Running a Virtual Activity

There are a lot of common issues than can come up when running a virtual activity, and many of them are easily anticipated.

  1. Choose a platform.
    • If you’re not running an SCA business meeting, you can use whatever platform you’d like.
  2. Have a central place with session info
    • This will make it easier for participants, speakers, and you to find session details
    • Things to consider including:
      • speaker lists
      • duration time
      • link(s) to live stream
      • link to the platform
      • links to additional resources (slides, handouts, etc)
      • links to recording(s)
  3. Include platform instructions on your event page (calendar item, facebook group, facebook event, web page)
    • This helps new people and people who need a refresher
    • If you’re using multiple platforms, include instructions for each
  4. Send out reminders to attendees, support staff, and speakers the day before the activity
    • This can help mitigate low or late attendance
    • Common ways to make announcements include:
      • Website blog posts (recommended)
      • Automatic reminders configured via google calendar
      • Facebook event/group/page discussion posts
      • Email reminders
  5. Arrange to have a “Host” for your meeting
    • This is someone other than the speaker who can provide technical support
    • Their job is to keep an eye out for questions; help with technical issues, and moderate the session
  6. Decide how you want to handle questions
    • Solicit them in advance, answer live, or answer after the fact
    • Remember there can be 30s-1m delays in typed questions; allow time for people to think and type
  7. Decide if your class/activity will be live or pre-recorded
    • Live allows for more audience participation
    • Pre-recorded allows for speaker narration/pauses for comments
    • There are benefits to either
  8. Record your class, if you can
    • Recording a class allows for re-watch, replay, re-use for attendees or speakers
    • Knowing a class is recorded can also help cut down on “noise”
  9. Small things make a big difference. Things to consider doing:
    • Mute attendees on entry
    • Disable attendee screen share
    • Disable attendee recording
    • Disable attendee annotation
    • These will help reduce digital “clutter” and “noise” during your meeting; Hosts can help with this
  10. Decide if you want to do surveys
    • Can give you feedback on likes/dislikes, how discussions went, things to include next time
  11. Other considerations
    • Time Zones
    • Do your speakers need training/practice with the platform?
    • Do you want to have attendees share their background/experiences?
      • This could be as formal as requiring participants to fill out their Ansteorran Wiki Page
      • Could be ice-breaker chat questions
      • Could be an around the room with names
    • How will you react to unexpected delays, changes, or announcements?