• A Hybrid Conference – In-Person and Virtual Presentations
  • Technical Conference:  24 – 28 March 2024
  • Exhibition: 26 – 28 March 2024
  • San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA

Presider Guidelines

3-Days Before Conference15 Minutes Before SessionStarting the SessionInstructional Video


As OFC will be presented in a hybrid format, the responsibility of the presider is more important than ever. All presiders are expected to be at the conference in person. We ask all presiders to check-in at least 15 minutes before your session begins to ensure each session has a designated presider, and confer with the speakers and room monitor to understand how each presentation will be delivered.


At Least 3 Days Before the Conference - Session Planning

Perform these steps to ensure you are prepared for your session responsibilities.

  1. Confirm your acceptance of the assignment via the link in the email you received from OFC Management staff (cstech@optica.org)
  2. Read the entirety of these instructions to familiarize yourself with the Session Presider Instructions.
  3. Review your session before the meeting via the Session Host tool in ScholarOne.
    • In the upper right hand corner click on Messages (New)
    • Click on Invitations (New)
    • Under ACTION on the left click on Select and select View & Respond
    • Click the + next to Session Information
  4. The session details will display the final order of presentation and total amount of time allotted for each presentation. You can also use the Online Program Planner or the mobile app for general session information.  However, the email addresses for the speakers in your session in only available through the session host tool. Please note: the speaker order may change up to 2 hours prior to the session to accommodate limited permission regarding streaming and/or recording.
  5. Contacting presenters in advance is encouraged so that you can obtain seed questions from them and encourage live participation. Follow step #3 above to obtain the presenter emails, or contact OFC Management staff if needed. 


At Least 15 Minutes Before the Session Begins

Presiders will be focused on conducting the session, introducing the speakers, and handling the Q&A by alternating between in person questions and reading written questions from the Zoom Q&A box and the mobile app. There will be a designated Room Monitor from OFC Management who will assist with getting the Zoom session running for remote speakers and registrants, assist with any pre-session questions and help confirm that everything is working.

  1. Arrive in your session room at least 15 minutes before the start of your session.
  2. Have the speaker order and time readily available, as it will assist you in running an effective session. You can access it either through the Online Schedule or the mobile app.
  3. Check in with the OFC Management Room Monitor and speakers to ensure that you understand how the presentations will be delivered and/or whether there will be a live Q&A segment.
  4. If you have a question about pronouncing the names of any of the live presenters, the title of the talk, or the name of their institutional affiliation, ask prior to the start of the session. It can be quite embarrassing for both you and the speaker if you pronounce something wrong.
  5. Alert the on-site speakers that questions will be asked by the audience in the room, and that you will also be reading off questions from the Q&A box within Zoom, as well as questions entered into the mobile app. 
  6. Assure the remote speakers that you and the room monitor will pay attention to the “Q&A” box and note questions. However, you will provide a reminder to the presenter (using the “chat” function) two minutes prior to the end of the presentation time that they should start to wrap up. They should be conscious of the time and start to wrap up when they see this notice. Suggest they might want to use a timer on their computers if they wish to ignore the chat box.
  7. Alert the speakers that you would like them to remain for the entire session as you may go back to them, if time allows between talks, to ask questions that may not have been addressed earlier due to lack of time.


Starting the Session and Introducing Speakers

  1. The OFC Management Room Monitor will start the broadcast two minutes prior to the scheduled start of the session to allow remote registrants to join the session and receive some quick instructions on participating in the live Q&A segments. 
  2. Once the video has started, you may go to the podium and prepare to start the session.
  3. Once the instructional video has concluded, close out of the introduction powerpoint. 
  4. Start the session with a few remarks -- introduce yourself and your affiliation, along with the theme of the session.
  5. For each presentation, announce the speaker's name, affiliation, and the title of the talk, and remind the audience to enter any questions into the “Q&A” Zoom function or the mobile app.
  6. Manage the Q&A segment from from your designated table outfitted with a computer and microphone. During the Q&A segment, remind the audience to enter their questions in the Q&A box. On-site attendees may ask questions in one of three ways:
    • In person: they MUST make their way to the aisle microphone in order for the full hybrid audience to hear.
    • Add them to the mobile app
    • Add them to the Zoom Q&A box (if they also have Zoom running)
  7. If a speaker has not joined in the Zoom session and did not send a prerecording, either allow a continuation of the discussion of any of the previous presentations or announce an intermission until the next scheduled presentation. The OFC Management Room Monitor will display a slide letting the remote attendees know when the session will resume.

Please note that a OFC Management Room Monitor is assigned to each room. The room monitors functions include:

  1. Test sharing functionality and audiovisual quality from remote speakers.
  2. Assist you and all speakers with any questions.
  3. Start the official session broadcast, and share/reshare in room computer screen as needed.
  4. Open and start presentations for any remote speakers that have asked for their prerecorded presentation to be played.
  5. Track whether and how the authors present.
  6. Track session attendance.
  7. End the webinar at the conclusion of the session.


Instructional Video

Please view our instructional video on how to preside over a session, presented by Ben Eggleton, University of Sydney, Australia. This video will give you a basic overview of best practices for a presider. While it does not address the additional challenges of a hybrid meeting, it does provide basic information and guidance.