With Stareable Fest 2020 going virtual for the first time ever, we've put together a set of questions and answers that will help guide you through this new and exciting experience.

Our virtual event partner Shindig has provided us with a set of instructions to make it easy as possible to watch panels, use your webcam/microphone, text chat, and interact with other guests.


Shindig is a video chat platform for hosting events.  Shindig allows you to chat with fellow event participants, ask questions to the main speaker, present to the audience yourself, join groups in video and chat for collaboration, link 1:1 in private sessions, and meet and mingle with new people. It's the same as interacting in real life – eliminating the distance problem and enabling new connections!  Check out this welcome video here.

Please use a computer (laptop or desktop), not a mobile device.

  • Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are the recommended browsers (NOT Explorer or Safari).
  • You don't have to download anything to your computer.  Shindig works within your browser.
  • To experience fully the interactive features, you will need a computer with a webcam and headphones.
  • Follow these steps to make sure your browser has given permission to Shindig to use your camera and microphone.


  • At the login page you will be asked for your name, email, position, and project or company.  Please use the email address we have written to you on (the name, position, and project you can customize).
  • All event rooms will be open 1 hour before the start of the event, so you can log in early to mingle and chat, and get settled in.

Shindig is HIPPA compliant and supports firewall traversal for most standard firewalls. However, in a small number of cases where users may be blocked due to an internal firewall, they will need to have the platform white listed to be able to access. Any attendees with this issue should whitelist the *.shindig.com domain in Gateway or Firewall.

HOW DO I USE MY TOOLBAR (from left to right)?

ICON 1: View Attendees

  • Everyone in the event is listed here. You can search for an individual by using the search function at the top-right. Easily interact with anyone in the session by connecting via video chat.

ICON 2: Text Chat

  • The 2nd icon from left in your toolbar is the text chat button. You can message the entire room using “My Room” or scroll the list of participants to send private, direct messages.

ICON 3: Ask Question

  • Ask Question button will submit your question to the admin/host and s/he may address it by publishing the text question or offering you the chance to ask live on the stage.

ICON 4: Raise Hand

  • Raise Hand signals you want to go on the main stage to ask a question or share a comment. Once on stage, everyone will be able to hear and see you, like presenting on a stage.

ICON 5: Microphone (Mute)

  • Mute yourself on/off by clicking the microphone icon.

ICON 6: Privacy Lock

  • Clicking the lock blocks people from freely joining you in a chat and prompts requests that you can accept or deny. Click on the privacy lock while in a group chat for private conversations.

Shindig Settings (gear icon)

  • Click on the gear icon on the top right-hand corner of your page for the opportunity to test your camera, mic, or speakers as well as to switch to another or external options you may have on your device.

How do I join a group chat?

  • Connect in small groups of 2-6 participants for fluid video chat. Pair up with a single participant by single-clicking on their pod or join any group by double clicking the pod of anyone in that group. This feature is great for mingling!

How do I find my friend/colleague?

  • Search for a person by clicking on Participants in your toolbar at the bottom of your screen, hover your mouse over the thumbnails (their names appear) or type part of their name into the ‘Search’ box - which filters the thumbnails to show only those with that name.

How do I combine my small group chat with another small group chat?

  • Let’s say you're in a group chat with one person and you want to join up with two more peers who are connected in their own group chat. To form a four person group, double-click on any pod in the other group to merge groups. Remember the maximum size for groups is six.

How do I leave a video chat?

  • Scroll over your icon and click “X” on top right corner. Use the “+” and “-” button to maximize or minimize the chat size on your screen.

Why are some audience images blurred/frosted?

  • Some participant thumbnails are blurred because they either don't have a working camera or they didn’t opt to enable their camera. To fully participate in a Shindig event, we always recommend using a device with a working camera and select to enable camera when prompted.

How do I enable my camera?

  • You will be automatically prompted to click “allow” to enable your camera and your microphone. If you aren’t automatically prompted by your browser due to your personal settings, click the camera icon in the address bar (top right corner) and select the option to enable your camera/mic.

What is Podium?

  • Podium is enabled by the admin/host and allows participants to come up to stage and speak. When enabled, you will see it on stage and you can join by clicking on the “Join Podium” icon in the pod on the stage. To leave the Podium, once on stage you will see a “Leave” button appear. Simply click this button to be removed from the stage and return to the participant level.


  • All inappropriate behaviors are strictly prohibited on the Shindig platform and may result in a user ban. Find “Report Abuse” in the dropdown menu on the top right corner to report all behaviors of concern.
  • Please keep in mind some speakers or creators may be presenting/convening/hanging out in Shindig for the first time ever.  Be patient with the technical glitches and time delays that are inevitable in such virtual communication, but also people getting confused or nervous - this is a novel situation for everyone. Please be kind – to other guests and colleagues.
  • If you see unacceptable behaviour please report this to us; if an attendee has entered their preferred pronoun after their affiliation (when entering the Shindig), please endeavour to use that.


  • Use headphones or earphones with a tiny mic on the cord.
    Make sure your laptop battery is fully charged or plugged in.
  • Close all other windows, tabs, programs:  so that no emails or other incoming messages are making noise as they arrive
  • Connect to modem if possible, or pick a place where the Wi-Fi is strongest.
  • Use Chrome, Firefox or Safari as your browser to open the link
  • Make sure all your phone and devices are silenced. Minimize distractions.
  • Make sure every person and pet in your house knows what’s up so they don’t interrupt you.
  • Arrange a nice background.  Ensure good lighting is on your face.
  • Have a glass of water handy, but not so close that it might spill on your device.
  • Stay relaxed, friendly, casual. It will keep viewers relaxed too.
  • Embrace the spontaneous, the unplanned, and mistakes.  Viewers know we’re all working from our living rooms, couches, and beds.  Have fun with it!
  • Be sure to let people know how they can find more about you online: website, social media channels, etc.


Try these in order until problem is resolved:

  • Refresh tab in browser (F5 on PC, Cmd+R on Mac)
  • Close tab, click the link and re-enter the room again
  • If not using Chrome, close other browser and log in using Chrome
  • Check others on your connection are not using internet heavily (streaming, downloads, updates etc); ensure you are in the best position for WiFi strength.
  • Check you have no large updates running on your PC or have too many other apps/ tabs open

The audience icons floating around are distracting - how do I change that?

The audience thumbnails float around in the default view. There are two ways to change this:

  • Click the ‘Participants’ button in your toolbar to show the participant thumbnails in an orderly, fixed view - you can still see the stage area
  • Hover your mouse over the speaker/presentation podium on the ‘stage’ and click the button in the bottom right corner of the podium that says ‘full screen’ (when you hover over it). The floating thumbnails disappear and you just see the people/podiums on the stage. There is now a button in the lower right corner which enables you to toggle between ‘Full screen - Emphasis view’/‘Full screen - Equal view’ or leave full screen.

My view just changed by itself – why?

  • Panel administrators can change the view for everyone in the room. But, if you wish you can change your view again to your preference (see previous) - your changes do not affect other delegates (see above how to change view in audience).

Can I rearrange the icons myself? Is my icon obscuring my toolbar?

  • You cannot rearrange the icons and despite appearances, your own icon is not covering any toolbar buttons

There are three ways to ask a question:

  • For technical problems: ask a question via the group text chat box. Click the IM (chat) IM speech bubble icon on your toolbar and on the right side you’ll see ‘My Group Chat’ box. Type in your question/comment and all the admins including the conference volunteer will see and one should respond. (This is only visible to up to 30 people in ‘My Group Chat’.)
  • For content questions and questions to speakers: please use the Ask question feature by clicking the ‘?’ icon on your toolbar and typing in your question. Your question will be only seen by the admins initially. They will decide whether to answer you directly by text chat or to publish it on screen to the room and seek answers from the speakers or convenors.
  • Raise your hand by clicking the ‘hand’ icon on your toolbar to indicate you wish to join the speaker on the stage to ask your question orally. The admins may contact you first by text chat to check if you wish to come onto the stage or if you have another query.

What does the padlock icon do (locked/ unlocked)?

  • When your padlock is locked, you will receive a message if someone wants to video chat with you. If unlocked, you are connected into a video chat with another audience member automatically (no warning beforehand). We advise keeping the padlock locked.

If I have the padlock on (locked), can I still get text messages?

  • Yes, this just relates to prior warning of video chats.Text chats come through all the time.

Can I be heard in the audience?

  • No, all audience members are automatically muted on enter the room. Only if you go on stage will you be unmuted/heard.

Can I go on stage without an open podium being available?

  • You can only go on stage if there is an open podium available or if the administrators bring you (spotlight) on stage. Use the question function and/or raised hand to indicate your wish to go on stage to ask your question.