The following list describes potential session formats at a SETAC meeting.
- Poster Sessions
- Platform Sessions
- Spotlight Sessions
Posters are displayed each day in the exhibit area. Poster sessions are grouped by topic.
Traditional Poster Session
Presenters are expected to attend their poster during all break periods and evening poster social to discuss their work with scientists visiting their poster.
Alternative Poster Sessions Formats
These sessions are conducted in the exhibit hall next to traditional poster sessions. Alternative poster sessions are more successfully in full collaboration with the meeting program committee and the SETAC office since they require special attention.
Poster Corner Session
In this type of a session a few posters (3-4) are grouped together for display all day in the poster and exhibition area and are discussed jointly at an assigned time (during coffee breaks and/or poster social). During the assigned Poster Corner session, the session chair gives a short introduction (~3 minutes) to the shared topic of the posters displayed in the Poster Corner and then each presenter briefly (~3-5 minutes) presents their poster. When all posters have been presented, the audience is given a chance for a Q&A. Often, audience members will visits a specific poster and ask questions of that author. The poster will be displayed all day in the same location.
Interactive Poster Session
Interactive posters consist of both a poster and a short slide deck (3-4 slides) or video. In this type of a session a few posters (3-4) are grouped together for display all day in the poster and exhibition area and are discussed jointly at an assigned time (during coffee breaks or evening reception). At the time of the session, the session chair gives a short introduction to the shared topic of the posters displayed in the Poster Corner and then each presenter briefly presents their poster and visual aid. When all posters have been presented, the audience is given a chance for a Q&A.
This session format is conducted in an assigned large meeting room with platform, podium, screen, and projector.
Traditional Platform Session
Using this format, each presenter gives a scheduled oral presentation of a specified time using slides. A Q&A is scheduled at the end of each presentation. Presentations and Q&As in all concurrent sessions starts and stops at the same time allowing attendees to move from one session to another during Q&A. Chairs monitor timing of speakers and moderate the Q&A. Presentations within these sessions are typically organized into two 75-minute time blocks.
Alternative Platform Session Formats
Alternative platform session formats may take more preparatory work on the part of the session organizers; however, they are often rewarding to all participants and make for a diverse fun program. Several alternative platform session formats are presented below for inspiration. The length of an alternative format session must match the length of a sessions (or portion of a sessions) concurrently being conducted to of an alternative platform session. Alternative platform sessions are more successfully organized well in advance of the meeting in full collaboration with, if not entirely by, the meeting program committee and the SETAC office. The annual meeting could accommodate one or two alternative platform sessions but likely not more. These sessions are typically organized in one 75-minute time block, although some could take two 75-minute time blocks if warranted.
SETAC forums have a slightly flexible format. The forum can be organized in part or whole using a variation of the traditional platform format or alternative platform formats. Individual talk times within the forum could vary (but transitions times should be consistent with those within traditional sessions, i.e., presentations can be double or triple in length those in traditional platform sessions). This type of format is helpful to present a review or synthesis of a topic, demonstrate tools, or for a topic that is sure to encourage debate and discussion. It is useful where strict timing between speakers might be an impediment to advancing the topic.
SETAC Debate Session
SETAC debate sessions are very popular and have been highly successful in past meetings. The session organizers carefully select 3 to 5 guests to debate a hot topic with assistance of a moderator (could be a session organizer). The session organizers insure that various aspects or stances on the topic are represented to allow for a thorough debate. The guests come prepared to defend their stance while the moderator is prepared to keep the debate going by making pointed provocative statements. SETAC debates are typically quite thought provoking. They are often lively and great for public commentary on contentious issues that are relevant to the SETAC audience. The moderator and debaters are, of course, expected to adhere to common courtesy and the SETAC code of conduct. Debate sessions lend themselves very well to controversial topics.
SETAC Panel Discussion Session
Panel Discussion sessions are a great way to get more than one expert opinion on a topic in a short amount of time. The session organizers carefully select 3 to 5 guests to discuss a specific topic with assistance of a moderator (could be a session organizer). Panels are much more open and interactive than traditional presentations and debates and audience participation is highly encouraged. Panel discussions are great vehicle to discuss timely topics and new approaches.
SETAC Storytelling Session
Storytelling is an engaging presentation style that is gaining popularity. The presentations “stories” can be the typical length of a traditional platform presentation delivered as a story and followed by a short Q&A period. The storytelling format is an excellent choice for sessions focused on case studies (e.g., session focused on green chemistry, LCA, remediation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainability).
SETAC Campfire Session
Campfire sessions are a cross between the storytelling sessions and panel discussions. A short story is told and followed with extensive discussion. The goal is to allow the attendees to generate the majority of the discussion and knowledge sharing. The storyteller becomes the facilitator. Attendees get to participate, learn, listen to multiple perspectives on the same issue, and share experiences with others. Campfire sessions could be a good format for case studies where the presenters identify several alternative or challenges and want input from the audience on solutions. This could be a good fit for session focused on development of methods, models, technologies…etc.
SETAC Wave Session
Inspired by Pecha Kucha and Ignite; this is a rapid presentation style where speakers have a short amount of time to present a limited number of slides that have a minimum text font size or maximum number of words per slide. This presentations style allows speakers to give a big picture overview of a subject in a short amount of time thus providing “a wave” of information that quickly washes over the audience. For example, this format could suggest presentations follow a 6-12-24 rule (6 slides, 12 minutes, 24 font/words per slide). Session organizers may want to work with presenters ahead of the meeting to insure they are interpreting requirements well and that the session will be a successes.
SETAC North America encourages Spotlight Sessions at annual meetings. Spotlight Sessions are developed to address cutting-edge scientific topics. These sessions take more preparatory work on the part of the session organizers; however, they are often rewarding to all participants and make for a diverse and stimulating program.
Spotlight Sessions are more successful when organized well in advance of the meeting and in collaboration with, if not entirely by, the program committee in full cooperation with the SETAC office. During session submission, the submitter has the option to request the session to be considered as a Spotlight Session. Individuals proposing Spotlight Sessions should provide additional information: They should explain how the session proposed meets the criteria provided below, include a description of the format requested, clarify whether abstracts will be solicited or not (i.e., only invited speakers) and, if applicable, list speakers that will be invited.
Criteria of SETAC Spotlight Sessions
- Related to the central theme of the annual meeting
- Related to a topic of regional importance to the location of the annual meeting
- Are currently of high societal concern
- Contribute to SETAC long-range planning
- Stimulate transdisciplinary collaboration (potential collaboration with another society)
Format of SETAC Spotlight Sessions
Spotlight Sessions can be composed of invited speakers only or a combination of invited speakers and solicited abstracts. They can utilize the traditional platform format (similar to other sessions or double the talk times) or alternative session formats (e.g., panel discussion, debates, and story-telling sessions).
Distinction Accorded to Spotlight Sessions
Spotlight Sessions highlighted in the program with extended descriptions, marketed distinctively, and recorded with permission. Spotlight Sessions confirmed during the abstract review will be assigned to specific rooms and time slot selected for high visibility. To maintain their status, a limited number of Spotlight Sessions may be accommodated during the SETAC North America annual meeting.