Virtual Events

Many events have transitioned to a hybrid or virtual format to meet our audiences where they're at. Virtual events come with a different set of considerations to be engaging and successful for everyone involved.

Hosting a Virtual Meeting

Georgia Tech's Office of Information Technology (OIT) has collaborations with Microsoft TeamsWebEx 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, any of these options would work. All products allow you to schedule your meeting in advance or jump into a meeting using Chat (Teams), a 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 or Microsoft Teams Live Event if you have a larger event with only a few presenters. Both products 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.

Microsoft Teams also has video tutorials on hosting an event and recommended roles for each team member. 

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.

Communicating with Guests

The most recent Institute information can always be found at Stamps Health Services

Fall Semester events

Campus event spaces will operate with reduced occupancy and physical distancing practices. All campus visitors and attendees at campus events will be expected to follow Georgia Tech’s health and safety guidelines. View our semester guidelines.

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 reservation. Be sure to include in your communication what you anticipate will be your most frequently asked questions.

Best Practices

If you host a hybrid or virtual meeting, 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 audience 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.
  • More on virtual meetings best practices can be found on the Georgia Tech Professional Education website

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.

Guidelines for Payment or Reimbursement of Meals for Virtual Events

Faculty, staff, students and other attendees who are virtual should have access to meals at their remote location. Thus, meal delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc. should not be used to deliver meals to individuals or to provide gift cards or promotional codes to allow individuals to order meals. The intent of existing policies is to pay for or reimburse for meals that would allow work, a meeting or an event to continue when food is not readily available.