July 28, 2020 to August 6, 2020
virtual conference
Europe/Prague timezone

Instructions for speakers and session chairs

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1. Introduction

The following pages provide additional detailed instructions for the speakers and session chairs. Please read them carefully. Note that besides these specific instructions, there is also ‘Practical handbook’, which contains essential information about the conference organization and should be read by all participants. The speakers and session chairs might find there, for instance, some basic introduction to Zoom, information about the Test room for their Zoom set-up and other means of support, details about YouTube and Mattermost, replay sessions and organization of poster sessions, several options to join discussions, etc.


The sessions will be recorded; we would like to inform you that by participating at the virtual ICHEP2020 conference, you automatically give us consent to do so. In particular, all the talks will be recorded unless there is a strong preference by a particular speaker to do otherwise, and such a request should be based on serious grounds and communicated with the organizers in advance.

2. Instructions for session chairs and speakers

To ensure flawless functioning and smooth experience throughout the conference, we kindly ask the speakers and session chairs to download the latest Zoom client for their operating system. It can be obtained after following this link:

Typically, there are multiple conveners assigned to a single session. It is upon their previous communication who will be the chair of a particular session block.

We kindly ask the speakers to upload their slides well ahead of time:

  • The parallel-session speakers should upload their presentations to the Indico agenda a few hours before their sessions so that the chairs can download them on their computers and broadcast the slides if the speakers have some difficulties in doing this themselves.

  • For the plenary sessions, there will be a real-time closed captioning service available. We kindly ask plenary-session speakers to upload their presentations at the latest by the end of the previous-day sessions so that the professional designated for this task has time to prepare for a specific vocabulary related to each speaker’s field of research.

  • Please make sure the slides are numbered so that one could refer to a particular slide easily.

The virtual room for the plenary or particular parallel session will be started by the conference organizers at least 30 minutes before the premiere (live) session block of the day and will remain open for the whole session. In case of the Webinar-like event, the session will start in the ‘Practice Mode’; there is no ‘Practice mode’ for the Meeting-like sessions (applies for most of the parallel sessions).

Connecting to the virtual room

  • To connect to the virtual room associated with a particular session block, please follow the related link in Indico.

  • Please use your full name so that it will be easy to identify you as speakers and session chairs.

Sharing the video

  • We would like to encourage all the speakers (and session chairs) to turn on their video, which would make their presentation more personal.

    • Note that, unfortunately, this might not be possible due to low connection quality.

    • Please consider turning off your video if you encounter connection problems.

  • In case it would not be possible, for various reasons, to share their live video, we kindly ask the speakers and session chairs to include their photos, at least.

Sharing the screen

  • Speakers will screen-share their presentation using the ‘Share screen’ function in Zoom while presenting. When using the Zoom app, this is simply done by clicking on the green ‘Share Screen’ button at the bottom center of the Zoom screen. Then select the window (e.g., PowerPoint) that you would like to share.

    For more details, please see Sharing your screen.

  • If you typically use more than one screen in your office set-up, please make sure you become acquainted with the sharing function in advance.

  • Note that if you are sharing an individual window in Zoom, you might achieve better results if the window you want to share is already in full-screen mode before sharing, otherwise the outline of the original window remains visible over your slides.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using Mac OS and want to use the full-screen mode, please make sure you share your whole screen, not a particular window only. Otherwise, your presentation will not be visible to other participants.

20 minutes before all the sessions starting time

  • The session-block chairs and speakers should be connected by now and assure themselves that there is no problem with the connection.

  • This is a good moment for the session chairs and other conveners to be promoted to co-hosts.

  • The chair should ask all the speakers of the session block (one by one) to test their audio (mandatory for speakers/chairs), screen sharing (preferably the speakers will share screen, otherwise the chairs), and video (chairs and speakers if they would like to use it, which is recommended).

20 minutes before the plenary and webinar-like parallel sessions starting time

  • The webinar should now be in the ‘Practice Mode’.

  • All chairs and speakers of the upcoming session block should join the practice session.

10 minutes before the plenary and webinar-like parallel sessions starting time

  • The ZTA will start to broadcast the webinar: From now on, the attendees will be able to join the meeting.

  • At this point, the hosts will promote to panelists all the attendees who are speakers and that could not be added as panelists from the Zoom web interface.

2 minutes before the session starting time

  • The YouTube streaming will start now.

  • The recording will start now on the computer of the host who started the meeting.

  • We kindly ask the chair of the session block also to start the recording on her/his personal computer so that there would be an additional independent backup. Please ensure that you have enough space on your device (at least 5 GB).

At the session starting time

  • The chairs should say a few introductory words, with a brief welcome statement, saying for instance what is the scope of the session, how many participants are connected, and reminding the audience about the technical set-up:

    • Speakers and participants of the meetings should mute themselves unless they are speaking; attendees are by default muted during the webinar and just the hosts and session chairs can unmute them during Q&A.

    • For the webinars, the attendees can submit questions at the end of each talk using the ‘Raise hand’ feature in Zoom.

    • Attendees and participants should first say their name before asking their question when unmuted.

    • Attendees can post questions in the chat box, but only if they cannot use the ‘Raise hand’ feature (due to a noisy environment, etc.).


  • At the beginning of each presentation, the chair should briefly introduce the speaker and remind her/him of the presentation time restrictions.

    • Please note that the length of talks varies across parallel sessions and the time allocated for a talk in Indico includes Q&A time: The typical slots are 15 min (12 + 3 min), 18 min (15 + 3 min), 20 min = (15 + 5 min), and 30 min (25 + 5 min) (talk + discussion time).

    • In case of questions regarding the length of talks, please contact the conveners of your parallel session directly:

      Please also CC sci@ichep2020.org to ensure timely response to your questions.

  • The speakers should share the screen and (recommended, but not mandatory) turn on their video.

  • During presentations, the chairs should unmute themselves, remind speakers of how much time is left, and mute again their microphone.

    • As an alternative, we suggest the chairs can use the ‘Annotate’ function in Zoom. In this way, they can send a message appearing on the screen without any need to interrupt the presentation. Note that this feature is only available when a participant is sharing screen.

      For further details, see Using annotation tools.

  • At the end of each presentation, the chairs should unmute themselves and handle the Q&A. During the webinar Q&A, the attendees with a ”raised hand” are in chronological order. Unmute the attendee for the question and answer and then mute her/him again. In the end, remind the attendee to ”put the hand down”. Alternatively, the chairs can lower the participant’s hand if it is not done.

Coffee break/discussion session

  • Right before the break, the chair should say a few closing words and remind everyone about the coffee break/discussion session and how to join it.

  • The recording will be paused now.

  • For the meeting-like sessions, the coffee break/discussion session will take place in the same virtual room as the sessions.

  • In case of the webinar-like event, the coffee break/discussion session will be moved to a separate room.

After the last live presentation of the day

  • The virtual room will stay open up to 1 hour after the last talk, in case there will still be an ongoing discussion.

  • Further discussion will be moved to the coffee break/discussion-session room.

3. Instructions for poster-session speakers

Before the poster session

  • Poster presenters are required to prepare a short presentation which they will present during the poster session.

    • Please do not exceed the limit of 3 slides with content plus 1 title slide; do not add any backup material. That is a maximum of 4 slides in total.

    • The presentation should take no more than 3 minutes.

  • Presenters are kindly requested to upload the slides one day before their session.

  • Presenters are welcome to put additional material (e.g., longer presentation, A0 poster, link to a short video, paper, etc.) to Indico.

  • Poster session chairs (represented by ZTAs) will collect slides from all presenters in a session block into a single PDF file which they will share during the Zoom meeting to avoid potential technical difficulties and delays during the session.

During the poster session

  • After a short introduction to the session, you will be asked one by one to present your short talks about your posters. The slides will be changed for you by the chair.

  • During the presentations, there will be no questions allowed. Questions will follow after all presentations.

4. How to upload material to Indico

Please log in to Indico (`Login' button at the right top corner of the conference page) and follow these steps:

  • Go to ‘My conference’ --> ‘My contributions’ from the menu on the left-hand side.

  • Click on the contribution; you will see details about your presentation.

  • You should see a pencil at the very bottom of this page where it is written ‘Presentation Materials’.

    • You can upload (or delete) your materials by clicking on the pencil.

  • If you cannot see your contributions in Indico, please make sure you are logged in using the same email address as for the registration (or add another email address in the settings of your Indico account).

Please add your material to Indico at least one day before your presentation is scheduled.

  • Even if your talk may not be ready yet, we recommend trying to go through the process well in advance, so there is enough time for solving issues that might arise.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at sci@ichep2020.org if you encounter troubles with uploading the material.

5. Other recommendations for speakers

  • The speakers are (on a voluntary basis) welcome to include in their slides a link to a Zoom meeting room created by themselves (please use the password of your session as the password for this room), completely independent of the rooms provided by the conference organizers. In this room, they can meet the interested participants to have a direct chat after their session block and answer more questions.

    • Please choose a time slot carefully for such a meeting room, which, preferably, does not collide with the conference program.

    • Note that there will also be an official coffee break/discussion-session room.

    • Please keep in mind that based on your personal Zoom license, there might be limitations for the number of participants or length of the meeting. For instance, the free Zoom Basic license allows at most 100 participants. However, whenever more than two participants are connected, the meeting is restricted to 40 min in length.

      For more details, see Zoom pricing.

  • Please do not forget about the Mattermost channels, especially those related to your sessions. There you can also answer questions raised by interested participants and further discuss the topic.

  • As always, please stay within the allocated time as the program is very busy. We also recommend starting a time counter at the beginning of your presentation to monitor your pace. The session chairs will also remind you about the time left: either by unmuting themselves or using the ‘Annotate’ function.

  • Please do not forget to use your full name and, if possible, share your video or, alternatively, your photo.

6. Acknowledgement

We would like to thank the organizers of the LHCP2020 conference for sharing with us their handbook so that we could use it as a starting point for the presented ICHEP2020 instructions.