4 The lead up and going live

1. How, when and where to share my event: Communications plan, invitation and registration form design, and outputs 2. Core principles for a safer and more accessible event 3. Technical support during my event, backup plan and preventive measures 4. (Re)imagining facilitation for online events


Let’s start with privacy and security concerns. We have stressed the importance of privacy and security concerns at the different stages of your event. Privacy is key when sharing the event invitation. Keep in mind that: • You might need consent before contacting potential participants (for example, European General Data Protection Regulation, other relevant privacy laws.) • Receiving an invitation to an event can contribute to put a person being put on the spot in certain repressive contexts. Check you risk assessment for levels of risk your event may pose for different participants. • Use encryption in those cases where your invitation may pose risks for your potential participants. • Allow participants to register and participate using an alias, if possible.


Communications plan for your event

Start with a plan. Preparing in advance is key. A communications / cover plan for your event will help you decide the information that should be published and prepare the messaging accordingly. Here are the elements we include in our event communications plan:

What does messaging entail? 

There is a difference between information and messages. Messages are what you want to convey with the information you give, what you want people to remember or think about. Therefore, your messages will determine the communications tools you choose.

Work on a set of messages in advance, but also leave room for improvisation and for adjusting your content to different formats, spaces and audiences.  

Be careful with scheduling messages, as the context may have differed once these messages get sent. This is especially important in the current climate, with events changing rapidly, so if you preschedule social media post make sure to regularly monitor them and delete them if context changes. There is also a risk of the tweets appearing less personal, so if prescheduling social media posts make sure to regularly check how people are interacting with those posts.

When should you start sharing and where?

Share early (2-3 weeks before), not so early (1 week before), and right before the event (day countdown). This is generally a good sharing pattern for social media but avoid replicating it via email, which can be overwhelming and have the opposite effect. Share a final schedule with times, so potential participants can plan accordingly. And try to share at different times, keeping in mind different time zones.

In terms of channels, try different channels to reach different audiences:


How to design your online event invitation

Example: “APC invitations for Challenge lecture series”




Things to consider (not) including in your registration form

Registration is the equivalent of the name tag of an in-person meeting. It serves as a safety practice to know who is coming and who is in the “room” - it sets the tone for your policies and practices of making the environment safer. Registration can also reflect your practice of welcoming all your participants. It helps people to look for each other, meet and share. It helps in preparing plenaries and sessions to ensure the preparation team has the capacity to provide support when tech fails.

In terms of APC practice, the details provided by persons as part of the registration are used only for the purpose of the event and are deleted within 2 weeks after the event, as you can find here in our Participant registration form we used for our Member convening 2020.

Here are some things to consider when drafting registration forms:


List of suggested communications outputs for your online event

Core principles for a safer and more accessible event