Knowledgebase: Online Events
Online Events - Getting Started
Updated: 18 September 2020 10:21 AM

OCAD U IT Services is here to be your technology partner. Our staff are available to support you and work with you to ensure a successful event. A successful event starts with a good plan. As the host of your meeting or event there are a few things you will want to be familiar with.

IT Services supports Live Events and Meetings in Microsoft Teams and we maintain limited legacy support of Zoom. Online events include large meetings like Senate and Board of Governors, webinars, info sessions and live streams. Support is provided remotely and available from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

To get started, please tell us about your event by filling out the Special Event Support Form. Login on the left hand side of the screen, click on Submit a ticket and select Special Event Support Form. This is the best way to capture important details about your event and provides a great starting point for a discussion.  

Creating an Event Plan

Agenda

When hosting a meeting having an agenda is always a good starting point. Events with many participants are better served with a detailed schedule and clearly defined roles and responsibilities to craft a successful online experience.

An online event can be either formal (structured) like a webinar presentation where communication is only from the host or speaker.  Or informal, where attendees can fully participant (present, share audio and video).

  • Create an agenda for your online event. Schedule the topics to be discussed and the people who are speaking. 
  • Consider a brief pre-meeting of speakers and support staff. Confirm the topics to be discussed, people's roles and that the technology is behaving as expected.

People

A large event requires more people than a single presenter. When planning an event consider all of the people you might need and what they need to do.

  • Hosts and speakers: Are the host and speakers aware of the event content and how they are contributing? Are they familiar with the required technology? Remind hosts and speakers to mute notifications on their devices so that attendees don't see personal information like email and chat notifications. 
  • Support personnel:  Do you require people to moderate the chat and answer questions? Are the moderators aware of the content and how they can assist? Do you need someone to record the event? Do you require technical staff on hand to answer questions in the chat?
  • Interpreters: Do you require an ASL or language translator? 
  • Attendees: Events with more than 250 attendees will require special consideration. Consult with IT regarding events this large.

Technology

IT Services supports Microsoft Teams and we maintain limited legacy support for Zoom. Both Teams and Zoom require a computer or mobile device with a webcam and microphone. 

  • Microsoft Teams: Teams is fully integrated with Microsoft 365 which makes it easy to schedule sessions and collaborate with Students, Faculty, Staff and external guests. Participants do not need to have an OCADUid to join or share. A Teams meeting offers screen sharing by a presenter, and an accompanying chat window for text conversations. A Teams meeting supports up to 250 participants. Teams Live Events supports events with up to 10,000 participants and offers different roles and experiences for participants. Producers schedule and manage events, Presenters present and Attendees view. There is Q&A and chat functionality.  
  • Zoom: Zoom is a platform that enjoys wide popularity but it is not currently integrated with OCAD U systems. If you plan to share meeting notes or recordings, you will need to manually share them by uploading the recording from your computer to an OCAD U supported platform like Canvas or Sharepoint. The cost of hosting a Zoom Webinar (similar to Teams Live Event) can be prohibitive.
  • PowerPoint: PowerPoint is frequently used as a presentation tool. Make sure hosts and speakers have their files prepared and that they are familiar with how to share their screen. 
  • Other Applications: Presenters can show whichever software they wish but it is recommended to close applications that are not required during the presentation. For example, if your presentation doesn't require Photoshop, close it so that the computer has more resources.

We encourage the use of Teams. Teams is a part of the Microsoft 365 suite and is integrated with other Microsoft tools like Outlook, OneDrive, Sharepoint, OneNote and Planner.

  • Confirm the host(s) and speakers have a reliable high-speed Internet connection. The minimum speed (download and upload) for video conferencing is 2-6Mbps. The Government of Canada considers high speed internet to be 50Mbps down and 10Mbps up. Internet speed can be tested at Speedtest.net.
  • Confirm that the host(s) and speakers have the appropriate software installed and that it is operational. Use the desktop applications (not the web browser versions) for your video conferencing. Here are the download links for Teams and Zoom.
  • Recording - Both Teams and Zoom are able to record meetings. Note: Teams requires captions to be turned on prior to starting the recording.
  • Sharing event recording  - Videos can be uploaded to Knowmia and shared with a link. Knowmia videos can also be embedded in the web page of your choice.

Accessibility

Consider the accessibility needs of your audience. Both Teams and Zoom have accessibility features: Accessibility Support for Teams, Accessibility Features for Zoom.

  • Closed Captioning: Teams has built-in Live Captioning and it works well.
  • ASL interpreter: Explain to the users how to pin the ASL interpreter in Teams or Zoom so they can always see them. 

Privacy and Confidentiality

Please refer to the Guidelines for Online Meeting Recordings.

Other Planning Considerations

  • Outside regular hours: If the event is outside of working hours plan for the additional cost of staffing.  
  • Additional charges: Sometimes the technology carries additional charges for certain features. For instance, if Zoom telephony (attendees can phone-in) is utilized, there is an associated cost.

Example Plan

You can see an example plan here: Online Events: Example Plan.