Holding an Online Event

If you’d like to have an Ethereal (online) Event, that’s great!  We’re here to help facilitate.  

Official vs. Unofficial Events

The first major question: will your event be official or unofficial?

Official events are, in many ways, similar to regular SCA events.  

  • They are held under the authority of a branch or office.
  • They are hosted/facilitated by an officer (you can think of this as the event steward!)
  • The SCA Harassment Policy must be posted for all attendees to see.
  • East Kingdom resources can be used for it.

Unofficial events are just a private citizen doing a thing that happens to be SCA-adjacent.  These events should not be represented or tagged as SCA, East Kingdom, or any EK branch or office; and East Kingdom resources should not be used for them.  

This page is targeted towards holding an official event (though it may also help you with your unofficial event!). 

OK, I’m going to have an Official Ethereal East Kingdom Event.  What do I do?

First, plan it out.

  • What video tool are you going to use?  Google Meet, Zoom, GoToMeeting, something else?  Do you have the access in that tool to hold an event with the features you need?
  • If multiple people will be actively participating, rather than watching – think of a baronial business meeting, vs. a class – make sure that you’ve shared…
    • How to use the tool you’ve chosen;
    • Multiple ways to access the event (computer, tablet, phone);
    • Any accessibility features or concerns that may exist for it;
    • Any usage or customs that need to be translated for online use.  (E.g., for a business meeting, how will you take a vote?)
  • Do you need additional facilitators to help with your event?  
    • If you expect very large attendance, you may need helpers to mute/unmute participants, let people in from a “waiting room” (if you’re using Zoom), managing questions typed in the chat window, and so on.
  • Create an outline or script for how the session is going to go.  Think of a court docket or class outline; but you will want to be more detailed – especially if it’s the first time you’re running this event online.
    • Does everyone involved know what their part is, and when they should do it?
    • Are there transitions between speakers?  Work out in advance how those will be managed (especially if people will be muted before their part comes up).
  • Run a test beforehand – not just of the technology, but the flow of the session.  Dress rehearsals are good!

The Recording Question

Do you intend your event to be recorded? (Classes and courts are good candidates for recording; business meetings are not – we suggest taking minutes/notes per usual.)  If you do plan to record:

  • Mention that the event will be recorded in your announcements publicizing it.
  • You will need to state that fact at the beginning of the recording, as well.
  • Depending on the nature of the recording, you may want to prepare a slide or image with the title or description that can be the “thumbnail” once the video’s posted.  
  • Will your video include music?  BE VERY AWARE: you cannot use copyrighted music in your video if it will be streamed online.  Services such as YouTube and Facebook have automated tools that will find, bring down, and in some cases suspend the account posting videos that use copyrighted material.   If you wish to have music in your video, it must be one of the following:
    • In the public domain (both the work itself, and the specific recording of the work you’re using). 
    • Creative Commons-licensed
    • or, an original work.  (Note that these are automatically copyrighted by the creator, so if you have a friendly bard record something for you, they should file a release form just as they would for a photograph.)
  • Where do you anticipate the recording will be posted?  Your branch website, your office Facebook page, the East Kingdom YouTube channel?  
    • Currently the channel is limited to Kingdom-level offices; please check with the EK help desk for escalation and approval if you feel your event ought to be posted there.  (Note that videos do not need to be posted on/by the channel to include in playlists found there.)
    • Make sure you have the right permissions, bandwidth, etc. to upload & share it.

Publicize your event!

Again, this is not much different from publicizing a regular event:

Holding Your Ethereal Event

Some things to remember:

  • Initiate the session before the scheduled time, if possible. The more people can log in and get themselves situated before the content actually begins, the better it is for everyone.
  • Leave the Harassment Policy slide up while people are logging into the session.
  • If your event is being recorded, announce before starting:
    “This event is being recorded and may be posted to official East Kingdom channels such as YouTube or EK websites.  By actively participating in this session, you give consent to this use. If you prefer not to be recorded, please ask any questions in the chat window.  If you don’t mind being recorded but prefer not to be seen, do keep your camera turned off.”
  • Encourage/remind all participants to leave their microphones off until they want to ask a question.  (If  there are a large number of participants, you may want to forcibly mute them until it’s time for Q&A.)
  • All videos posted to official East Kingdom channels should be kid-friendly. That doesn’t mean it has to be G-rated, but keep this direction in mind for your dialogue, your content, and what’s on-screen.

Posting a Recorded Event

  • Fill out the Release Consent Form (all hosts/major participants of the event must do this before the video may be posted)
    • E.g. if it’s a class, in most cases only the teacher must sign the release; if it’s a Court, the Royals + heralds involved should all fill it out.
  • If the video has been approved for posting to the EK YouTube channel:
    • Upload the video file to the East Kingdom Google Drive (if you do not have access, work with your webminister or email the EK Help Desk for assistance).
    • Include the following info:
      • Title
      • Description
      • Your full SCA name as you’d like it to appear in the description (e.g., Jehan le Smith, Mistress Mairi Brun, Lord Frederick Bloggs OTC)
      • Date of recording
  • No matter where the video is being shared, provide transcripts/closed-captioning if at all possible.  Meet offers real-time closed captioning, and YouTube will caption as well; but these are automated systems and neither will be as accurate as a transcript…particularly for SCA names and terms.