Becoming a session co-chair is a great way to get involved with conference programming that interests you as well as become acquainted with Divisions or Forums in your field of interest.
A co-chair’s responsibilities are primarily to support the chair of the session. Please make contact with the chair as soon as possible so that both chair and co-chair are on the same page. Regular communication with the chair is important in making sure everything develops smoothly and that the co-chair is actually able to contribute to the process.
- 6 months before the conference: You may need to read abstracts and make comments in order to determine which papers stay and which go. You can send recommendations to your chair. They will most likely make the final decision.
- 2-3 months before the conference: If papers are required, authors will submit draft papers to go along with their abstract. Depending on what the chair asks for, the co-chair may need to read some or all of the papers in the session (usually up to 6) and submit comments on the papers. Look for content issues and comments that may need references, as well as spelling and grammar issues. Also make sure the formatting of the paper fits AIChE’s template.
- 0-2 months before the conference: The chair and co-chair may need to look over the draft presentations and provide comments. Usually they are just look for spelling errors or font that may come out too small when projected.
- At the conference: The day of the session, the co-chair may be introducing the chair and/or introducing the speakers. This should be easy, because the chair should ask all the speakers for bios before the conference. It is also a good idea to make sure all speakers made it to the conference by contacting them the day before the session
All in all, it's not a terribly difficult job, but does require some time commitment. Also, this is not set in stone, and some of these items and dates will vary between division, topical, and conference. If there are questions, feel free to ask the chair, area chair, or YP programming chair.