Moderator & Speaker Guidelines - Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is in-person only. All moderators, presenters and attendees are in-person. There is no virtual component via Zoom or other virtual platform and no pre-recorded presentations.

Please thoroughly review these important guidelines for moderating and/or speaking at the AALS Annual Meeting. This information will be critical to your ability to prepare for and navigate the meeting. 

All speakers and moderators must arrive onsite in time to check in at AALS Registration in the Exhibit Hall and collect their name badge before their scheduled session begins.

**Please note: laptops are NOT provided at the meeting**

AALS Speakers & Moderators: What you need to bring

For Moderators: Pre-Meeting Coordination

We recommend that moderators and presenters follow this basic timeline in order to have the most successful and organized program possible at the Annual Meeting.

Please be sure to keep AALS informed of the addition or cancellation of presenters.

At least 6 weeks before, Moderators should:

  • Contact and introduce yourself to your fellow presenters.
  • Request a paper or electronic copy of each presentation.
  • Request a 2-3 sentence biography for introductions.

At least 2 weeks before, Moderators should:

  • Arrange for presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations onto one speaker’s designated laptop. AALS does not provide laptops.
  • Determine the order of the presentations.
  • Ask presenters to arrive 15 minutes prior to the session start time.
  • Ask them to be available to attendees following the session to continue answering questions outside the meeting room.

When you are at the meeting:

  • All presenters should meet at least 15 minutes before the session begins. With only a brief break between sessions, it is important to arrive promptly so your session can start on time and utilize the entire time allotted to you.
  • The moderator should brief everyone on the format of the session and how it will be conducted, including how they plan to signal when it is time to conclude.
  • Please use the announcement script at the podium during your introduction to the session. 

Room Setup by Session Type

The standard meeting room set up for a session includes:

  • Theatre seating (rows of chairs facing front of room with center aisle)
  • Head table and podium
  • Tent cards with names of moderator and each of the presenters

For Works-In-Progress sessions, the room set up includes:

  • Round tables set for 10 persons each
  • One standing podium

For Discussion Groups, the room set up includes:

  • Conference table seating (one table with seats around all sides) for the number of Discussion Group participants
  • Tent cards with names of Discussion Group moderator and each of the Discussion Group participants
  • Limited perimeter seating for audience members to observe the discussion on a first-come, first-served basis

For day-long programs, the room set up includes:

  • Schoolroom seating (rows of narrow tables for notetaking with chairs facing front of a room; center aisle)
  • Head table and podium
  • Tent cards with names of moderator and each of the presenters

Assistance inside the room

Session Monitors will be located throughout the hotel hallways to answer questions. For technology help and projector connections, please call the BAV hotline number provided on the projector table in each meeting room.

A/V Setup

Each session meeting room except Works-In-Progress and Discussion Groups is equipped with the following:

  • Projector (with both VGA and HDMI connection options to connect your laptop).
  • Screen
  • Audio (sound) patch, to connect your laptop to house sound for video or music presentations
  • Microphones: Podium microphone, head table microphones for presenters, microphone in center aisle for audience Q&A
  • Complimentary hotel WiFi. If you are planning an internet-based presentation, we recommend you download your presentation in advance. A high volume of users at the meeting may cause a slow connection on the hotel WiFi.


Laptops are NOT provided at the meeting. Speakers must provide the following:

  • Your Laptop – Bring your own laptop or arrange to share one with another presenter on the panel. Do not bring just a flash drive.
  • If you have a Mac, Surface or tablet, you will need a HDMI adapter. Please plan to bring it with you. FAsk your school’s library or IT team if there is one available to borrow or where you can purchase one.

Time Management

Managing time during a session can be challenging. To stay on track, consider the following:

Most sessions are 100 minutes in length. We recommend that you plan for five minutes of brief introductions, 15 minutes of Q&A at the end, and 15 minutes if holding a business meeting to elect officers. This gives four presenters about 15 minutes each for their presentations.

If the length of your session or the number of presenters is different from this example, adjust the timing of presentations accordingly. Timer cards will be provided at the head table for moderators to signal when five, two, and one minutes are left, and when time is up. Moderators may also want to consider designating another person as the timekeeper.

Taking questions

We recommend waiting until the end of the session to conduct a combined Q&A with all presenters. Moderators should be prepared with a few questions for each presenter to encourage audience participation, if necessary. For the benefit of all attendees and for the audio recording, please:

  • Use the microphone,
  • Ask speakers during Q&A to state their name, and
  • Repeat questions posed from the floor.

Concluding the session

We encourage moderators to provide a short summary of the session at its conclusion and thank the speakers for presenting. Encourage attendees to evaluate the session on the Annual Meeting mobile app.


Your session will be recorded. AALS makes a digital audio recording of most every session; after the meeting they AALS makes audio recordings of most sessions; after the meeting they will be available to download as free podcasts. If you want to decline to be recorded, please sign and return the  Recording Opt-Out form before the meeting and email to  

Registration & Hotel Reservations

All moderators, law school speakers, presenters, commentators and discussion participants are required to register for the meeting. Please visit the FAQs or contact   AALS Registration if you have any questions.

Register on or before November 16 to receive an early bird discount.

Hotel Reservation

For information regarding housing and hotel reservations at the Annual Meeting, visit the Hotels page. Please contact AALS Registration if you have any questions.