Guide for Session Chairs and Workshop Organizers
Training VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlpB_RIKprw
This year, SPLASH is going to be accommodating both “virtual” attendees (from different time zones, joining at their own pace remotely) and “physical” attendees who will be present in Chicago during the conference. We will do our best effort to accommodate both, hopefully without compromising the experience of each.
Please note that both physical and virtual presenters are expected to pre-record their talk, manually add subtitles, and submit the video of their talk by the 1st of October 2021.
Please note that ALL attendees are required to be fully vaccinated to attend SPLASH 2021 in-person. Masks are required at SPLASH 2021.
The difference between the virtual and physical presenters is that physical presenters are allowed to give their talk live during the main Chicago time band, while the video of their talk will be played in the “offset time band”. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we are unable to provide a live recording and replay of the video of the live talk. For similar reasons, we are unable to support the record and reply of live virtual talks.
There is a discord channel for each track of SPLASH. Since OOPSLA may have up to 3 paper sessions simultaneously, there are 3 discord channels for OOPSLA, one marked with each room. Virtual attendees should ask questions by posting them to the appropriate Discord channel.
This year we plan to schedule paper sessions as a sequence of 4 15-minute talks followed by a 20-minute Q&A that involves at least one author from each of the 4 papers in the session (exception: Onward! Essay talks are 30 minutes long). The session chair will be responsible for asking the questions out loud on behalf of those who post questions using the relevant Discord Channel (all virtual attendees will do that) while also managing the physical attendees who can come up to the standing mic and ask questions in a traditional way. Using the mic is essential for the virtual attendees to be able to hear the questions. The virtual authors are welcome to answer questions live by joining a video room with instructions provided.
For hybrid events in the large rooms, we will provide the in-person session chair with a laptop that guides you through session chairing. It will show what is going on, the time until the session starts or the time that is left in the current event. The laptop will play prerecorded talks automatically when the time comes up; you should make sure the laptop is connected to the HDMI cable for the projector for these. When there is an in-person presentation, switch the HDMI from your laptop to the speaker’s laptop before the talk, and switch the HTMI back to your laptop afterwards. Introduce each in-person speaker and make sure they end on time; the laptop will help by showing a countdown timer (which you can show to the speaker if need be). If a speaker was supposed to be in-person but doesn’t show up, you can just press “play” and the system will stream their prerecorded video. When it’s time for Q&A, click “open Zoom” button to start Q&A period. This connects you to the remote speakers for Q&A. You will ask questions to remote speakers via Zoom and they will answer them via Zoom.
The session chairs should familiarize themselves with the four papers in their slot as is the usual tradition, including preparing some “backup questions” for each of the papers. We will then expect the session chair to have a plan to chair all four papers at once during the 20-minute slot but asking a question of each paper, in turn, using the audience questions posted on Discord. The session chair is responsible for saying the question out loud and balancing the physical questions and virtual questions equally.
If something goes wrong, there will be a student volunteer in the room who can help you or call for help from the organizers
As a result of this approach, we hope to recruit session chairs who are going to be present physically for any session where there is at least one physical presenter, and we hope to only have session chairs who are virtual for sessions with all-virtual speakers. Virtual chairs are responsible only for the Q&A moderating part of the description above. We will still aim to have a student volunteer to assist those viewing the event physically to help connect the physical audience to the virtual one during the Q&A and make sure the hybrid setup is working; essentially in this case the student volunteer will perform the non-Q&A related tasks of the session chair.
Finally, some useful advice for session chairs: https://emeryberger.medium.com/a-guide-for-session-chairs-8212843c900b (note that only part of it applies to the virtual/hybrid setting though)
For people organizing workshops (and sessions within workshops) and events that are in the smaller rooms, the instructions are a bit different. You have a choice of whether to use a video chat room in Discord or Zoom. Each room will have a projector, a lapel mic for the speaker and a room mic for audience discussions, a USB camera, and a mixer which plugs into a laptop for use with Zoom / Discord. Rooms will also have speakers that plug into a laptop, again for use with Zoom / Discord. If the room is larger, then the speakers will also amplify whoever is using the lapel mic. Because configuring a laptop for presentations requires running Zoom / Discord and connecting to projector, mics, and speakers, we suggest one laptop be reserved for presentation use for the entire day–ask all speakers to bring their presentations on a USB stick or use an online presentation tool, and present from that laptop. We will provide a laptop set up to make things easy, but organizers can use their own if they want.
In some workshops there are demos and speakers will need to use a laptop other than the one provided for the demo. In this case, if the demo is given by someone attending in person, we suggest connecting the demo laptop to Zoom with the sound off, still using the conference laptop too project video and manage sound.
The conference organizers will provide, by email, instructions for connecting to a Zoom room / Discord channel. We don’t have a way to support mirroring for events in these smaller rooms (Zurich E, F, and G). However, the organizers of the event can post videos prepared by participants and/or recorded on Zoom.
Workshops may not have a student volunteer in the room. If this is an issue for you let us know.