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Self-service virtual events with or without promotion

Self-service virtual events with or without promotion

This section focuses on best practices and logistical set up for self-service virtual events with or without promotion. Review the self-service virtual event promotion guide for help promoting your own event.

Project Planning

Once you have an idea and abstract for a self-service virtual event with or without promotion:

  1. Create an Epic within the Marketing project and give it a title using the following naming convention: Virtual Event - Event Title - [3-letter Month] [Date], [Year]. Once created, edit the epic and paste one of the below snippets (based on whether Marketing is supporting promotion) to the description.
  2. Follow the steps outlined in the epic and create the remaining issues and add to the epic
  3. Review the best practices and step-by-step instructions for creating your virtual event

Epic Code for Self-Service:

<--- Name this epic using the following format, then delete this line: Virtual Event - Event Title - [3-letter Month] [Date], [Year] --->

## [FMM Main Issue >>]() (`Note: this only needs to be created if you are on the Field Marketing team. To be linked by FMM when created`)
* **[Best practices for setting up your own virtual event](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/self-service-ve-with-without-promotion/#best-practices)**
* **[Best practices for promoting your own virtual event](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/#self-service-virtual-event-promotion-guide)**
* **[Step-by-step instructions](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/self-service-ve-with-without-promotion/#logistical-set-up)**

## :notepad_spiral: Key Details 
* **FMM/Requester:** 
* **FMC:** 
* **Type:** Self-service
* **Account Centric?** Yes/No
* **Event Date:**  [MM-DD-YYYY] (this is the date the event goes live)
* [ ] [main salesforce program]()
* [ ] [main marketo campaign]()
* [ ] Campaign UTM - FMM to fill in (Format: campaign tag - change to all lowercase, no spaces, hyphens, underscores, or special characters)

## Manage presenters and create calendar event (DRI: Requestor)
* [ ] Secure date/time/presenters and add event to [Self-service virtual event calendar](https://calendar.google.com/calendar?cid=Z2l0bGFiLmNvbV9uMnNibXZmMjlqczBzM3BiM2ozaHRwa3FmZ0Bncm91cC5jYWxlbmRhci5nb29nbGUuY29t). Instructions on how to add to the calendar can be found [here](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/self-service-ve-with-without-promotion/#adding-your-self-service-virtual-event-into-the-calendar).
* [ ] Block presenters calendars (starting 30 minutes prior to start) by sending them an invite with the zoom links from your personal Gcal
* [ ] Schedule dry run (optional)

## Create Zoom meeting for the event and add to /events (DRI: Requestor)
* [ ] Make sure your zoom account settings are customized accordingly for the event
* [ ] Add title, description, and event details
* [ ] (Optional: Only if you want to track registration) Update registration required
* [ ] Update Meeting options as necessary (join before host, mute participants upon entry, enable waiting room, etc.)
* [ ] Add alternate hosts as needed to support your event
* [ ] (Optional: Only if you enabled registration tracking) Once event is created, customize the registration form to include complete contact info
* [ ] Once event is created, scroll to the bottom and click email settings, then edit your confirmation email messaging
* [ ] Once event is created, add your event to about.gitlab.com/events by following the [handbook instructions](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/events/#how-to-add-events-to-aboutgitlabcomevents)

## Issue creation (`See DRIs and assignments below`)
* [ ] [Facilitate tracking issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/digital-marketing-programs/issues/new?issuable_template=MPM-01-facilitate-tracking) - Requestor creates, assign to MPM
* [ ] [List clean and upload issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/marketing-operations/issues/new?issuable_template=event-clean-upload-list) - FMM creates, assign to FMM and MOps
* [ ] [Field Marketing issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/field-marketing/issues/new?issuable_template=self_service_event) - Only needs to be created  if you are on the Field Marketing team. 

/label ~"Marketing Programs" ~"mktg-status::wip" ~"Virtual Events" ~"MPM - Radar"

Epic Code for Self-Service with Promotion:

<--- Name this epic using the following format, then delete this line: Virtual Event - Event Title - [3-letter Month] [Date], [Year] --->

## [FMM Main Issue >>]() (`Note: this only needs to be created if you are on the Field Marketing team. To be linked by FMM when created`)

## [Copy for emails >>]() - [template](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j43mf7Lsq2AXoNwiygGAr_laiFzmokNCfMHi7KNLjuA/edit)

* **[Best practices for setting up your event](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/self-service-ve-with-without-promotion/#best-practices)**
* **[Step-by-step instructions](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/self-service-ve-with-without-promotion/#logistical-set-up)**

## :notepad_spiral: Key Details 
* **FMM/Requester:** 
* **MPM:**  
* **FMC:** 
* **Type:** Self-service with promotion
* **Account Centric?** Yes/No
* **Event Date:**  [MM-DD-YYYY] (this is the date the event goes live)
* [ ] [main salesforce program]()
* [ ] [main marketo campaign]()
* [ ] Campaign UTM - FMM to fill in (Format: campaign tag - change to all lowercase, no spaces, hyphens, underscores, or special characters)
* [ ] Budget - Only for FMM  

## Manage presenters and create calendar event (DRI: Requestor)
* [ ] Secure date/time/presenters and add event to [Self-service virtual event calendar](https://calendar.google.com/calendar?cid=Z2l0bGFiLmNvbV9uMnNibXZmMjlqczBzM3BiM2ozaHRwa3FmZ0Bncm91cC5jYWxlbmRhci5nb29nbGUuY29t). Instructions on how to add to the calendar can be found [here](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/revenue-marketing/digital-marketing-programs/marketing-programs/virtual-events/self-service-ve-with-without-promotion/#adding-your-self-service-virtual-event-into-the-calendar).
* [ ] Block presenters calendars (starting 30 minutes prior to start) by sending them an invite with the zoom links from your personal Gcal
* [ ] Schedule dry run (optional)

## Create Zoom meeting for the event and add to /events (DRI: Requestor)
* [ ] Make sure your zoom account settings are customized accordingly for the event
* [ ] Add title, description, and event details
* [ ] (Optional: Only if you want to track registration) Update registration required
* [ ] Update Meeting options as necessary (join before host, mute participants upon entry, enable waiting room, etc.)
* [ ] Add alternate hosts as needed to support your event
* [ ] (Optional: Only if you enabled registration tracking) Once event is created, customize the registration form to include complete contact info
* [ ] Once event is created, scroll to the bottom and click email settings, then edit your confirmation email messaging
* [ ] Once event is created, add your event to about.gitlab.com/events by following the [handbook instructions](https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/marketing/events/#how-to-add-events-to-aboutgitlabcomevents)

## Issue creation (`See DRIs and assignments below`)
* [ ] [Facilitate tracking issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/digital-marketing-programs/issues/new?issuable_template=MPM-01-facilitate-tracking) - Requestor creates, assign to MPM
* [ ] [List clean and upload issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/marketing-operations/issues/new?issuable_template=event-clean-upload-list) - FMM creates, assign to FMM and MOps
* [ ] [Organic social issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/corporate_marketing/corporate-marketing/-/issues/new?issuable_template=social-event-request#) (*optional*) - Auto-assignments listed in template
* [ ] [Invitation email issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/digital-marketing-programs/-/issues/new?issuable_template=MPM-03-invitations-reminder) - Requestor creates, assign to MPM and FMC
* [ ] [Follow up email issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/digital-marketing-programs/issues/new?issuable_template=MPM-04-follow-up-email) (*if applicable*) - Requestor creates, assign to MPM and FMC
* [ ] [Add to nurture issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/digital-marketing-programs/issues/new?issuable_template=MPM-05-add-to-nurture) (*if applicable*) - FMM creates, assign to MPM
* [ ] [Field Marketing issue created](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/marketing/field-marketing/issues/new?issuable_template=self_service_event) - Only needs to be created  if you are on the Field Marketing team.

/label ~"Marketing Programs" ~"mktg-status::wip" ~"Virtual Events" ~"MPM - Radar"

Best Practices

This section pulls all the pertinent best practices from the step-by-step instructions into a quickly reviewable format, separated by various stages of the process.

General Best Practices:

Basic Zoom Settings: These settings should be updated in your personal zoom account settings by logging into the Zoom web client

Setting up Zoom event: Basic recommendations when setting up your self-service Zoom event

Pre-Event / Live Event / Post-Event

Self-service virtual event promotion guide

If you have not yet identified if a self-service virtual event is the correct event type of event for you, please scroll to the top of this page to find out.

Self-service events are organized for quick turnarounds and additional support or guidance from the team is not necessary. Using personal channels to self-promote your event comes with many benefits: it’s an authentic way for you to build your personal audience, reach people beyond GitLab’s corporate channels, and boosts your credibility online. This page outlines everything that you'll need to promote your own virtual event. This checklist should take less than 2 hours.

Please consider reviewing and applying our GitLab Team Member Social Media Guidelines prior to promoting your own event. Specifically, review our GitLab Voice information.

Checklist of deliverables to get your self-service virtual event started (details below)

How to write copy for your self-service virtual event

  1. Gather a list of handles and hashtags to include in your social copy
    • Your event topic is already a hashtag: #DevOps, #security, #RemoteWork, etc. Integrate these into your sentences naturally.
    • Do you have a guest speaker? Talking about a company, person, or brand that would have a Twitter or LinkedIn page? Include the handle (@name) in the Twitter post - and tag the appropriate page on LinkedIn.
  1. Top-Level messaging to aid in copy
    • Write 3 sentences answering these questions:
      • What topic is your virtual event about?
      • What is something that attendees will walk away with that provides them value? / Why should someone attend your virtual event?
      • Why are you the person to listen to about this topic? / What makes you the authority?
    • Use the answer to these three questions to write all copy for your promotions.
      • A "tweetable" (280 characters or less) event description - add this to your event landing page and use this as your copy for all social promo for your first post on Twitter and LinkedIn
      • Write actual social copy with your hashtags, handles, and the answers to the questions above. (If there are no handles that's okay. But there is always a hashtaggable topic. Lost? Ask #social_media on Slack)

How to make images for your self-service virtual event

Because this is a self-service virtual event, you'll also be creating your own image for promotion. Don't worry! We have everything you need.

Here's what you'll need to do:

The GitLab Canva Virtual Events Promotional Templates are a small series of "blanks" to use to promote your event! You may choose any or all of these for your virtual events. You will need to learn basic photo editing tactics if you don't know them already, but Canva is user-friendly software. Lost? Ask #social_media on Slack for assistance.

Getting the word out - Launching your self-service virtual event promotion

Now that you’ve put together the copy and creative needed to promote your event, it’s time to get the word out. Depending on how much time there is until your webcast, you may be able to promote your event more than what we’ve outlined in this section. There are more details below on a more sustained promotion for events with more than 3 days of time between promotion launch and webcast.

We recommend doing all of the following:

1. Share your event on your social media channels

Promote your event on Twitter and LinkedIn. You may also do this on Facebook or other channels, but know that Twitter and LinkedIn are key. Take the copy + creative you made and send them out to your social followers. Be sure to “convert” your @handles from Twitter to tagging people and companies on LinkedIn. While you start with “@” like all social channels, you’ll want to make sure that you select the right person or company on LinkedIn. Here is how to try this out (https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/34936/mention-people-in-your-posts?lang=en).

Building personal credibility and extending reach for your event promotions is a critical part of success. Team members who work in the same space as your topic would be more likely to share on their channels than others. Here’s how to do it while living up to our values around informal communication: Example: Your webcast is the same from our examples above, about remote DevOps. One of the topics to focus on is remote work. In addition to being a hashtag in your social posts, remote work is also the topic for a GitLab Slack channel, remote. Team members in this channel share stories and opinions on your webcast topic.

After sending out your first social media posts on Twitter and LinkedIn, copy the links to both posts. Here’s how to copy a link to your post on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/108024/finding-the-url-for-shared-content?lang=en). Here’s how to copy a link to your tweet on Twitter (https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/tweet-and-moment-url).

Take the links to your social media posts and add them to a Slack channel message. Send a variation of this message to the channel:

Hi Everyone,

I’m hosting a webcast on remote DevOps later this week. I would appreciate your support by retweeting or sharing my social posts.

Retweet My Tweet (make this a clickable link to your tweet)

Share My LinkedIn Post (make this a clickable link to your LinkedIn post)

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to contribute to the webcast.

While sharing on your social media channels and other digital spaces should occur more than once if time allows, please do not message GitLab Slack channels more than once about your webcast promotion. Please feel free to provide an update to the slack channel about what worked well or how many people attended following the end of your webcast.

3. Consider your other affiliations for promotion

Are you a part of a tech-focused nonprofit? Do you have former coworkers who would be interested in your webcast? Are you a part of group chats, Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or some other channel where members might be interested in your topic? Share it with them as well.

It’s important to note that you should be aware of sharing practices in your groups - some groups have a strict “no advertising” policy. For all Facebook and LinkedIn groups, consider reviewing any group rules and don’t get in trouble with the moderators.

Extra: Add to the events page

Add your virtual event to about.gitlab events page by following instructions for adding to event master.yml

Extra: Specific Twitter options

While we’re not suggesting that you spam your audiences, Twitter is not used in the same way LinkedIn is. On the day of your webcast, consider tweeting a photo of you prepping the webcast, tweeting a “thank you” to everyone that attended, and even consider linking to a recording (if available) for those who could not join live. It’s completely acceptable for a list of tweets on the day of your webcast to include 3-5 tweets. Ultimately, if you have something else to say, say it on Twitter.

Extra: Getting the word out - More than one-day of promotion

If you’re planning a webcast and have more than 3 days between your first day of promotion and the actual webcast, you have time to add additional posts to your promotion.

Do not promote your event more than once a day, at most. Remember, this is your network, don’t spam them.

Consider posting about non-webcast or work-related topics between webcast promotional posts.

Take the same copy you wrote in step 1 and remix it for future posts.

Logistical Set up

Adding your self-service virtual event into the calendar

This self-service virtual events calendar will be used to log all planned and scheduled self-service virtual events hosted by GitLab employees using their personal zoom accounts. The purpose of this calendar is to provide visibility and help individuals minimize topic overlap with other GitLab virtual events happening around the same time and to provide executive visibility into all self-service events GitLabbers are hosting.

DRI adding to self-service virtual event calendar: Individual hosting the virtual event.

Planned self-service virtual events:

As soon as you create the epic for your self-service virtual event, add your event to the self-service virtual event calendar by creating an event on the day you plan to host it. Make sure to also include the link to the epic in the calendar description.

For self-service events that still in planning, use the following naming convention [Hold Self-service] Event title (e.g: [Hold Self-service] How to use GitLab for project planning) and create it as an all-day event (no time slot selected).

Confirmed self-service virtual events

Once the date/time of the event has been confirmed, go to your calendar event and remove Hold from the event title to [Self-service] Event title (e.g: [Self-service] How to use GitLab for project planning). Note: In the spirit of efficiency, please be sure to add all presenters (internal GitLabbers and external speakers), the epic or issue (if you have one) and your Zoom invite info to the calendar invite so you're not having to create multiple calendar invites.

Rescheduled self-service virtual events

If the event needs to be rescheduled, please update the date/time of your event on the self-service virtual events calendar.

Canceled self-service virtual events

If the event is canceled, please remove your event from the self-service virtual events calendar.

Setting up the event in Zoom

Prerequisites

Make sure these settings are enabled in your personal zoom account settings as needed. In your zoom web interface go to Settings.

  1. To prevent meeting disruptions when participants join and leave by making sure:
    • Under In Meeting (Basic section), Play sound when participants join or leave is deactivated
    • Toggling Mute participants upon entry to active.
  2. To enable Livestream feature:
    • Under In Meeting (Advanced) section, toggle Allow live streaming the meetings and enable Youtube to active
  3. To enable Polling feature:
    • Under In Meeting (Basic) section, toggle Polling to active.
  4. To enable Breakout sessions feature:
    • Under In Meeting (Advanced) section, toggle Breakout room to active.
    • To enable pre-assigning for zoom users, check Allow host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling.
  5. Optional but useful best practice set up from Zoom to prevent Zoom Bombing (hackers hijacking your meeting).

Creating the event in Zoom

  1. Login to zoom via the web interface.
  2. Click schedule a meeting on the top right navigation.
  3. Fill in the Topic in the recommended format (this will be in the subject line for confirmation emails):
    • For One-time (non-recurring) event: Event title - DD Month, 2020 - Local time (e.g: Deploy AWS Lambda applications with ease - April 9, 2020, 9 am PT).
    • For Recurring event: Event title (e.g: Deploy AWS Lambda applications with ease).
  4. Fill in the Description with a description of what the event is about. *Note: this will be in the body for confirmation emails and landing page (if you set registration as required in step 9).
  5. Fill in When with the event date and time.
  6. Fill in Duration with the duration of the event.
  7. Select the Timezone where the event will be held.
  8. (Optional) If your event is going to be recurring, click recurring meetings and set up Recurrence and specify the End date of the recurring event.
  9. For events where you will need to track registration and attendance, make sure you check the Registration field as Required. Doing this will automatically trigger a landing page to be created for your event. 10.(Optional) If you set the event as recurring in step 8, specify which registration process will work best for your target audience:
    • Attendees register once and can attend any of the occurrences - This will automatically register the registrants to ALL sessions upon form fill.
    • Attendees need to register for each occurrence to attend - This will allow registrants to only select ONE session per form fill.
    • Attendees register once and can choose one or more occurrences to attend - Registrants are presented with checkboxes to select which session they want to attend on the landing page prior to filling out the form.
  10. (Optional) You can make the meeting private/ensure only those that registered attend by checking the Require a meeting password option and including the auto generated password in your invite (for events not requiring registration)/confirmation (for events requiring registration). This is useful so only the people you intend to invite attends the meeting and can help prevent hackers from taking over your meeting (Zoom Bombing).
  11. Specify if you want the Host and/or Participant’s video on or off.
  12. Make sure audio is set to BOTH telephone and computer audio.
  13. For meeting options configurations:
  14. Check “Enable join before host` option if you want to allow participants to join before the host(s).
  15. (Recommended) Check Mute participants upon entry to prevent disruption whenever someone joins mid-presentation.
  16. (Recommended) Check the Enable waiting room option if you’d like to choose some participants to join prior to others . This is useful to allow a final dry run between host and the other presenters right before the event. Activating this is recommended by zoom to prevent Zoom Bombing.
  17. Check Only authenticated users can join to restrict meeting only to participants that have logged in to zoom using their email address. Activating this is recommended by zoom to prevent Zoom Bombing but may impact registration due to its restrictive nature (forcing registrants to sign up for zoom before completing registration).
  18. Check the Breakout room pre-assign if you’d like to pre-assign participants to the breakout sessions prior to the meeting. Please note that only participants/hosts with @gitlab email domain can be pre-assigned via the web interface. Participants with non @gitlab email addresses need to have zoom installed in their machine to be pre-assigned, and pre-assigning for this scenario can only be done through a CSV upload.
  19. (Recommended except for meetings that are private in nature) Check Record the meeting automatically either on your local computer or in the cloud to automatically record the meeting when the host join.
  20. Add alternate host as needed (need to be a GitLab employee). For presenters that are not a GitLab employee, ask them to register as a regular participant and grant them co-host access during the meeting.
  21. SAVE your meeting.
  22. Once your event is created, scroll to the bottom of your event, click the registration (if it was selected as required), click edit, under other options, check the box for close registration after event date.
  23. :star2: (Optional) Pro tip: If you’d like to save the same set up for a future meeting Save your meeting as a Meeting template.

[Recommended for meetings requiring registration] Customize your registration form

  1. In the registration tab for the meeting that you have set up, click edit beside registration options.
  2. Click the Questions Tab and select Job Title and Country (Do not select Number of Employees as we will add that as a custom field in the next step.
  3. Click Custom Questions tab and click New Question button to add Number of Employees custom field.
    • For Type select Single answer
    • Make sure Required is checked
    • In the ` Question field, fill in Number of Employees`
    • In the answer field, fill in 1-99, 100-499, 500-1,999, 2,000-9,999, 10,000+
    • Click create
  4. (Optional) Click New Question and follow the steps outlined previously to add more custom fields. Selecting type Short Answer vs. Single Answer will allow registrants to enter a free text response vs. selecting from a picklist.
  5. Click Save All.

[Recommended for meetings requiring registration] Customize your confirmation email & trigger a reminder email

  1. In the meeting that you have set up, click the Email settings tab.
  2. Beside the Confirmation Email to Registrants section choose the email language (if not the default of English) , click edit and modify the editable Subject, Body, and Footer sections. Note: Zoom emails are text only and the layout is not editable.
  3. **(Recommended) **Reminder emails have to be triggered manually for this set up. ±1 or 2 hour prior to the event, change the subject line of the Confirmation email to [Meeting Topic] Confirmation/Reminder, then click over to the Registration tab. In the Registration tab click View , select all the registrants on that page by selecting the top left checkbox and click Resend Confirmation Email. If the registration list spans across multiple pages you must repeat this for each page.

[Optional for meetings requiring registration] Customize your landing page and email headers

  1. In the meeting that you have set up, click the Branding tab.
  2. Upload your custom image to the Banner section or use the basic GitLab image. Image requirements are as follows:
    • GIF, JPG/JPEG or 24-bit PNG
    • The suggested dimensions: 640px by 200px
    • The maximum dimensions: 1280px by 400px

[Optional] Add a poll to your meeting

  1. Make sure you have enabled Polling in your account settings.
  2. In the meeting that you have set up, click the Poll tab.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Put a descriptive title for the Poll.
  5. Specify whether you want to allow the attendees to remain anonymous when submitting a poll.
  6. Enter your poll question.
  7. Specify if the answer will be a Single choice or Multiple Choice (allows for participant to select more than one answer).
  8. Save.

During the event

[Optional] Starting Livestream for your event

  1. Make sure you have enabled Livestream in your account settings.
  2. During the virtual event, follow this step by step instructions to start LIVESTREAM.

[Optional] Playing pre-recorded video during the meeting

  1. Make sure you have your video pulled up in a video player (quicktime/youtube) on your computer
  2. On your Zoom panel, click share screen and select the video you want to share
  3. At the bottom left of the pop up screen, select Share computer sound and Optimize Screen Share for Video Clip. Click Share.
  4. Play the video.

Note: Although we can leverage this functionality for a semi-live virtual event, the audience will be able to tell that you are playing a video for them so it is good to share that information (be transparent) with them upfront.

Post event:

[Optional] Downloading the registration list

  1. Login to zoom via the web interface.
  2. On the left navigation, click Reports.
  3. Click Meeting.
  4. For Report Type, select Registration Report.
  5. For Search by time range input the date of your event, click Search.
  6. Select your event and click Generate
  7. For Registration Type select All Registrants, click Continue.
  8. Once the report finished processing, click Download.

[Optional] Downloading the attendees list.

  1. Login to zoom via the web interface.
  2. On the left navigation, click Reports.
  3. Click Usage.
  4. For From input the date of your event, click Search.
  5. Find your event, scroll right to the Participants column, click the number of participants in blue fonts, select Show unique users checkbox on the top left of the pop up page, click Export.
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