What events can I run online?

Hopefully not you after you've read our guide.


There's plenty of things to do be doing online, even now that things are starting to open up a bit. Keep an eye out for our fortnightly Society Leaders Roundup email with tips and tricks to help you with running a successful society, plus top tips from other societies.

Check out some of the suggestions for online events below:


Can you adapt your normal activities to an online format?

For some societies it's easy to make a quick change and hold their events online, for some it's more challenging. Think about if you can adapt your regular events so that they can be held online. For example if your society offers tastings you may be able to leave items for collection at the Union. If you want any more information about how the Union can help support running your events online, it's best to contact Polly

Have an online games night.

Online games nights are a great way to socialise and have fun! There's plenty of games you can play - from Among Us and Fall Guys to the many other "party games" that are avaliable these are a great way to catch up with your members, here's a list of free online games. Googling "free online party games" will give you plenty of results to go on too!

Malaysian Society, before the world locked down!

Host a netflix party!

Netflix Party is a service that lets you sync up so you can all watch at the same time. The service is free but everyone will need a netflix subscription. It also works with Disney+, Hulu and HBO, there are also similar services for other streaming sites.

Get a guest speaker in

Guest speakers are a great way to engage with your members whilst also having an informative/fun event. And because everything's online anyway it's easier than ever to get someone in from wherever in the world they may be! More info on guest speakers right here.

A good old pub quiz

You've probably seen plenty of pub quizzes over the last few months but there's a reason there's so many of them - they're easy to set up and run online. You can do ones specific to the purpose of your society, general ones, or a combination of both!

Do a virtual tour.

There's plenty of museums and sightseeing places offering free virtual tours, why not get together with some of your society members and attend one? A quick google will bring up plenty of places to virtually visit or check out this list of some virtual tours.


Where are you going to host your online event?

It might be helpful to have a space where you can meet a bit more socially or chat about what's going on. One platform that has gained a lot of popularity over the last few months is of course Zoom. You can see more about the Union's zoom licences here

If you choose to use zoom you might want to check out these guides to using zoom.

Similarly there are some great guides to using Microsoft Teams which you can access from the web client by clicking help and then training:

Another platform that's great to use is Discord where you can have various channels which you can chat in. More information about setting up a discord server can be found here

Zing is also a fun platform to use. It's video chat, like Teams and Zoom, but with in-built icebreaker games and breakout rooms to make online conversations more natural. Even better, it's made by a Heriot-Watt alumni and is absolutely free to use.