New CSCCE resource helps you find the right tool for your next virtual meeting or event

Since the global pivot to online working and convening, we’ve been working to create resources that help community managers and facilitators make their virtual meetings and events more engaging. The first two parts of our guide to facilitating engaging virtual events, a recipe book of event formats and a curated selection of resources are already helping thousands of people to thrive online. 

In the newest section of the guide, selecting and testing online tools, we offer a framework to guide how you decide what online tool(s) to use. You can download this section, as well as the earlier two sections, for free. 

What’s in this section of the guidebook? 

Using a five-step process, we walk through a use case-driven approach to tool selection for virtual events. We start by considering the goal of your meeting or event, and then narrow down your choices by assessing the BASICS (Branding, Accessibility, Sign up requirements, IP and Privacy, Costs, Solidity) of the tool and then giving each tool a SCORE (Set up a Sandbox, Configure your settings, Outline your use case in the sandbox, Revisit your requirements, Evaluation). We also cover testing considerations, including “tidying up” after yourself, as well as offering examples for each step in the process.

Who’s the guidebook for? 

Anyone who is convening virtual events or meetings! We created the guidebook with scientific community engagement managers in mind, because we know that many of them are consistently trying to improve the virtual learning or collaboration space for their community members. But, the framework can work for anyone. 

Our goal was to take the guesswork out of the tool-selection process by drawing on more than a decade of experience in designing, testing and working with online collaborative tools. We know that there are a lot of tools out there that do fairly similar things, and so by offering a strategy for assessing them we hope to reduce uncertainty or overwhelm. 

Resuming CSCCE Tools trials

This guidebook isn’t a side-by-side comparison of specific tools. That’s coming with the resumption of our tools trials later this month. We’ll be reviewing actual use cases (e.g., “I need a tool for ideation for a group of 10 or fewer members” or “I’m looking for a way to host pre-conference icebreakers”) from our community members, trying out tools that could meet their needs, and sharing out what we learn on the CSCCE website. If you have a use case you’d like to test out in a group setting, let us know


We’re incredibly grateful to the ten members of our community of practice who volunteered to review a draft version of this guidebook: Arne Bakker, Amber Budden, Isabel Mendoza-Poudereux, Naomi Penfold, Emily Lescak, Esther Plomp, Rachael Ainsworth, Corrado Nai, Chiara Bertipaglia, and Srikant Iyer. Their feedback added helpful nuance and perspective.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer for future CSCCE-created resources, or have an idea for something you’d like to co-create with us, please let us know by emailing

Let us know…

…if you are using this or any of the other parts of our virtual events guidebook, because we love hearing how our resources are making a difference! Add a comment below or shoot us an email.