Instructions for session chairs

This page contains tips and instructions for preparing as a chair for the WC11 Virtual Congress.

Last edited: 6 July 2021

PLATFORM

SESSION AND FORMAT

BEFORE THE CONGRESS - RESPONSIBILITES

DURING THE CONGRESS - RESPONSIBILITES

PLATFORM FUNCTIONALITIES

Questions

PLAN A REHEARSAL

Platform

Congress Compass Virtual Platform & Moderator Dashboard

The WC11 Virtual Congress will take place on a virtual event platform provided by Congress Compass and is accessible on a web app and a mobile app. The virtual event platform will be accessible for all participants from 10 August 2021. All attendees will receive an invitation via email.

As a moderator, you will get early access to your personal Moderator Dashboard. This part of the platform, which is available to chairs only, is named Eureka. You will receive an invitation to your dashboard before or on 10 August 2021. On this dashboard, you will be able to access all the sessions you will chair.

When using your dashboard or the app for the first time, you will be asked to create a Eureka account to fully access the virtual platform. Without an account, you will not be able to use your dashboard or enter the virtual rooms to attend the sessions.

Once you have created your account you can edit your profile to your liking and adjust the settings so other attendees can contact you during the event.

Session and format

Session Information

Please check the WC11 website, your Moderator Dashboard, or the web app's online program for the date and exact timing of your session. The online program in the (web) app has details of all sessions and speakers and will be available from 10 August 2021.

Please get familiar with the virtual platform and Moderator Dashboard in advance. Please find more instructions on how to use the Moderator Dashboard below.

Technical Facilitator

A technical facilitator will also have access to your moderator dashboard and will assist you with the technical/logistics aspects of the virtual session and in particular controlling and monitoring the “Chat” and “Q&A” interactive tools.

We advise the session chair to coordinate communication with the technical facilitator. As the platform does not support a backstage chat, we suggest the chair and the moderator exchange phone numbers and set up a WhatsApp (or similar) connection. This way you can easily be in touch and communicate before and during the session.

Session structure

As a chair, you are responsible for introducing the speakers during the session, controlling the timing of the session, ensuring smooth transitions between presentations, and facilitating questions. The technical facilitator will look after the technical/logistics aspects of the session.

Although all oral presentations will be pre-recorded, presenters can still choose to present live on the platform. They must inform you about their choice before the session. All presenters are required to be virtually present for the entire session to answer questions and take part in the discussion.

Attendees at the session will be able to use a Q&A box to ask questions during, and right after, presentations. The session’s chair will then select a few questions and will read them to the presenter. The presenter will be able to answer verbally during the session. After the session, you will also be able to answer any remaining questions through the session's chatbox.

All the moderated sessions will be fully recorded and made available for watching on-demand. The recordings will be available during the congress and in the following month, only to those who have registered for the congress. This will allow participants in less favorable time zones to catch up with the content when it suits their schedule.

Following the program, the chair will take the following steps:

  1. Announce the presenter/presentation and, when applicable, start the pre-recorded presentation (during which attendees can ask questions via the Q&A box). If you wish to present live, please inform your chair during the rehearsal or session briefing.
  2. Announce the next presenter as soon as the first pre-recording has finished. There is no Q&A at this time.
  3. Repeat steps 1, 2, etc.
  4. At the end of all pre-recordings and presentations click the ‘panel discussion’ button. Please make sure all speakers cameras & microphones are switched on.
  5. Manage the time, after 30 minutes (or at the end of the session) the Q&A needs to be wrapped up.
  6. After the session is finished the chair (or technical moderator) will close the virtual room. A recording of the session will be made available on the platform at the end of the day.

Summary of Session Format

  • 15-minute presentations (unless agreed otherwise with the session chair)
  • 30-minute live Q&A at the end of the session
  • Pre-recordings will be shown first, afterward a live Q&A
  • The total length of the session will be max. 120 minutes (90 minutes of presentations + 30 minutes of questions)

Q&A and Chat

Attendees at your session will be able to use a Q&A box to ask questions during, and right after, presentations. All questions will remain hidden from the audience until the chair or technical facilitator approves them and makes them visible on the platform. The audience can vote on their preferred questions, making it easier to select the questions for the Q&A session at the end of the session. With the assistance of the technical facilitator, you will then select a few questions and read them to the presenter, who will be able to answer them during the live Q&A session. The presenter will also be able to answer any remaining questions through the session chat box after his/her session.

Please note: Any chat messages/questions that are posted on the dashboard remain visible during the congress. It is highly recommended that you do not send any test messages or questions in the preparation fase.

Recordings

All the moderated sessions will be fully recorded and made available for watching on-demand. The recordings will be available during the congress and in the following month, only to those who have registered for the congress. This will allow participants in less favorable time zones to catch up with the content when it suits their schedule.

BEFORE THE CONGRESS - RESPONSIBILITES

  • Schedule a session rehearsal here.
  • Create a short introduction for each presentation. We recommend using the speaker's name and affiliation (information available on the website) to create your introduction.

DURING THE CONGRESS - RESPONSIBILITES

  • Access your Moderator Dashboard to meet the technical facilitator and the presenters for the session briefing 30 minutes prior to the start of the session. This will give you time to set up the session, as well as give presenters the opportunity to test their cameras, microphones, etc. Please also use this time to confirm that all presenters are present. The technical facilitator will be there 30 minutes before the start of the session to welcome the presenters.
  • Before the start of the broadcast please allow the technical facilitator to share a final technical briefing/update with the presenters.
  • If you have two or more chairs, please determine 1 chair who will click the buttons before the start of the session.
  • The technical facilitator will control when the session is broadcasting. Attendees can see the placeholder slide while the session is not yet broadcasting. When the session is broadcasting, attendees will be able to see the chair or the selected speaker and slides. When the session is being broadcasted, it is also recorded. Inform the technical facilitator when you are ready to start the session.
  • Once the broadcast has started the session is live and you as a chair will control what the attendees will see. Within the session, it is possible to switch between the “Speaker and Slides” and “Panel Discussion” modes (see further details below). Introduce the session and each speaker before their video playback/live presentation. You will start the pre-recorded presentation and select the correct presenter to broadcast (during which attendees can ask questions via the Q&A box). The technical facilitator will serve as a back-up.
  • After each video playback/live presentation, unmute yourself. Give the floor to the next speaker and start the next pre-recording. Repeat those steps.
  • For the Q&A session – please make sure that both the presenters cameras & microphones are switched on. Read the questions to the presenting authors during the Q&A live session and help to facilitate further discussion if time permits. If there are few questions, feel free to ask some of your own.
  • Control the session timing. Make sure that there is no delay on the allocated time slot.
  • Ensure smooth transitions between presentations and maintain the flow of the session.
  • Conclude the session. The technical facilitator will close the virtual room when the session is over.

The technical facilitator supporting you in your session will have the following responsibilities:

  • Access the Moderator Dashboard and support the chair for the session briefing 30 minutes prior to the start.
  • Enable the chat and Q&A before the start of the session.
  • Open the session virtual room 10 minutes in advance of the start of the session, allowing attendees to enter. Attendees will see a slide, announcing the start of the session, until you start the broadcast.
  • When given the floor by the chair during the pre-session briefing, give the presenters a short final briefing of the dashboard functionalities and final tips and tricks for a successful session.
  • Control when the session is broadcasting. Attendees can see the placeholder slide while the session is not yet broadcasting. When the session is broadcasting, attendees will be able to see the Chair or the selected speaker and slides. When the session is being broadcasted, it is also recorded.
  • Make sure to approve the submitted questions in the Q&A and make them visible to the audience so they can vote for their preferred questions (and to avoid the same question being asked several times).
  • During the session, the technical facilitator will be available as ‘tech support’ for the chair and presenters. If they are having technical difficulties, the technical facilitator will assist the presenter and notify the congress team if needed. If the issue can not be resolved the congress team or platform provider will step in for further assistance.
  • Once the session has ended the technical facilitator will close the virtual room.

Checklist - Tips & Tricks

  1. Test your access to the virtual event platform no later than a week before the congress. Google Chrome is the preferred browser and provides the most optimal event experience. If you prefer to use your regular browser please remember Google Chrome as a fallback option in case another browser doesn’t work properly.
  2. Check your internet connection speed. If the Wi-Fi connection is unreliable, check if a cable connection is available.
  3. Test your audio and video as you join the Speaker Dashboard. When attending the congress, make sure to do so from the same laptop and internet connection you used to previously access the platform (for pre-recording/testing). This way you are sure the connection works.
  4. Attend the speakers’ briefing in your virtual session room at the appropriate time (30 minutes prior to the start of the session).
  5. Use a quality headset and a high-quality camera.
  6. Find a suitable workspace: a quiet place cut off from ambient noise will allow you better interactions.
  7. Mute your microphone when not speaking.
  8. Position your webcam at eye level and make contact as much as possible.
  9. During the session you can click the ‘Audience View’ button to view the session from the attendee's point of view, this means you can use it to watch the presentations of other speakers in the same session. Please note that this option is only available when the session is broadcasting; otherwise, it is greyed out. When the technical facilitator selects you to be the active speaker, you are automatically switched to the Present Live tab.

PREVIEW OF PLATFORM FUNCTIONALITIES

One to two chairs are assigned to each session. Chairs are asked to:

  • Contact the presenting authors of each abstract assigned to the session and become familiar with the abstracts in the session.
  • Prepare questions to ask the presenters if no questions are submitted by the attendees during the session.
  • (Technically) moderate the session

Moderator Dashboard

The moderator dashboard looks as follows:

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The following features are available:

Slides and Speaker Frames
See what the audience sees in the slides frame on the left and the speaker frame in the center.

Speaker and Moderator List

  • See the speakers and the other moderators in this session in the list on the right. There is a camera preview of those who are online and have their camera switched on.
  • Mute speakers and moderators by clicking the microphone icon. All speakers and moderators hear each other at any time unless they are muted. Speakers and moderators won't be heard by the attendees unless the broadcast starts.
  • Control which speaker or moderator is broadcasted by clicking the red broadcasting button on their camera preview. They will appear with their camera on the speaker frame, and with their uploaded slides in the slide frame. If no slides are uploaded, attendees see the placeholder slide. You can switch between speakers by clicking the broadcasting button of another speaker.
  • Switch between the modes Speaker and Slides and Panel Discussion. Please note that in both modes, everyone who did not mute themselves can be heard by attendees.

    - In the mode Speaker and Slides, you can select the speaker whose slides and camera should be visible for the audience.
    - In the mode Panel Discussion, all speakers and moderators with their cameras on are visible in a grid for the audience. If someone does not want to participate, they should mute their microphones and disable their cameras.

Tip: If you want to present slides in a panel discussion, make sure to first broadcast the speaker whose slide should be visible at Speaker and Slides, before switching to Panel Discussion.

Bottom Bar

  • Control whether the room is open or closed in the bottom-left corner. Attendees can only access a virtual room when it is open. When moderators close a room while attendees are in the room, attendees will receive a notification saying the room was closed.
  • Control when the session is broadcasting or not using the broadcast button in the bottom-left corner. When the session is not yet broadcasting, attendees see the placeholder slide. When broadcasting starts, attendees will be able to see the moderator or the selected speaker and slides. When the session is being broadcasted, it is also recorded automatically. With the buttons at the bottom of the screen, you can turn on and off your own camera and microphone. With the arrow on the right side, you can select another microphone or camera than the default one.
  • Share your screen by using the button in the bottom-right corner. You can choose to share your entire screen, an application window (for example PowerPoint), or a Chrome tab

Pre-recordings and Videos

Broadcast pre-recordings. If a speaker pre-recorded their presentation, it will automatically appear under Pre-recordings and videos for the moderators. Select the pre-recording to broadcast in the list just like selecting a live speaker, wait for it to load, and click the arrow to start playing it.

Interactive Features

  • View the chat conversation: moderators, attendees, and speakers can participate in the chat.
  • View all questions that were asked on the tab Q&A: you can see all incoming questions submitted by the audience. Click the eye icon to make the question visible to the audience. The hearts indicate how many likes the question received from the audience. You can also see who asked a question by clicking the three dots and selecting View info. In the same menu, you can also edit a question, for instance, to correct typos or fix punctuation issues.
  • View all attendees in this session: you can remove unwanted attendees from the virtual room by clicking the three-dot icon right on the attendee and selecting Block user. The attendee will not be able to enter again. The same button can be used to unblock attendees.
  • Control the session settings by clicking the gear icon. In the settings modal, you can:

- Make interactive tabs visible or invisible for speakers and attendees.
- Make blocked users visible in the attendee list, or hide them.

When clicking Save, the changes are immediately applied to the speaker and attendee dashboard.

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions please contact the secretariat via email: info@wc11maastricht.org