Quick ‘How-to’ Guide for Online Events

This quick guide summarises useful platforms and offers gudielines for online accessibility and safety, and hints for managing common technical glitches.

If you would like more detailed help, check out the Detailed Guidelines, and if you are planning a YIWW event and are new to this, email us and we’ll do our best to help.

Examples of online platforms you could use

Zoom

To use Zoom for an event of more than 40 minutes you need to subscribe. This can be quite pricey, but if you or your organisation already have a subscription for Zoom this can be a great platform for panel discussions, workshops, talks, poetry recitals etc. One big advantage is that attendees do not have to have a Zoom account to take part. It is easy to integrate your event with Eventbrite ticketing to ensure the event is only attended by interested participants. It’s great for sharing content and organising ‘break-out’ rooms should your event require it. You can also moderate the session ensuring it remains a safe space for all. YIWW can usually offer advice and support for Zoom meetings if this platform in new to you.

Google Meet

Similar to the above, this platform also works well for workshops, discussions, talks and recitals. Anyone with a Google Account (which can be set up for free) can create an online meeting with up to 100 participants and meet for up to 60 minutes per meeting. If you have an advanced account, you can invite up to 250 people and live-stream your session. There is also no time limit.

Websites/blogs

You may already have a website or blog for your event but if you don’t there are many websites which can help you set one up (for free) such as WordPress and Wix. You can play around with themes and domain names to help create a website/blog unique to your event. Try to think about what you want to convey to your intended audience. For example, if you want to use your web space for an art exhibition make sure the images you upload are of high quality and think about the impact it will have on your audience. You can also embed links to other media associated with your event i.e. through YouTube, Twitter and so on.

YouTube

If you don’t have a YouTube account you can create one via a Google account (free), which will allow you to upload and stream media related to your event. You can also control your privacy settings and share links with other media you are using for your event. YIWW have a YouTube account which you may use to upload a vid of your event; or if you send a link to your own YouTube site we will add it to the YIWW archives,

Eventbrite/Ticket Tailor

Eventbrite and Ticket Tailor are handy tools for keeping track of ticketing and registration for your event, especially if it is happening in ‘real-time’ i.e. a panel discussion, workshop, etc. You can also use it in conjunction with Zoom, Facebook and Instagram – more details are available on our website (see above). Please note both Eventbrite and Ticket Tailor are not accessible for screen readers and therefore we would advise organisers to also provide an email address for persons affected who want to attend the event. 

Ultimately, your event could use a combination of media platforms – it is important you can control the media you share and that you are happy using the platforms you choose.

Making your events accessible

Please make every effort to make your event as accessible as possible.

  • Think about the timing and date of your event; does it coincide with possible caring responsibilities/work commitments of your potential audience?
  • Think about language barriers and consider creating/using translated material and/or a translator. Perhaps your event will be produced in a language other than English. For those wanting to incorporate British Sign Language we have a list of BSL interpreters who would be happy to discuss your requirements – payment can be discussed directly with the interpreter. We want to have a wide range of events which are available to many people so please do think about language requirements and please do not feel your event has to be conducted in English.
  • Make sure the language you use, whether oral or written, is inclusive and free-from technical jargon (unless this is integral to the event).
  • Where relevant, try to use large, clear fonts. Sans serif fonts such as Arial are ideal.
  • Try to use high colour contrasts in your visual resources.
  • Try to incorporate closed/live captioning (sometimes known as sub titles) and visual descriptions for videos and live-streams where possible. We have details on how to book a Speech to Text Reporter so please do contact us if you are interested. Please note this would involve an hourly fee.

Being prepared for technical issues

There is always a risk your online event will run into technical issues but to minimise this risk it is worth checking the following before the event:

  • That your content (i.e. websites/blogs/zoom links) can be accessed by your audience and that all your links work.
  • That your internet connection is stable and that you are confident running/moderating your online event. Make sure your microphone, speakers and video work where necessary. It is always helpful to do a test run!
  • Prepare back-up visuals and other material where relevant.
  • Make sure your background is clear and there are no unwelcome distractions.

Feel free to be as creative as you want with your event but make sure you are also comfortable hosting using your selected platform. All events carry an element of risk but by incorporating ticketing and registration, as well as being in control of the media you share, this risk should be minimal.

Produced by York International Women’s Week co-ordinating group

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