MEA Annual Meeting sessions are in a workshop format 1 hour, 45 minutes in length. In four-paper sessions this allows each presenter to have 15-18 minutes and each discussant 3-5 minutes. Each session has discussants assigned. Paper #1 is will be discussed by Discussant #1, etc. We recommend that papers be presented in order and discussants’ comments come after each paper. Any remaining time can be filled with general discussion of all papers. The MEA will furnish LCD projectors in all meeting rooms. Chairs will coordinate with everyone to use one laptop for the session. You will either need to send your presentation to the chair prior to the meeting, or bring slides on a jump drive.
Paper presenters: You are responsible for making sure that ALL participants in your session (the chair, all discussants, and all other paper presenters) receive a copy of your paper session before March 5. Discussants who receive a paper after March 5 will not be obligated to comment on the paper. The easiest way to do this is to reply all on the emails sent with contact information. This way when there are last-minute changes (and there will be!) everyone will already have all the papers. If you have your paper on the web and want it linked to the on-line MEA program, you can send that link to the MEA office at any time.
Session chairs: You will be responsible for seeing that paper presenters and discussants stay within their allotted time and for maintaining order during the session. It is vital that time limits be adhered to so that each presenter has an equal amount of time and that your session does not run overtime. It is helpful if you can scan each of the papers in your session so that you can pose questions or offer comments if the need arises. Please follow up with the authors to make sure their papers are distributed in a timely manner. And make sure someone brings a laptop to the session.
Discussants: Keep in mind that the main purpose of professional meetings is to exchange ideas and improve the quality of research. Accordingly, your aim should be to offer constructive criticism. Ideally, a discussant’s comments will briefly restate the goals, methods, and results of a paper, and then go on to describe the paper’s strengths and weaknesses. If you find the paper convincing, say so. If you find a paper less than convincing, indicate why and suggest approaches that could be taken to improve it.