Virtual Vulcan Events
Resource Guide and Best Practices
This guide and best practices are intended to help members of our University community create an efficient and consistent brand for virtual events. The idea is to not cancel events, but to re-imagine them in a professional, creative and Cal U way!
Are you hosting a virtual event but not sure where to start? Don’t cancel events that used to be in person. Instead, re-imagine the virtual possibilities with a team of professionals!
The team will help to:
- Connect you with the appropriate departments on campus.
- Brainstorm creative solutions, platforms or delivery modes.
- Complete this form and we will follow up with you to help get your event started.
Students: If you are planning an event for a student club or organization, please make sure the advisor is aware of all event details.
CHOOSE AN ONLINE PLATFORM
Select the right platform for your virtual event. Popular and accessible choices include:
- ZOOM offers two platforms:
- ZOOM Meeting is fully interactive; all participants have the ability to see, hear, speak and share screens with one another. To use Zoom Meeting, utilize the Cal U account https://calu.zoom.us/
- ZOOM Webinar is a view-only platform; only the host can unmute attendees. Webinar participants can interact through Q&A or chat, and they can answer polling questions posted by the host. To set up a ZOOM Webinar, contact the Teaching & Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft TEAMS
- Best for internal smaller group meetings or file sharing, this business-oriented platform combines chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. For questions on use and implementation, contact University Technology Services at email@example.com.
EVENT TIP: Additional platforms are available if your event has a student recruitment focus or alumni component. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and our Conference Services staff can help to connect you with appropriate departments across campus.
PROMOTE YOUR EVENT
Need to get the word out about your event? Below are options to consider for promoting your event. If you’d like some advice, contact Keli Henderson, director of marketing, at email@example.com.
- Online events calendar
Cal U’s online events calendar is a great way to share the date and time of your event, as well as a few details about it. Just fill out this form to submit your event. The events calendar also can help you see if other campus activities conflict with the date and time of the event you are planning.
- Daily Announcements
The Daily Announcements are delivered to all campus in-boxes at 11 a.m. each day.To create an announcement, log in to the Campus-wide Intranet Site, cwis.calu.edu, with your Cal U username and password. Choose “Announcements,” then use the “Create New” tab to create your announcement, set the dates for when it should appear and assign a vice president (Area VP) to approve.
- Email communication/campaigns
Campus-wide emails through Outlook are reserved for official University business. However, the Marketing team may be able to arrange email communication, when appropriate, through other channels. Please reach out to Keli Henderson, director of marketing, at (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss email options.
- Online news, press release or earned media:
Tell Cal U’s PR office about general interest events, especially those that are unusual, groundbreaking or open to the public. Our PR team can determine whether promoting the event on our Cal U news site is appropriate or a press release is in order. A news roundup is emailed weekly to all faculty/staff accounts. Contact: Wendy Mackall, director of communications and public relations, email@example.com.
- Social media:
Facebook, Instagram, twitter and other social media platforms reach a variety of audiences through Cal U’s official channels and admissions accounts. To discuss social media promotions, contact Tony Sonita, social media specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cal U website: Information about University-wide events such as Homecoming and student recruitment events may find a home on the Cal U website. Contact Jeff Bender, director of digital communications, at email@example.com to learn more.
- Student media: The Cal Times, CUTV, WCAL, and social media accounts managed through the Student Association Inc. (SAI) are an avenue for reaching Cal U students. For more information, contact Pam Delverne, director of technology services for SAI, at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jeff Helsel, SAI’s director of publications, at email@example.com.
Does your event require registration? Below are options to consider. If you would like to discuss the platform that works best with your online event format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVENT TIP: Consider having a registration component when an event includes attendees from outside the University. If your event does not require registration, consider capturing your audience's information for future outreach, assessment follow-up, or marketing potential.
- Eventbrite is a free ticketing and registration platform that offers automated confirmation emails, event reminders and much more. For details, contact Jeff Bender, director of digital communications, at email@example.com.
- ZOOM will allow participants to register with their email address and/or name; you can add other questions and custom questions as needed. Zoom also can generate meeting registration reports if you want to download a list of people who registered for your event. Learn more here or contact the Teaching & Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft Forms is an online survey creator, part of Office 365. Forms allows you to easily create surveys, quizzes and polls. It also can be used to collect feedback or plan class and staff activities. Visit forms.microsoft.com to learn more.
- Custom forms can be created to meet your event needs. If your event requires payment, funds must be collected in specific ways. For University events, contact contact Jeff Bender, director for digital communications, at email@example.com. For events sponsored by student clubs and organizations, contact Nicole Arthur, in the SAI Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVENT TIP: If your event will attract prospective students, consider reaching out to the Admissions Office; its registration software can capture student information. Contact Amanda Magdic (email@example.com) for details. Similarly, if you event involves alumni, contact Ryan Barnhart, director of Alumni Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Ready to host your event and want to ensure success? See the list of best practices below for tips on how to host an inclusive event, engage your audience, and achieve best audio and video results.
Branding Consistency: Learn how to use our Cal U brand elements, see our editorial guide, download logos and PowerPoint templates, and more.
Best Practices Checklist:
Use the responses to shape your next event.
- General Best Practices:
- What to expect: Participation in virtual events averages 45% to 55% of total registrations, so plan for all attendees but prepare for half of them to not attend.
- Recording options: Having a recording for registrants to watch after the fact can help to increase engagement. Guests who do not attend may watch the recording later. If you plan to record your event:
- First, determine whether recording is necessary.
- If it is, all participants must be notified and grant permission. ZOOM is set up to notify participants that a session is being recorded.
- Permission and Notice: If the host decides to record a meeting, participants should be notified that the meeting will be recorded prior to the start of the meeting and given the opportunity to opt out of the recorded session. This notification shall be provided to any new participants who join the meeting, at the point when they join the meeting. Sample notification: This meeting is being recorded for XXX purpose and will be available after the event via XXX.
- What to wear: Looking professional is always a plus. Consider wearing Cal U gear or red-and-black clothing to promote and brand your University event.
- Accessibility: Your event should be open to all. Consider using your registration to ask if accommodations are needed. For example, closed captioning may be needed for your event. For questions or more information, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at OSDmail@calu.edu.