Guidelines for Chairs


1. Introduction

Thank you for agreeing to chair a session at the IMHE 2008 General Conference. Please take a moment to read the session chairs’ guidelines enclosed below. Please note that this page will be regularly updated. Updates will be notified by email. 

2. Deadlines

Speakers  biographies  online:  March 2008
Parallel abstracts online:  February 2008
Plenary and panel presentations online (password protected):  end-May 2008

Compulsory online registration: 4 August 2008

3. Session information

Please check the preliminary programme for the day and time of the session you are chairing. The online programme is regularly updated and contains details of all sessions and speakers.

Presentation timings:

  • Keynote Speakers: 25 min. max.
  • Principal panel speakers: 25 min. max
  • Panel respondents: 12-15 min.
  • Parallel workshop presenters: 12-15 min (NB: 10 min if there are 3 presentations)

In order to keep the sessions running to schedule and allow questions from the audience it is very important to keep the presentations within the allotted time. You are requested to cut short any presentations that over-run the allotted time.

4. Online access to speakers’ biographies and presentations

Each speaker has been asked to submit a short biography online, which you will be able to access. Please use the information provided in the biography to introduce each speaker at the beginning of the session. All speakers (with exception of the plenary sessions) are expected to produce a PowerPoint presentation.
As from 31 May 2008, you will be able to access online the biographies and submitted presentations by using the user name and password that will be sent to you by email. 

5. Before the conference

The contact details all speakers in your session will be made available to you prior to the conference. The conference secretariat will send these details to you by email by mid-June at the latest.
Please schedule a conference call or communicate via email with all the speakers in your session to discuss the session content items. We suggest discussing: the content, order and length of the presentations and how to manage the question and answer sessions.

Please note: Policy for content for all presentations

All presentations should be based on the submitted abstract as accepted by the Programme Committee. Speakers should not use their presentation as an advertisement for the services or products of a company.
The organisers reserve the right to cancel a presentation which does not comply with this policy and the speaker might not be invited to future IMHE events.

6. Speakers’ briefing

It is essential that you attend the speakers’ briefings. These meetings will give you a chance to meet your speakers, discuss the presentations format and expectations of your session.
The briefings will take place on the day of your session in the Speakers’ Room at 08h30. All speakers and session chairs are requested to attend the briefing on the day of their presentation. The audiovisual technicians and an IMHE programme representative will be on hand to assist with all your queries. 
You are welcome to come to the Speakers’ Room after the session and give us your feedback on speakers and their presentations.

7. Speakers’ Room

The Speakers’ Room will be at your disposal during the conference. In case you have any questions onsite, please do not hesitate to contact the IMHE programme representative at the Speakers’ Room or ask one of the hostesses for assistance.

Speakers’ Room opening hours: 

Sunday, 7 September: To be confirmed

Monday, 8 September  - Wednesday, 10 September:  08h00 - 18h00

8. Before the session starts

  • Ensure that all of the speakers are present at the speakers’ briefing and that you have their short biographies with you.
  • Remind the speakers about the time limits that will be imposed on them (see point 3).
  • Remind the speakers to switch off their mobile phones.
  • Session chairs should arrive at their session room a few minutes prior to the start of the session. Assistance will be available in all rooms (one IMHE programme representative and an audiovisual technician) in case you have any technical questions.

9. Absent speakers

If there are any missing speakers in your session, please check first with the IMHE programme representative before cancelling the presentation. If the speaker’s absence is confirmed, please fill in the remaining time by allowing slightly more time for the other speakers’ presentations, initiate a discussion between the speakers or allow more questions from the audience. 

10. Session rooms

The venue floor plan with the final location of the session rooms will be available on the website shortly.

Room set-up and audiovisual equipment

  • Room set-up for the IMHE General Conference is theatre style. All rooms are equipped with a lectern, microphone, projector, screen, remote control, cue light, laser pointer, sympodium interactive pen  and computer with PowerPoint (operating system Windows).
  • Speakers will not be able to use their own laptop computer during the sessions for their presentation. A computer with the presentations pre-loaded will be available for their use and they will be in control of moving the slides back and forth.   Presenters may, however bring a USB key with their presentation.
  • There will be an audiovisual technician and IMHE programme representative assigned to each session room to manage the audiovisual equipment, hold the roaming microphones for audience participants and assist with any queries that you may have.

11. During the session

  • At the beginning of the session, please introduce yourself to the audience, and explain the order of presentations (usually in the order listed in the programme).  Explain the format of the session,  inform that questions from the audience will be taken only after all of the presentations have been made. Introduce the rapporteur and explain that he/she will report back on the session in the session: “Highlights from the Parallel Group Sessions” to take place on Wednesday 10 September. Do not take time going round for everyone to introduce themselves.
  • Think about a general introduction to the session to ensure that the session has coherence and that the studies enable but do not take over the whole discussion. Please do not assume that everyone is familiar with the topic already. The initial opening of the session by the chair should briefly and clearly introduce the framework, reminding the speakers of this and the role of their presentations.
  • Please introduce each author and the paper title briefly before their presentation. Signal to the speaker when his/her time is almost over. In order to keep the whole session to schedule and to allow time for questions from the audience, keeping the presentations within the allotted time is compulsory. Session chairs are requested to cut short any presentations which over-run the allotted time.
  • Questions and discussion should be deferred untill all cases have been presented. You may use the presenters as a panel for interaction, but take the session to the general/generic issues that it is about, and get other inputs and examples. Do not treat the presented examples as seminar papers that take up all the time in discussion of the details. Session chairs are encouraged to stimulate questions from the audience as well as asking the speakers questions themselves.  Ask those speaking to give their name and affiliation; interrupt them to do so if they forget. If there is too long an awkward silence, have one or two questions to ask, but be patient and don’t rush in. If questions and contributions turn into mini-presentations it is your responsibility to interrupt. Try to draw out themes and encourage some sustained dialogue around the room throughout the session, while keeping the speakers as a kind of focus panel at the front.
  • Close the session with a summary or closing remarks. It may be a courtesy to allow the speakers to have a final optional minute each. The chair should try to sum up the session briefly at the end. A few sentences summarising the content of the session, a final acknowledgement of the speakers and the participants, and probably an announcement of the next sessions, are a good way to conclude.
  • Make any announcements that you have been given by the programme representative.

12. Onsite checklist

  • Pick up your badge from the Conference reception area.
  • Check in at the Speakers’ Room and meet the programme representative.
  • Attend the speakers’ briefing at the Speakers’ Room at the appropriate time.
  • Make sure you are at the session room a few minutes before your session starts.

13. Arrival at OECD Conference Centre

ENTRANCE: 2 rue André Pascal, Paris 16

Click here for more information about the venue. 
Please go to the Conference reception area to collect your badge in order to access the conference rooms. 

Conference centre opening hours: 

08h00 - 18h00 

14. Registration - Deadline: 21 March 2008

If you have not already registered yourself, or been registered by IMHE, you can find all information on registration by clicking here.

15. Networking and social events

Over 300 of the most important players from the Higher Education sector will connect during the three days of the 2008 IMHE General Conference. In order to help facilitate networking, the conference organizers have scheduled regular coffee breaks, lunches, a cocktail, and a special dinner at the Paris Descartes University

16. Accommodation

All session chairs are responsible for their own travel and hotel arrangements.
Click here for more information about hotels in the vicinity of the Conference centre. 

17. Contact

If you have any questions or need additional information about the IMHE General Conference, please contact: 
Cassandra Davis
Tel: +33 1 45 24 92 63 / 33-1 41 95 87 56 (Wednesdays & Thursdays)


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