How do participants in different time zones participate in a virtual KI event?
We adjust the timing of the workshop window based on the span of time zones participating, including asynchronous activities to increase the interactivity of the time the whole group is together online.
How do you keep technical issues from throwing off the agenda?
KI facilitators and producers provide technical support both before, during and after events.
- Tech Office Hours so that organizers, mentors, presenters and participants can test-drive the technology for the event ahead of time.
- Training sessions for presenters to help them be better virtual presenters.
- We like having two KI facilitators on hand: one to MC and one to monitor questions, etc.
- Dedicated producers keep workshops running smoothly.
- Video archive of the event.
- Specific outcome materials as needed.
How does the quality of the output of a virtual event compare to a face-to-face one?
CoPe and RBio were interesting experiments for KI. Both NSF-funded events consisted of four simultaneous meetings happening at three locations and online. For both events, about 100 participants were at each physical and virtual location.
We saw that the output from the virtual arms was on par in terms of quantity and quality compared to that produced at the face-to-face meetings. Since then, we have seen that users rate the experience similar to in-person participants.
For example, after the fully virtual SPARC Ideas Lab, we asked participants how interdisciplinary the resulting projects were. Seventy percent of the participants said the resulting projects have the potential to advance the fields of study of the collaborators involved and an additional 25 percent believe their projects might just be considered an entirely new field. (We love it when that happens.)