Thank you for chairing a session at the 2021 Australian Earth Sciences Convention.

Please ensure you check the AESC Program prior to your session for any changes. You will also find the presentation details in the AESC Online Portal.

Below are some tips to assist you with the chairing process. We will schedule a rehearsal with you but please review the instructions thoroughly and jump into the portal prior to the session to make sure you are comfortable with accessing and using the Portal. 


  • Each ARGA Symposium session will run for 1 hour.
  • You will welcome and introduce the keynote presenter with their presentation title and biography.
  • The keynote speaker will then present LIVE, for 25 minutes.
  • You will introduce the 3 oral presenter fast talks.
  • Each oral presenter will present LIVE, for 5 minutes each.
  • For the balance of the hour a live Q&A session will take place with you, the keynote, fast talk presenters and poster author.

Prior to the convention

  • All abstracts are available on the convention website.
  • Please ensure you check who your keynote, fast talk presenters and poster authors are and read the abstracts prior to the convention. Biographies of presenters are also available here but we will email you a copy.
  • We will email you an outline of the schedule for your session.
  • Have questions prepared for your presenters as a back-up for the live Q&A.
  • Please read through the portal instructions prior to the convention to familiarise yourself with accessing your session. There will also be a scheduled rehearsal time with the conference organisers prior to the convention to run through how the session will run. To familiarise and make yourself comfortable with chairing the session we strongly recommend you attend a rehearsal. We will aim to have the presenters in your session also attend this rehearsal. We will send you portal access login details prior to the rehearsal.

Before the Session

  • Please login to the Portal 30 minutes prior to the start of the session. Your session host will launch the session at this time to allow you to join the session and test that your microphone and camera are working.
  • Presenters have also been asked to be online 30 minutes before the session commences, you will be able to chat with them prior to the session verbally and if need be during the session via the presenter text chat.

During the Session

  • Your session host (a member of the conference organising team) will begin the session right on the scheduled time. There is a countdown clock built in to the portal to assist you with keeping to time.
  • Please reiterate at the beginning of the session to ask questions via the Live Q&A text option to the right of delegates screens. (It is also a good idea to ask them to type the name of the presenter that they are asking the question of at the start of the question – so as to make it clear for you who to direct it to when the time comes. E.g. “Tara – can you please explain…”.
  • Remind delegates to visit the Poster Gallery to view any posters that are part of the session.
  • Check your session schedule for your keynote and fast talk presenters. We suggest introducing the keynote with the title, presenter and bio. And the fast talk presenters with name and organisation only.
  • Once you have finished the introduction, your session host will then put the keynote presenter on stage and you will not be visible or heard until it is time to introduce the oral presenter fast talks. Whilst the fast talks are going ahead you will also not be visible or heard until the host “pushes” you and all the presenters/poster author onto the screen for the live Q&A. You can of course still engage with delegates in the session via the discussion forum.
  • If you need to speak with your session host, co-chair, or presenters, there will be a “Presenter Chat” that you can use to type any questions you may have throughout the talk.

Running the Live Q&A

  • At the conclusion of the fast talks, your session host will “push” you and the presenters/poster author on screen for the Q&A component of the session.
  • Throughout the keynote and fast talks, you and the co-chair will see any questions come through in real time, and can star/take note of the questions you will then ask the presenters once they are finished. If you believe there is an inappropriate question, you will have the ability to delete it.
  • During the actual Q&A, you will read the question typed by the delegate to the specified presenter, they will then proceed to answer this verbally to the audience. You/your co-chair can continue monitoring any new questions that come through.
  • You can then tick the question that has been asked and answered, to avoid any confusion and avoid repeating the question.

Closing the Session

There is a clock counting down the time left in the session within the portal, in the top right of your screen. It is important to keep an eye on this throughout the Q&A session, so that when the time is winding down you allow enough time to thank your presenters, thank the delegates for their questions, and remind delegates they can connect with the presenters in the meeting hub if they wish, as well as advise them to return to the timeline for the next session.

It is important you keep to the hour dedicated to your session, so that it does not overlap with the next programmed session. Please check this carefully in the convention program.

About the GSA

The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support Earth sciences in Australia.

As a broadly based professional society that aims to represent all Earth Science disciplines, the GSA attracts a wide diversity of members working in a similarly broad range of industries.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
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