asked. 

Please note: all sessions will be recorded and posted in the online program at the session level 72 hours after the session concludes.

104th Annual Meeting Virtual Poster Slam Session Chair Instructions

As a session chair for the Virtual Poster Slam, you will be required to moderate your conference’s presentations for the Virtual Poster Slam which will include introducing the virtual poster presenters and controlling the timing of the presentations. 

Session chairs will be required to introduce each of the virtual poster presenters by name and poster title. The presenters will present in chronological order. The online program will be your resource for identifying the virtual poster presenters as well as the order of presenters. It will be important that you keep track of the order of virtual poster presenters and be ready to announce your presenters.

Each presenter will receive THREE MINUTES to present, and session chairs will be required to keep the time for those presentations. It is essential that we limit the presentations to three minutes in order to accommodate all participants.