It’s hard to keep up with all the digital tools available. There’s much more out there than Zoom! Here is a list of digital tools campaigners and activists have used to support effective meetings, training and conferences. If you have any tools or notes to add to the list please contact us.
Choosing the Right Tools
Depending on your needs it might be time to try a new tool, or a combination (such as using multiple Zoom or WebEx rooms all linked from a landing page). Jess Hearne at Australian Progress suggests you decide what your priorities are and then choose the tech rather than the other way around. Consider:
- How many attendees?
- Do you need to save money?
- Do you need to sell tickets?
- Do you want participants to interact?
- Is it easy to use?
Some other factors you might want to consider:
- What tools are your participants already familiar with?
- How user-friendly are potential new tools?
- How much time and effort is required from your team ie as facilitators and tech support?
- Are tools flexible to use on different devices and run well in different browsers or web-speeds?
When trying out new tools remember to practice before you go live, especially if it’s a high stakes meeting or event!
Tools for Designing and Managing Meetings
- Built by activists, for activists – made in Melbourne, Australia
- Group organising tool for grassroots campaigns and community groups
- Good for management of meetings and keeping track of tasks
- Distributes agendas and minutes easily
- Create, share and organize your workshop or training content
- Search library of facilitation techniques to add to your meetings
- Change timings easily
- Easy to use and collaborate in real time
- Access Workshop templates and edit to suit your needs e.g. Activating a Culture of Wellbeing in the Nonprofit Workplace by Beth Kanter or a Brand Sprint
- A new tool coming out soon – sign up to their waitlist to find out when it is available.
- Watch Sesh Demo
- Video conferencing
- Voting anonymously
- Easy to use
- This information isn’t available yet
Tools for Online Conferences
- Opensource and focus is on online learning
- Suitable for smaller conferences – A session can support up to 100 users or 150 simultaneous users, such as 3 simultaneous sessions of 50 users, 6 x 25, etc.
- Accessible to users with visual and/or audible disabilities. Supports live closed captioning.
- Runs within web browser, no need to install software
- Conferencing tool with virtual rooms/spaces, like a virtual venue, where people can interact more effectively online.
- Participants interact as avatars and can wander around and ‘bump’ into people such as at a real conference.
- Make formal spaces (booths, presentation rooms, classrooms, etc. ) and informal/community spaces (tv room, outdoor lounge, beer garden, etc.)
- Customisable and integrations such as Zoom, whiteboards, podiums, video streams
- Watch quick video to get an idea how it works
- Another similar tool is Online Town, which is free but with less customizable elements.
- Live video chat
- Caters from small to large audiences
- Can make event free or can sell tickets
- Event can be secure and invite only
- Apply your own branding
- Event chats
- Live Group Breakouts
- Good with accessibility
- Quality is good
- Virtual Progress 2020 – How to run a virtual conference by Australia Progress
In this video Australian Progress explain why they chose to use Hopin and Zoom and why. The conference included 1,600 participants, 225 speakers from 13 countries, 5,000+ live chat messages and more than 60 sessions.
- Grass-roots Nuclear Advocates and Activists 2020
- Activism in 2020: This One’s for the People
- Run courses / training online
- Pricing – Starts for free, $23/month for community groups
- The Campaign Network (Tools to win the fight against oil and gas)
- Harm Network and FracTracker Alliance recently hosted an environmental justice awards ceremony
- All-in-one event platform for midsize to large conferences and events (need more than 100 attendees/year)
- User-friendly, customisable and gamification options
- Chats, polls, networking tools, messaging
- Works with Zoom or similar video conferencing software
- Sell tickets
- Event app and website
- Can be used for both fully-online and hybrid events
- Pricing for the core system starts at $99/month (billed annually) and depends on the number of attendees as well as whether the event is in-person, virtual, or hybrid. An unlimited number of events can be run on the platform each year.
- Live polling
- Message board
- Gamified ‘Participation score’ leaderboard
- App also works in browser
- Community boards and topic areas – start one and/or follow
- Amnesty International USA’s 2020 Virtual Activism Conference
- National Youth Employment Coalition 2020 Annual Forum
- Birddog Nation Documentary
Tools for Increasing Participation
- Online Training Monster Manual – Over 80 tools to make your workshops and events more participatory and interactive
- Mural – Visual collaboration tool
- Mentimeter – Run live polls and quizzes
- Loomio – Streamline decision-making
- Miro – Online sticky notes
- GroupMap – Online brainstorming tool
- Sketchboard – Virtual Whiteboard
- Soundcloud Royalty Free Music – Use music to create a vibe, thinking time
- Top virtual event platforms, Sourceforge – You can compare different platforms using filters on the left-hand side of screen
- How to run online conferences and retreats, Australian Progress
- Online Meeting Guides to Get Through COVID-19
- Power Dynamics and Inclusion in Virtual Meetings
- How to have inclusive online meetings
- Facilitating online meetings
- Hosting virtual hybrid meetings, Blueprints for Change
- HUM: Double the engagement and productivity of your next online meeting
- Organise – Private Facebook group (thanks for your suggestions!) Request to join
- Blueprints for Change – What are the best digital platforms for hosting online conferences that are more than just a bunch of panel discussions?