Planning Guide for Virtual Events

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UW Tacoma Conference Services has put together a small guide to assist you in planning the different aspects of your upcoming event.  If you have any questions, please reach out to one of our staff.  We can't wait to hear from you!

Determine Your Technology Needs

UW Tacoma IT Services features a host of resources to help you determine what platform and/or formate will be right for your meeting.  While UW Tacoma primarily uses Zoom for our virtual services, we understand that everyone has a preference (Zoom, Teams, WebEx, etc.).  If you would like some assitance in determining what would work best for your event, please reach out to a Conference Services staff member and we'll connect you with our media experts.

Adjust Zoom Settings & Controls to Protect Your Event

Careful consideration of Zoom settings is critical to a successful event.

Best Practice Tip: Understanding Zoom settings helps ensure a smooth-operating virtual event. Without the proper settings, your event could be compromised by a virtual protest or the sharing of inappropriate content by a rogue attendee. To learn more about protecting your Zoom experience, please reach out to us and we can put you in contact with one of our media experts.

Design Your Event

It can be helpful to approach the design of a virtual event in the same way you would a live event. Consider asking the following questions:

  • What is the purpose/goal of this event?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • How many attendees do you expect to join?
  • What will be the format and length of the event? (Best Practice Tip: Keep virtual events to no more than two hours and consider spreading longer events over multiple days.)
  • How long will single presentations last? Will you have a Q&A session afterward?
  • Are you considering a panel style discussion? Maybe based on pre-submitted questions?
  • Are you considering breakout sessions?
  • What does your event agenda look like?
  • How will you engage your virtual attendees?
  • Will you encourage audience participation through the numerous Zoom features?

Prepare Your Speakers

Gather and organize content for a presentation and compile them into slides. (Best Practice Tip: Consider including a welcome slide that will be posted for attendees that join before the presentation/event begins.)

Schedule a practice session with speakers and panelists to test software, applications, and Zoom settings and controls. Consider sharing questions that have been submitted by attendees in advance of the event to allow your presenters to prepare answers.

If your presenters are using their cameras, send them a friendly reminder that lighting goes a long way. Suggest that there is no light behind them to avoid washing out their image on camera.

Produce Your Event

A little preparation can go a long way. Key players should receive a briefing and agenda at least 24 hours in advance of the event. One the day of your event, consider having the host (the person responsible for the technical components of your event) sign in one hour before the meeting's start time to confirm the settings, controls, and the video/audio connection. Speakers, panelists, and co-hosts should connect at least 20 minutes prior to test their connection, find the best lighting and review the agenda.

Follow Up with Attendees

After the event has concluded, use Zoom to generate an attendee report and follow up to share recordings or resources that were discussed, conduct a survey to collect feedback from attendees that may help you plan future virtual events, and/or market your future events.