Open Source Summit North America

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Moderator Guide


Thank you for moderating an in-person breakout session at OSS North America! 

This is the official event moderator guide for breakout sessions. Please bookmark this page for easy reference and check back before the event for the most up-to-date information. If you have any additional questions not covered by this moderator guide, please email us at or reach out to Jillian Hall at 774-287-1833.

Important Contacts

  • For any issues with streaming or tech assistance, please first connect with the AV Tech in the room.
  • If you need assistance with any speaker and/or technical issues, please reach out to Jillian Hall via text at 774-287-1833. This is THE fastest way to communicate any issues you are having.


  • You can find your assignments on the Staffing Schedule
  • Familiarize yourself with the space and where everything is located. 
  • Meet in the Staff Office (306) daily at 10:00 AM to meet with Shannon and get room assignments. 
  • You will be assigned to one track/room for the whole day, for the most up-to-date timing, please make sure you are checking Sched.

Leading Up to the Session

  • Arrive to the session room at least 10-minutes prior to the start of your shift. Introduce yourself to the AV tech/team.
  • Log into Accel and navigate to the session you are moderating
  • Ensure the speaker arrives in the room before the session begins.
    1. If the speaker is not in the room 5-minutes before their session is set to begin, please try calling them (information is here) or text Jillian Hall at 774-287-1833.
  • Introduce yourself when the speaker arrives and let them know you will be there to assist with questions from the virtual platform, mic running and overall room monitoring
    1. Remind the speaker that when they answer Q+A in the room, they will need to repeat the question before answering so the virtual audience can follow.
  • Ensure that the session starts on time.
  • Maintain the integrity of the session (i.e. sponsors should not be passing out anything to attendees nor scanning badges, sessions should not be an advertorial, etc.)

During the Session

  • Monitor the room by doing the following:
    •  Ensure attendees keep their masks on
    •  Monitor chat comments and Q+A in the virtual session during the talk
    • Take a room count and put the number on the sheet provided to you by Shannon
  • Manage mic-running for the audience. And remember to sanitize between questions.
  • Ask the speaker 1-2 questions from the virtual audience.

After the Session

  • Ensure that the session ends on time. Use your countdown timer if needed.
  • Ask attendees and speakers to continue their conversations in the hall when the session has reached its end time if there are lingering conversations.
  • NOTE: There are also topic-based chat rooms in Accel

Virtual Sessions

While the number of virtual sessions are fewer, each track will still have some and they will be shown in the room for any attendees interested in viewing them. For these sessions, please do the following:

  • Arrive in the session room at least 10-minutes prior to the start of your shift. Introduce yourself to the AV tech/team.
  • Log in to the event platform as if you were an attendee.  With your credentials, you will have additional features you will be able to see that are different from the attendee view. 
  • Once logged in, search for your session in the search bar of the agenda. Then hit JOIN.  Buttons change from “Register” to “JOIN” 15 mins before sessions start.
    1. You do not need to worry about the video, AVS will have that and will play it from their machines
  • Find the speaker by clicking “BACKSTAGE” in the session and double-click on their name to send them a direct message.  
  • Expand your chat window so you can see their direct messages while toggling between that and the chat and Q&A. They will have a green dot if they are online though you can still message them without them being online.
  • Once the speaker arrives, please use the applicable script below to introduce yourself
  • Note, if you have a multi-speaker session you will have to send each speaker a message, group messaging isn’t an option in sessions.
    1. Hi! I’m [Insert First & Last Name] with the Linux Foundation Event Team. It’s nice to meet you and thank you for speaking at our event. I’m here to make sure you have everything you need for your session and to monitor the Q&A and chat for any Code of Conduct issues. We’ll be sending a message to participants at the beginning of the session to let them know you’ll be online and able to answer questions that come into the Q&A window while the session is playing. 
    2. As a quick reminder that I’m sure you are already well aware of, speakers also need to abide by the Event Code of Conduct so please be sure to not use swear words, use gender neutral pronouns instead of guys or men, and just generally be welcoming to all attendees – sound good? 
    3. You can reach me here via the chat.  I suggest having your chat window expanded so you can see the direct messages window easily as you’ll have to jump between this and the Q&A window where you can type answers to questions that are submitted. You will need to click “CHAT” in order to toggle back to the chat window. 
    4. OPENING MESSAGE FOR SESSIONS: You will need to drop the following message(s) in the chat window to be sent to all viewers (you can add this at any time before the session): “Thank you for attending this session. The speaker is online and available to take questions via the Q&A tab at the top right of your screen while the session is playing.
    5. CLOSING MESSAGE FOR SESSIONS: Send the following message in the session chat at the end of the session: “Thank you for joining. To see what session you are interested in joining next, please navigate back to the sessions page. 
  • Watch the Q&A. If any Code of Conduct violations occur:
    • Screenshot the offense
    • Mark the comment as “low priority” and “ignore” so the speaker does not have to see the message
    • Please send this screenshot to Angela Brown, Tricia Barker and Jillian Hall
  • Listen to the session. If any Code of Conduction violations occurs:
    • Write down the information you hear
    • Please send this to Angela Brown, Tricia Barker and Jillian Hall

During the Virtual Session

In addition to the above, please also monitor the room by doing the following:

  • Ensure attendees keep their masks on
  • Take a room count and put the number on the sheet provided to you from Shannon
  • As long as you are comfortable, you can allow attendees to type questions into the platform should they have any.