Session Director Handbook

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Thank you for agreeing to serve as a Session Director in the ACNS Annual Meeting. Session Directors have consistently made a difference and have continued to raise the bar for outstanding schedule of sessions every year. This manual intends to provide a few reminders to ACNS Session Directors to help us to continue to offer the highest quality CME-approved program to our members and participants. Please review the following responsibilities of Session Co-Directors:


  • Gap Analysis and Needs Assessment
    Session Directors are responsible for reviewing the Gap Analysis and Needs Assessment, provided by the ACNS Continuing Medical Education Committee, as a guide when developing the content of their courses. Sessions should directly address the knowledge gaps identified by the CME Committee and remain consistent with the overall Educational Mission of the Society.

    Please refer to the complete 2020 Educational Mission and Gap Analysis and Needs Assessment provided HERE.
  • Session Agenda
    Session directors are asked to outline an agenda for their planned session, including the time allotted for each presentation, discussion, breaks, etc. Previous year’s session agendas are available HERE as examples.
    • Please allow time for introduction of speakers and transition from one speaker to the next.
    • Most importantly, please ensure adequate time for questions and discussion. The session director is responsible for limiting speaker discussion if the program is running over the allotted time (see on-site responsibilities below).
  • Speaker & Topic Selection
    Session directors are also tasked with selection of speakers who will be committed to their respective session and selection of topics relevant to the program as a whole.

    It is recommended that speakers are current ACNS members or join the Society. Non-members should be selected as speakers only when they contribute expertise not available within the ACNS membership.

    Please limit the number of speakers to no more than one (1) speaker per 30 minutes.
  • Timelines
    Session Directors are responsible for ensuring that they and their speakers adhere to the timelines and that they and their speakers comply with all ACNS and ACCME guidelines, including but not limited to submission of Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure statements and presentation slides. Speakers who do not comply with these guidelines or follow the prescribed timeline may be removed from the agenda at the discretion of the Program and CME Committees, at which time the Session Director will be responsible for naming a replacement.
  • Slide Review
    Session Directors will serve as slide editors for their program and are asked to review the slides of all speakers prior to the start of the session. A thorough review will prevent topic overlap and allow for time to remove potential redundancy, as well as prevent speakers from preparing to present too much content for their allotted presentation time.


Program Moderation

  • Session Directors will serve as moderators for their program and should arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the start of their session to perform the final test of the AV equipment, including computers, projectors, laser pointers and sound systems. Computer, projection and sound equipment are set up by the hotel AV team and tested by ACNS staff prior to the Annual Meeting.
  • Session Directors should remain at their session for the entire session to continue to moderate audience participation and to keep the discussions lively. In addition, Session Directors need to be available to manage any potential problems that may arise.
  • Session Directors should ensure that their programs begin on time and that their respective speakers and sessions remain on schedule. Subsequent sessions may be scheduled in the same room with only a short break between sessions. Please make sure that you clear the room on time to allow subsequent Session Directors and speakers adequate time to set up the next program.
  • Please encourage speakers to bring the most recent version of their talk to be uploaded to the session room computer at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their “block” of presentations (i.e. prior to the start of the session, during coffee breaks, lunch, etc.) of their time break for the scheduled session.
  • Speakers are asked to upload their presentations to the speaker management site prior to arriving onsite. If slides are not uploaded prior to arrival they must be submitted onsite to the speaker ready room 24 hours prior to the start of the presentation.

Audience Participation

  • Session Directors are encouraged to introduce speakers, repeat audience questions into the microphone for all to hear, and to moderate discussion.
  • Session Directors should request that members of the audience introduce themselves briefly before speaking during Q&A sessions.
Last updated: July 23, 2020