ION GNSS+ Session Chair Resource Center

Overview of Session Chair Responsibilities

  • Review abstracts submitted for presentation consideration and organize the abstracts into primary and alternate presentations based on quality, theme and topic. If you are organizing a panel session, provide the written session description and list of panel members by the prescribed deadline.
  • Chairs of Research sessions with peer review requirements shall be responsible to perform or manage the peer review process for their session according to the schedule provided.
  • Attend the meeting, attend the Speakers’ Breakfast the morning of your session, and manage/moderate the session on site according to the published schedule. (Note that Session Chairs are required to pay registration fees.)
  • Select Best Presentation Award for your session. (A form will be provided onsite at the conference.)
  • Identify any papers in your session that you would recommend for publication in NAVIGATION, The Journal of The Institute of Navigation. (A form will be provided onsite at the conference.)

As the Meeting Approaches

  • Make contact with each of the authors scheduled to present in your session to verify that their papers and/or presentation have been completed; their paper authorization cycle has been completed; and they are still planning to be present at the meeting to make their presentation.
  • If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to send them a letter of introduction and provide them with your contact information so that they know how to reach you should the need arise.
  • Please notify the National Office of any program changes that are brought to your attention so that we can ensure that your session’s signage and other onsite materials are as accurate as possible.  Any program correction/changes received by the National Office prior to August 21 will be reflected in the onsite program.
  • Hotel reservations must be made by August 21 at one of the official ION hotels to receive the special ION rate.  Reservations may be made online.
  • The last day to postmark conference registration without a late fee is August 21. Please note that Session Chairs are required to pay registration fees.
  • Please be advised that flash photography is prohibited, as is the audio or video taping of a presentation without the presenter’s permission.  We would also appreciate it if you would ask attendees to set cell phones to vibrate

Speakers’ Breakfast


You are required to attend a Speakers' Breakfast on the morning of your session.  (The Speakers' Breakfast is for each author who will be making the verbal paper presentation and their session chairs.)  The Speakers' Breakfast will be:

When:  7:30 a.m. the morning of your session

You will be seated at the breakfast with the authors making oral presentations during your session and with those authors prepared to step in as alternates should the need arise.  At the breakfast, you will be provided with biographical information you may use to introduce authors presenting in your session. 

The Speakers' Breakfast is a mandatory event for each author responsible for a scheduled paper that day.  The author representing each oral paper, as well as the author representing each alternate paper, should attend the speaker breakfast.  The authors have been notified in the author’s kit if they are not in attendance, or have not made prior arrangements with you, their session chairs; you may be forced to allocate their presentation time to another paper.  Alternate authors must be in attendance and prepared to present if called upon.  If an alternate author is not present at the breakfast, and/or not prepared to make an oral presentation if called upon, their paper will not be published in the proceedings.  (See Author Kit for complete author instructions.)  If this occurs, please mark the sign located at the door of the session room so we are aware the paper should not be included in the conference proceedings.

Alternate Authors

Alternate authors have been instructed to attend the Speakers' Breakfast and be ready to make an oral presentation in the event of one or more cancellations of primary papers.  Complete technical papers for all alternate presentations will appear in the meeting proceedings as long as the alternate author attended their assigned session and was prepared to present if needed.

Program and Scheduling

The complete program brochure is available on the ION Website:  You may refer to the program for presentation schedules.  (If you would like to request a copy of the program via e-mail (PDF file) please send an e-mail to ). The final on-site conference program will be available at the conference. We would like this program to be as accurate as possible.  Any program corrections/changes received by the National Office prior to August 21 will be reflected in the onsite program.

We are making a concentrated effort to keep sessions on a structured time schedule.  This will make it possible for registrants to schedule their day and flow from session to session.  Each paper will be given a specific starting time that will be printed in the on-site program.  We will need your assistance in making sure that the printed schedule is strictly adhered to.  To assist us in this objective, we will be asking you to operate a timed lighting device (this lighting device will be demonstrated during the Speakers' Breakfast).  The system has been designed with a red, yellow and green light.

  1. The Green light will display for 15 minutes.
  2. The Yellow light will display five minutes.
  3. The Red light will then signify that the speaker's 20 minutes are up; they must immediately return the floor to the Session Chair.

Authors have been instructed that their microphone will be shut off once they have gone 30 seconds over their allotted time, or 30 seconds after the red light illuminates.

Time between the conclusion of one presentation and the scheduled commencement of the following presentation may be used at your discretion for questions and answers. The presentation start time printed in the onsite program is the time at which you start to read the speaker’s introduction. If a speaker ends early, you can use this time for question and answer but do not start the next presentation early. Each presentation should start at the time printed in the program. Remember that the objective is to keep multiple sessions running on the same time schedule.

There will be a uniformed computer/audio-visual technician close to your session room at all times.  Do not hesitate to call on this person should you need assistance during your session.  This technician will also provide you with a lavaliere microphone and laser pointer for author presentations and a wireless hand-held microphone for question and answer periods.  We would ask that you circulate the hand-held microphone for question and answer periods.  Please be sure to collect this equipment at the conclusion of your session and return it to the audio-visual technician in your session room.

How to Deal with Paper Cancellations/Substitutions

If you should experience a cancellation in your session and you are able to replace the cancellation with the first alternate paper in your session, it is imperative that the alternate paper be substituted in the canceled paper’s original time slot.  For example, if the third scheduled paper is canceled, or a presenter fails to show, then the replacement paper should also present in the third time slot.

If, for any reason, an alternate paper is not available then the canceled paper’s original time slot should remain vacant.  Under no circumstances should you reschedule the remaining presentations scheduled in the published program as this greatly aggravates conference participants who have scheduled their day based on the posted times.

We ask that you note any paper cancellations or no-shows, and any alternates that fill these vacancies directly on the session signage located outside the session room door.  These signs are collected and changes recorded at the end of each day in order to ensure the conference proceedings accurately reflect what transpired during your session. 

Best Presentation Awards

One of the traditions of the ION GNSS+ meeting is to recognize the best paper presentation delivered in each session with a Best Presentation Award.  The session’s co-chairs jointly select the recipient.  Please use the criteria of the following aspects when evaluating each of your session’s presentations for this prestigious honor:  

  • Technical contribution
  • Quality of visual aids 
  • Quality of presentation delivery 

Forms will be provided onsite for your use.

Winners of the Best Presentation Award will be posted on line at the end of the conference, noted on the ION GNSS+ Proceedings, and will be printed in the Fall Issue of the ION Newsletter.  Best Presentation Award winners receive a certificate by mail two to three weeks after the meeting.

Peer Review Requirement (Research Tracks Only)

Session Chairs in the Research Tracks shall be responsible for the peer review of manuscripts through the ION’s online Abstract Management Portal (AMP). You can perform the peer review yourself or delegate it to another, but you are responsible to manage this process.

Each paper will be required to pass two reviews to receive a “peer reviewed” designation in the ION GNSS+ proceedings. ION GNSS+ peer review criteria should not be as high as for a journal paper. The majority of the papers will fall into the “endorse paper as is” with some requiring “minor non-technical revisions” (typically English edits). Only in rare occasions should you not be able to endorse a paper. Non-endorsed papers will still be included in the conference proceedings; they simply will not carry a “peer reviewed” designation. Exceptional papers will be endorsed/identified for the ION Journal, NAVIGATION. An optional “comment” box will be included under each category, where you may elect to insert optional notes/guidance to the author.  Note that by definition if you respond “yes” to each question the paper will have met the established standard of peer review. If you respond “no” to any of the peer review questions, you will be required to include an explanation.

A paper will only go through the peer review process once. The conference’s Peer Review/Publications Committee will resolve any conflicts between pass/fail. A paper will not be re-reviewed after it has been revised. Authors may revise papers based on comments and suggestions made by reviewers before the final papers are submitted for publication in the proceedings; but only those papers that pass peer review the first time will be designated as peer reviewed in the proceedings.

Questions or concerns you have regarding peer review or completing the peer review process should be referred to a member of the Publications/Peer Review Committee:

  • Prof. Terry Moore (email)
  • Prof. Allison Kealy (email)
  • Prof. Jihye Park (email)

Other Questions?

Please contact Miriam Lewis (email)