Planning your Virtual Event Schedule
When planning your Virtual Event schedule, there are three things you to consider and plan for:
To preface this, it’s helpful to understand the relationship between Webex Events and the Ex Ordo Live Stages.
The Stages in Ex Ordo are powered using Webex Events. When you schedule a Live Session on a Stage, it creates a Webex Event for that day.
Attendees can only join a Webex Event via a Stage when a Session scheduled is live on a Stage.
If a Session is due to begin at 12PM, and there is no Session scheduled directly before this, Attendees can’t join before 12PM.
Even if the Stage Manager is currently hosting the stage, an Attendee will see the countdown to live. Once it's 12PM, they can click to join the Webex Event.
Now that you understand this relationship between Webex Events and the Ex Ordo Live Stages, let’s take a look at these three concepts.
Doors Open/Speaker Prep/Technical Check Session
People participating in a Session join just like an Attendee would via the Live Stage and are then promoted to a Panelist by the Stage Manager in the Webex Event (this is covered during our training calls).
If nothing is scheduled on the Stage before a Session, that Sessions Speakers/Presenters can only join at the Session start time you’ve scheduled, just like an Attendee.
As you can see in the image below, “The Best Session Ever” begins in 13 minutes 28 seconds. No one is able to join as an Attendee before then.
If you want Session Participants to be able to join before the Session start time, you need to schedule a Session beforehand so they have the option to ‘Click to Join’ the Webex Event.
You can call this Session whatever you like. We’ve seen conferences name this Session ‘Doors Open’, ‘Speaker Prep’ and ‘Technical Check’.
In the image below you can see this “Doors Open” Session is scheduled and currently live, which allows people to ‘Click to Join’ the Stage and access the Webex Event.
Note: It’s important to bear this in mind that during this time not only the Session Participants will be able to join. The Stage will appear as ‘Live’ so anyone can join.
Once 12PM comes around, the session listed to the right of the golden window in the above image will update. This will let people know which session is live at that time (see video clip below). Anyone who has already joined the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) will remain on the stage and be ready for the next session. They will remain there until they decide to exit the event themselves, or the Stage Manager closes the Webex Event (i.e. Stage).
Managing Gaps in your Schedule
If there are gaps in your schedule between Sessions, you need to be clear what happens to the Webex Event during these gaps to ensure a smooth transition into the later Sessions.
Note: During this gap, no one is able to join the Webex Event from the Event Space.
What are you planning to do with the Webex Event during this gap in the schedule?
Option 1: The Stage Manager will be instructed to “End” the Webex Event.
If this is the case, you need to make sure that the Stage Manager assigned to the Stage Day is the person who will be reopening the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) and host it later. If this is someone different than the Stage Manager than the earlier Session, you’ll need to change it. See here for instructions - Adding a Stage Manager to a Stage
Option 2: The Webex Event (i.e. Stage) will be left running.
No one will be able to join the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) from the Event Space during this time, however, there may still be Attendees in the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) who didn’t leave after the last session. They may be able to see and hear ongoing conversations so bear this in mind.
If the Stage Manager needs to be passed over during this time, as no one can join the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) from the Event Space, the new Stage Manager should join the Webex Event before the end of the last session, otherwise they will only be able to join at the beginning of the next Session (which may be too late).
Passing the Stage Manager Role
For a smooth transition of the Stage Manager role from person to person that doesn’t interrupt your live Event, it’s important you communicate with Stage Managers what they need to do once it’s their turn to manage.
The Stage Manager will either need to:
- Start a Stage (which instantly makes them the Stage Manager/Host in Webex Events) or
- Join a Stage that's currently Live as an Attendee and be promoted to Stage Manager/Host by the existing one
Whether your schedule has gaps between Sessions or a continuous stream of Sessions needs to be considered when determining the best way to pass the Stage Manager role from person to person.
Gaps in Schedule
As covered in the previous section, what you plan on doing with the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) during breaks (Ending it or Keeping it Open) and managing these gaps will determine how you need to pass the Stage Manager Role and what they’ll need to do. Check out the above section for more.
Continuous Stream of Sessions
In the below image, you can see on Stage 2 there are back-to-back Sessions scheduled with no gaps between.
The Stage Manager assigned to the Stage Day in Ex Ordo can start the first session scheduled on the Stage.
If at some point the Stage Manager needs to change, the person who is taking over can simply join the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) as an Attendee, be promoted to a Panelist by the current Stage Manager, and be transferred the Stage Manager/Host role.
As the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) won’t be closed at any point, there is no need to change the Stage Manager on the Stage Day page.
You only need to do so if the Webex Event (i.e. Stage) will be ended at some point, and the Stage Manager assigned to the Stage Day won’t be opening it later.
Live stage capacity
Live stages have a maximum capacity of 1,000 attendees. So if you're planning to host a large plenary session live on stage and you're expecting around a thousand attendees, it's important to note that some may not be able to join. Once an event is full, any attendees prevented from joining would need to wait until someone leaves and a space opens up. Practically speaking, this means they'd need to attempt to join the stage multiple times over an unknown time period until they're eventually successful.