ACUI Open Forum

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  • 1.  Staff support for Hybrid meetings and events

    Posted 03-23-2022 11:24
    Hello everyone - 

    As more meetings and events are incorporating a Hybrid format and using/ requesting Zoom or other virtual platforms, is anyone on your Student Union staff responsible for helping to "run" these Zoom meetings/ webinars in your building, beyond just setting up equipment? 

    What level of support is your Student Union staff providing to these Hybrid meetings and events utilizing a virtual format?

    Thank you!
    Ernie Kimlin, Interim Director
    (Pronouns: He/Him/His)

    Student Union, Event & Conference Services
    Division of Student Affairs
    Northeastern Illinois University
    5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
    Phone: (773) 442-4635
    Main Office: (773) 442-4630

  • 2.  RE: Staff support for Hybrid meetings and events

    Posted 03-24-2022 09:03
    Hi Ernie,

    This is a great question and one that has been tricky on our campus. While early in Covid we did help run the virtual side of events, we currently do not provide any virtual support beyond setting up/testing equipment. Basically, our reasoning was:

    1. It caused more issues than it solved - for example me creating Zoom links for people then meant the person running the Zoom meeting wasn't the "host" and therefore had issues day-of. 
    2. It falls outside what we would ever do for In-person events - people frequently asked us to "run" the event by introducing speakers, switching slide shows and presentations etc. which we would never do for an in-person event. 
    3. We wanted to encourage people to learn the software themselves - many were using us to run Zoom meetings and virtual events because they didn't want to sit down and learn Zoom themselves. I recently created a resource hub on our website so when people ask me to "run" their Zoom meeting I can direct them to a wealth of tutorials and support materials so they (or someone on their team) can learn how to do this themselves which is better for them in the long run. 

    Curious to see what decisions others have made on this topic.

    Laurel Chase
    Event Operations Coordinator - Temple University Student Faculty Center
    Temple University
    Philadelphia PA

  • 3.  RE: Staff support for Hybrid meetings and events

    Posted 03-24-2022 09:06

    Hi Ernie,


    For our event spaces we incorporated that into our service offerings last year for free and introduced pricing for it as an add on for this year. This also includes recording capability and even post production video editing if desired. Our event spaces were already full service production venues mostly supported internally so it's only a question of adding the necessary staff on a per event basis.  Surprisingly we have done very little of this out of our event spaces this academic year despite student groups being funded for it. 


    With regards to the conference rooms we were fortunate enough to reopen from an 18 month renovation (which our main event space was not part of and still open for the duration) last January with all the conference rooms featuring built in cameras in addition to the rest of the AV capabilities.  Most of our clients so far have been savvy enough to conduct any hybrid meetings on their own.  Our larger conference room does host more formal events from time to time and recently have been wanting to offer them as either streamed view only or hybrid with remote participants.  For the former we've been creating zoom webinars as we're fortunate enough to have been allowed a member of our technical team to be given that access however the licensing works.  In those cases we've been kicking them off and they've been mostly sufficient on their own.  For the hybrid formats we've been assigning a professional staff member to the reservation and allowing them to work out their level of involvement in the execution of the event.  Some of them have been able to be run out of the teaching station just pinning participants and screen sharing.  Others have needed us to bring in additional cameras and switching in corporate all the visuals and remote participants to create a more streamlined and professional looking presentation both locally and remotely.  In these scenarios only extra gear necessitates extra charges. 


    Coverage has been a bit of a struggle for us due to some professional staff vacancies and the university relaxing it's event related restrictions causing everyone wanting to squeeze all their annual events in to the last half of the spring semester but we've been managing pretty well despite that. 


    Long term the hope is to get our facility coordinators up to speed on all this so we're not pulling our event technicians from the event spaces.


    Let me know if you have any questions!




    Scott Casanova '99
    (Pronouns: he/him/his)
    Associate Director
    Student Centers & Programming Services

    T 315.443.4458   F 315.443.4617

    124 Schine Student Center, 200 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244

    Syracuse University


  • 4.  RE: Staff support for Hybrid meetings and events

    Posted 03-24-2022 18:23

    I created a new category in EMS just for Hybrid meetings that include the resources typically used.  Our Event Coordinators will consult with our AV Techs to determine which resources are needed based on the clients request and put those resources in the reservation.

    The team members that are most involved with supporting Hybrid events are our AV Techs who will set-up the room, test the connections with the client and stay if requested or be on call if not requested.  More often than not the Techs have been requested to be in the room for the duration of the event.

    We do offer the service of building out the Zoom meeting to the clients specifications and have our own Union Tech Zoom meeting and Zoom webinar accounts. Our AV Techs perform this function as well.

    We have done some hybrid meetings where we did the camera work for the meeting...we have conducted pre-meeting system testing especially if the main speakers or presenters where virtual.  

    All in all we have been fortunate to incorporate hybrid meetings into our services offered with only a few bumps along the way.

    Would be happy to discuss more if you would like.

    Richard Owens
    Director Conference & Event Services
    University of North Texas
    Denton TX

  • 5.  RE: Staff support for Hybrid meetings and events

    Posted 03-25-2022 12:18
    Hello Ernie,

    UNR's JCSU only charges for staffing, so for hybrid events I have our student AV Techs setup and operate the equipment accordingly. For large events in our Ballrooms, we have had up to three video cameras, video switcher, sound mixer, JBLs, lighting console, etc.  Technically, it is similar to running an in-person event with a livestream component.  The challenge is if the Event Planner requests a Zoom Webinar instead of a regular Zoom meeting, because of the  additional costs for licensing if an event requests the former.  Our University has some webinar licenses, which allows up to 500 participants, so I have been working with other offices with a license; however, for events with remote participants of up to 300 people, which are most events, I have been emulate a Zoom webinar by setting certain parameters in a meeting session such as assigning Co-host status for those who will speak, and not allowing rest of the remote people to unmute their mic and video as well as other security restrictions to prevent Zoom bombing. 

    In regards to meetings in our smaller rooms requesting a Zoom component, I have my Student Building Tech setup an OWL-Cam, and for a medium sized room I would have them add a USB conference mic such as couple of MXL's daisy-chained.  In the JCSU's Rita Laden Senate Chambers, we have a built in system of gooseneck and wireless boundary mics, which can be patched into the room PC, and use for Zoom or any other video conferencing software.  After testing the Zoom setup, the Tech would be on call.  Most of our customers are familiar with using Zoom, so they usually do not need assistance.  On a case by case basis, I have the Student Tech assist the customer with logging into their Zoom account, using its features, and getting the session started.

    James Cho, Coordinator of Technology Services
    University of Nevada Reno
    Joe Crowley Student Union
    Reno, NV
    United States