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Chairing a Meeting

Most meetings have a leader who conducts the meeting and makes sure it goes smoothly. Others in the meeting are usually observers who occasionally contribute to the meeting through conversation or presentations. In IBM(R) Lotus(R) Sametime(R), the leader of a meeting is known as the chair. The chair is responsible for conducting the meeting and sending information to the participants.

Although the chair is often the person who creates the meeting, you do not have to create the meeting to be the chair. You are the chair of a meeting when:

  • You create a scheduled meeting and do not specify another person as the chair on the People tab of the New Meeting page. (If you logged into Lotus Sametime before creating the meeting your name appears in the chair field by default when you create it.)
  • Someone else creates a scheduled meeting and specifies you as the Meeting chair on the People tab of the New Meeting page.
  • You start a breakout session during a meeting.
  • A previous chair makes you the chair by switching chairs. You can confirm that you are the new chair by:
    • Clicking the Welcome page to see your name as chair.
    • Clicking Meeting Information button in the toolbar to see your name as chair
    • Viewing your name at the top of the participants list, beside "Chair:"

As the chair, you are responsible for conducting the meeting (which includes making sure the meeting begins and ends on time and handling permissions) and sending information, such as Web pages and poll questions, to meeting participants.

Ensuring that a Meeting has a Chair

To ensure that a meeting has a chair:

  • The person who creates the meeting must log in to Lotus Sametime when creating the meeting.
  • The chair of the meeting must log in to Lotus Sametime when attending the meeting.

For example, if Etienne creates a meeting:

  1. Etienne must log in to Lotus Sametime before creating the meeting. He can then do one of the following:
    • Leave his own name in the chair field of the People tab of the New Meeting page. When he saves the meeting, he will be the chair for the meeting.
    • Choose someone else (such as his colleague Maria) as the chair for the meeting.
  2. Before attending the meeting, the chair must log in to Lotus Sametime so that he or she can conduct the meeting.
    • If Etienne chose Maria as the chair in step 1, Maria must log in to Lotus Sametime before attending the meeting.
    • If Etienne chose himself as the chair in step 1, he must log in to Lotus Sametime before attending the meeting.

If Etienne does not log in to Lotus Sametime when creating the meeting, or if the chair does not log in to Lotus Sametime before attending the meeting, the meeting will not have a chair. No one will be in charge of the meeting for example, no one will be able to send Web pages or poll questions to participants.

A meeting can also be left without a chair if the chair leaves the meeting. A meeting does not automatically end when the chair leaves. If only one person has chaired the meeting, the meeting continues without a chair if the chair leaves. In no one in the meeting has permission to present, participants are then unable to control many aspects of the meeting. To prevent this situation, the chair should always select another chair before leaving the meeting.

Tip If Maria is the chair of a meeting and plans to switch the chair to Bob after an hour has passed, Bob must log in to Lotus Sametime before attending the meeting.

Multiple Chairs

A meeting cannot have more than one chair at a time, but several people might become the chair during a meeting. See Switching the chair for more information. If more than one person has been the chair of a meeting:

  • The most recent chair is the only chair who can edit or delete the meeting when it is finished.
  • If everyone who has chaired the meeting leaves the meeting, the original chair and the most recent chair can automatically become the chair again if they rejoin the meeting.
  • If the current chair leaves the meeting, then the previous chair automatically becomes the chair again.

See the examples below for more information:

Example: Editing or Deleting a Finished Meeting

Bob creates a meeting and designates Etienne as the chair. During the meeting, Etienne switches the chair to Maria. When the meeting ends, Bob (as the meeting creator) and Maria (as the most recent chair) can edit or delete the meeting. Etienne (as the original chair) cannot edit or delete the finished meeting.

Example: Rejoining a Meeting

Charles is the original chair of a meeting. He switches the chair to Olga, who then switches the chair to Anna. Charles, Olga, and Anna all leave the meeting, and the meeting continues without a chair. Both Charles (the original chair) and Anna (the most recent chair) can automatically become the chair again if they rejoin the meeting. The first one to rejoin the meeting becomes the chair. Olga cannot automatically become the chair if she rejoins the meeting, because she is neither the original chair nor the most recent chair.

Example: Leaving a Meeting

Maria is the chair of a meeting. During the meeting, she switches the chair to Bob. Bob leaves the meeting without switching the chair. Maria automatically becomes the chair of the meeting when Bob leaves.

See also:

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