Top Tips for Virtual Events

Top Tips for Virtual Events

Top Tips for Student Groups running Virtual Events this academic year

Posted 17th August 2020 at 12:02pm
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This year, more than ever, Student Groups are needed to combat isolation, help students find friends, and start making great memories!

Virtual events are not all bad. Running events online can make them physically accessible to attend, cost effective, environmentally friendly, and a way to reach out to those who are less comfortable attending live events.

However, they offer unique challenges and GKSU are here to support Student Groups in providing the best virtual university life possible.


Have a read of our Top Tips:

Have a clear aim and objective in mind for your online event.

Even if it is as simple as a virtual coffee morning to introduce yourself to members of a Student Group, this can help members know what to expect and bring along to the activity. Remember, some events are not practical to be carried out online. Be realistic with what you can organise.

Promote in advance.

If you are running an event in Welcome Fortnight, please let [email protected] know and we would be happy to put you in our official programme of events and up on our website. Ensuring plenty of notice can give members a chance to take a look if you are using a new platform for the event and maximise attendance!

Choose your platform wisely.

There are lots of different platforms that suit running different sorts of online events and we give a few examples at the end of this article. Every student also has access to Microsoft Teams software through their student account which allows video calling, presentations, and more. We are able to set up private teams for student groups using this software if you contact [email protected].

Know what your audience wants.

Engage with your members to work out what sort of virtual event might appeal to them. Encourage participation during events if you can with challenges and activities which can add variety to online events.

Prepare for technical challenges.

Test in advance, especially if you are using new platforms. Be aware that members might need help or be less comfortable using these than you. Have backup ways of asking questions and communicating with members in case of technical challenges.


Accessibility

Consider the accessibility of your online events. Those who are hard of hearing, visually impaired, or with sensory disabilities might encounter different difficulties to a live event. Members might have varying knowledge of technology and physical equipment for attending virtual events so try to take that into consideration when planning your platform.

Some accessibility tips:
  • Include screen breaks on any event agenda.
  • Don’t ask members to appear on camera if they do not feel comfortable doing so.
  • Ensure the audio is clear. Poor audio quality can make it difficult for members to hear and engage with the event. Speakers and leaders using a headset or apps like Krisp can help reduce the background noise. Also asking those not speaking to mute their mic can help.
  • You can provide closed captions/subtitles to display text on a screen or a visual display. (Zoom closed captions require a person to manually type what is being said but in Microsoft Teams they are automatically generated.) You could also provide written resources if you are delivering a lot of information to members virtually.
  • Remember members may not have used your chosen online platform before, so be patient, provide instructions and be kind!

Finally, a few activity ideas...

  1. Host a virtual coffee morning via Teams, Zoom, or similar!
  2. Set up a Netflix Party
  3. Run an online quiz via Kahoot
  4. Create a discord group to integrate spotify, gaming, and other activities
  5. Lead an online fitness or dance tutorials for people to do in their rooms
  6. Organise a remote cookery class, food challenge, or bake off
  7. Academic Societies could host a Webinar and invite collaborators from even further afield to share research
  8. Faith Groups might want to host a virtual gathering or prayer session
  9. Get your members to share their favourite Student Group memories or photos
  10. Start a Student Group blog