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Session Staff

Session Staff

We need volunteers to support each session and keep them on track. The duties are simple yet vital to the success of the conference. You’ll help keep an eye on the clock, make sure everyone is in the right place, give the audience a voice, and get a front seat.

There are two roles: Session Chairs and Session Runners. Each needs to be present for the full session. A session is the group of talks in between breaks (usually 2-3 talks).

Orientation Meeting

There is a speaker and volunteer orientation, Thursday evening, at 8:00pm, after the swag bag stuffing party, in the Green Room. If you are unable to attend the meeting, that is fine. Instead please stop by the Green Room, preferably in the morning between 7:00am and 9:00am. The Green Room is located in the 212 meeting room on the second floor above registration.


Session Chairs take charge of the session. You start by getting on stage to introduce the speaker. Keep the intro simple -- something like their name, where they’re from, and the talk title. Then head back and close the doors to keep it quiet. You watch the clock and let the speaker know when it’s time to stop for questions. If there are multiple questions, you juggle who gets the microphone, pass it around, then let the speaker know when it’s time to wrap it all up. After that, help them disconnect the microphone equipment and make any last announcements (open spaces, BoF, etc).


Session Runners are the shepherds of the session. You start in the elusive Green Room fifteen minutes before each talk and help the speaker get ready. The first step is a test run of the speaker’s laptop on the projector to make sure they can walk up and get started immediately. After everything is alright, you'll show the speaker where to upload their slides -- attendees like a copy for later, and everyone following along with the videos online does too. Five minutes before talk time, the runner and speaker head to the session and get situated. Assuming everything gets connected and ready to roll, the runner hands it off to the chair to do their introduction (tip off the chair on pronunciation, and any other requests from the speaker, as needed).

Sign Up!

Are you willing to help? If so, signing up is as easy as viewing the Conference Schedule and signing up an open time slot.

First login to the site, then find a time slot, then click the blue S in one of the talk slots for the session.

Session Staff Signup