Hosting a Virtual Event

Public health guidelines recommend events change to virtual participation. Georgia Tech offers mutliple services to provide these options to your guests.

Communicating with Guests

The most recent Institute information can always be found at Stamps Health Services. Interim guidance for event planners is available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. Below is language you can use when communicating changes with your guests.

Spring semester events

Georgia Tech is committed to the safety of our community. All Georgia Tech sponsored events through the end of Spring semester, including Athletics events, are moving to a virtual format, postponed, or cancelled. 

The Office of Special Events is available to review or draft any language if your event is cancelled or postponed. View suggested language.

If you need to communicate a change in your event status

Let your guests know as soon as possible if you elect to move to a virtual event, reschedule, or cancel. Planners should email their attending guests, update their event webpage, edit their campus calendar entry, and note the change in their space reseravation. Be sure to include in your communication what you anticipate will be your most frequently asked questions.

Contact

Contact the Special Events team at events@comm.gatech.edu if you have questions about your event. 

Upcoming Virtual Event Webinars

Check out these webinars from the events industry

How Event Profs Preserve Mental Health
March 31, 2020
Register here

Hosting a Virtual Meeting

Georgia Tech's Office of Information Technology (OIT) has collaborations with WebEx and BlueJeans as virtual meetings tools. Sign in using your Georgia Tech login to access these products.

 
For smaller meetings

If you need to host a small meeting, either of these options would work. Both products allow you to schedule your meeting in advance or jump into a meeting using either your Personal Room (WebEx) or My Meeting (BlueJeans).  Hosts and attendees can connect via a web browser, mobile app, or desktop application. 

For larger meetings

We recommend using BlueJeans Events if you have a larger event with only a few presenters. BlueJeans offers additional settings such as disabling audience microphones and designating multiple moderators. OIT is available to schedule a dry-run of your event five business days in advance. 

Training and Support Resources

OIT partnered with ECN to host a BlueJeans Events training session. View the recording on how to host a BlueJeans event or read our FAQ created from your questions during the event.

BlueJeans has a PDF event checklist for your virtual event and has video tutorials about their product.

Office of Information Technology is available to provide support for virtual or live streaming events through live chat, phone, or help requests. View all the ways you can contact OIT. For events taking place in classrooms, you can request assistance or A/V training.

Professional Resources

Vendors are available to offer streaming solutions for more complex events. 

Active Productions and Design, 404.633.3527
Atlanta Media Services, 770.419.7678
Atlanta Pro A/V, 404.835.2230

OnServices, 770.457.0966
PSAV, 866.719.8271

Best Practices

As we move to virtual, it's important to keep these best practices in mind.

  • Update your event in EMS and Mercury. In EMS, add 'Virtual' to your title. In Mercury, add information in your description on where attendees can find the link to join. 
  • Have a team member who is not presenting dedicated to moderating your chat and audiene Q&A.
  • Provide multiple ways for your audience to interact like live polling and chat. 
  • Encourage participants to keep their cameras on for smaller events to stay engaged.
  • Accessibility still matters. Make sure your materials are accessible to those with screenreaders and caption options are available. The Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation has made a best practice guide for classrooms that can also apply to events.
 

Caption Services

Closed caption is the best practice for online events. 

Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI) 
Alternative Communication Services (ACS)
AI Media

Filming Tips

Before you hit record, review these tips from Institute Communications for self-filming.

  • Make sure there’s enough light: Brighter is better! If the image looks blotchy or degraded, you’re probably not in enough light. Filming in an area with sufficient light makes the film look professional and pleasant to watch.
  • Film in front of a relatively plain background: A plain colored wall will work well. Try not to record in front of anything more complicated than a bookcase. A messy, cluttered, or visually overstuffed background will distract the eye.
  • Mind the camera’s position: Record from the chest-up. Make sure your entire head is in the frame, and look straight or nearly straight into the camera. For best results, film with your device in 16:9 ratio. If you’re recording on a phone, hold it horizontally, not straight up and down.
  • Avoid camera jostling: Ask someone to film you, use your phone mount, or lean your phone against a stack of books. It’s fine to record selfie style, with your arm extended and the camera pointed towards your face, as long as you don’t move your arm too much.
  • Show your spirit:  Whether it's school colors or your favorite Buzz t-shirt, video is one more chance to show school pride. 
  • Be sure to smile: Bring positive energy into your statements. Smiling before speaking always puts people in a better mood and comes off on camera as open and friendly.

External Vendor Contracts

Contact the legal team for any questions regarding cancellation or rescheduling fees in your contract. Be sure to include a copy of your contract in your email. We recommend calling your vendor first to see if they have made any policy changes. 

Campus Resouces

Departments across campus are ready to assist with planners with any event modifications.

Georgia Tech Catering is working with clients to provide flexible solutions. Contact Danielle Ismirle and Jocqueline Wilson if you need to reduce your count or change your order status. The team will work with your event to provide with a new deadline for your order as planners assess their event attendance.

Georgia Tech Catering offers enhanced health protocols such as attendants to serve buffet items or prepacking your meals.  Call the team at 404.385.3609 to learn about your available options to find the best solution for your event.