WebEx Event Production: Event Coordinator Guide

WebEx Event Production: Event Coordinator Guide

This document is an overview of tips, tricks and best practices for producing your in-person event with WebEx and is designed for the non-technical event coordinator.

 

Events (Webinar) or Meetings

There are a couple of factors that if required or desired, would necessitate the use of a WebEx Event.

  • You want to prevent people from ever turning on their camera
  • You want to use the Q&A feature

 

In general, WebEx Events are better for situations where you want to have limited attendee participation – where you are presenting to an audience and they will not be interacting.  WebEx Meetings are really designed for attendees to interact with each other and the hosts.

 

WebEx Meetings and Events Licenses

All Duke users with active Duke NetIDs have access to WebEx Meetings and Events which both support up to 1000 attendees at no cost.  WebEx Events can be increased up to 3000 at an additional cost.  If you don’t have a WebEx account, you can go to webex.duke.edu and click on the Request Account Link.  If you are missing the Events feature, email help@duke.edu.  

 

Security

You will need to determine the desired level of security and what is technically available for your event.

  • Require WebEx account on this site – this will limit attendees to only those with a Duke associated WebEx account. For Events, you can invite panelists that do not have a Duke NetID but you can’t do this in Meetings.
  • Manual Registration – The host can approve every attendee so no one will be admitted unless they are registered.
  • Password – at a minimum, we recommend that all meetings use a unique meeting ID (not someone’s personal meeting room) and have a password. That password will be encrypted in the URL you share with your attendees but it prevents someone from just guessing your Meeting ID and joining your meeting with intent to disrupt.

 

Role Definition

As with any event, there are roles that need to be established for certain participants in your meeting. It’s important to make sure everyone knows how to execute their role both practically and technically. Depending of the size and scope of your event, one person may do multiple roles. The WebEx assignment is listed in parenthesis.  

  • Technical Host (Host) – There is only one host per meeting/event. This is generally the person that creates the meeting or event and is more technical in nature than the actual “host” of the event.  They have the ability to “promote” people to co-hosts (Meetings) or panelists (Events)
  • Production Host(s) (Co-Host:Meetings & Co-Host/Panelist:Events) – this is the on camera host of the event and will handle the open and close of the event as well as the introduction of segments in the event. There can be multiple production hosts
  • Moderator (Co-Host:Meeting & Co-Host/Panelist:Events) – this person is responsible keeping the production on time by communicating with the host(s) as well as selecting questions from the chat or Q&A to the through “back channel” communication (which will be discussed later in this document)
  • Presenter (Co-Host:Meeting & Co-Host/Panelist:Events) – these are people that will be presenting either through audio and video and/or screen sharing for your event.
  • Security (Co-Host: Meeting & Co-Host/Panelist:Events): For some types of events, it is important to have someone monitoring the video and chat to make sure no one is posting inappropriate content and if they are, remove them from the meeting
  • Technical Support: (Co-Host: Meeting & Co-Host/Panelist:Events) – this is a contact that technical questions from attendees or others can be directed
  • Captioner: (Assign To Make Closed Caption) – if your event will be live captioned, you will need to assign that person to make closed captions once they join your event.  For more information visit https://help.webex.com/en-us/WBX47352/How-Do-I-Enable-Closed-Captions

 

Invitations (Events Only)

Your technical producer will create a shared document with a list and URL for panelists (Events only) and a URL for attendees.

 

 

Pre-Recorded Content

The success of playing back videos through screen share is highly dependent on the network speed of the person sharing the content. Once we are back on campus, this should not be an issue, but if you are hosting the event from home, we recommend using a wired ethernet connection for the person doing the video sharing. OIT set up a remote controlled computer on the Duke campus which served very well in this capacity.

 

Examples of pre-recorded content you might want to consider producing for your event:

  • Welcome Screen – this video produced with a music background will allow attendees to join the meeting before their start time and will be able to test their audio reception. We’ve included a “countdown” timer to these videos, usually 15 minutes, to help everyone see when the event will begin. This video can also be used to show the agenda for the day, or provide information to attendees (like if you will be using break out rooms or if you want them to keep their microphones muted, etc)
  • Breaks – Having a “countdown video” for breaks also helps attendees know how long they have before the event starts again and provides an opportunity to communicate to the attendees, maybe sponsor thank yous, etc
  • Hard To Schedule Presenters – if you have a high profile presenter who doesn’t have time to attend your event in person, they can pre-record comments that can be played during your event

 

Pre-Production & Practice

For any events that have multiple speakers or a mix of pre-recorded and live segments, creating an agenda (like the sample attached) will help find problems before production day. Setting up as many run throughs as possible with all active members of the production team will also help ensure your live event goes well.

 

An important part of the agenda is the designation of “Live” vs. “Recorded” content. This uses a pivot table on another tab to help you create a list of recorded media that you’ll need for the event. This is very useful to be sure you have everything before the day of show.

 

Back Channel Communications

It’s important to set up a method for all the production people to speak during your event. Using the WebEx chat does not work well because all the chatting appears in one Window. We’ve had great success setting up a Team chat in Microsoft Teams. This does require all people to have a Duke NetID. If that is not possible, then using phone texting would be an alternate method of discussion.

 

Presenters

Presenters will always be the wild card as sometimes they cannot make pre-production run throughs and so you may not be able to check things like the quality of their internet connection, their lighting and their audio quality. Be prepared during the event if they start having connectivity issues to first try turning off their video. This make it easier on their connection. There are tips for them in the attached “Guide to Presenting” as well.

 

Recording

WebEx provides two different ways to record your event. However, we recommend the cloud recording option which will provide an MP4 file. Cloud recording makes it easier to immediately publish your event but it will have to be downloaded before edits could be made.

 

While cloud recording can be configured in your personal WebEx settings to record different files for active speaker view, gallery view and shared screen.

 

It’s important to remember that chats are saved with the recording but are not included with the downloaded MP4 file so if you want to save the chat you must do that manually in the WebEx client before ending the meeting/event.

 

Streaming

WebEx offers direct integration with Facebook Live, YouTube and 3rd parties. If you have a large number of attendees that only wish to watch the event but not participate, this is an easy way to reach them. The URL can be pre-created and can be made public or “unlisted” which means people searching on YouTube will not be able to find the event – they will need the URL

 

Captioning

Live captioning is highly recommended and will be required if your event will be publicly streaming or if any of your attendee’s request accommodations. Please contact Duke’s Office of Disability Services for more information on captioning. Captioning can take a week or more to arrange so it’s important to decide before your meeting if you will be captioning. Including a line such as, “If you require closed captions to access the material in our event, please let us know by xx date by emailing…” Or include it on your form.

 

If you plan on releasing a recording of your event, it will also need captioning if it is public.

Article Number: KB0033192