Chair a Session for a Symposium

At TMS meetings, large symposia are often broken into smaller sessions, which are groupings of 8 to 12 presentations on similar topics. Session chairs assist symposia organizers by providing on-site instructions to presenters, preparing session rooms for presentations, introducing session speakers, and generally making sure that a session is run professionally and on time. 

Why Chair a Symposium Session?

The benefits to your career include the opportunity to: 

  • Learn how symposia are structured and organized
  • Practice leadership, management, and communication skills
  • Stay abreast of the latest developments in your field 

Time Commitment

Most of the responsibilities of a session chair take place on-site at the meeting. Chairing a single session takes approximately three to four hours. In addition, session chairs are asked to contact speakers for their session in advance of the meeting to confirm attendance; this activity would take approximately two additional hours. Symposia that generate proceedings may ask session chairs to serve as reviewers; the time commitment for this activity varies greatly based on the extent of the review and number of papers.     

How to Get Started

Symposium plans are typically determined by TMS technical committees. The best way to get involved in chairing a session for a symposium is to join the TMS technical committee that best suits your interests and volunteer to help with technical programming activities. TMS issues a Call for Volunteers for technical committees each year in February. All TMS members will receive an e-mail invitation to join a technical committee at this time. 

Other volunteer opportunities at TMS technical conferences include: 

Presenting a Paper at a TMS Conference 
Organizing a TMS Symposium

If you have questions, please contact the TMS Volunteerism Staff or the TMS Technical Programming Staff.