Workshop Chairs Tips

Whether it's your first time chairing a workshop or you're an old hand at this, we want it to be a rewarding experience for both you and your audience!

Workshop organization and overview

Our Workshop Coordinator, Rich DiPaolo, will group submitted abstracts into themes of related subject matter and identify chairs for each workshop. Approximately 10 workshops are held concurrently from 2:00-4:15 PM on Saturday and another 10 or so on Sunday. Each workshop is chaired by an expert, such as yourself. The Workshop Coordinator will assign and communicate the abstract order within each of the workshops (approximately 10 abstracts) to each of the workshop chairs, who will then contact their presenters with further instructions.  It is important that each presentation & discussion is no more than 12 minutes long, so that ~10 speakers can be accommodated within the 2-hour workshop period. Because workshops precede formal poster viewing, presenters should view their presentations as an opportunity to invite more detailed discussion of their scientific discoveries during the poster/reception session immediately following at 4:15-6:15 PM.


Ten or eleven workshops are held concurrently. Because students and investigators often visit more than one workshop session, it is important that:

  • The presentation order remains the same as published in the program booklet

  • That the presentations are kept 'on schedule'

  • If there is a 'no show,' please institute a 12-minute break into the schedule to cover the absent speaker

  • Encourage students/postdocs to ask the first questions!

  • You enforce time limits -- the presenters' data can be discussed in more detail at the poster session


You want your workshop to be successful, and sometimes you will need to intervene, so don't:

  • Hesitate to tactfully limit a presentation when it becomes prolonged − others will appreciated your doing so

  • Compare the quality of one presentation to another − it's not a competition

  • Worry − a major strength of this meeting is to foster interaction between students and investigators, so have fun with the workshop!