Guide for IETF 107 Session Chairs

This guide provides information and a short set of actions session chairs should review before chairing a session at IETF 107 even if you have used Webex before, or have chaired many sessions at previous IETF meetings.

Key Info

In addition to taking the steps outlined in the Guide for IETF 107 Participants, chairs should:

Steps for preparing to chair an IETF 107 Virtual meeting session

  1. Set up and test your Webex
  2. Test your setup during one of the testing time
  3. Prepare for your session
  4. Join the session about 10 minutes early
  5. Chair the session
  6. Get help if needed

1. Setting up Webex

The general instructions for setting up Webex are given in the Guide to Using Webex for IETF 107 Participants.

You will also want to be sure you can share content in a session. This Webex guide to sharing content might be useful. If you are using a macOS system, please review in advance this guide related to enabling sharing on macOS Catalina.

2. Testing your setup

Before chairing a session during IETF 107, you should test your set up. You may use the IETF 107 Hallway session to test during the IETF 107 meeting week. Details can be found at the IETF Datatracker meeting agenda. Follow the steps in section 5. of the  Guide to Using Webex for IETF 107 Participants.

In addition to testing your Webex set up, during these sessions you’ll want to try out things like how queue management works, how to switch presenters and presentations, how to get technical support during your meeting, and other details. 

3. Preparing for your session

The IETF 107 Virtual meeting agenda includes session agenda information, links to remote participation channels, presentation materials, and tools such as etherpad, as usual. Some specific steps you can take before the session to help it run smoothly:

Identify the speaking queue manager: This is the person who will keep track of the order in which people join the queue and who will prompt the next person in the queue to speak. This may be one of the session chairs or, if neither chair is able to do this, please identify a volunteer before your session starts (i.e., by asking people via email). Chairs will need to specify when to cut the queue.

Identify a volunteer to be a jabber scribe: This person will serve the usual role of jabber scribe, though that might in practice be more limited. The jabber scribe will join the queue via the Webex chat to relay comments from people who do not have audio.

Identify the minute taker: As with in-person sessions, you will need to identify a minute-taker. Etherpad will be used for minutes as usual.

Be sure all presentations and other materials for the session are uploaded to Datatracker and coordinate with presenters in advance about whose screen will be shared in Webex. You should plan to have materials presented in full screen mode to make them easier to read by participants. Presenters should review the guide for presenters.

The session chair checklist might also be helpful.

4. Joining the session

Plan to join a session about 10 minutes before the scheduled start. This will allow you to ensure everything is set up in Webex, etherpad, and jabber before the start of the session.

5. Chairing the session

Please follow the following processes for chairing the meeting:

Presenting slides (including Note Well): Start with the usual introductory slides and announcements, including displaying the IETF Note Well (available from the IETF WG Chairs webpage). You may wish to use this set of slides with IETF 107-specific reminders.

Presentations can be shared in Webex by opening them and then sharing the application in which they are open. NOTE: If your application (browser or PDF viewer, for example) has multiple windows open and you switch windows, whichever window is displayed locally to you will be shared with all participants. There is no way to share a single window from a specific application.

Dragging the “presenter ball” (the small Webex icon adjacent to your name in the meeting roster) to the name of a participant allows that person to share content. When you are ready to share content, drag the “presenter ball” (the small WebEx icon adjacent to the Secretariat Support host name in the participant roster) to your own name. WebEx should ask you if you want to share content. When you do, you become the presenter and the WebEx icon will appear next to your name.  Anyone in the meeting can “take the ball,” so when you want to reclaim presenter rights, you can drag the ball back to your own name in the roster.

You may wish to have all presentations open and prepared to present on your machine (and ask presenters to call "next" for you to change the slides) or to let the speaker present directly. We recommend you coordinate this with all speakers before the meeting so they can be prepared (having slides open and ready and creating slides with a remote person advancing them in mind).

Recording the session: The session will be recorded by the Secretariat who, as the Webex Host, will initiate and end the session recording.

Virtual bluesheets: The virtual bluesheet will be in Etherpad. All participants, including those only observing, are expected to record their name and affiliation in the Etherpad or ask someone to do it for them. If a participant can't access a bluesheet, they may send their name, affiliation and the session name via email to [email protected] and the IETF Secretariat will add this information. Bluesheets for each session will be compiled and recorded by the Secretariat, so you do not need to do anything to submit them.

Audio mute/unmute: Participants will be muted by Webex when they join the meeting. They are expected to unmute themselves to speak when called on in the queue, and then mute themselves when done. A member of the IETF Secretariat will join each session in the “Host” role to monitor technical and logistical issues, including muting participants that are sending background noise to the session.

Speaking queue management: A person should be identified in advance to help manage the speaking queue. Participants will indicate they would like to speak by sending “+q” to everyone in the Webex chat. If someone changes their mind about speaking, they will send “-q” to everyone in the Webex chat to leave the queue. Please remind speakers to introduce themselves using first and last names. Participants are asked not to use the Webex chat for any other reason to leave it free for queue management.

Using session jabber channel: The jabber chat room for the sessions will be used as usual during an IETF meeting, including to relay questions to the room for people unable to send audio. If non-queue messages appear in the Webex chat, a reminder about using jabber for comments can be shared.

Managing video:Participants should check that their video is turned off as soon as they join a meeting. Video should not be used during the session to ensure resource limitations, such as bandwidth, do not degrade the experience for participants.

Humming: We do not recommend taking audible hums as that would likely cause multiple issues with microphones and audio multiplexing. You should instead rely on your chairing skills to judge the mood of the session and, as usual, take any calls for consensus to the mailing list.

6. Getting help

In addition to the advance testing set up, and the monitoring provided by the IETF Secretariat, there will be help throughout the IETF 107 Virtual available in a variety of ways. The usual [email protected] email help is available. Only for IETF 107, there will also be a jabber room [email protected]. If you run into issues using Webex during the meeting, there will be real-time monitoring of the session as well.

More information about Webex is available: