Planning Resources for Virtual Events

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the framework and implementation of engagement events has forever changed;yet, these are more important now than ever. While we quickly adapt, learn and embrace our new digital environment, it is imperative to have the appropriate knowledge and support for successful virtual meetings and events. The Office of Major Events is available to provide Syracuse University campus partners with the guidance, assistance, encouragement and structure necessary for the successful production of a virtual event.

For assistance producing your virtual event, please submit a form to Request Support from the Office of Major Events.

Why host a virtual event instead of cancelling/postponing the in-person event altogether?

  • Virtual events can be effortlessly recorded for future uses and enable those who missed the meeting to watch the content. If your meeting is exceptionally robust, attendees can watch it again to absorb all of the information!
  • Virtual events create the ability to easily adapt the content to other platforms and avenues, such as taking snippets of recordings to share on social media and news releases.
  • Virtual meetings offer participants shortened, impactful segments that are more manageable, while increasing attendance and possible engagement. All-day meetings can often lead to information overload, lack of attendance and a decrease in engagement.
  • Call-to-actions are more likely to be utilized.
    • While in the session, meeting hosts can distribute links for people to donate, follow, or open informational sites/documents. Adding these components while in conversation with participants often leads to a higher conversion rate.
  • Increase attendance and accessibility by offering virtual, or hybrid, events. Lack of attendance for in-person events can often be attributed to restraints on time, money; or the ability to travel. Hosting a virtual event allows for all interested individuals to attend, without presenting limitations on travel, expenses or time.
Accordion Section

Audience & Attendance

  • How will the event be promoted, and which platform(s) would be most appropriate?
    • Unsure which platform to use for your meeting or event? See the Web Conferencing Comparison chart for guidance on selecting your virtual space.
  • Will guests register ahead, and/or will a broadcast be available for the public?
  • Are there any potential timing conflicts for the expansive audience?
  • Are there any accessibility or user experience concerns to be aware of?
    • Make Your Event Inclusive and Accessible! While it is a virtual event, it is still imperative to follow the guidelines for an inclusive and compliant event. For information and guidance regarding accessibility, see the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services Planning Inclusive Events page


  • What are the requirements for set up?
  • What is the format of the program, and will digital content be incorporated?
  • Is there a back-up plan?


  • What is required for production, and how will the support team be developed?
    • Who will be the host, co-host(s), panelists, and/or breakout room moderators?
  • Is audience engagement encouraged, and how?
  • What will be expected at the conclusion, and what feedback in particular is necessary?
    • For example, would you like to poll individuals in the session? Send a survey after the meeting has concluded?

While virtual events may eliminate some concerns of live event accessibility logistics, it is still imperative to follow the guidelines for an inclusive and compliant event.

When organizing a virtual event, you must still enable the use of closed captioning or American Sign Language Interpreting. For reference, Guidelines for CART and ASL Interpreting can assist in determining your events accessibility requirements.

For more information, see the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services Planning Inclusive Events page

For Internal or External Meetings and Events
  • Be prepared!
    • Just as you would for a meeting in-person, be prepared with any information, talking points or questions.
  • Introduce speakers, panelists; or participants
    • Virtual meetings and events present the ability for more individuals to come together; so, it is safe to assume that all attending do not know of or have the backgrounds of the individuals presenting in the meeting.
      • Please note: it is not necessary to do this with all attendee’s, just the speakers!
  • Be aware of your background. Present a clean, work-appropriate background.
    • You want your attendee’s to be focused on you, not the bookshelf behind you or the distracting art on the wall. Be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Look into the camera while speaking, not at yourself on the screen!
    • It is easy to shift our eyes to the screen to see how we look while presenting, but this may look as if you are not engaged and focused. While speaking, look into the camera on your computer.
  • Position your camera at eye-level, and center your image on the screen.
    • If the camera is positioned above or below your face, the viewers will have a skewed and often unpleasant view while you are speaking. Note that you do not need to be extremely close to the camera, either!
  • If you are not speaking- mute yourself.