During Sessions

We are running the entire conference on Zoom because we have determined that it is the most inclusive option available to ensure everyone can participate. We recommend you prepare by creating an account if you don’t already have one, and pre-installing Zoom’s desktop application for a higher-quality experience. If you’re new to Zoom, they have excellent documentation and video tutorials to get you up to speed.

How to Zoom

If you’ve created a Zoom account, we recommend signing in ahead of the conference to select and save your desktop settings—profile, video, audio, displays, accessibility, etc. for a better experience. Zoom can accommodate different bandwidths, but if you want to be certain you’re welcome to check out Zoom’s recommended system settings

Preferences Overview

  • Video: If you would like to have an on-screen presence during Meeting style sessions, this is where you control your video feed and other visual controls for meetings.
  • Audio: This is where you select which microphone to use. We recommend using a headset with a mic, but at the least headphones to avoid those spooky sound feedback issues.
  • Share Screen: Make sure “Scale to fit shared content to Zoom window” is selected so that slides are not cut off on your screen.
  • Chat: This section allows you to customize the zoom chat settings to your preference.
  • Virtual Background: If you are concerned about your background, use a virtual background to disguise your location. We’ll share MCN backgrounds you can use.
  • Profile: This is where you set your profile image and first and last name. Both will be visible to all attendees. You can also change your profile name during a Zoom session by clicking on the Participants button at the bottom of the screen, hovering over the list of attendees, and clicking the Rename button next to your current profile name. 
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: A useful list of shortcuts to act like a pro when you use Zoom.
  • Accessibility: Control the scale of closed captions, chat display size, and whether you want meeting controls to be present always.

Joining Sessions

  • Follow the link on the session’s MCN Sched page, available 10 minutes before the session start time, links will also be sent via the email 10 minutes before the session start time. Do not post or share these links, you will compromise the security of the conference. If you cannot access a session, request help via Slack on #mcn2021-helpdesk
  • Waiting Room: When entering a session, you will  encounter a screen with the text “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon.” Or “Please wait. The webinar will begin soon.” The host has to approve each person before they can enter the live session.

During the Session

  • When you first enter a Zoom meeting your mic will be muted.
  • Mute yourself when you are not speaking
  • Use Q&A to pose questions to presenters
  • Use chat to discuss session content with fellow attendees and facilitators
  • Break out rooms will be used in some sessions like Speed Networking. They allow the participants to meet in isolated smaller groups.
  • If you are having a technical issue during a session reach out to tech support on Slack in the #2021-helpdesk channel
  • Check out the accessibility page for tips on how to participate in a more accessible way


  • All live sessions will be recorded, except for those following Chatham House rules, and will be made available to attendees following the conference via Sched.
  • Do not record or screenshot any session without notification or consent.

Live Automatic Transcription

Otter.ai provides automatic live transcription with a powerful AI and impressive speed. While we know that CART captioning is still superior as there are chances of misinterpretation in automated transcription, we agreed that the quality of this transcription service was the best we have seen and we wanted to be able to caption as much as possible. To turn on Captions, press the CC button in the menu controls at the bottom of the Zoom window when you are in a meeting.

If you find the delay of captions populating to be too slow, try viewing the real-time transcription on the Otter website. You can access this by clicking on “LIVE on Custom Live Streaming Service” in presentation sessions.

Or on Meeting events, like Workshops, Deep Dives, and some of the big events it appears as “LIVE on Otter.ai Live Notes” in the upper left of the Zoom window:

screenshot demonstrating how to select View Stream on Otter.ai

When you select “View Stream on Otter.ai Live Notes” a separate browser window will open taking you to a live transcription feed. You will be asked to create an account, but you do not need to, simply close the modal that pops up to view the transcript stream.

A screenshot of the Modal window that says Easy not taking with the X in the upper right highlighted.

We will share recordings and transcripts after the conference with all attendees, so no need to request access, we will not be sharing access on Otter during the conference. These links are just for viewing during the conference.

There is also a lot you can do to support a more inclusive experience as a presenter and attendee, check out the accessibility page capturing all of the details about accessibility and the conference.

Chatham House Rules

Some sessions will be conducted according to Chatham House Rules to encourage open dialogue. CHR means the session is not recorded, and live captions and chat transcripts are not saved. Everything is off the record so that you can feel comfortable. 

Keep in mind that all MCN sessions, social events, and even the spaces you or other attendees may personally create for keeping the conversation going are expected to abide by MCN’s Community Guidelines and Code of Conduct. If you have been involved or witnessed an incident during the MCN conference that you believe violates our Code of Conduct, report it to MCN by submitting this name-optional Code of Conduct Violation Report Form