Greeters & Moderators Prep Page

Thank you for volunteering to help with the OpenSimulator Community Conference!  This page contains information for Greeters & Moderators to prepare for the conference.

Quick Reference Links

Note that only approved volunteers will have access to the Google Docs.  Email hr@avacon.org if you should have access but don’t!  To access the Google Docs folder, you will need to be logged into the email address associated with your access.

Greeters

Greeters are primarily responsible for welcoming conference attendees to whatever region they are assigned to and helping the audience with basic questions such as viewer technical support, wayfinding, and helping people figure out where they are supposed to go or be.  Greeters can also monitor local chat in the area to make sure anyone who needs help is being assisted and to ensure no one is being disruptive or causing problems for other attendees.

One of the most important factors for the successful performance of the grid server is how quickly we can get attendees of a session to sit down.  A sitting avatar greatly reduces the load on the simulator, whereas a standing, walking, or flying avatar is sending constant position information that the simulator has to update.  Greeters will play a crucial function in the overall success of the conference by encouraging people to sit as soon as they arrive, and reminding people not to stand or fly until the session is over.

Moderators

Moderators are primarily responsible for welcoming conference speakers to whatever region they are assigned to and making sure the speaker has everything they need to give a successful presentation.  Moderators introduce the speaker at the start of each breakout session in voice via Skype, and keep an eye on the clock to remind the speaker when they have 5 minutes left of their session, and then close out the session by thanking the speaker.  It is very important that each breakout session ends on time so that the next breakout session doesn’t start late!

Moderators can also help monitor local chat to look for questions for the speaker if they feel comfortable doing so and watch the UStream channel embedded chat to relay questions from the web audience to the speaker.   Although there is no such thing as a “dumb” question, moderators should use good judgement to ask the speaker the most relevant questions or the most frequently asked questions, since time is often limited and only a few questions can be addressed.

Sample Moderator Timeline for a PANEL SESSION

8:45AM
Teleport to the region where the presentation will take place.  If the region is full and you can’t get in, alert conference admins using the Skype Volunteer channel.

8:50ish AM
The Streaming Team will pull you and the speaker(s) into a chat or call on Skype. They may do a quick test call to check your connection and audio levels.  Simultaneously, you need to make your way to the stage and stand/sit on the black podium stage right, while the speaker goes to the stage in-world and sits in the center podium to load their slides.

8:55AM
You, the speaker(s), and the streaming team will all be in the same Skype channel and the call will start shortly before the presentation begins.  This is a good time to check with the speaker and ask how they want to handle Q&A for their session.  If you do NOT feel comfortable handling questions, let the speaker know that.

9:00AM
The Streaming Team will let you know when the stream is live, begin the session by using the script below!

9:30AM
IM the speaker to remind them there are 15 minutes remaining in the presentation.  If they haven’t taken questions yet, should probably start.

9:40AM
IM the speaker to remind them to start wrapping up..

9:43AM
Close the session using the script below.  ON TIME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. If you have to “interrupt” the speaker to end the session, be polite but firm.  Every minute your session runs late puts the next session behind schedule.

9:45AM
The Skype call is ended.  You and the presenter(s) leave the stage.  Congrats!

Sample Moderator Introduction Script

[Note:  You will be provided with a script for each session your moderate before the conference.]

Hello everyone, and welcome to the <TIME> breakout session of the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2016!

As a reminder to our in-world and web audiences, you can view the full conference schedule on our website at conference.opensimulator.org, and you can post your questions in local chat, on the UStream chat, or tweet your comments using the hashtag OSCC16.

Single Presenters
This hour, we are happy to introduce <SPEAKER’S FIRST AND LAST AVATAR NAME>, who will be presenting <SESSION TITLE>.  <READ SPEAKER BIO (or abbreviated version of it if it’s very lengthy)>.

Welcome, <SPEAKER’S FIRST AVATAR NAME>!

[Speaker takes over talking.]

Panel Presentation
This hour, we are happy to introduce a terrific panel on <SESSION TITLE>.  Our panelists include <PANELISTS FIRST AND LAST AVATAR NAMES>.  <READ EACH PANELIST’S BIO (or abbreviated version of it if it’s very lengthy)>.

Welcome, all, let’s begin the panel!

[Panelists take over talking.]

Sample Moderator Closing Script

Single Presenters
Thank you <SPEAKER’S FIRST NAME>, for a terrific presentation!  As a reminder to our audience, you can see what’s coming up on the conference schedule at conference.opensimulator.org.  In this room, the next session will be <NEXT SESSION TITLE> with <NEXT SESSION SPEAKER(S) NAMES>.

Thank you again to our speaker and the audience, we’ll be back shortly with the next session!

Panel Presentation
Thank you to our panel for a terrific presentation!  As a reminder to our audience, you can see what’s coming up on the conference schedule at conference.opensimulator.org.  In this room, the next session will be <NEXT SESSION TITLE> with <NEXT SESSION SPEAKER(S) NAMES>.

Thank you again to our speaker(s) and the audience, we’ll be back shortly with the next session!

Escalating Problems and When to Skype

Sine Whatever is the Team Lead for Greeters and Moderators (Sine is pronounced SHEE-na).  If you’re experiencing a problem or need help, you should contact Sine first if possible to see if she can help you resolve the issue.

If the situation is an emergency, for example a region is crashing, or you have a serious griefing problem, or if for some reason you can’t reach Sine in world, then you should use the Skype Volunteer group chat to alert one of the conference admins.   We can use the Skype Volunteer group for non-emergencies too, but just keep in mind that the admins are going to be very very busy and it will be helpful for us if the Skype channel is only used when it’s really necessary.  For more informal communication between staff, chatting and general information sharing, use the OSCC16 Staff group chat in-world.  That way if we (admins) have time to scan the group channel in world we will, and we’ll know if something is blinking on Skype that it needs our urgent attention.

Dealing with Unexpected Crashes & Difficult People

Please remember that no matter what happens, the situation will not be better if you panic!  Keep your cool and the show will go on, one way or the other.  Also remember that you are representing the conference in your capacity as a staff member and volunteer, so no matter what, your conduct must be professional and courteous at all times.

If the region you are in crashes, or even if the entire grid goes down, know that the admins will be working as quickly as possible to bring everything back online.  The Skype Volunteer group channel will become our primary communication channel if the entire grid goes down, so check there for information first, and then log back in as soon as you can to help redirect people to where they need to go.

If you find yourself dealing with a difficult person, again, remember to keep your composure and remain calm, professional, and courteous even if the other person is not.  Depending on the severity of the disturbance, you can first try to resolve the issue yourself if you think that’s possible, preferably in Instant Message instead of Local Chat if the person is being disruptive.

Try to be patient, and always err on the side of assuming the other person isn’t intending to be disruptive – we have attendees from all over the world, there may be language barriers, and some people are very new to virtual worlds or OpenSimulator and may not understand what they are supposed to do.

If all attempts at reasonable communication seem to be failing, then follow these steps:

1.  Alert Sine Whatever as soon as you realize you might have a problem.  She may need a moment to respond to your request, so don’t wait until it’s already a disaster to contact her.

2.  Be specific but kind in your instructions to the disruptive person.   For example, “I understand you’re having difficulty, but your chat is disrupting the session.  Please look at my Instant Message so we can help you resolve the problem.”

3.  Alert conference admins on Skype if the situation is clearly griefing.  If someone is clearly intent on disrupting the event, we need to know sooner rather than later so we can remove them from the situation.

That’s pretty much the general outline of what greeters, moderators, and staff are responsible for during the conference. Thank you again for volunteering to help with the event, please know the show could not go on without you and we are tremendously grateful for your help!

Greeters & Moderators FAQ

Q:  Will Greeters & Moderators have a uniform?  Is it required?
A:   A conference shirt will be provided to you so that attendees can easily visually identify conference staff.  You should wear your conference shirt whenever you are “on duty” but if you wish to wear something else when not scheduled to work, that’s ok too.

Q: Do I have to use Skype?
A:  
All volunteers must have a Skype account so we can communicate with you in the event of technical difficulties with the conference grid.  If you don’t already have an account, please download and install Skype, create an account, and add “AvaConInc” as a contact so you can be added to the OSCC16 Volunteer Skype channel.

Q:  I’m a Moderator, how will I be added to the Skype call to introduce my speaker?
A: 
 
At least 10 minutes prior to the start of your session, a member of the Streaming Team will “pull you into” a Skype group with your speaker or panelists.  They will take care of adding you to the call, you don’t have to do anything except pay attention to the Skype window before your session begins.

Q:  Do I need to have the Moderator or Greeter group role tag visible in the OSCC Staff group?
A:  
Yes!  You will be assigned to the appropriate group roles based on the final schedule, and you can change your group tag role by going to Communicate > Groups > OSCC Staff > Info > Select your active role in the lower right corner.

Q:  Do I need a local account or is it ok to use my HyperGrid account?
A:  Based on our experience, we recommend a local account for conference staff, however, a HyperGrid account should work ok in theory.  If you originally requested an HG account but now want a local account, email chris.collins@avacon.org and include your avatar name and starter avatar preference (Office Male/Female, Cyberpunk Male/Female, or Hippo Avatar).

Q:  I signed up to volunteer, but I don’t have an account yet, what do I do?
A:  
You must have registered for the conference on Eventbrite to be given an account.  If you registered but don’t have an account yet, please email chris.collins@avacon.org to check the account status.

Q:  Will we be using in-world voice for the presentations?
A:  NO.  In-world voice will be completely disabled on all presentation regions.  All audio for the presentations will be streamed from Skype into the parcel media settings in-world.

Q:  I’m a moderator, how do I handle audience questions?
A:  This depends on the preference of the speaker.  When you are pulled into the Skype chat with the speaker, you can ask them how they want to handle audience Q&A.  Some speakers prefer to take questions any time, some speakers prefer to wait till the end.  Some speakers would like you to take incoming questions to pass to them, some speakers would prefer to take the questions themselves.  If you feel comfortable helping, you can scan the text chat for questions in-world and on the UStream channel chat and help pass those on to the speaker.  If you feel overwhelmed,  tell the speaker in advance that they should let the audience know how to communicate questions to them.  No moderator should feel too stressed out about the “questions” question, it usually sorts itself out fairly naturally and at the end of the day, it’s the speaker’s responsibility to establish how they want to handle questions with the audience, not yours.

Q:  I’m a moderator, when I’m introducing a speaker, do I use their avatar name or their real life name?
A:  Use the name listed on the online schedule for their session, and then when you read their bio introduction if they have chosen to disclose their real life identity you can read what’s there.  Some speakers have chosen to keep their real identity private and their bios will only use their avatar names.

Q:  How much time is there between sessions?
A:  There will be a 30 minute break between keynote sessions and breakout sessions, and a 15 minute break between breakout sessions, so please make sure sessions start and end on time as much as possible!

Q:  I’m a moderator, how much time should a speaker leave for Q&A?  Is there a minimum?
A:  No, there is no required Q&A time, this is entirely up to the speaker and what they prefer.  Your only job is to make sure they start wrapping up in the last 5 minutes or so of the session so you can deliver the closing script and end the session on time.