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Chair Guidelines & Responsibilities

Meeting Program Chairs (MPC) Session Chair Subcategories:
Division/Forum Chairs Session/Paper Updates
Area Chairs Session Management
Session Chairs/Co-Chairs Role of Session Chair (On-Site)
Poster Session Chairs  

Additional Information

Meeting Program Chairs

AIChE Spring Meeting

MPC Responsibilities:
  • AIChE Staff handles the bulk of logistics and communications related to Meeting planning.
  • AIChE Staff will provide the MPC and co-MPC with email drafts to approve/send on their behalf and will supply them with any information that they might need to answer questions that they might receive, or will simply be there to answer them.
    • Most often, MPCs can leave the questions to AIChE Staff and disregard unless specifically asked by Staff to respond.
  • Supporting and helping to implement some of the decisions that are made jointly with the co-Meeting Program Chair (co-MPC) and AIChE Staff.
  • Helping bring a new audience to the Springl Meeting through innovative sessions. This includes developing and/or strategizing on new programming whether it’s a session, one-day track, or full topical conference.
    • Examples of past MPC-developed sessions and topical conferences include:
      • Leadership Development – Professional Skills to Catalyze Your Career (2017)
      • Industry 4.0 Topical Conference (2018)
    • It is not mandatory to create a new topical conference when becoming MPC, but we encourage you to help think of new ideas and suggestions to bring in a new crowd of attendees or help give the current attendees a new perspective they haven’t had programmed before, so this could be a one session or a whole day’s worth.
  • Weigh in and provide feedback on the AGILE Keynote Award winner and Joint Luncheon speaker selections.
  • Help the co-MPC in organizing the poster session if they need help or have questions.
  • Assist with any other needs along the way from AIChE
  • Be present at all major Spring Meeting functions (onsite at your meeting)
  • Attending teleconferences and in-person meetings:
Teleconference/Meeting Purpose How Often Starting
EBPC Calls  To provide updates on the meeting and how it is shaping up. Monthly After the Spring Meeting about 12 months before the meeting.
Attend EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Spring Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Spring Meeting about 24 months before the meeting.
EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Annual Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Annual Meeting 18 and 6 months before the meeting.
Co-MPC Responsibilities:
  • Spring Meeting co-MPCs go on to become the following year’s MPC.
  • AIChE Staff handles the bulk of logistics and communications related to Meeting planning.
  • AIChE Staff will provide the MPC and co-MPC with email drafts to approve/send on their behalf and will supply them with any information that they might need to answer questions that they might receive, or will simply be there to answer them.
    • Most often, MPCs can leave the questions to AIChE Staff and disregard unless specifically asked by Staff to respond.
  • Supporting and helping to implement some of the decisions that are made jointly with the co-Meeting Program Chair (co-MPC) and AIChE Staff.
  • Review and approve/reject abstracts for the Spring Meeting Poster Session on Monday night
    • When reviewing the abstracts, categorize them into categories or groups for attendees to easily find subjects of interest.
    • Become a session chair for one hour of the Electronic Poster session.
    • Responsible for collecting their PowerPoint presentations, ensuring you communicate their speaking times and running the hour long session by introducing each speaker at the electronic poster stage.
  • Assist with any other needs along the way from AIChE
  • Be present at all major Spring Meeting functions (onsite at your meeting)
  • Attending teleconferences and in-person meetings:
Teleconference/Meeting Purpose How Often Starting
EBPC Calls  To provide updates on the meeting and how it is shaping up. Monthly After the Spring Meeting about 12 months before the meeting.
Attend EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Spring Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Spring Meeting about 24 months before the meeting.
EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Annual Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Annual Meeting 18 and 6 months before the meeting.



AIChE Annual Meeting

MPC Responsibilities:
  • AIChE Staff handles the bulk of logistics and communications related to Meeting planning.
  • AIChE Staff will provide the MPC and co-MPC with email drafts to approve/send on their behalf and will supply them with any information that they might need to answer questions that they might receive, or will simply be there to answer them.
    • Most often, MPCs can leave the questions to AIChE Staff and disregard unless specifically asked by Staff to respond.
  • Supporting and helping to implement some of the decisions that are made jointly with the co-Meeting Program Chair (co-MPC) and AIChE Staff.
  • Helping bring a new audience to the Annual Meeting through innovative sessions. This includes developing and/or strategizing on new programming (between 0-3 sessions).
    • Examples of past MPC-developed sessions include:
      • Meet the Presidents (2016)
      • Meet the Executives (2017)
      • The Future of Energy in the Region, Nation and World (2018)
      • What the Heck Happened? Past, Present & Future Disruptions to the Chemical/Fuels Business (2018)
  • Reviewing requests for additional sessions during the period when the meeting is scheduled (May of the year of your meeting)
  • Assist with any other needs along the way from AIChE
  • Be present at all major Annual Meeting functions (onsite at your meeting)
  • Chairing the Prausnitz Institute Lecture and introduce speaker (onsite at your meeting)
  • Attending teleconferences and in-person meetings:
Teleconference/Meeting Purpose How Often Starting
Brief teleconferences with the co-MPC and AIChE staff  To review upcoming communications, meeting statistics, etc. Monthly January the year of the meeting.
EBPC Calls  To provide updates on the meeting and how it is shaping up. Monthly After the Spring Meeting about 18 months before the meeting.
Program Committee Calls To support AIChE staff and provide updates on featured sessions. Quarterly 4th quarter of the previous year (~13 months before meeting)
Attend EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Spring Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Spring Meeting about 18 months before the meeting.
EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Annual Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Annual Meeting 12 months before the meeting.
Prausnitz Institute Lecture Selection Discuss submissions and select your meeting’s Institute Lecturer. Once February/March of the year of the meeting.
Co-MPC Responsibilities:
  • AIChE Staff handles the bulk of logistics and communications related to Meeting planning.
  • AIChE Staff will provide the MPC and co-MPC with email drafts to approve/send on their behalf and will supply them with any information that they might need to answer questions that they might receive, or will simply be there to answer them.
    • Most often, MPCs can leave the questions to AIChE Staff and disregard unless specifically asked by Staff to respond.
  • Supporting and helping to implement some of the decisions that are made jointly with the co-Meeting Program Chair (co-MPC) and AIChE Staff
  • Helping bring a new audience to the Annual Meeting through innovative sessions. This includes developing and/or strategizing on new programming (between 0-3 sessions to be scheduled as unopposed as possible).
    • Examples of past MPC-developed sessions include:
      • Meet the Presidents (2016)
      • Meet the Executives (2017)
      • The Future of Energy in the Region, Nation and World (2018)
      • What the Heck Happened? Past, Present & Future Disruptions to the Chemical/Fuels Business (2018))
  • Reviewing requests for additional sessions during the period when the meeting is scheduled (May of the year of your meeting)
  • Assist with any other needs along the way from AIChE
  • Be present at all major Annual Meeting functions (onsite at your meeting)
  • Attending teleconferences and in-person meetings:
Teleconference/Meeting Purpose How Often Starting
Brief teleconferences with the co-MPC and AIChE staff  To review upcoming communications, meeting statistics, etc. Monthly January the year of the meeting.
EBPC Calls  To provide updates on the meeting and how it is shaping up. Monthly After the Spring Meeting about 18 months before the meeting.
Program Committee Calls To support AIChE staff and provide updates on featured sessions. Quarterly 4th quarter of the previous year (~13 months before meeting)
Attend EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Spring Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Spring Meeting about 18 months before the meeting.
EBPC In-Person Meeting at the Annual Meeting Updates on the Meeting & Presentation Yearly (2x) The Annual Meeting 12 months before the meeting.

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Division/Forum Chairs

The following are general guidelines that will ensure your division/forum develops a high quality program that is of interest to attendees.  As a division/forum chair your aim is to ensure that attendees feel that the technical program you offered met or exceeded their expectations.  The different divisions/forums within AIChE operate slightly differently and have different practices.  These guidelines do not intend to standardize programming across AIChE.  Rather they provide a guide that should enable you to standardize programming in your division/forum that will result in a high quality technical program that meets the expectations of attendees and members of your division/forum.

For each programming area within you division/forum, there should be a categorization of sessions as “Core” sessions, which are of high interest and do well every year, “Current Topic” sessions, which are good draws because of current mainstream interests and events, and “Trial Sessions” which may not be in the mainstream but are compelling new ideas for programming.  It is important to work with area chairs to ensure these lists are up to date and there is an appropriate balance between these three categories in your division/forum.

  1. Core sessions become core sessions by performing well every year.
  2. Current Topic sessions come and go as mainstream interest in the topic surges and wanes.
  3. New sessions are those that are truly new suggestions and are meant to appeal to new and/or growing topics of interest.  These sessions are generally proposed at the various programming area meetings.
  4. Check the sessions that were co-sponsored either between programming areas in your division /forum or with programming areas outside your division/forum.  Maximizing co-sponsorship when appropriate is important as it as it eliminates repetitive session.  Similar session tend to result in lower attendance at the sessions and dilute the quality of the program. 
  5. Check last year’s list of undersubscribed sessions for your division/forum at the time of closing of the call for abstracts.
  6. See if those sessions appeared on previous years’ lists as well.
  7. Share these lists of “problem sessions” with your area chairs.
  8. Encourage area chairs to solicit ideas for new sessions prior to the area programming meetings.
  9. You will need to make sure that your programming fits within the sessions allocated by AIChE for your division/forum.  If you need to reduce the number of sessions, discuss with you area chairs the need for continuing with any low attendance sessions; the value of new session and the possibility of eliminating a session by co-sponsorship.  If you feel additional sessions are truly justified you should discuss this with your AIChE staff person.
  10. For planning a topical conference see the Manual of the Program Committee, section A4.3.  Successful topical conferences tend to involve co-sponsorship between different programming areas in different divisions and forums.

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Area Chairs

The following are general guidelines that will ensure your area develops a high quality program that is of interest to attendees. Different areas tend to use words slightly differently when identifying tutorials, panel discussions etc.  It is impotent however that you are consistent in the way you identify your sessions.  The following general definitions apply.

Tutorial - A Tutorial is appropriate when there has been 1) a rapid development in new technology which requires an update to set the stage for one or more technical sessions of the subject or 2) where there is sufficient number of attendees who would benefit from a basic primer.

Panel Discussion – Panels are useful for communicating views and experiences by authorities in a field.  One variation is to follow the presentation of papers by a panel discussion.  The authors of the papers as well as other experts may participate on the panel.

Poster Session – Poster Sessions are a less formal method of covering technical information.  Speakers post their papers and any other pertinent data on a bulletin board.  Attendees may then discuss the paper with the speaker in allotted time periods and gain additional input from other attendees.  Frequently poster session chairs are asked to identify their best posters for electronic presentation. 

It is important for programming areas that hold programming meetings, the meetings are run effectively.  The areas chairs and co-chairs need to have an agenda for their meeting that discusses the sessions offered, proposed session and other information that will help attendees suggest new session that focus on emerging areas.  Identification of session chairs is very important.  Finally make sure you develop a succession plan!

The area chairs should work closely with the division/forum chairs to ensure their programming requests are submitted to the AIChE staff on time, co-sponsorship of sessions is optimized and repetitive sessions/similar sessions are removed.  In addition area chairs should ensure that poorly performing sessions are eliminated or recast in order to be more attractive to attendees.

Area chairs should work to confirm attendance of session chairs by the close of the Call for Abstracts. Once confirmed, session chairs should communicate with their area chairs should any situation arise that would cause them to withdrawn their attendance from the meeting. Area chairs will then have to identify replacement chairs. 

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Session Chairs/Co-Chairs

The following are general guidelines to help you develop a high quality session. You are expected to be actively engaged with the development of your session.  Chair and co-chair(s) should be communicating on a regular basis leading up to the meeting to ensure any issues with your session are resolved in a timely manner.

  1. If a Vice Chair has not been already appointed by your Group/Area/Topical Chair, recruit and appoint one as soon as possible.  For consistency and communication purposes, it is necessary to designate only one Chair and one Vice-Chair.  However, multiple vice chairs are permitted.
  2. Develop a Call for Abstracts to announce your session’s area of interest and to encourage the submission of proposals to present.  Distribute the Call for Abstracts to key contacts in your session’s area of interest and include it in the appropriate Group or Division newsletters.  In addition, Topical Conference on Program Groups/Area may prepare call for abstracts addressing broader subject areas.
  3. Let author know that presentation records (full paper/extended abstract) is the official policy of AIChE.  Accepted authors will be sent instructions on how to upload papers after the technical program is finalized.
  4. Maintain regular communication with your authors to monitor progress, remind them of deadlines, ask them to be prepared with a replacement speaker should they be unable to present their paper, and direct them to a Style Manual for Writers and Speakers. You will be expected to effectively communicate with all presenters in your session to ensure they will be attending the meeting. You are responsible for modifying your session, in consultation with your area chair or the programming chair, once you are made aware of cancellations.
  5. Maintain adequately communication with your area chair should any situation arise that would cause you to withdraw your attendance at the meeting. This should be done with sufficient notice to allow the area chair(s) or programming chair to identify an alternate individual to take your place.

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Poster Session Chairs

Once all abstracts have been reviewed and certain abstracts have been accepted, poster session chairs are asked to organize the posters into topic groups. Poster session chairs can do so following these steps:

  1. Login to your Confex portal and access the session.
  2. Use the Group column to create several groupingss and order the posters within those groups.
  3. To label the topics and make them more accessible, use the Non-Paper Events feature found on the left hand side menu.
  4. Using the Freeform Events, enter in the title of the groups and save.
  5. Once you are back in the session, use the numbers to move the group title so that it appears at the start of its appropriate group.

We would also like to reduce the number of empty poster boards in the poster session hall. Please let us know if at any point you receive a withdrawal so that we can take the necessary steps to get that paper removed from the poster listing. Email us withdrawals at programming@aiche.org

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Session/Paper Updates

Changes within sessions such as corrections and session changes other than changes within papers may be made through Confex up until the data is pulled for the program book.

Papers within sessions may be corrected anytime up until the commencement of the meeting. Authors can no longer make changes to their abstracts after the CFA closes.

Note:  Once the program book preparation has been initiated, all written changes should be minimized and will not be reflected in the onsite program book. They will be reflected on the online technical program and in the app.

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Session Management

  1. Two weeks prior to the meeting, communicate with each speaker to reconfirm session arrangements, schedules and plans regarding their attendance at the meeting.  Request them to arrive at the session room 15 minutes prior to the start of the session to receive any last-minute instructions.  Check that your speakers have all arrived and that you have all necessary A/V equipment.
  2. There may be a session aide in your meeting room.  The aide will be available to take attendance twice during each session.  You or your Vice-Chair must handle the duties of lights and audio visual monitoring.  In addition, one of you should estimate attendance during each paper presentation and turn this in to AIChE headquarters room after the session.  Audio technicians are available outside the meeting room for any issue which may arise with audiovisual equipment.
  3. During your session, please keep your speakers on schedule, if a scheduled paper has been cancelled or the speaker is a “no show,” the best strategy is to try to fill in the time.  If you take a break, especially towards the end of the session you will lose most of your audience.  Once you have filled in as much time as possible you could ask the next speaker if he/she is willing to start early.  “No shows” should be reported in the session attendance form in the Session Chair material provided because they seriously affect the quality of meetings and the Institutes’ reputation.

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Role Of Session Chair (On-Site)

  • Arrive to Session Room 15 minutes before Session
  • Check the A/V equipment and microphones.  Make sure you know how to operate the audiovisual equipment that is being used in the session and that everything is in working order.  If you do not, you may ask an audiovisual technician located nearby to ensure correct operation.  Test the microphones if time permits.
  • Room Lights.  Make sure you know where the light switches are and how to operate them.  (Note: Some rooms do not have dimmers.)
  • Session Attendance.  Session aides or AIChE will take a random head count at least twice during each session.  Session chair should also estimate attendance during each paper presentation.  Return this data to AIChE registration desk at end of session.
  • Seating.  As the room starts to fill up, try to direct attendees to empty seats.  Notify Staff Headquarters via the audiovisual technicians if you run out of seats.
  • Familiarize yourself with the safety exits in and outside the room.  Announce the safety exits and procedures to the session attendees.  Make known, in event of a fire do not use elevators, use staircases.
  • Refer to safety message located in the Program Book for further safety information.

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Session Formats

Individual technical sessions usually fall into the following categories.

  1. Tutorial - A Tutorial is appropriate when there has been 1) a rapid development in new technology which requires an update to set the stage for one or more technical sessions of the subject or 2) where there is sufficient number of attendees who would benefit from a basic primer.
  2. Panel Discussion – Panels are useful for communicating views and experiences by authorities in a field.  One variation is to follow the presentation of papers by a panel discussion.  The authors of the papers as well as other experts may participate on the panel.
  3. Poster Session – Poster Sessions are a less formal method of covering technical information.  Speakers post their papers and any other pertinent data on a bulletin board.  Attendees may then discuss the paper with the speaker in allotted time periods and gain additional input from other attendees.

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Confex Tutorials

Confex tutorials are available within the Confex system. To access them, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Confex portal.
  2. Click on the group that you are responsible for.
  3. In the left-hand menu, under Help, click on Recorded Tutorials.

Tutorials are available on the following topics:

  • Control Panels
  • Adding Sessions
  • Arranging Sessions
  • Adding Papers
  • Sending Emails
  • Co-Sponsorship Requests

For more help with Confex, email us at programming@aiche.org

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Sponsorship

You may want to consider seeking sponsorship for refreshments to encourage more interaction and networking among session participants, but please coordinate these efforts with AIChE staff by contacting sales@aiche.org

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General Comments

  • Expenses and Honoraria – Regrettably, AIChE cannot provide expense reimbursement or honoraria to session participants.
  • Policy on Non Commercialism in Presentations – The aggressive promotional use of trade names or other forms of commercialism titles, text or figures is not permitted.  Authors may be shown as affiliated with companies or universities, and affiliations may be mentioned in acknowledgements.  Presentations that are promotions of a commercial product or process are not permitted.
  • All Session Chairs, Vice-Chairs, and Speakers must complete a Registration Form and return it with payment.  Please refer to AIChE’s registration policy.
  • Requests for complimentary registrations will be considered by the Director of Meetings or Director of Programming at AIChE in accordance with the above policy. Complimentary registrations are rarely awarded.

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