Safety Considerations for Virtual Events

Safety Considerations for Virtual Events

All events run by student groups should consider the following safety guidance when organising: 

1. Use the best online approach for your event and consider the types of Software available: 

  • Zoom  

  • Microsoft Teams  

  • Google Hangout 

  • Facebook Rooms  

  • House Party  

  • Twitch

2. Ensure you control who can access the event:

  • Ensure you have registrations 

  • Only share the link to the online event once an attendee is registered 

  • Consider adding a password or other authentication requirement for attendees to access the event 

3. Deter and manage disruptive activity: 

  • Select a webinar/virtual meeting platform that includes security features. 

  • Make sure that the settings for whatever platform you use are adjusted to account for security. 

  • Depending on your event, consider disabling features that allow attendees to present their desktops or interject without being called upon. This can greatly reduce the ability of an inadvertent or cruel disruption. 

  • The nature, subject matter, publicity, and size of your event may increase these risks. For example, a well-publicised political event might attract negative attention or people intent on sabotaging your event. 


4. Set expectations for how attendees should act: 

  • Share guidelines for behaviours attendees are expected to demonstrate. 

  • Consider and communicate your policy on un-registered attendees, video recording, and disruption. 

  • Explain each attendee’s responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of the event. 

  • Use caution and avoid sharing sensitive personal information on the individuals hosting the event and where the broadcast is being held, unless necessary. 


5. Set expectations for how external speakers should act:

  • Make sure your external speaker is approved before you advertise your event. Make sure you send through details of your external speaker to us at least 4 weeks before your event. Details on how to do this can be found here. 
  • Share the external speaker policy with your external speaker.
  • Make sure you view their presentation before your event.
  • Make sure you follow the steps here should your external speaker say or do something inappropriate.

6. A final few hints: 

  • Carefully consider the subject matter of your event, how it is advertised, and where you will be “broadcasting” from.  

  • Limit personally identifiable information or other items that might embolden someone to try to disrupt your event during a live broadcast. 

  • Such incidents are rare. But, as virtual events continue to grow in popularity, these are some of the risks that event creators should consider before hosting their event. Check out?Zoom’s event safety guide?and?Microsoft’s event safety guide?for more resources. 


Staying safe online - further reading

For more information on how to stay safe online, you can check out these excellent resources: 

  • Ask About Games – A website with everything you need to know about video games! 

  • WebWise – An online course provided by the BBC to help you stay safe online. 

  • ThinkUKnow – A website created by UK police for parents, with information and tools to help teach children about online safety. 

Support with Managing your Web Platforms and Online Events  

?We understand that it may be more difficult online to understand the effect of some messages. If you are ever unsure of whether you should take steps to manage behaviour shown on your web platforms, please contact your Students’ Union staff support, who can offer informal support as well as investigate any serious behaviour misconduct as per relevant Students’ Union procedure (if necessary).  

You can contact your staff support through the relevant contact details below:   

Societies – 

Sport Clubs - please contact your club coordinator for further informtion – should you not know your coordinator please email -  

Buddy Scheme –

Volunteer Groups – Please email your relevant staff member as a point of contact for your project or scheme 

Student Services –