Guide to Hosting and Attending Our Events Online

Table of Contents


For now, most of our online events will be held using DMG's private BigBlueButton meeting platform, so this guide is written with that in mind. BBB is a free and open-source web-based video meeting and collaboration platform. Learn more about using it here: BigBlueButton Tutorial Videos and about the accessibility of the platform here: BigBlueButton Accessibility Assessment


Anything you say or do in a online meeting – from video to audio to the chat – could be recorded without your consent by another attendee. Those recordings can then be shared with third parties who weren’t in the original meeting. This is a violation of our code of conduct and we will remind all attendees to refrain from this behavior.

We record workshops and classes from time to time. You will be informed of this prior to the event start. There is also a visual indicator that a session is being recorded at the top of the session window.

Event Team

In addition to the host/presenter, each event has a designated captain.

The captain's role is to start, configure, and monitor the entire event from start to finish – ensuring all protocols for safety and security are followed, and setting the stage for a smooth and disruption-free event for all participants.

Depending on the number of attendees, events may also have an additional DMG volunteer to assist with responding to any issues such as disruptions and technical/logistical questions.

For Hosts

Before the event, establish:

  • Will attendees be participating or just observing/listening?
  • Can participants/attendees share their own screen and control their audio and video sharing?
  • How and when are questions asked and answered?

The captain should start the meeting 5-15 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow time for the volunteer, presenter and key participants to connect and ensure everything is configured correctly. Participants will be able to join as soon as the meeting has started; you can simply accept their presence and let them know that you'll be starting soon.

The captain or volunteer (co-host), should review the sharing settings before the event starts. Click the gear icon at the top of the user list, then "Lock viewers" to review and change what features and sharing options are available to viewers

Mute attendees. To mute a particular attendee, click the microphone to the left of their name (useful if someone's mic is causing echo or introducing background noise). You can also mute all attendees except the presenter by clicking the gear icon at the top of the user list.

Once the event begins, the captain should set the expectations for the group, including:

  • Community guidelines – post a link to our code of conduct in the chat window.
  • Describe the format of the event and what features are enabled/disabled and why
  • Set out any ground rules and expectations for participation particular to the format of the event

The captain should remain in the meeting for the entirety of the event and should not be performing other roles, including facilitation, presentation or active participation. This allows them to focus on watching for and addressing safety, security and technical issues that may disrupt the event.

Keep the User List section open in the left-hand sidebar (to open it, click the people icon/"User List" in the top left corner) to ensure you can see who has joined the meeting. Microphone and video icons show who is muted and unmuted, and who is set to "listen only."

Monitor the chat section and shared notes for any inappropriate content or to respond to questions or requests from participants, presenters and other safety team members.

For Attendees


Please arrive a few minutes in advance of the start time so that we can start on time.


Some events will start with all attendees set to mute to keep ambient sound down as the host begins the event. Depending on the format of the event, you may be able to unmute yourself to speak or ask a question at any time.


You can join any event with your video turned off, or turn it off at any time during the event.


BBB uses the name entered when joining the room, or, if you have an account, the logged-in user's name settings. This cannot be changed in the meeting. If attendees want to use a different name, or if it is imperative to have them set a custom display name and/or pronouns, they should leave and re-join the room with the edited name, or update their name in the Profile section.


Feel free to use the built-in chat in the meeting tool for questions and introductions during the event.

Breakout Rooms

Some events will split up large groups for smaller conversations.

The host may assign you to a breakout meeting via link, and ask everyone to return to the central meeting together once the breakout portion is done. The host will let everyone know the format of the breakout, but generally, do not feel obligated to chat with others in your group. Take it as a moment for a bio break if you need to!

Accessibility needs

We want to create a fully accessible space online for all of our community members. If you require live captioning, sign-language interpretation, or another accommodation, please contact us a week before your class or event. We hope to eventually be able to offer captioning by default at all of our online workshops.

Last revised: November 27, 2020