ION GNSS+ Session Chair Responsibilities

Congratulations for being invited to serve as a session chair at ION GNSS+!

As a session chair, you are responsible for inviting, selecting, and reviewing papers and presentations for your session. Your responsibilities begin well before the conference. At the conference, you will act as a moderator and facilitate a smooth presentation for all authors. Below is an outline of your responsibilities.

Before the Conference


  • Review the session description for your session.
  • Send any proposed revisions or comments to your track chair by October 20, prior to the printing of the call for abstracts brochure.


  • Actively invite those with relevant knowledge to submit abstracts for the topic of your session. Some of the best sessions in past ION meetings have featured a high number of invited abstracts.
  • The last day to submit an abstract is March 1.


  • After abstract submission closes, using the Abstract Management Portal (AMP) you will review the abstracts assigned to your session and select the best and most relevant abstracts for presentation.
  • Your session will have 8 presentations, and 4 alternate presentations.
  • In cooperation with your co-chair, select 8 primary presentations and 4 alternate presentations.
  • Arrange the 8 primary presentations in the order they should be presented topically.
    • From the session detail page, assign a primary presentation order to each abstract by using the dropdown box. Click “Update” to save your changes.
  • Arrange the 4 alternate presentations by quality, or in the order in which they should be rotated into a primary slot should you have a cancellation of one of your primary presentations.
    • From the session detail page, assign an alternate order to each abstract by using the dropdown box. Click “Update” to save your changes.
  • Additionally, abstracts of adequate technical caliber submitted for on-demand presentation may be selected as on-demand presentations.
  • If you feel a paper is worthy of consideration for presentation, but is not appropriate for your session, email your track chair or Miriam Lewis to suggest the abstract be reassigned.


  • Authors in the RESEARCH TRACK sessions have the option of submitting their full paper for peer review.
  • Authors in the COMMERCIAL/POLICY TRACK sessions do not have the option of peer review.
  • The outcome of peer review does not affect the presentation at the conference or publication in the conference proceedings.
  • A paper that passes peer review will be designated as “PEER REVIEWED” in the conference proceedings.
  • Authors wishing to submit a full technical paper for peer review must do so by June 30.
  • You (or a delegated colleague) will read each paper and complete a short, online peer review form.
  • While the peer review does not need to be done by you personally (you can delegate it to another), you will be responsible to ensure quality reviews are done in a timely manner. 
  • Peer review will require you to respond to some simple yes or no questions to ensure that a minimal quality standard for a conference paper is met.
  • Papers will only be peer reviewed one time.
  • Papers not meeting the established peer review standard will still be presented at the conference and published in the proceedings, but will not be designated as “PEER REVIEWED.”
  • Both co-chairs will be required to complete the peer review form individually.
  • Each paper must pass peer review by TWO reviewers to receive a peer reviewed designation.
  • See detailed peer review instructions here.


  • When the conference program is published, you and your co-chair should reach out to the presenters in your session to introduce yourself.
  • You can find the email address of your co-chair on the session detail page in AMP. Author emails can be found by clicking each corresponding abstract.
  • This is a good time to verify the in-person participation of each presenter in your session. If any presenters are unable to attend in-person, you should assign an alternate presenter to fill the presentation slot.
  • August 16 is the last day to notify ION of program changes for inclusion in the on-site program and meeting signage.
  • Pay your conference registration fees and book your hotel room on or before August 16. ION provides a $300 registration discount if you stay in the official conference hotel.

At the Conference


  • Attend the morning speakers' breakfast.
  • All presenters and alternate presenters are required to attend the breakfast in order to present and have their paper published in the proceedings.
  • At the breakfast, ensure that all presenters are in attendance.
  • If any speaker is not in attendance, you can assign alternate presenters that are in attendance to fill the empty slot.
    • Do not rearrange primary presentations.
    • Alternates should be assigned in the order they appear in the program.
  • Alternate presenters must attend the breakfast and must be prepared to present if called upon.
    • If an alternate presenter is not present at the breakfast, or is not prepared to make a presentation if called upon, their paper/presentation will not be published in the proceedings.
  • At the breakfast, you will receive a session chair packet containing the biographies of each presenter (if provided to ION by the presenter).
  • Collect any missing biographies from presenters, as needed.
  • Verify the correct pronunciation of presenter names, etc. as needed.

BEFORE YOUR SESSION BEGINS (Arrive 15-20 minutes prior to session start)

  • Arrive to your session room 15-20 minutes prior to your session start time.
  • ION will pre-load presentations onto the conference laptop (if made available by the presenter prior to the conference).
  • Presenters will load presentations onto the conference laptop before the session begins. You can assist with loading and previewing presentations, and arranging them on the computer’s desktop.
  • Presenters may use their own laptop by connecting to the projector’s HDMI cable.
  • Familiarize yourself with the presentation timing system.
    • Click the “Start” button on the timer laptop to begin the countdown.
    • Click “Reset” at any time to start over.
  • Familiarize yourself with the wireless lapel microphone.
    • Presenters should remove their name badge, clip the microphone onto their clothing 6 inches below their chin, and at the center of their body.
    • Locate the power switch.
  • Familiarize yourself with the handheld microphone.
    • Locate the power switch.
    • You (or your co-chair) will pass this microphone to audience members during Question & Answer after each presentation, as time allows.
  • Familiarize yourself with the audio mixer in the session room.
    • Small adjustments to the volume may be necessary to accommodate various presenter voice levels.
    • There are separate volume controls to adjust the volume of the hand-held microphone, lapel clip-on microphone, and the podium microphone.
  • Note any presentation cancellations, and any alternates that fill these vacancies, directly on the sign located outside the session room.
    • These signs are collected at the end of each day and any changes are recorded to ensure the conference proceedings accurately reflect what transpired during your session.
    • There is a marker in the session chair packet that you received at the breakfast to make these notes.


  • Maintain the schedule printed in the onsite program.
    • Do not begin presentations early.
    • Do not rearrange presentations, other than moving an alternate presentation to fill a canceled primary presentation.
  • Assist each author with placing and turning on the microphone.
  • As needed, assist presenters with opening their presentation files.
  • You will begin introducing each presenter at the time indicated in the onsite program.
  • One session chair will start the presentation timer as the other session chair introduces the presenter.
    • The presentation timer shows the amount of time remaining.
    • The screen is green for the first 15 minutes
    • The screen turns yellow when 5 minutes remain
    • The screen turns red during the last 30 seconds.
  • If the presenter concludes and there is time remaining before the next presenter, you can accept audience questions.
    • Pass the wireless handheld microphone to each audience member so that the audience can hear both the question and the answer.
    • If time remains after questions, do not introduce the next presenter until the time printed in the onsite program. This allows conference attendees to move between sessions, without missing a portion of any presentation.
  • Watch this short, two minute video that explains your session management responsibilities:


  • Complete the form in the session chair packet (received at breakfast) to select a Best Presentation Award.
    • The Best Presentation Award can be awarded to any presenter in your session, including those presenting both live and on-demand (authors who do not submit a video presentation and release form by the established deadline of September 6 will not be considered eligible for the Best Presentation Award).
  • Complete the form in the session chair packet (received at breakfast) to indicate any papers that should be considered for publication in NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation (optional).
  • Give these completed forms to any staff member at the conference registration desk.


Questions? Concerns?

Miriam Lewis
Meeting Services