Planning Virtual Meetings and Webinars

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This handbook is meant to provide general guidelines for those connected with CLIR interested in presenting and/or hosting an online meeting or educational experience.

The 2017 development of this handbook is part of the CLIR Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections project (SAHC), funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. More resources related to that project can be found in the SAHC Resource Library.


In today’s online environment, the possibilities for virtual learning are nearly limitless. From Facebook Live to Adobe Connect, choosing the right platform may be challenging. Careful consideration of content and goals will help guide you to the right platform.

Casual v. Formal

There is a significant difference between the platform needs for a gathering of colleagues casually chatting about something and a professional presentation of ideas to a large group. The former requires minimal technology, and the latter likely requires a much more robust system.

For the causal experience, consider basic VOIP conference lines, Skype group, Google Hangouts, and the like.

  • Do you actually need to see a screen or is voice access enough?
  • Will everyone be able to participate via audio connections or will some need a chat feature?
  • Will everyone be able to use their computer for audio or will a phone line be necessary?
  • Consider the time of day for the meetup. If during work hours, some may not have access to platforms that require any sort of download. If after work hours, some may not have access to robust internet connections.
  • Talk to your group, and find out what works best for you.

For the formal experience, consider more robust platforms that allow for greater flexibility such as UberConference (DLF maintains a Pro account), Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, and the like.

  • Will you need the ability to screen share, chat, and file share?
  • Will your participants need to access audio via VOIP, computer, and/or phone audio connections?
  • Will your presenters need training on the platform in advance?
  • Even in the most robust systems, there is value in keeping things simple so that participants can focus on the content rather than the platform.

Table of Contents

  1. About DLF and the Organizers' Toolkit
  2. Working with Team DLF
  3. Starting a New Initiative or Working Group
  4. General Facilitation and Goal-Setting
  5. Facilitating for Diversity and Inclusion
  6. Preventing and Managing Burnout
  7. Gathering Info/Building Enthusiasm
  8. Planning an In-Person Meetup
  9. Setting Up Year-Round Meetings
  10. Talking and Writing
  11. Organizing and Sharing Your Work
  12. Planning Virtual Meetings and Webinars
  13. In a Nutshell