Session Staff

We need volunteers to support each session and keep them on track. The duties are simple but vital to the success of the conference. As Session Staff, you’ll help make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, keep an eye on the clock to keep things running smoothly, and get a front row seat.

There are two session staff roles: Session Chairs and Session Runners. Each needs to be present for each talk during your time slot.


If this is your first time being Session Staff, please be in the Green Room, Room 312, 30 minutes before your first session starts to make sure there is time for your orientation.

If you have been Session Staff in the past, please be in the Green Room, Room 312, 15 minutes before your first session starts so you have time to acquaint yourself with the protocol changes for this year.


As a Session Chair, your job is to take charge of the session. You start by getting on stage to introduce the speaker (keeping it simple — their name, where they are from, and the talk title). During the talk, you watch the clock and let the speaker know by holding up signs how much time they have left and when it’s time to stop for questions. You help to mediate the question session, then let the speaker know when it’s time to wrap it all up. After that, help the speaker disconnect their equipment and make any last announcements (open spaces, BoF, etc).


As a Session Runner, you shepherd the speaker to the room. Your job starts in the Green Room fifteen minutes before each talk, where you’ll meet the speaker and help them get ready by testing their laptop, briefing them on what to expect, and uploading their slides. Five minutes before the talk, you’ll lead the speaker to their session room and help the AV team get their laptop setup. Assuming everything goes according to plan, you’ll hand the speaker off to the Session Chair, then your job is done until 15 minutes before the next talk, when you will go to the Green Room again to receive the next speaker.


Want to help? Once you’ve registered for the conference, please check that your local contact info on your dashboard is correct - it will help organizers find you when they need you!

Next, be sure you are logged into, navigate to the Conference Talks Schedule and sign up for an open time slot by clicking the [+] in one of the talk slots for the session of your choice.