Palmer Commons

Video Conferencing on a laptop with coffee

Planning Your Virtual Event


Step 1: Design your event: Approach your virtual event the same way you would approach a live event.
Before submitting a request, it is important to pre-plan:

  • Event objective
  • Budget 
  • Guest count
  • Event Date
  • Program Agenda
  • Timing and transition review

Step 2: Build Your Team and assign roles: Besides the speaker or panelists, it is helpful to have a team of 2 or more people to support your event. (In Zoom terms, a host and co-host)

The Host: this person is the leader of the event, the organizer. They will be responsible for the flow of the meeting and will have dictation over video conferencing controls. 

  • Welcomes attendees
  • Moderates Chat, Polls and Q & A
  • Removes disruptive attendees, if needed

The Co Host(s): A backup to the host with access to similar technical controls but with a main focus on the audience.

  • Removes disruptive attendees, if needed
  • Makes sure any recording is stopped and started

All UM staff, faculty and student Zoom accounts support independent hosting of Zoom as an event platform. To record, host a webinar or request additional support from Palmer Commons AV staff, contact our Event Services Department at or by calling (734) 615-9259


Step 3: Determine your technology needs

Answering the following questions will help us assist you to the next step.

  • What Platform will you be using? BlueJeans Zoom Google Meet from UM-ITS
  • Where do you want the content to be seen? YouTube Livestreaming
  • Will people have access to the event once it is over? Lecture Capture Recording Services Free ZOOM, BlueJeans, GoogleMeet recordings
  • Will you be using your own equipment? (webcamera, microphone, laptop).  Or do you need equipment from Palmer?

Step 4: Make your virtual event inclusive and accessible to everyone

As student leaders, staff and faculty of the University of Michigan you uphold the responsibility of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. Similar to in person events, virtual events should be easily accessible and inclusive. 

At a minimum, remote events and meetings should include the following:

  1. Captions must be provided. Information Technology Services staff have worked diligently to provide automated live captions in Zoom. Captions are also easily available in Google Meet. 
    • CART services, (Communication Access Realtime Transcription)  which is human-provided live captioning, and is the most accurate means of capturing all dialogue, may be requested, and should be provided
  2. All participation should be screen reader accessible and keyboard accessible.
  3. Any shared information during an online meeting should be available in a non-image/non-PDF version (such as via email, google docs, Word documents, etc.) AND should be read out loud for better accessibility.
  4. All online meetings should clearly note who to contact during  remote meetings so that participants can request accessibility accommodations in real time.
  5. ITS, in partnership with the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) has provided numerous resources for accessibility best practices:

Step 5: Choose a space that best suits your needs and reserve.

Room Rates and AudioVisual Rates for Palmer Commons can be viewed here. Reservations can be made by contacting Event Services at or by calling (734) 615-9259.