Virtual Meeting & Event Resources

Tips for Successful Virtual Events

  • Keep it short: 20-30 minutes is ideal, no longer than 60 minutes as a general rule of thumb.
  • Online events should be free unless credit units are being offered.
  • Encourage your speakers to use compelling visuals and be engaging without audience feedback.
  • Maximize opportunities for engagement before, during and after your event (see below for examples of how to do this).
  • Many hosts have experienced increases in attendance as well as higher attrition rates for virtual events, especially free ones (as high as 50% compared to 30% for in-person gatherings)
  • Handling registration through the meeting platform you’re using ensures attendees automatically receive the connection information.
  • For recorded events, be sure to have your speakers complete a Media Release Form in advance of the presentation.
  • In Zoom, under Settings/Recordings, you can require participants to consent to being recorded upon entering the meeting or webinar:

  • You can also post a crowd release virtually on screen (“This session is being recorded. If you prefer your image not be captured, please discontinue using video. Thank you.”) and include messaging in your promotional materials.

More Resources:

Berkeley Events Network Virtual Events 101 Webinar

Toolkit for Holding Virtual Community Events created by the Berkeley Law Student Services team

The campus Compliance & Enterprise Risk Committee shared this Public Events/Mass Gathering Decision Making Framework to guide event planners through postponing, adapting and/or canceling events.

Virtual Event Scope Statement (Also found in the Google Docs UC Berkeley template folder)

Zoom Meeting Participant Instructions & Tips (Also found in the Google Docs UC Berkeley template folder)

Before the Event

  • Email reminders of upcoming sessions and encourage attendees to participate in discussion forums
  • Have attendees submit questions for the speaker when they sign up
  • Make it easy for presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees to market
  • Plan to record the session and send it to attendees as follow up

During the Event – Audience Interaction is Key!

  • Continually encourage attendees to use the chat function
  • Make sure every communication tool is constantly moderated
  • Polls are an easy and effective way for audience members to actively participate
  • Provide attendees with networking opportunities
    • Breakout rooms in Zoom

After the Event 

  • Follow-up with attendees to share the recorded event
  • Collect event feedback
  • Respond to questions that were unanswered during the live session

For Longer Events 

  • It may be helpful to hold virtual events over the course of a full month
    • By spacing out the learning over a longer period, there is a much greater chance that your attendees will have the opportunity to digest, review, reflect, and apply what they learn


  • Let attendees know how to:

    • ask questions
    • use the platform (mute/unmute, turn video on/off, etc.)
    • engage with other attendees
  • Remind attendees how to perform these actions throughout the event
  • Respond to questions that you’re able to and mark questions for the speaker to answer

Production Quality

  • Try to avoid attendees from experiencing dead air
  • Prepare your presenters

    • Strong visuals go a long way
    • Encourage speakers to be enthusiastic
    • Try to make eye contact with the camera
    • Presentations can be recorded in advance and played during the event while moderators answer questions live 
  • Budget accordingly for event quality (webcam or full studio)
    • ETS (Berkeley Audio Visual Services) offers a New Virtual Production Service Menu
    • The BAVS team offers support in the following areas:
      • Fulfillment coordination: setup, config, testing and operation
      • Accessibility (Captioning)
      • A/V IT Live Support Webinar License Fee, if applicable
      • Recording / Online Archive Publishing
      • Webcast equipment rental & remote direction
      • Project management & consultation
      • Virtual presenter coaching
    • If corporate sponsorships are appropriate/available, sponsors can provide bumper videos before and after content

10 Resources to Make Your Events More Inclusive

Tips for increasing access to online gatherings:

“If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) in order to fully participate in this event, please contact [name of Accessibility Coordinator for your event] at [contact information phone number and email] with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.”

  • Automatic captions do not meet caption quality or legal standards that apply to video captioning. Captions must relay the speaker’s exact words with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar with 99% accuracy. Captions may not be paraphrased and must honor the original tone and intent of the speaker. Sounds, music, and other environmental noises must also appear. If you need captioning that meets legal standards for students or other attendees with disabilities, you can reach out to  or CART Services, who use trained stenographers.
  • Please note: Captioning is required for any live or recorded event that is publicly accessible. Check out the Electronic Accessibility Committee’s (EAC) Zoom Tips and Tricks for Accessibility page for more info.
  • Captioning is required for: 
    • Any live event if a request is made for this service in advance
    • Any event live broadcast to the general public
  • Captioning is required for all recorded events posted online:
    • You can adjust your Zoom recording settings to create an editable transcript that can be played alongside the recording.
    • YouTube creates captions automatically that you can edit for accuracy.

Platforms to Connect Online

Zoom Tutorial: How to join and participate in a zoom meeting/training (5m 45s)

Zoom Video Conferencing Tutorial (Prezi) – UC Berkeley Developed

Above resources are from a list of Curated Tools Relevant to COVID-19 by Berkeley People & Culture.

For a basic guide on Zoom, click here.
By Berkeley Retirement Center, adapted from “How-To-Zoom Guide for OLLIans” developed by the UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

To view a list of technical roles and abilities on Zoom, click here.

For tips on conducting live sessions with Zoom and managing Zoom recordings, check out Berkeley Law’s COVID-19 Remote Teaching Resources.

To learn the differences between a Zoom webinar and a Zoom meeting, click here.

Zoom Breakout Rooms: For participants to show up in their preassigned breakout room, the user has to a) be preassigned to a room using the email address linked to their Zoom account and b) Log into their zoom account via the web portal or app to join the meeting.
Barbara Kavelot prepared the document above with further details about setting up breakout rooms and providing login instructions to your participants.

What is ZoomBombing? 

ZoomBombing is when Zoom meetings are disrupted by inappropriate or malicious messages, imagery or actions. ZoomBombing has reportedly occurred at multiple university classes and meetings.

Tips for Preventing ZoomBombing

  • Adjust your settings:
    • Set “Who can share?” under “Screen Sharing” to “Host Only.” This setting is only accessible through the downloaded Zoom client. It is not available when scheduling a meeting on the web interface.
    • Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin,” “In-Meeting File Transfer,” and “Join before host.”
    • Require attendees to register
    • Set up “Waiting Rooms” for attendees. This allows hosts to monitor and control who is entering the meeting.
  • Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) for public events. Learn how to generate random meeting IDs here.
  • If possible, do not share Zoom meeting links on public platforms such as on social media, online bulletin boards, news articles, etc.
  • Have assigned moderators (co-hosts) of the chat and participants to support the host.
  • Lock the session, if possible, once all participants have joined and mute all.
  • Be sure you have the most up-to-date version of Zoom installed.

If Your Meeting is ZoomBombed

Additional ZoomBombing Resources

This excellent resource is from the campus Information Security Office and is kept up-to-date:

This video was created by Zoom and is a very helpful guide to managing settings as well as managing participants during a meeting, with the goal of preventing and removing disruptions:


Google Hangouts Chat is a great way to stay connected with colleagues. Google has added several new features that make Chat even more useful while we’re all working from home. 

Chat features include:

  • 1:1 instant messaging
  • Chat rooms for ongoing and long-term conversations
  • Hangouts Chat integration in bMail — new look, plus rooms
  • Bots for Zoom, Drive, etc.
  • Ability to turn chat history on/off (retain messages for more than 24 hours)

Visit UC Berkeley’s telecommuting and video conferencing pages for additional technology resources for working from home, including Hangouts Meet.

Providing MCLE Credit for Virtual Events

    • As with on-site MCLE events, events must first be submitted to our MCLE calendar. Then after the event, follow up with your record of attendance, certificate of attendance, evaluation forms, and MCLE materials for ESU’s MCLE files.
    • Attendance
      • Participants must fill out attendance online (through any online form: Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, etc.) including:
        • Full Name
        • Email
        • State Bar Number
      • These responses will be the event’s record of attendance. Keep the attendance form active for a week after the event to make sure participants are able to complete it. Participatory credit for online activities (live or recorded) may be offered for MCLE. We generally provide credit for “live” programs as opposed to recordings. If you would like to provide MCLE credit for a recorded program, please contact to discuss this option. Participants that do not complete the attendance form in time will have to reach out to ESU for access to the form and their attendance will be checked and verified on Zoom.
    • Participants on the record of attendance will receive their certificate of attendance, evaluation form, and MCLE materials. MCLE substantive written materials should be available by the date of the program and for at least 30 days after the program.