Coronavirus

Ways you can help your community

How to set up an online activity

Last updated: 9 June, 2020

Setting up an online activity means: 

  • people in your community can still get together and interact with each other

  • there's no event space hire or catering costs

  • people can view a recording of the activity at a time that suits them

What you need  

  • a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone with an in-built camera and microphone 

  • access to wifi 

  • a quiet room 

  • tripod or a stack of books 

Top tips  

1Decide whether to run the activity live or pre-record it

Live stream means that you all go online at the same time, interact with the activity together, then stop at the same time. 

It can be a good option if you want: 

  • other people to interact with you or each other during the activity – this can be via audio, video or messaging  

  • to stream something as it's happening 

  • to record the activity and share it with people later 

Pre-recording means you record your activity in advance.    

It can be a good option if you: 

  • don't need other people to interact with you or each other during the recording 

  • want a few attempts at recording it  

  • want to share the activity with people later – you can still set a time to do this so that a group watches it together 

2Structure the activity

Decide what format you want the activity to take. You can: 

  • chat with others over video or audio   

  • share your screen so that your guests can see what you’re seeing – that could be a slide deck, a video or documents 

  • run a webinar (usually someone presenting a seminar of a topic, followed by questions) 

  • record a session in advance, then watch it as a group to get feedback     

Work out how long the activity will take.  

Plan what you want to cover within that time and allocate rough timings.  

3Choose what software you’ll use

You can live stream or pre-record for free on your device using: 

You need to register for these services but your guests won’t need to. Or you can record live videos and get live comments from people in your network using: 

4Decide how you’ll take payments (if you’re charging for your online activity)

You can use: 

5Let people know about your activity

Pre-record  

If you’ve already recorded your activity, you’ll have a link to the recording. 

You can send this to your network via email or on social media.  

Live stream  

You'll be able to get a link from the service you’re using which will only be active when you log on at the set time. You can send this out to your network in advance, via email or on social media.  

Allowing people to register in advance can help you get an idea of how many people to expect, and who they are. 

When you send it out include: 

  • what the activity is 

  • who it’s for  

  • what they’ll get out of it

  • when it is

  • if there’s anything they need to prepare

  • that it’s online

6Share any materials and ask for feedback

If you’ve prepared any materials for the activity, like a presentation or video, share it with the people who attended. 

This is often a good opportunity to ask for feedback too. You could ask them to reply to your email or social media post, or use a survey like Google forms.  

Make it for everyone 

  • explain how the activity will be structured and how people can contribute 

  • reassure people that they don’t have to contribute if they don’t want to 

  • let people know how they can turn their camera on or off 

  • let people know how they can mute or unmute  

  • regularly check in with the group, encourage feedback 

  • if there’s a messaging or chat service, check if there are any comments there 

  • make sure there are no flashing lights  

  • use British Sign Language interpreters if possible 

  • recap what you’ve been through at the end  

  • share any slides or materials after the event  

  • if you send out the recording afterwards, include a transcript 

Useful websites

Share your story

Do you have a story about how your community has come together to support each other?

We'd love to share your story on our website to encourage other people to get or offer support.

Share your story