Virtual, Hybrid, and Live Stream Events

Many events have transitioned to a virtual or hybrid format to meet our audiences where they're at. Live streaming has changed the game by bringing the biggest live events to your screen. Each type of event comes with a different set of considerations to be engaging and successful for everyone involved.

Answer the questions below to help streamline your event planning

  • How many guests do you plan to have: 2-30, 30-100, or 100+?
  • Will a large portion of them be in person or mainly online? Is this an office or classroom meeting, an informative lecture, or a large-scale event?
  • How much would you like the audience to interact with the presenter or speaker? Would you like your audience to be able to ask questions or make comments during the event?

Follow the chart below to see how answering these questions can lead you to choose the event type best fit for you!


  • 100% virtual; all participants and presenters are online.
  • All guests are in separate locations from the main presenter.
  • The audience can communicate via the internal chat function or a webcam.


  • Online and in-person participants.
  • A large portion of the audience is in person, with a smaller group joining online.
  • The audience can communicate via online chat, webcam, or in person with the presenter.

Live Stream

  • Used to share large-scale, high-level, live events with a large audience.
  • Little to no interaction between the speaker or presenter and the audience.

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Online Event

Georgia Tech's Office of Information Technology (OIT) has collaborations with Microsoft Teams, and Zoom as virtual event/meetings tools. Sign in using your Georgia Tech login to access these products. 

For smaller events or meetings

If you need to host a small meeting of 2-30 people or less, any of these options will work. All products allow you to schedule your meeting in advance or jump into a meeting using Chat (Teams & Zoom).  Hosts and attendees can connect via a web browser, mobile app, or desktop application. 

For larger events or meetings

We recommend using Zoom or Microsoft Teams Live Event if you have a larger event with only a few presenters. Both products offer additional settings, such as Q&A abilities and designating multiple moderators. OIT is available to schedule a dry run of your event five business days in advance. 

We recommend Zoom for primarily external events and Microsoft Teams for primarily internal events.

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

Zoom has an entire learning center dedicated to helping you put on a successful virtual or hybrid event. 

Virtual Event backgrounds and one-page guides can be found on the SEP Templates and Forms page. 

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.

Review our quick guide for live streaming events

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.