Recently adjusted provisions allow counties to conduct open meetings remotely in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by reducing face-to-face interaction. TAC is offering counties Google Meet software free until September 30, allowing them to conduct meetings that conform to the adjusted provisions.
Below you'll find some best practices and helpful resources for conducting open meetings remotely through Google Meet.
If you would like to reserve Google Meet videoconferencing licenses for your county, please complete this request form. Questions? Contact us via email.
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Resources and User Tips
- Check out this article on TAC's video conferencing software.
- Check these Meet/Chat and Drive resource guides.
- Planning to work from your mobile device? Here are more guides for Meet Mobile and Drive Mobile.
- Visit the G Suite Learning Center for more product information.
- Check out #CloudQuarters, provided by SADA, a Google implementation partner. It's a go-to hub for information, guidance and tips to help empower remote teams.
- Explore Google's G Suite YouTube channel for access to video tutorials, tips, customer stories and more.
- When using Google Meet to conduct open meetings, you must manually select the recording option for every meeting. Meetings will not be recorded automatically.
Allowing public participation
Meetings with 250 attendees or fewer. There are two options to invite others when you create a meeting using Google Meet. You can add specific attendees to the meeting when you are creating it, or after the meeting is created, you can copy the link that is generated and post it online so that the public can access your meeting. You can also share a call-in number with a meeting code for users to call in to access the meeting audio from their phone. In a Google Meet meeting, all users will be able to participate via video and audio, with the host given the ability to mute or remove users.
Note: If a Google Meet meeting attendee logs into the meeting on their computer and calls in on their phone, it will count as two users in the meeting against the 250 capacity. An attendee may use both their computer and phone for enhanced audio and video.
Large meetings with over 250 attendees. You will need to use YouTube Live Stream, instead of Google Meet, if you need to conduct a meeting with over 250 participants. Google Meet only accommodates meetings for up to 250 attendees; once that capacity is reached, additional attendees will not be able to enter the meeting.
When you create a meeting event, it will populate a link that you can share or post publicly for people to watch live. You will be able to make a small number of YouTube Live Stream attendees part of your “panel,” and these attendees will be able to participate in the meeting via audio and video. However, all other attendees will not be able to participate via audio and video, and will need to submit any questions or comments via the video’s chat feed. See more information in the Meetin Administration section below.
Check out the YouTube Live Stream help guide.
Per the open meetings provisions, counties will need to provide the public with access to a recording of meetings. Both Google Meet and YouTube Livestream allow meetings to be recorded. The recording option must before selected at the start of a meeting for a meeting to record. Meetings will not record automatically. Recorded Google Meet meetings will be stored in your Google Drive.
To post a meeting recording on your county website, login to your Google account at drive.google.com using your @countymeeting.org login. After recording your first Google Meet meeting, a "Meet Recordings" folder will automatically populate under your "My Drive" folder, and your meeting recordings will automatically be saved there upon completing a meeting that you've opted to record. You can rename a specific recording within your "My Drive" by right-clicking on the name of the recording and then selecting "Rename." To generate a shareable link to the recording, right-click on the name of the file, select "Get shareable link," and turn link sharing on. Click on "Sharing Settings" to change what people have access to do with the recording. You will likely only want to give the public access to view the link, instead of access to edit or comment on it. You can then copy the generated link and hyperlink it anywhere within your county website for the public to access.
If your website is hosted by TAC CIRA and you need assistance posting a video, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
When conducting a meeting through Google Meet, meeting hosts will have the ability to turn off the microphone and video camera so that an executive session can take place, which will not be captured via video and audio on the recording, nor heard by any other participants. This, however, assumes that there are other participants meeting in the same location as the host, all of whom will participate in the executive session.
If each executive session participant is meeting remotely, it is suggested that a meeting with only those participants be scheduled separately. The camera and microphones for the public open portion can be muted while the executive session takes place on another line. Once the executive session has been completed, participants can re-enter the public open meeting. This may require participants to hang up their call for the public meeting, call into the executive session meeting line, and then switch back over to the line dedicated to the public meeting.
In meetings run through Google Meet, the host is able to both mute and remove attendees. If a disruptive attendee attempts to rejoin the meeting, the host will be prompted to approve them entering the meeting.
Meeting Setup & Administration
- If you will be conducting meetings using Google Meet, we suggest using the Google Chrome browser. It is possible that your county's IT department has blocked you from downloading new software. If you encounter any roadblocks, please contact your IT admin about downloading Google Chrome.
- We suggest appointing someone to serve as the meeting administrator. This person should ideally be the host of the meeting (person to create the event) or have access to the host's computer while the meeting is conducted. This person should not have an extensively active role in the meeting itself, so that they can instead focus on approving users to enter the meeting. If a user has not been directly invited, the host will be prompted to approve the attendee joining. This person can also monitor the meeting's chat feed (assuming participants will submit questions and comments there, instead of via audio) and reply to the intended recipients.
Questions? Email us