Guide to Hosting and Attending Our Events Online

Table of Contents

Platform

For now, most of our online events will be held using Google Meet, so this guide is written with that in mind. We're sensitive to privacy and security issues with this platform and are actively reviewing alternatives, including building our own!

Safety

Anything you say or do in a online meeting – from video to audio to the chat – could be recorded without your consent by another attendee. Those recordings can then be shared with third parties who weren’t in the original meeting. This is a violation of our code of conduct and we will remind all attendees to refrain from this behavior, which we consider harassing.

We record workshops and classes from time to time. You will be informed of this prior to the event start.

To prevent uninvited guests and intrusions, we use waiting rooms for all events and meetings. Should an event be targeted and organizers unable to quickly remove intruders, our protocol is to end the meeting and start a new one. A fresh link will be emailed to all attendees right away.

Event Team

In addition to the host/presenter, each event has a designated captain.

The captain's role is to start, configure, and monitor the entire event from start to finish – ensuring all protocols for safety and security are followed, and setting the stage for a smooth and disruption-free event for all participants.

Depending on the number of attendees, events may also have an additional DMG volunteer to assist with responding to any issues such as disruptions and technical/logistical questions.

For Hosts

Before the event, establish:

  • Will attendees be participating or just observing/listening?
  • Can participants/attendees share their own screen and control their audio and video sharing?
  • How and when are questions asked and answered?

The captain should start the meeting 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow time for the volunteer, presenter and key participants to connect and ensure everything is configured correctly. Participants will be able to join as soon as the meeting has started; if the meeting isn't configured to use a Waiting Room, you can either put early participants On Hold or simply accept their presence and let them know that you'll be starting soon.

The captain or volunteer (co-host), should review the following settings before the event starts:

  • Mute attendees. To mute others, next to the person’s thumbnail, point to Volume and then Mute. It is currently not possible to mute all participants.
  • Decide on text chat channel. Depending on the event, you may want to ask that attendees chat in Slack instead.
  • Review screen-sharing options. Unfortunately, there is no feature to restrict presenters from sharing their screen in Google Meet at this time.

Once the event begins, the captain should set the expectations for the group, including:

  • Community guidelines – post a link to our code of conduct in the chat window or Slack.
  • Describe the format of the event and what features are enabled/disabled and why
  • Set out any ground rules and expectations for participation particular to the format of the event

The captain should remain in the meeting for the entirety of the event and should not be performing other roles, including facilitation, presentation or active participation. This allows them to focus on watching for and addressing safety, security and technical issues that may disrupt the event.

The captain should keep their main Meet window as large as possible, set to Tile view if there are 16 or fewer participants (for larger groups, install Google Meet Grid View – requires Chrome).

Keep the People tab open in the right-hand sidebar (to open it, click the people icon/"Show Everyone" in the top right corner) to ensure you can see who has joined the meeting. Microphone and video icons show who is muted and unmuted.

If you're using the Google Meet Chat, switch to it frequently to monitor for any inappropriate content or respond to questions or requests from participants, presenters and other safety team members.

For Attendees

Logistics

Please arrive a few minutes in advance of the start time so that we can start on time. Some sessions have a waiting room – you'll be granted access momentarily.

Audio

All events will start with all attendees set to mute to keep ambient sound down as the host begins the event. Depending on the format of the event, you may be able to unmute yourself to speak or ask a question at any time.

Video

You can join any event with your video turned off, or turn it off at any time during the event.

Name

Google Meet uses the logged-in user's name settings and this cannot be changed in the meeting. If attendees want to use a different name, or if it is imperative to have them set a custom display name and/or pronouns, they can join the meeting using an Incognito or private browser tab, or after logging out of their Google account.

Chat

Please join the Slack channel for the event for ongoing conversation, and feel free to use the built-in chat in the meeting tool for questions and introductions during the event.

Breakout Rooms

Some events will split up large groups for smaller conversations. The host should create and schedule these rooms as separate meetings ahead of time, and keep the links handy to share with participants.

The host may assign you to a breakout meeting via link, and ask everyone to return to the central meeting together once the breakout portion is done. The host will let everyone know the format of the breakout, but generally, do not feel obligated to chat with others in your group. Take it as a moment for a bio break if you need to!

Accessibility needs

We want to create a fully accessible space online for all of our community members. If you require captioning, sign-language interpretation, or another accommodation, please contact us a week before your class or event. We hope to eventually be able to offer captioning by default at all of our online workshops.

Last revised: June 6, 2020