These are notes and instructions for event producers. Instructions for panellists (students and staff taking part in the chats) are here.
We are using CoveritLive (CiL) to host live web chats.These are recruitment events and normally last for an hour. We refer to live chats and webchats pretty much interchangeably.
These are a chance for prospective students to ask course or admissions questions to staff and current students.
Subscription plans and pricing
CiL bases its subscription tariffs on User Engagement Minutes (UEM). These are an estimate of amount of time people spend viewing content (but based on actual clicks).
As of February 2016 we're using the trial plan.This allows us up to 2,000 UEMs a month. If we're running no more than one chat a month and not using much multimedia this should be sufficient.
Exceeding the UEM limit
If we go exceed our limit new readers are blocked from participating. Existing readers will be able to continue.
Preparing for the live event
Registration for School participants
Setting up a live chat (plagiarised from the HSS wiki)
You can also use the 'repeat event' wizard by clicking on the magic wand icon on a completed event. This will copy over settings, but also panellist details.
1. Create a chat
Log in to CoveritLive. Under the left hand menu select '+ Add New Event'
2. Live chat basic details
- Title - write a descriptive title of the live chat so it is clear to visitors what the event is about.
- Event type - leave as 'Standard'
- Category - set to 'Education'
- Template - select 'management web chats', which should be the default
- Social sharing - turn on if you want readers to share content from your event via Facebook and Twitter
- Set date and time zone - be conscious of GMT (October-March) and BST (March-October)
3. Live chat advanced details
- Show in Live Listings - set to off
4. Customise the embed chat window
- Dimensions should be width: 480, height: 600 (will need to turn 100% width off)
- Upload live chat image - [go for 900x600 px]
- Layout style - set to 'Top'
5. Embed the chat window code in the event page:
This can be commented out until the event runs. Up until the event, use the space for a registration form.
For prospective students
CiL includes a reminder tool, but it's not very flexible and only collects users' emails.
The form should ask them for their name, their email address, DOB*, postcode*, country* and if they've got any questions they'd like to submit in advance.
*these fields are for helping the quality of data in the CRM. Not ideal, but at least only one is required.
Embed the Google form on the event page (test server: http://mnsv-laszlo.campus.bath.ac.uk/management/live-chat/index.html). You should also provide a link directly to the form - as we've seen some problems with embeds in Firefox and Internet Explorer.
It's also worth including a link to Time Zone Converter for students from other Time Zones. Don't forget to adjust the date/time on there.
In the week leading up to the event, you can invite people to take part. This is done via the 'panelists' (sic) section of the live chat. There are three levels of permissions:
- Producer: assists with the event production. They have access to all tools.
- Panelist (basic access): contributors. They can post comments and view commentary, but do not help run the event. They cannot see the moderation stream.
- Panelist (SmartStream access): as above but have access to the moderation queue, allowing them to publish unpublished comments and questions.
Only add people as producers if they will be helping run the event. Any other contributors should be added as panelist with SmartStream access.
We normally have the MSc/UG team, a couple of students, maybe an academic and some staff from admissions and accommodation. The MSc/UG office should be approaching people to take part, not us.
Invite users by adding their email address in CoveritLive, one by one. They will receive an email with instructions for joining the event. They should be encouraged to set up a meaningful display name and avatar.
MSc live chat advertising
Use this code to add a registration button (that goes to the same URL as where the webchat will take place. Add it to the div class "rankingbox". The code may already be there and commented out.
Add the code to:
- http://www.bath.ac.uk/management/ (the masters tab)
- http://www.bath.ac.uk/management/courses/ (the masters tab)
If required, you can also add a banner item to the School's landing page.
Don't forget to remove these after the event.
Update the 'content aside' element. Find out how.
Contact us page
Add an event on the 'Events' tab. Find out how.
Share the webchat link via social media a week and a day or two before each session. For MSc chats, the MSc team can make sure it's promoted on their Facebook groups.
Chinese social media
As of 30 January 2018 - it seems that Coveritlive is blocked in China (you can test it using greatfirewallofchina.org). So advertising on Chinese social media seems a bit pointless (although some sources suggest that about a third of Chinese internet users could probably access this).
Send to email@example.com
Add event to Prospective Students on Flow (as an event. Use hashtags: #external homepage, #management, #social media).
It's not entirely clear what the benefit of doing this is, but why not eh?
Contact Antonio Marcos (International Communications Coordinator), who may be able to help promote internationally
Direct email marketing
This is probably the most effective means of getting participants. Relevant administrators should be willing to send an email to applicants/enquirers informing them of the webchats. One a week before, and a follow up a day or two before should be enough.
MBA live chat advertising
- email contributors inviting them as panellists (see above)
- encourage panellists to add a picture of themselves (do they need to register first?)
- share Google form registration spreadsheet with participants
- make sure the MSc team invite applicants/enquirers via Samis
- make sure the chat is advertised widely on the website (see above) and promoted via social media
- send a reminder to those who completed the form a day before the chat (see below)
- the morning of the event (or the evening before) - replace registration form with chat window code
- email all panellists with URL, instructions for joining, questions and the instructions for panellists
Send this on the day before the event, from the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
Get the email addresses from Gecko (at the time of writing I don't know how to do this)
Always use the BCC field to send emails to students. If you don't, you'll be sharing their email addresses. If that's not a breach of the data protection act, it should be.
Suggested text - obviously you'll need to amend the time, timeanddate.com link and MSc/UG depending on the courses.
Thank you for registering for a reminder for tomorrow’s live chat event. Our MSc team and some current students will be online from 11.00 (BST). If you're joining us from another country, check what time this is here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html?iso=20171213T110000&p1=2477
You can join the chat here:
If you submitted a question through the form, we will do our best to answer it. While you wait, why not take a look at our range of MSc courses:
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
School of Management
University of Bath
The live event
It works best if as many people as possible are in the same room. Take along any laptops or tablets you have.
Panellists and participants won't be able to join until you launch the event. Launching with 15 or 20 minutes to go will give your panellists plenty of time to sign in and introduce themselves. Post a welcome note letting people know that you'll be starting soon. If you launch early, then you can link to relevant information (e.g. course pages) or embed some videos.
SmartStream is the moderation queue; use it to review content before publishing. New participant comments and moderated Tweets automatically appear here until you decide to publish.
To publish an item - mouseover the item and click or drag and drop it into your live event window. Once published the item will disappear from the SmartStream and appear live in your event.
Pause/Play allows you to pause the Stream when you have a high volume of incoming comments / tweets.
Search and Filter tools make it easy to find relevant content within your SmartStream.
Allocating questions to panellists
Unfortunately, CoveritLive lacks the ability to manually allocate questions to panellists. You can:
- use tagging to curate and organise questions before publishing. Tags are visible to all event Writers and Producers
- use the private message function to nudge people into responding to a particular question
To close off the event - post something along these lines:
Thanks very much for taking part today. We've run out of time.
If you have any more questions can find email addresses on relevant course pages (under 'get in touch') here:
Look under 'contacts' in the relevant course.
We will be running another live chat in xxxxx, check our website nearer the time for more information.
And remember you can also interact with us on social media:
Thanks for all your great questions!
After the event
- remove (or comment out) adverts from across the website
- you can leave the chat page as it is, but change the text to read e.g. 'This event took place on 25 February 2016. See below for a transcript.'
- make an archive of the session. See for example: mnsv-laszlo.campus.bath.ac.uk/htdocs/management/live-chat/past-events/23-07-15.html
- post the archive to the past event wiki page and request/collate feedback
- make amendments to this page if the process changes based on feedback
- have a nice cup of tea and maybe a biscuit