Tilburg Law School

Tilburg Law School offers highly-ranked national and international education and research in law and public administration.

Session chair guidelines Regulatory Governance Conference 2016

These guidelines apply to chairs of sessions comprising individually submitted papers. In case a full session proposal has been submitted, the main organizer takes care of the preparation, organization and chairing of the session. Any approach is possible then, as long as you are keeping to time.

Role of a session chair

  • Distribute papers and time schedule among paper givers on a session. (There is no conference wide distribution of papers.)
  • Introduce the session and the individual paper givers.
  • Keep the session moving according to the prearranged time schedule (see below).
  • Lead the discussions following presentations.
  • Close the session.

Prior to the conference

  • Once appointed, the OC provides the chair with the name of the session and the e-mail addresses of the paper givers. You, the chair, subsequently send out an e-mail to each of the paper givers and invite them to reply with their paper attached or linked to. You impose an appropriate deadline and specify whether draft papers are acceptable as well. Inquiries on the session by paper givers with the OC will be forwarded to you.
  • You distribute by e-mail all of the received papers between all of the session’s paper givers.
  • You communicate a detailed session time schedule to all involved so paper givers know exactly how much time they have and when they will be presenting. A preliminary time table is accessible to all under Talk Overview on this website. A detailed time schedule also includes introduction, questions and discussion time. The order of presentations preferably remains unaltered.
  • Optional though very nice: you arrange for the session’s presenters to meet in person, a day or so before the session takes place. There are a number of cafeterias within 300 meters of the registration desk. Most have outside seating. We advise the large cafeteria in building C, Starbucks (opposite building K), and café Esplanade (halfway the main boulevard on campus).
  • Optional though very handy: you request to receive all of the individual presentations by e-mail, whether as attachment or as a download link, prior to the start of the conference. This strategy is suggested because it prevents paper givers from spending valuable social time in Tilburg on last minute drafting of presentations. Moreover, it brings some calm to the beginning of the session because paper givers have not to be early in the room or worry about IT matters. 

Prior to the session start

  • Find the room in the official program and be there some ten minutes prior to the start of the session. Familiarize yourself with the computer, the control panel, the microphone and the general layout of the room. Conference staff will be around to help.
  • If you were able to collect the presentations in advance, copy these to the desktop computer in the room from your USB-stick or from a cloud service.
  • In case of online presentations (such as Prezi), preload and do a test first so the paper giver can start the presentation promptly when she or he is up.
  • If presentations were not submitted to you in advance, the paper givers have to be there early as well.
  • If there are any issues, please advise the conference staff. They will be around and check IT for each session. Alternatively you may send for the registration desk where staff members will be present all the time.

Beginning of and during sessions

  • Announce the title of the session.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Explain the ground rules:  how much time is foreseen for each paper giver, which warning signs will be used to indicate that time is (almost) up, how are questions and discussion organized…
  • Introduce the paper giver and the title of each presentation.
  • Be polite but firm when enforcing these ground rules. It is entirely acceptable to ask the speaker to conclude. Keeping control of the session time is essential at a conference with 100s of presentations.
  • At your discretion, talks may encroach into question time, but then you should defer questions to private discussion.
  • End the session by saying thanks to the paper givers and the audience. The OC would like to thank each chair in advance for your valuable contribution to a smoothly moving and rich conference.