Chair guidelines

This role is very important to the professional and timely delivery of the program and in ensuring the quality and relevance of information provided to delegates. Good chairing is a vital component of a successful event and AIEC appreciates your contribution.

Key tasks and responsibilities

The chair has an essential part to play in the overall success of a conference session. The key aspects of the role are to:

  1. Ensure the smooth conduct of the session.
  2. Prepare opening and closing remarks for the session, which stimulates audience interest and adds value.
  3. Start and finish the session on time, according to the program schedule.
  4. Introduce yourself, the session topic and welcome the speakers.
  5. Ask delegates to submit their questions via the blue Q&A button on the right of their screen.
  6. Moderate the question and discussion time.
  7. If required, deliver any housekeeping announcements at the beginning or end of the session. Any announcements will be provided to you by the conference organisers.

Speaker & Chair Info Sessions

As a chair, you must attend one of our info sessions (prior to the conference). These will be scheduled at different times during the week of 13 September and 21 September.

Session times:

  • Tuesday 14 September, 3pm AEST
  • Wednesday 15 September, 3pm AEST
  • Thursday 16 September, 5.30pm AEST
  • Tuesday 21 September, 3pm AEST
  • Wednesday 22 September, 3pm AEST
  • Thursday 23 September, 12pm AEST

The sessions will:

  • run through how you will access the Cvent platform
  • explain what happens on the day of your session
  • provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions

If you are also a speaker in another session, this info session will cover information for both speakers and chairs, so you only have to attend one of the sessions above.

Book your spot here

Meeting speakers

Before the conference

We highly recommend that you meet with the speakers in your session prior to AIEC to find out more information and discuss how they would like to conduct the Q&A component.

On conference day

Please ensure you join the virtual session room 30-minutes prior to the beginning of the session. This will enable you to touch base again with speakers and discuss any issues before the session starts. You will also meet your AV technician for the session.

Speaker profiles

The names, presentation titles, biographies and photos of the speakers in your session are available via the online program and on the Virtual Attendee Hub.

Please check with the speaker before introducing them that their profile is correct. Some speakers forget to advise us when their positions have changed.

If a particular speaker profile is not available, please ask the speaker prior to the session what is the best introduction for him/her/them. Please also check what their preferred pronoun they prefer to use (he/she/they).

Introductions and acknowledgement

Introducing speakers

A key role of the chair is to introduce the session and the panellists or presenters. At the beginning of the session, please provide a brief introduction and welcome all conference delegates.

Please keep the introductions for your session to a brief 1-2 minutes only.

Session descriptions

It is recommended that you read the session description carefully in advance, so that you can introduce and close the session by making appropriate links between the topics/issues that are presented, especially in the case when there is more than one presentation or if the session will have a panel or discussion format.

Housekeeping notes

If there are additional housekeeping notices to be read out, these will be provided to you on the day. For last minute announcements a Think Business Events team member assigned to your session will let you know before the session starts.

The 'session chat monitor’ will also help by posting important announcement on the session chat during the session.

Audiovisual and presentations

Before your session

We ask that you log into your session 30 minutes prior to the session start time. Once you have joined you will meet the speakers, your AV tech and a Think Business Events team member.

The AV tech will run through the order of the session with everyone and do a quick technical check to ensure your camera, microphone and internet are all working correctly.

During your session

During the session you will need to stay on Zoom with your camera and microphone off. This is to ensure you are not on screen during any of the presentations.
You will be instructed by the AV tech when to turn on and off your camera and microphone.

If any pre-recordings are playing in your session, the AV tech or TBE staff member will be time keeping and be posting a countdown in the Zoom chat.

The AV tech will queue you in prior to the Q&A so that the session is seamless.

As you reach closer to the end of your session, your AV tech will prompt you at 5-minutes to go and ask you to begin wrapping up.


During the session the audience has the opportunity to post questions on the platform. These questions can be upvoted by the audience and therefore will appear at the top of this question list.

To view the questions, you will need to be logged into the Virtual platform on a second device such as an iPad or use a second screen on your computer. Questions can be viewed by clicking into the session and on the Q&A button on the right hand of the screen.

Please do not ‘join the session’ as this will open the live stream which has a 20 second delay.

During the live Q&A you may read out the questions to the relevant speakers. It is recommended that you prepare at least one question for each speaker. If a presenter is not asked any questions from the audience, please ask the presenter a question.


Some presenters may have opted in to include polling in their session. If this is the case, you will need to introduce the poll (this will be noted in the runsheet) but the poll will be managed by the Room Host.

Time keeping

Your session will go live on the platform 5 mins before your session start time. This allows time for the audience to join the session before it begins.

In the interest of keeping an efficient program schedule, please ensure you keep your introduction and closing to one or two mins.

Your session AV tech will be time keeping and prompting you and the speakers to ensure the session starts and finished on time. Please note sessions cannot run over time and need to keep to strict timing.

Program changes

In some sessions, there may be last-minute cancellations if a speaker is unable to present live or be available for the love Q&A as planned. As chair for the session we ask that you are prepared for this eventuality.

Information and tips for a virtual environment

AIEC 2021 is a fully virtual event, and we have prepared are some important things to remember when presenting to a virtual audience.

Read Virtual Speaker Guidelines