Working paper Open Access

Creative Informatics Guide for Online Events

Elsden, Chris; Chan, Kam; Erskine, Patricia; Helgason, Ingi; Lechelt, Susan; Osborne, Nicola; Panneels, Inge; Smyth, Michael; Warren, Katherine; Terras, Melissa; Speed, Chris

Creative Informatics is a research and development programme based in Edinburgh, which aims to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together. We are a collaboration between University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Creative Edinburgh and CodeBase.

We run many events, from meetups and networking, to drop-in sessions and workshops to support applications and funding of various programmes. We don’t do any specific teaching, however many of our sessions are intended to be informative and enable peer collaboration and knowledge exchange.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been exploring how to move many of these events online allowing people to join remotely. This guide is initially a way for us to share and think through how to run different kinds of events well, but we’re happy to share this as we know there will be many other projects and organisations facing similar issues.

The guide is written in an informal, and practical style: this reflects its many authors, and that it was primarily developed through some focused team meetings to gather experiences, feedback and best practice.

For the moment we have been running most meetings and events through Zoom and MS Teams. However, this guide is focused on the practice of how we could run and host online events, rather than the merits of different platforms.

This is an evolving, working document, and one we will be updating based on our experiences. We would welcome further suggestions and further input. We should also note that most of this guide was put together in April and May 2020, and so initially this reflects tools and understanding at that time.

The first sections address general principles and good practice to consider in running events. The following sections reflect ideas about how to run specific kinds of sessions with audiences that imply different levels of participation, mobility and engagement.

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