Symposiums, Colloquiums, and Events Using Google Sites

A symposium, colloquium, or seminar is a group meeting led by experts that focus on a specific topic or discipline. These events typically take place over the course of a few days and involve cooperative discussion, multiple speakers, and opportunities to share perspectives and issues related to the topic. Attending the event has numerous benefits, including improving communication skills, gaining expert knowledge, networking with others, and renewing motivation and confidence. 

The event requires a website on the Internet that is able to provide attendees access to needed information (Hershock & LaVaque-Manty, 2012). This same website is updated throughout all stages of the event to publish the details of decisions made by the event organizers, market the event, provide a central location for attendees to register, create their schedule for the event, find locations of presentations and activities, look for answers to frequently asked questions, interact with speakers and attendees, complete surveys, and follow-up on any post event summaries and statistics (Rubinger et al., 2020). Include links to your event Site in all of the marketing and promotional materials you write. 

Whether your event is a webinar, in-person, or a hybrid of these options, create a website to present, organize, market, and document your symposium, colloquium, seminar, or event. There are several software solutions that can be incorporated into your event website. The recommended solution using software applications available at TWU is to design and publish the following:

  • Google Site - use a Google Site to design and publish the event website. Review Google Sites Training and Help
  • Google Chat - use Google Chat to create conversation and interactions between attendees. Review Google Chat Training and Help
  • Google Forms - use Google Forms for registration and for attendees to complete at the conclusion of the event to provide feedback to use in the planning of future events. Review Google Forms Training and Help
  • Zoom Meetings - for webinars create Zoom Meetings for attendees to join online. During the Zoom Meetings there are opportunities to use Polls and Display Messages. Review Zoom Web Portal Settings for Webinars 
  • Live Streaming Links - for in-person sessions contact the TWU Service Desk to request live streaming services for remote attendees. Submit a Technology Service Desk email to start a ticket.
  • Twitter - Use social sharing as part of your webinar strategy and create your own hashtag, so your attendees can interact on Twitter, throughout the event. Review training opportunities LinkedIn Learning Twitter

Your event Site is a critical communication resource and should evolve over the life of the symposium, colloquium, or seminar. The Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology has compiled several recommendations to consider:

  • Before the event
    • The Site banner is what attendees see the instant they land on your Site. Use your academic component or department logo (if you have one) to brand your event. Incorporate the name of the conference, when, and where the event will be held. Maroon MUST be the most dominant color in any design (at least 60%) where color is permitted. You may use black and/or screen of black to create gray to accent your design. Review TWU Website Colors
    • Emphasize the date and time on the event Site. If possible consider adding this information to the Banner at the top of the home page.
    • Post the agenda/program with timetables and locations as soon as it is available. Let it be visible on the event Site so that potential attendees can think about planning their day(s) around sessions, breaks, and networking opportunities (Oeppen et al., 2020).
    • Highlight the registration form and make the registration process as clear as possible allowing interested attendees to register anytime they want. Consider using Google Forms to create the registration form. Make sure to send a confirmation email right after they register to acknowledge their submission.
    • Offer attendees the add-to-calendar button so they will be just one click away from your event.
    • Add a few catchy images and the-best-of videos from your earlier events to boost interest among your target audience.
    • Ask registered attendees to consider a simple call to action. Make the call to action clear. For example, sign up, invite friends, and share that you are attending.
  • During the event
    • Add testimonials to the event Site before and during the event. Include photos of the event, your team, and venue on the event Site.
    • Use Google Chat to create discussions between attendees which helps to establish a sense of community on the event Site.
    • For webinars create Zoom Meetings for attendees to join online. For in-person sessions include live streaming links for remote attendees.
    • During the Zoom Meetings there are opportunities to use Polls and Display messages.
    • Use social sharing as part of your event strategy and create your own hashtag, so your moderator and the audience can interact on social media platforms, like Twitter, throughout the event.
  • After the event
    • Use Google Forms to create surveys for attendees to complete at the conclusion of the event.
    • Continue to post fresh news and post-event updates. Add an event summary that includes access to recordings, presentations, and handouts. Thank sponsors, speakers, and attendees. 
    • Add a Frequently Asked Questions page. It will allow you to keep current and future attendees informed.
    • Announce future symposiums, colloquiums, or seminars.

The remainder of this article will describe the individual use cases the academic component or department will need to be able to successfully create the event Site for the symposium, colloquium, or seminar:

  • Create a Google Site for the Event
  • Update and Personalize Your Site
  • Share the Event Site
  • Preview and Publish Your Event Site

Create a Google Site for the Event

Create a new Google Site

When you create a new site, it is added to Drive, just like other Drive files. Anyone that will be allowed to design and develop the Site and be invited to be an editor. When you are creating your Site, keep the Google Sites Training and Help open in a separate browser tab for reference if you have questions.

Step-by-Step How To

Use the requirements and agenda/program outlined by the academic component or department for the event to decide the overall design and organization of the Site. The steps to create your Site include:

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Click on the App Launcher
  3. Click Sites
  4. Follow the steps to Create your site
  5. Follow the steps to Invite others to edit your site
  6. Follow the steps to Name your site
  7. Follow the steps to Select a layout
  8. Follow the steps to Select a background image, header type, and theme
  9. Follow the steps to Add, reorder, and nest pages
  10. Follow the steps to Set up site navigation

Share the Event Site with Other Editors

Share and Collaborate on Sites

At any point while working on your site, you can share it with other members of the event planning committee to collaborate or request feedback on the content. Anyone that will be allowed to design and develop the Site and be invited to be an editor.

Step-by-Step How To

Use the requirements and agenda/program outlined by the academic component or department for the event to decide who can view the Site. The steps to share your Site include:

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Click on the App Launcher
  3. Click Sites
  4. Follow the steps to Share and collaborate on Sites

Update and Personalize Your Site

Learn the Basics of Creating and Editing Content on Your Site

It is important to reflect on what is the most important to attendees when deciding on the layout of your event Site. Consider the following as part of your event Site design:

  1. Home page - Take the time to create a well designed home page to make a great first-impression. The home page has to be user-friendly and informative enough, but also visually attractive and intriguing for prospective attendees to click to learn more. 
  2. Event navigation - Keep your navigation simple. Speakers and attendees should be able to quickly find the information they are looking for. Focus your top-level menu on ‘must know’ information.
  3. About section - Write a compelling short paragraph (3-4 sentences) about the theme/overview. This needs to sell your event to attendees and make them want to register. Link to full background papers to provide more in-depth information.
  4. Speakers section - Speakers attract audiences. Add your top 3 speaker’s photos with a few sentences about who they are and why/what they are presenting. Add in the speaker’s social media links for your attendees to follow them in the lead up to the event.
  5. Agenda/Program - Many event Sites include the agenda or program in the navigation bar, others link to it throughout the Site. There is no right or wrong format, set this up based on your event activities and schedule.
  6. Registration page - Display registration information prominently on the page and remember to add a register button.
  7. Frequently asked questions - Include a frequently asked questions page, sub-page, or page section on your event Site to answer common questions for attendees.
  8. Social functions - Connecting and networking with peers and speakers is a valuable experience at any symposium, colloquium, and event. Add a few sentences about social functions to attract attendees.
  9. Location and Accommodation - If there are in-person aspects of your event, a few sentences about the venue is helpful. Be certain to include a Google map of the location, and information on how to get there by public transport and where to park. If attendees will be traveling to the event and staying locally include relevant recommendations about hotel and airfare discounts and recommendations. Add an extra touch to this section by providing information about the city and/or links to local tourism websites.
  10. Sponsors - Give your sponsors recognition and display their logo (and level of sponsorship) in a clear, respectful way. This is very important if you want to attract further sponsorship. Find opportunities throughout your Site to provide extra value to your sponsors. If they are sponsoring a session or an event, mention them in the relevant section and add in their logo.
  11. Contact page - Make it easy for attendees to get in touch with you. List phone numbers and email addresses for event organizers either as a separate navigation item or in the footer of each page. Alternatively, add a contact us form that is automatically sent to the correct person in your organization.
  12. Website footer - Utilize the website footer. Not only is it a great place to add contact details but it is where you should add your social media links (remember to add in your conference hashtag). Including social links adds another way for attendees to contact you and gives them an opportunity to engage with the conference from the beginning.

Step-by-Step How To

Use the requirements and agenda/program outlined by the academic component or department for the event to decide the information added, and who can edit the event Site. The steps to personalize your Site include (some steps may be optional):

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Click on the App Launcher
  3. Click Sites
  4. Follow the steps to Add content to your site
  5. Follow the steps to Edit text
  6. Follow the steps to Edit sections
  7. Follow the steps to Edit images
  8. Follow the steps to Add a banner
  9. Follow the steps to Add a logo
  10. Follow the steps to Add content from another website
  11. Follow the steps to Move and resize content

Preview and Publish Your Site

Preview and Publish the Site

You can preview your new ePortfolio Site before you publish. When you are ready, you select who will be able to view the published event Site. When you click Publish in your event Site, you allow other people to view the current version of your site. You can set options to (1) allow anyone @twu.edu or anyone on the web to visit your site, and (2) allow your site to appear in search results.

Step-by-Step How To

Use the requirements and agenda/program outlined by the academic component or department for the event publish your Site. The steps include (some steps may be optional):

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Click on the App Launcher
  3. Click Sites
  4. Follow the steps to Preview your site
  5. Follow the steps to Publish your site for the first time
  6. Follow the steps to Change your site’s URL
  7. Follow the steps to Unpublish your site
  8. Follow the steps to Search in a site

References

Support Options

  1. Access the Sites Cheat Sheet or reference the Google Sites Training and Help for step-by-step instructions to create, update, personalize, share, preview, and publish an event Site.
  2. Contact an Instructional Design Partner to learn more about using Google Sites for symposiums, colloquiums, and events.
  3. To request technical support, submit a Technology Service Desk email to start a ticket.

Details

Article ID: 133735
Created
Mon 6/28/21 4:17 PM
Modified
Tue 6/29/21 11:56 PM