Videoconferencing Roles

Understanding your role in a videoconference/meeting/event is pivotal to the success of the event.  By planning ahead of time, you can map out who plays what role for the event.  Below is guidance for the roles necessary for a successful event.  Prior to the event, roles should be reviewed and allocated accordingly. 

Moderator

The Moderator schedules and runs the meeting via their chosen platform (BlueJeans or  Teams).  They are responsible for sending out meeting invites to all Participants.  In order to do this, the Moderator will need to have the email addresses of the Participants ready to enter into the platform they are using for the meeting.  During the meeting, they are responsible for monitoring the meeting, muting and unmuting participants, releasing people from waiting rooms, configuring breakout rooms and setting up audio and video equipment prior to the meeting starting.   

All meeting information; such as agenda, timeline, etc. should be included in the invitation email.  The Moderator should consider ahead of time how Participants will ask questions.  In most videoconference platforms, they can ask via 1) Chat, 2) Raising their hand, or 3) Unmuting themselves to ask their question. 

NOTE:  While Moderators may choose to allow a meeting to start without them present, this is not recommended.  The recommendation is for the Moderator to start the meeting 10 minutes prior to start time.  Then, the Moderator should do a head count before the meeting begins so they know who is not present.  The Moderator should stay in the meeting to mute participants as needed and assist with screen sharing.  The Moderator must pay close attention to audio and video of all meeting attendees.  This will help to eliminate audio feedback or indiscreet video content being shared.  

Host

The Host is the person organizing the meeting.  Consider carefully as the Host may be a Presenter who opens up and closes out the meeting.  The recommendation is that the Host and Moderator be two different people in the case of meetings with large participation, those that have a complex agenda with multiple speakers and participants (such as a review), those with inexperienced VTC, and those with external participation 

Presenter

A Presenter is someone who has content to share; typically via screensharing.  The Moderator should encourage Presenters to test their screen sharing capabilities ahead of time.  This can easily be accomplished via a test meeting between the Moderator and Presenters.  As an added safety net, the Presenters should share their presentations with the Moderator.  If an issue arises with screensharing, the Moderator can step in and share the Presenter's content.    

Participant

A person invited to the meeting.  An invitation is sent by the Moderator to a Participant’s email address. 

Meeting Facilitator

For large events, you should consider having a Meeting Facilitator to help to Moderator.  In particular, this person can play a large role for in-person meetings, but they also work well for large remote meetings. They can field questions from Participants, streamline breakout sessions to other rooms, direct foot traffic for on-site guests, review on-site safety protocols, and be the go-to person for questions and concerns about your meeting. 

Technical Support

An IT staff member that will assist with room equipment or software testing during test meetings and the day of for VIP events.  Per the CST Division Videoconferencing Policy, we require at least 2 weeks notice in order to schedule IT support for your meeting.  If 2 weeks notice is not given, then we will not be able to provide adequate IT support for your meeting/event. 

FINAL NOTE:  Please take careful consideration for giving multiple roles to one person.  There are some roles; such as Host and/or Presenter, that should not be responsible for Moderating the meeting.  They are busy presenting content or hosting the meeting so trying to find who needs to be unmuted will be a distraction.  Lastly, you may decide to have multiple Moderators or Meeting Facilitators for larger events.  The primary Moderator will need to share the Moderator invitation/meeting information to other Moderators; being sure to only share with Moderators.