What are some best practices for holding or attending a web conference?

There are many things that will make your web conference a better experience for all involved. Here are some general tips that apply across platforms.

Online Virtual Open House Best Practices

How can I speed up my internet connection?

Webex Meetings Best Practices (webex.com)

Video Conferencing - Lighting: Don't Be "That Guy" (youtube)

Video conference etiquette tips (from across the pond on youtube)

Relax, we are all in this together


  • Before the meeting:

    • Trial Run: Test your camera, microphone, and speakers prior to entering the Video Room or Meeting. Make sure to close all other windows and applications you are not currently using. If this is your first time with a particular application, try a short test run with a friend/colleague.

    • Environment- Simplify your background and remove sources of distracting noise.

    • Lighting - Do not place a window or light source behind you. Bounce a desk lamp off the wall in front of you for soft lighting. Pure overhead lighting will not be flattering.

    • Tech

      • Become familiar with how to mute your microphone, speakers, and camera.

      • Learn how to control attendee participation.

      • Use a headset with microphone or headphones are great, use them to help eliminate echo and background noise. 

    • Materials -  In advance, share your agenda, presentation, or discussion materials. For a meeting with multiple presenters, share the list in the order they will appear.

    • Scheduling

      • pair up with a coworker and set an alternate host for important meetings by using umbc.webex.com to schedule. They can start the meeting if you have problems.

      • verify that your invite contains the meeting link, access code (if applicable), backup methods of communication (audio call-in line), and basic instructions to attend.

      • Set expectations such as when participants should mute microphones and cameras, and if they should have reference material ready.

    • Have a plan in case something goes wrong.

  • At the start of the meeting

    • Important or large meetings should be started early so the host, co-host, and presenters can deal with technical issues prior to start time. 

    • The host should briefly describe the agenda and mute attendee microphones. If it is a formal meeting, set expectations for participants and how they should present questions (speech, chat, etc.).

    • Record the meeting if appropriate. This is very useful in case some participants have technical difficulties that interrupt their experience.

  • During the meeting:

    • Environment - Banish non-participants from the immediate area (except cats, that's not possible).

    • Tech - Mute your microphone when you're not speaking.

    • Etiquette - Be mindful of other's time - give participants a chance to contribute when appropriate.

    • There may be occasional glitches, imperfections, or interruptions as people join from home. Roll with it. Ask your partner to monitor the chat window.

  • After the meeting:

    • Share copies or links to materials related to the meeting such as recordings, slides, markups, or notes.

    • Recap any decisions or delegation of tasks that occurred - this may have been the moment that someone had an interruption at their end.