Moderating and managing hybrid on-site and remote meetings


Democrats Abroad has a long and proud history – going back more than a decade – of supporting fully remote real-time participation at our Global DPCA Meetings. Effectively combining appropriate web-conferencing technologies with trained and coordinated volunteers we are able to combine remote WebEx participants from around the world with a group of people in a conference meeting room. Organizing and running such a meeting is, of course, more challenging than when individuals are simply sitting in front of their own personal computer.

Participants in a meeting room can easily forget about the remote participants on WebEx. Preparing a team of dedicated WebEx moderators will help keep the meeting together and create a positive participatory experience for everyone.

The guidance provided here is intended to help moderators who may be new to WebEx and assist them in managing a successful and productive meeting.

Key Points to Remember

  • Make sure that people in the room do not forget about remote WebEx participants

  • Make sure that all speakers in the room use a microphone AT ALL TIMES, or remote participants will not be able to hear anything

  • Make sure that remote participants do not disrupt the room with audio-feedback or other noise

  • Keep everyone engaged and informed of meeting activities – but don't flood the chat box

  • Always use the chat box to "Everyone" and insist that participants use **Hand Up to manage the speakers queue. You can pop-out the Chat Panel into a floating window with the button in the top-right corner:

  • Know how to reach one of the in-room technical specialists in an emergency

Moderator Responsibilities

  • WebEx moderators are responsible for helping to make sure that there is smooth communication between people in the room and the remote WebEx participants – you are the "bridge" between these two groups

  • Much of the communication for remote participants will be in the WebEx Chat box, so you need to always monitor the Chat

  • Unless someone is just sharing one-to-one personal communication, all participants should be encouraged to address their comments to "Everyone" in the Chat – especially if it is a request to speak, or a notification of a problem with WebEx

  • Don't let the people in the room forget about the WebEx participants – you are there to represent them and speak for them in the room

  • Take turns and share the moderating responsibility so that one person is not left to do the job alone


  • Make sure that presentation documents are loaded as PDF files from the DA Wiki and shared in advance as files in WebEx

    • Presentation materials are always best shared as PDF files, rather than Word, PPT, or other files

    • Convert files to PDF before uploading as shared files in WebEx

  • Make sure that in-room Presenters always share files via WebEx – do not let them just open a file on the desktop

  • Help the podium presenters to learn how to move from page to page using Thumbnail view

    • Offer to help manage their presentation slides for them, if they are not comfortable with this

Moderating the Meeting

  • Test your pc/workstation prior to the meeting. Confirm that you can manage your audio connection. Always use a headset if your computer is connected to audio

  • Keep all participants informed of the meeting status within the WebEx chat box so that people know that you are present, but don't flood it with too many messages

  • Keep all participants on MUTE if they are not speaking to the meeting

  • Help ensure that individual participants who are having technical issues do not interrupt the meeting

    • Encourage them to connect with you or another support person via a personal Skype chat, if needed

  • Always encourage remote participants to use the Call Using Computer VoIP audio, NOT the US-based phone number

  • It is helpful to re-type questions to the speaker into the chat box so that everyone can follow the discussion

Host, Presenter, and Moderator Team Work

  • The Host, the Presenter, and the Moderators need to closely cooperate and share the work load

  • With a large number of remote participants and a group gathered in the room, it is too much for one person to fill all these roles

    • The Host and CoHosts are responsible for keeping everyone on mute and fixing the focus of the video presentations

    • The Presenter manages documents and slides in on-screen presentation

    • The Presenter also manages the in-room projection screen that people will see in the room – including a view of the Chat box

    • The Moderators ensure that WebEx participants are recognized in the room, that the Question Queue is tracked, and that in-room activities (e.g. coffee breaks, voting, etc.) are communicated to WebEx participants

  • Have the Meeting Host Key number ready, in case something happens to the Host computer and someone else needs to reclaim control over the meeting

WebEx Login Names

  • When joining WebEx from the in-room Host and Webcam computers, use names that describe that computer and role, for example:
    (Using “!” and “#” in front of the names will keep them at the top of the alphabetical participants list):

    • !PuntaCana Hub

    • !PuntaCana Podium

    • !PuntaCana Webcam#1

    • #Mod01

    • #Mod02

  • All participants must use the designated Prefix, Full Name as well as Country Committee name and relevant DA Title/Officer position in their display name in the meeting
    – Moderators are responsible for helping participants display their name correctly

Suggested Staffing and Team Members

  • Team Lead – someone who is responsible for the overall coordination, staffing, network, and hardware set up

    • Do not assume that someone else will "make it happen" – get confirmations on all the details

  • On-site tech team – providing the A/V setup of projectors, mics, sound board, cables

  • Network providers – to ensure Internet bandwidth. Often not the same people as the A/V equipment team

    • providing both fixed line and WiFi connections for the room

  • Host Manager (in-room or remote) – real-time management of participant mute controls and passing control to the Presenter

    • share Host Key with Co-Hosts, Presenter, and Moderator Managers so that they can take control as needed

  • Presenter Manager (best if in-room) – preparing presentations as PDF files and uploading them as shared files to WebEx

    • presentation slide transitions when the Podium speaker is not controlling the slides themselves

  • Moderator Manager (must be in-room) – monitoring the chat box, tracking the "**Hand Up" queue, and keeping the room aware of WebEx issues

    • always have emergency access to reach the tech-team and network providers

Hardware and Technical Setup

  • Make sure that other WebEx participants in the room do NOT connect to audio (this can create terrible audio feedback)

  • If professional microphones and an audio mixer are being used, make sure that all webcam or computer microphones are turned off

  • Use a personal headset/earphones if you are connecting to audio or have any other sound coming out of your computer

  • Make sure that all speakers in the room use a microphone AT ALL TIMES, or remote participants cannot hear anything

  • Encourage speakers to stand where they can be seen by the webcam

  • Know how to immediately reach the Internet and audio/visual technical specialists in case something goes seriously wrong

  • The projector screen must be big enough to be clearly seen by everyone in the room (two screens may be necessary in some situations)

  • Provide a monitor or second projection screen that can be easily seen from the podium

In-Room Audio/Visual/Internet Setup Schematic

This is an outline of the audio, video, and wired network connections that are needed to setup and manage a typical WebEx configuration in a conference room.


  • This does not take into account additional WiFi networks that may be made available to in-room participants, but that network should be separated from the high-capacity Quality of Service wired LAN that is needed to ensure good video transmission in and out from the WebEx Hub computer.
    In-room microphones may be either wired or wireless depending on the audio mixer setup

Webcam Positioning

  • Keep the Hub Webcam#1 always pointed at the speaker/presenter or main activity in the room

  • Set the Moderator Webcam#2 on the other side of the room and pointed for a general view of the room, so that remote participants can also see the in-room activities

  • Periodically adjust the camera angle to give a sense of room dynamics


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