Online event resources

Hosting events online

Tips for moving your UMSU event online.

Some types of in-person events can work just as well virtually- if not better in some cases- especially when stuck in isolation.

To host an event online, you will want to decide which digital format will work best for your event. For example, you can use a webinar if you have content or slides you want to share with your attendees, or a livestream for events with a larger audience.

We advise that any online events are scheduled to NOT start on the hour (e.g., 1:10pm, 1:15pm, etc) to avoid the server jam that occurs as the majority meetings will be starting on the hour (1pm).

Look on the bright side of online events, not only are you able to salvage your event in the face of external measures, there are direct benefits to your new online format.  Providing a quality experience is possible in any format.  Open up your event to more people making it very accessible and low risk.

Choose the right technology in line with what you have available, consider the technology that your audience may have also.


Choosing the Right Platform for Your Online Event

Zoom allows you to do the following:

  • Integrate with Facebook and YouTube platforms
  • Solve for interactivity with live chat features and Q&A polling.
  • Include virtual hand-raising and track how interested your audience is with your content.

Use for everything from webinars, collectives and workshops to trivia, yoga and meditation classes!

Zoom privacy and security

You should select Schedule to create a meeting. Although the New Meeting button will also let you create a new meeting as well this is only a quick start option with basic default settings, choosing the schedule meeting gives you more control over the meeting security settings

You will then be taken to the Schedule Meeting dialog b


These are the fields you need to complete and steps to ensure privacy and safety within your zoom meeting:

  • Topic: Enter a topic or name for your meeting.
  • Start: Select a date and time for your meeting. You can start your meeting at any time before the scheduled time.
  • Duration: Choose the approximate duration of the meeting. This is only for scheduling purposes. The meeting will not end after this length of time.
  • Time Zone: By default, Zoom will use your computer’s time zone. Click the drop-down menu to select a different time zone.
  • Video
    • Host: Choose if you would like the host video on or off when joining the meeting. Even if you choose off, the host will have the option to start their video.
    • Participant: Choose if you would like the participants’ videos on or off when joining the meeting. Even if you turn off, the participants will have the option to start their video.
  • Meeting ID: Choose “Generate Automatically” This will generate a new meeting ID that is generated randomly which improves security. Choosing your personal meeting id is like putting your personal phone number or email address in the public domain and should be avoided to protect your privacy as it can be captured and used by uninvited third parties to crash your meetings.
  • Password: Make sure this is checked. You should be supplied a randomly generated password to give out to your attendees or you have the option to set your own.
  • Advanced Options
  • Check Enable Waiting Room and Mute Participants on entry. A waiting room is a security feature that lets the host screen the people who have joined the meeting in a separate holding area until they can be verified. This will allow you to filter out any uninvited guests
  • Alternative hosts: Enter the email address of another Zoom user who is Licensed, on your account to allow them to start the meeting in your absence.


Live is the best way to connect with viewers in real time on their phones, computers, and in their living rooms through the Facebook
Watch TV app
. Live videos on Facebook can be viewed by anyone, whether they have a Facebook account or not. If you’d like to display a feature a performer, story teller or instructor — a video streaming service like Facebook Live is a good place to start.
Livestream with Live control Room for Live Streaming on Youtube
Sofasessions: Join scheduled jam sessions or create
your own rehearsals. Play some cover songs, improvise over backing tracks or introduce the others to your own music.
Crowdpurr: lets you create customisable Live Crowd trivia for free.
While we may not be able to run Gigs, there is a place to create listening parties on Spotify
Take a free online improv comedy class and zoom a comedy show to your audience.
Online movie nights Netflix party
Twitch sessions

Event Accessibility

Australian network on disability event checklist:

Make the event accessible with captions, transcripts, subtitles, described video and more
The following services can help you, or someone you know, access information during an emergency. Communicate this with your audience
  • To access this information in other languages call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to call the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection hotline.
  • Translated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources are available here.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment contact National Relay Service on 1800 555 677 and ask them to call the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection hotline.

Production & equipment

Part of feeling like you’re there is having a seamless audio and visual experience. Here are a few checkpoints to make sure your audiences remains engaged:

  • Test your video and audio before your event: You’ll be able to fix any issues before they impact your guest experience
  • Use a good quality camera and headset: The camera on your computer will get the job done, but it’s important to remember your audience. People attend live events and gatherings for the rich, immersive experiences they offer. So invest in a quality camera and microphone to ensure your presence on their screens is sharp and clear.
  • Make sure your connection is solid: It’s a total bummer if spotty wifi means your live music set cuts out every 3 minutes. Quality is best on a solid wired internet connection, otherwise, just make sure you have serviceable Wi-Fi.

Presentation skills

Working with a live audience is quite a bit different from engaging digital guests. Consider tactics to make sure you keep their attention:

  • Look at the camera: This tactic will mimic the in-person feeling of eye contact. Gauge reactions by looking at the screen, but alternate by looking at the camera so the audience feels like you’re really talking to them.
  • Use engagement tools: When it’s appropriate incorporate screen share, annotate shared content, send out polls, and solicit feedback in chat.

Set privacy for your event

If you don’t want your online event to be searchable on sites like Google and Yahoo!, consider making it private.
You can even make the event invite only or password protected to add an additional layer of privacy or to be able to track attendance/logins.

Promoting your online event/s


Include words like free gig/webinar/workshop in your ev

ent title 

A clear title is great for accessibility and helps attendees find events.

Use the Event Description to provide detailed information 

• Be clear about when attendees will receive a link to join your event, what you’ll cover, and who’s speaking or presenting.

• If you expect attendees from multiple time zones, use the Event Description to clarify start and end times.

• Include information about any software and internet connection requirements to ensure a smooth viewing experience for attendees.

Event registration/tickets – Free or Paid

Providing a ticket is a good indicator to track attendance numbers, provide the attendee with all event information including passwords, slides, and means to connect with your audience/attendees pre and post the event.

Ticketing can also help build your list of contacts, as everyone needs to input their details in order to join online. And by recording the event you will have created a valuable piece of content that can be shared with attendees or offered as a gated asset on your website for other people to download.


As your event is taking place online, you should focus your marketing activities online too. Just make sure that every blog post, tweet and update includes a clear call to action to register for the event or purchase tickets online.

Add the event registration link to your homepage and email newsletters, or use the integration tool offered by a ticketing platform to sell tickets directly from your website or Facebook page. You should also use email marketing automation tools to send out a series of messages to your contact list with the aim of raising awareness and turning readers into attendees.

Online UMSU Events calendar

We have created a new Online Events calendar on the UMSU website, to showcase the various online events and initiatives that are running as these become introduced.

You can find the online-only events calendar currently live on the UMSU website under Get Involved > All Events Calendar.

How to add your event to the Online Events calendar

To publish your event on this calendar, follow the normal process for creating a new event, and then select ‘Online event’ from the Calendars toolbar on the right-hand side.