Online Events Guidance & Policy

 

At SouthWestFest we are committed to providing a safe, inclusive and accessible space for our festival audience and participants to enjoy taking part in our events, workshops and activities, both online and offline. On this page your will find the following our Guide for Safely Enjoying Online Events and our Online Events Safeguarding Policy – For events directly produced by SouthWestFest. If you have any further queries please contact us via our contact form here.  

 

We have created the following guidance to support your enjoyable participation in SouthWestFest online events.

Advice for joining online Zoom events and workshops:

  1. Participants are advised not to have their full name showing on their Zoom log in to minimise the potential for seeking out individuals on social media after the event 
  2. Adults must be present with children and young people for any online event produced for a family audience.
  3. Participants should find a quiet, comfortable place to sit while attending the session. If there is anything in the background that they would be more comfortable not showing on screen for any reason, they are free to use Zoom’s “Virtual Background” feature by clicking on the arrow next to the “Stop Video” button at the bottom of their screen. This will allow them to use a computer generated image as their backdrop for the duration of the workshop. 
  4. When participants are not actively taking part in the discussion, they should mute their microphone, this helps the clarity of communication for those speaking to the group.
  5. Participants are advised they should not take screenshots or photographs of their screens on their smartphones. Any relevant presentations or worksheets will be provided in digital format.
  6. While SouthWestFest believes that being able to see one another helps our sessions feel more interactive and personal, we respect that some participants may wish to turn their video feed off during the event, or parts of it. They can do this using the “Stop Video” button at the bottom of their screen.

Respectful Conduct & Behaviour:

SouthWestFest’s commitment to protecting participants at our events includes protecting participants from others who may seek to engage in abusive or inappropriate behaviour. 

We are well aware that online platforms which offer video and audio functionality are open to many varieties of abuse, and SouthWestFest are clear that we have a zero tolerance policy to abusive or inappropriate behaviour. The following activities are considered abusive or inappropriate and will result in banning from the SouthWestFest platform and all future online or in-person events.

  • Posting abusive or inappropriate messages in public chat
  • Sending abusive or inappropriate messages to the host via live chat
  • Using abusive, insulting, or offensive language or behaviour over a video call
  • Sharing inappropriate images on screen, via chat or as a virtual background

Recording & Data Privacy:

All SouthWestFest online events will be recorded for use as reference in the case of an incident or dispute. 

SouthWestFest uses Zoom’s Cloud Recording function to create a record of all online events. However, participants should be assured that recordings only store the image of the speaker – so usually the host or anyone who might be answering a question. Recording also does not take place in breakout rooms unless a Host is present.

This data is held electronically for 90 days and will only be referred to if an incident is reported. After 90 days have elapsed any data stored by SouthWestFest will be deleted.

Partner Events listed as part of SouthWestFest Digital Festival:

This policy is only applicable to online events produced and co-produced by SouthWestFest. All events that are produced by our partners as part of the open-access programme are not covered by our safeguarding policy, and are subject to the policies and procedures of those organisations. Should you have an issue during one of our partner’s online events, please raise it directly with their organiser via our contact form here in so that we are aware of the situation. Our guidance on Respectful Conduct and Behaviour should be followed for all events. 

Contact information:

If you have any questions, or concerns regarding the delivery of our online events, please contact us by clicking here.

 

At SouthWestFest we are committed to protecting the children, young people and vulnerable adults who take part in our festival activities. The purpose of this policy is to provide SouthWestFest staff, contractors, volunteers and partners with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding  in general, and our approach to safeguarding when using online video conferencing platforms.

Online Events, Workshops and Activities Types of Delivery:

SouthWestFest uses the Zoom platform to provide our online festival events, workshops and activities. Zoom is a widely used video conferencing platform, and a service that SouthWestFest pays for. In the case of online festival programme events, workshops and activities, participants are invited via email to sign into Zoom meetings and utilise live video and audio to communicate directly with SouthWestFest staff, contractors, volunteers and guest facilitators. 

In these sessions, any of the following things may happen:

  • Facilitators will present information through live video recordings, shared screen functions and slide presentations.
  • Participants may be encouraged to ask questions via a live chat app, in which their messages will be visible to the rest of the attendees. 
  • Participants will also be able to talk using their computer’s microphone, both to the host and to all other participants attending.
  • Participants’ video and audio feeds will be visible to the rest of the workshop attendees unless audio is muted (which can be controlled by the participant or the host) or their video is stopped (which can be controlled by the participant).
  • Groups of participants may be separated into virtual “breakout rooms” for discussion around a certain topic. Within these groups they will be able to communicate with each other via video and text chat. Hosts are also able to enter and leave these groups, as well as call participants back to the main session at any time.
  • Hosts may share their screen with the workshop’s attendees at any time in order to show presentations or video content. They can also send files (e.g. presentation slides or activity sheets) via the live chat function, which participants can open on their computers. 
  • Zoom’s online “polling” feature may be used to ask multiple choice questions to the group to gauge their thoughts on a range of subjects. The responses are anonymised and this data may be recorded anywhere by SouthWestFest.

Safeguarding Measures:

The following measures will be used in all sessions to ensure that participants  are protected while taking part in our online events, workshops and activities:

  • First and foremost, abusive or inappropriate behaviour by participants, staff, or any other attendee to the event will not be tolerated and the offending person will be immediately removed from the session and potentially referred to the appropriate authorities. (See Behaviour section below for more details on this).
  • At minimum one SouthWestFest Host will hold a valid DBS Certificate.
  • At no point will participants find themselves in one-on-one conversation with any single member of staff or another participant. Other participants or staff members (Hosts or Co-Hosts) will always be present.
  • We will ensure that “Breakout room” group sessions contain at least three participants, and will be facilitated  by at least one Host during the breakout period
  • While SouthWestFest believes that being able to see one another helps our sessions feel more interactive and personal, we respect that some participants may wish to turn their video feed off during the event, or parts of it. They can do this using the “Stop Video” button at the bottom of their screen.
  • SouthWestFest will conduct a Risk Assessment to assess any additional safeguarding measures required for specific events.
  • All SouthWestFest online events will be recorded for use as reference in the case of an incident or dispute.  
  • Participants will be advised that they should not take screenshots or photographs of their screens on their smartphones. Any relevant presentations or worksheets will be provided in digital format.

Behaviour:

SouthWestFest’s commitment to protecting participants  in our events includes protecting participants from others who may seek to engage in abusive or inappropriate behaviour. 

We are well aware that online platforms which offer video and audio functionality are open to many varieties of abuse, and SouthWestFest are clear that we have a zero tolerance policy to abusive or inappropriate behaviour. The following activities are considered abusive or inappropriate and will result in banning from the SouthWestFest platform and all future online or in-person events.

  • Posting abusive or inappropriate messages in public chat
  • Sending abusive or inappropriate messages to the host via live chat
  • Using abusive, insulting, or offensive language or behaviour over a video call
  • Sharing inappropriate images on screen, via chat or as a virtual background
  • Attempting to address or contact other participants or staff outside of the workshop

Guidelines for Producing, Hosting and Facilitating online events:

Any SouthWestFest representative (staff, contractors, volunteers) working online needs to take a considered approach to safeguarding. Please use the following as key guidelines when producing and hosting online events, workshops and activities:

  1. When working with young people and children ensure it is always the parent who is logging into the lesson so child-related data is never used.
  2. Stipulate  that online event facilitators do not use their phones as their host device.
  3. Disable screen sharing for participants
  4. Do not share URLs for meetings on social media
  5. Do not accept or use a link unless you know the source
  6. The facilitator is the host of the meeting and has to allow someone into the session
  7. Requiring all participants to sign up in advance
  8. Password protecting the Zoom session 
  9. Lock the meeting once it is underway
  10. Only the hosts can share screens
  11. Only the hosts can record the sessions
  12. Hosts can mute people and remove them from the group instantly if needed
  13. Do not initiate or engage in one-to-one conversations with individual participants
  14. Do not exchange personal contact details with any participant or add them as friends on social media
  15. Review and follow any actions outlined on the risk assessment conducted for each individual event
  16. Listen for and report any safeguarding concerns with the festival staff

Recording & Data Management:

SouthWestFest uses Zoom’s Cloud Recording function to create a record of all online events. However, participants should be assured that recordings only store the image of the speaker – so usually the host or anyone who might be answering a question. Recording also does not take place in breakout rooms unless a Host is present.

This data is held electronically for 90 days and will only be referred to if an incident is reported. After 90 days have elapsed any data stored by SouthWestFest will be deleted.

Reporting An Incident:

At SouthWestFest we want all participants to feel that they are in a safe, comfortable, and professional environment when taking part in any of our events, including those held online. If any participant feels that anything has taken place such as those detailed above, they should feel free to contact us here.