Taking your hustings online

It is important early on to make some initial decisions about the format and the platform through which the event will be held. Potential online platforms include: Zoom, Meetings, Google Meet, Go To Meeting, and Microsoft Teams among others. There are different costs involved for each, and free options are also possible. This section outlines three potential formats, but it is worth considering the feasibility of each suggestion for your own context, since a hybrid (or a completely alternative format) might be best suited.

Option 1 – A live, all-online meeting

Perhaps the simplest option, and likely the most familiar to church communities, is to host an online meeting. This can be conducted in much the same manner as a traditional in-person hustings would be; with the Chair or another designated person acting as the technical host and the candidates ‘pinned’ or so they remain in the focus of the audience’s screen, like a panel. Questions can be submitted by the audience through the chat function, Q&A features, Sli.do, or, if the Chair is comfortable, through spoken contributions (the would-be questioner should raise a virtual hand to indicate this).

The technical host has control over muting participants and should be ready to exercise that power if necessary.