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Session Chair Packets 

Session Chair Responsibilities: 

Authors send title submission forms to Session Chairs. 

a )  Speakers send abstracts to session chairs 

b)  Session Chair selects abstracts/speakers/titles for session.  Submit list of authors, titles to Program Chair (about 6.5 months prior to conference).  Session chairs must also send rejection emails to authors not selected.  Any talks rejected by session chairs should be reviewed by all session chairs to determine if they may work in another session before a final determination is made as to whether a paper will be rejected. 

c)  Receipt of Abstracts/Papers by the session chair and editing (6 months prior to conference) 

d)  Submit final edited abstracts to program chair (5 months prior to conference) 

e)  Program chair submits all abstracts/paper to Proceedings Editor (about 4 months prior to conference).  NOTE:  communicate with Proceedings Editor re:  necessary date to send to printer, and work dates backwards from there. 

Session Chair Duties: 

Develops a “session theme” in conjunction with Program Chair.  Recruits speakers for session (about 6-1/2 months prior to conference) and receives unsolicited papers from authors or through assignment to session by Program Chair. 

Sends “Instructions to Authors (Appendix 7) to all confirmed speakers.  This includes instructions for preparation of papers from the Proceedings Editor.  Deadlines are spelled out.  Time allotment for each speaker is also stated, preferably in a personalized email.  Informs authors that adherence to INSTRUCTIONS in packet is MANDATORY. 

Submits to Program Chair a list of speakers and titles by required date (6 months prior to conference). 

Receives papers from speakers on or before deadline agreed upon by Proceedings Editor and Program Chair (about 5-1/2 months prior to conference).  Reviews papers for conformity to Proceedings style, length and content. 

Returns papers to authors with recommendations for improvement, if necessary.  Receives papers back, checks again for conformity, rejects any not in compliance and notifies author that oral presentation at the conference will not be allowed unless paper is put into acceptable form. 

Emails corrected paper en masse or as available to Proceedings Editor by deadline (about 4 months prior to conference).  Manuscripts unacceptable as a result of authors or Session Chairs not adhering to instructions will be returned to the Session Chair or author for required modifications.  The inclusion of any manuscript received after the deadline, including those returned to Session Chair for modification, cannot be guaranteed. 

Develops session schedule, scheduling time needed by each speaker and 1-2 minutes between talks for changing speakers, and submits to Program Chair (about 3 months prior to conference).  Session Chairs should be aware that there will be an additional 10-15 minutes at the end of the session for a questions-and-answer period which has been arranged in the program schedule by Program Chair. 

Solicits requests for additional audio-visual equipment for speakers, compiles a list and sends to Executive Director and Program Chair.  The use of videotapes, overhead projectors and slides are no longer permitted; all speakers are asked to utilize PowerPoint presentations on disk or jump drives that will be preloaded on a conference computer (see Appendix 8 for “Instructions to Presenters”). 

Poster Session Chair updates Program Chair frequently on number of posters expected and communicates with post authors to remind them of size limitations (Appendix 9) and deadline for receipt of manuscripts. 

Duties at the Conference 

Contacts all speakers prior to session to confirm their presence and determine if they have any problems with which we can be of assistance.  Contacts Program Chair immediately in the event of a missing speaker, so schedule can be adjusted. 

Starts session promptly and keeps presentations on schedule. 

Introduces speakers, demonstrates operation of computer and makes sure room lights are adjusted and that speaker is being heard well by all (adjust microphone or volume level if necessary).  If a lavaliere microphone is used, it is pinned on the speaker on the same side as the screen so speaker can be heard when he/she turns toward the screen. 

Chairs questions and answer period that last 10-15 minutes of session. 

Acknowledges speakers at end of session.  Makes mental notes for recommendations for changes at upcoming conferences. 

Duties after the Conference 

Writes to speakers, thanking them for their participation and sharing any comments received concerning their manuscript and/or presentations.

Provides Program Chair with brief wrap-up report.   Includes what worked for them and their speakers and what did not, as well as changes helpful to those serving in a similar capacity next year. 

Submits request for reimbursement of expenditures, if any, to Executive Director. 

Information for Session Chairpersons, 2010 AAZV Conference 

Responsibilities of a Session Chairperson before the Conference 

Develop a “session theme” in conjunction with the Program Chairperson in order to present your section as effectively as possible.  Actively solicit and select speakers to present information you would like in your section.  Receive papers that are presented to you. 

In order to do the above effectively, you must have a grasp of what has been presented in your session at past AAZV Conferences.  Please spend some time looking through past Proceedings to get a feel for what has gone before.  Avoid duplication, identify topics overlooked in past years, be innovative and concentrate on timely, practical topics useful to zoo practitioners. 

Prospective authors should submit their proposed topic using the “Title Submission Form” by the published deadline.  Session Chairs should not make any final selections until the final deadline in order to allow evaluation of all submissions. 

Once final selections are made send, “Guidelines for Authors” packets to speakers you have selected.  Packets include instructions for preparation and submission of manuscripts plus a copy of Dr. Fowler’s “Suggestions for Speakers and Chairpersons”.  Also notify speakers that have not been selected and thank them for their submissions. 

Stress to authors that adherence to the INSTRUCTIONS contained in their packets MANDATORY. 

Please have commitments from all speakers in your section by the date determined by the Program Chair.  This allows 5 weeks for completion of manuscripts. 

Emphasize to speakers that they MUST adhere to the timetable for submission of manuscripts TO YOU by the specified deadlines.  Again, stress that adherence to INSTRUCTIONS contained in packers is MANDOATORY. 

While corresponding or talking to speakers, please REMIND them we would like for them to follow the “Guidelines for Presenters” and information in “Tips for Giving an Effective and Memorable Conference Presentation” in giving their presentation. 

Submit to Program Chairperson and list of speakers and titles by the specified dates. 

It is your responsibility to serve as “associate editor” for manuscripts submitted for presentation in your section.  Due to the volume of papers involved, the Proceedings Editor cannot do this “first-level” editing.  Papers submitted to the Proceedings Editor in improper format will be returned to you.  You must (a) INSURE THAT SUTHORS HAVE COMPLIED WITH ALL INSTRUCTIONS, (b) review papers and abstracts that are presented to you for publication, (c) make sure they are suitable and in proper format, (d) indicate minor corrections (i.e. typos, spelling punctuation) on the hard copy, (e) if there are problems, get with the authors quickly so corrections can be made and manuscripts resubmitted in time. 

FINAL DRAFTS MUST GET TO THE PROCEEDINGS EDITOR BY THE SPECIFIED DATE.  Manuscripts unacceptable as a result of authors or Session Chairs not adhering to instructions WILL BE RETURNED to the Session Chairs for required modifications.  WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THE INCLUSION of any manuscript received after this time, including those returned to the Section Chairs for modification.  Please avoid sending corrections or revisions after the final draft has been submitted to the editor.  This causes unnecessary confusion and re-editing.  The documents should be in the final form when submitted to the Session Chairs. 

Please include email addresses of authors to the Proceedings Editor.  In the event of minor corrections or questions, direct communication with the author may be more expeditious than going through the Session Chair. 

Please make all packages containing computer disks prominently before mailing.  Labels indicating computer disks will encourage careful handling to prevent damage in transport. 

Determine how much time each speaker needs.  Remember that 10-15 minutes at the end of your section has been scheduled for a question-and-answer session.  Remembers also to allow 1-2 minutes between talks for changing speakers. 

Notify your speakers of the normally supplied AV equipment (PC compatible computer/LCD projector with remote control, a lighted pointer and lighted podium). Contact the Program Chairperson to make sure any additional requirements can be met.  The presentation may need to be altered or replacement found in the event we are unable to meet extra requirements. 

Responsibilities of a Session Chairperson during the Conference 

Try to contact all your speakers BEFORE your session to make sure they are present and to see if they have any problems with which we can be of assistance.  Please contact the Program Chairperson as soon as possible if speakers are missing and we must alter our schedule. 

Start your session promptly. 

Introduce your speakers; demonstrate to each one how to operate the projector and how the electric timer works; make sure room lights are adjusted and that speaker is being heard well by all (adjust the microphone or volume level if necessary). 

Keep presentation on schedule. 

Chair questions-and-answer period the last 10-15 minutes of your session. 

Responsibilities of a Session Chairperson Following the Conference 

Write to your speakers thanking them for their participation and sharing any comments you may have received concerning their manuscripts and/or presentations. 

Provide Program Chairperson with a brief wrap-up report concerning your section.  Let us know what worked for you and your speakers, as well as what did not.  Include changes you feel will be helpful to those serving in a similar capacity next year. 

Submit request for reimbursement of expenditures, if any, to Program Chairperson. 

On the Issue of Compensation for Speakers 

It is unusual for AAZV to support speakers for our meetings.  Some limited support in the form of registration, rooms, per diem or travel money is possible.  Please contact Program Chairperson immediately if you feel we need to assist a speaker in any way.  We must allocate the limited budget to support the speakers we feel can make the greatest contribution to the meeting.

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