Session Volunteers

To volunteer: go to the schedule app and hover your pointer over the link for a talk. You should get a pop-up with information about the talk; this pop-up will either list the session chair and runners or have links to volunteer. (you will need a wiki login)

Session volunteers are the support staff for the speakers presenting. A session is a group of 1, 2, or 3 talks between breaks. For example, Saturday has 3 sessions: 10:35am-lunch, lunch-afternoon break, and afternoon break - 4:45PM. You volunteer for a specific time, place, and duration.


You must be physically present for an entire session, not just one talk.

Session Chairs manage the activities in the presentation room: introducing speakers, watching the time, stopping speakers on time, helping point out questions from the audience.

To volunteer to be part of the Session Staff:

  • Get a site login.
  • When you use the schedule app, you will see links to volunteer as a Session Chair for available slots, as well as see who has already volunteered.

If you volunteer for a session, you are able to decline later if something comes up, but please keep in mind that we are counting on your help to make PyCon successful.

Session Chairs

To chair a session, you must be physically present in one room for the entire session, not just for one talk.


Session Chairs help prepare and test the speakers equipment before their talk. They introduce the speakers, keep the talks on schedule, and facilitate the smooth transition between talks.

Session Chairs are expected to meet briefly with the people who will be presenting in their session, before the session. Please locate the speakers and introduce yourself well before your session. Ask them a few questions so you can introduce them (introductions should be quite brief), and be certain you know how to pronounce their names!

Before beginning the talks, encourage the audience to fill all the available seats instead of sitting in the aisles or standing by the door.

Session chairs should plan to arrive in the room about 10-15 minutes before their session in order to ensure everything is set up properly. Make sure that the sessions start on time and keep to the schedule. Stop watches with the time will be provided to help facilitate this along with little signs to let the speakers know when 10 minutes and 5 minutes are left. Don't interrupt in the middle of a sentence, but try to keep things moving along on time.

Once the speakers have started, please close the doors to screen out noise from people talking in the hallway. If you want to leave one door open for people to arrive quietly, that's fine, but please be prepared to close it if people are being noisy outside.

Upon conclusion of each presentation, encourage the speakers to disconnect their equipment and move into the hallway for discussions so the next speaker will not be delayed in starting. If the speaker and/or attendees are interested in holding an open space follow-up session, an announcement can be made by the Chair.


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