Virtual events have been a great success for the Stitch Community, allowing members to connect in a variety of new ways with other members across the community, which has been particularly important during COVID-19.
After listening to feedback from members about things that have worked well, and things that could be improved, we've rolled out some changes to virtual events. This article outlines the first set of changes you can see, and what it means for you if you're an organizer of virtual events on Stitch.
Some of the improvements we've made to virtual events include:
Automatically showing the Stitch user name & location for attendees in Zoom & Stitch Video events (no more "Galaxy Tab" or "iPhone" names!)
Improved security so that only attendees can join -- the actual Zoom link will not be shown
Marking attendance automatically based on which members actually joined the meeting (i.e. no requirement that event hosts mark attendance for virtual events)
For us to be able to support all these changes, however, we have needed to make some changes to the virtual activities features. These include:
Reduced number of supported platforms
We are now only supporting the following platforms for virtual events:
Stitch Video Chat
When creating a virtual event, you will need to choose one of these platforms. For Zoom & Skype, you will only be able to create the event if you provide a valid Zoom or Skype link; no other links will be accepted.
Your meeting link will be kept hidden
Your meeting link will be hidden from all attendees. Instead of clicking the link to join, they will need to click the blue "Join now" button inside Stitch itself, from your event page. See image below. This will allow us to send the correct name across to Zoom so it can be shown in the event, as well as track who actually attended. It will also provide better security, as only verified Stitch members who have marked themselves as attending will be able to join the event.
You'll also notice that your approved event now comes with a pre-filled "Additional details" section, with specifics on how your attendees can connect to your virtual event. This means you don't need to include additional supportive information every time you post an activity on Stitch.
The "Additional details" section will vary slightly depending on whether you have selected Stitch Video Chat, Zoom or Skype. The below example features details that can be seen for an upcoming Zoom video chat.
If you use a password for your Zoom meeting, you will need to manually include it in the "Additional details" section when creating your event.