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2010 Annual Meeting INFORMS

Are you a session-hopper?

by Burcu Keskin on November 9th, 2010

Given the number of parallel sessions and the number of good/interesting talks at the same time slot, to maximize our take from the conference, we all “hop” from one session to another one in the middle of the session time slot. I don’t know if anybody can say “I don’t ‘hop’.”

However, I believe there should be a conference etiquette for “hopping.” For instance,

  • do not “hop” if you are the session chair or one of the presenters. Everybody in one session should listen to each other as a mutual respect.
  • do not “hop” in the middle of the talk, despite how boring it is. It is very distracting to the audience and to the speaker. Most of the time, one of these speakers could be a graduate student who is giving his or her first talk. We should be a little bit more courteous to them.
  • after “hopping” into a session, do not “hop” out right away. Again, please wait for the switch of the speakers.

These are some of my observations. But some other colleagues have agreed with me. Just wanted to share. Please share your comments and observations if you would like to add more to the “conference etiquette.”

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  1. Paul Rubin permalink

    Left to their own devices, session room doors will close loudly enough to distract the audience. Hoppers should take the extra one second required to guide the door to a gentle and quiet closure.

  2. Kathy Stecke permalink

    I totally agree with both Burcu and Paul’s comments. I practice exactly these behaviors. Cheers, Kathy