Choosing a video conferencing platform to host your 24-Hour Comics Day in 2020

In 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all 24-Hour Comics Day (24HCD) events will be taking place online.

If you are planning to host your own online event, you may be confused by all the different video conferencing platforms available out there. Which ones are free, and which do you have to pay for?

To save you some time, I have put together a summary the most popular video conferencing platforms that you can use when you organize your 24HCD online event. Most of these are free, but I have also included a paid Zoom version.

Facebook Rooms (under Facebook Groups):

facebook rooms

  • Free.
  • Limited to 50 people per Room.
  • No limit to number of Rooms you can create in a Group.
  • No time limit.
  • Facebook users can join by clicking on a Room.
  • Non-Facebook users can be invited to join by using a link.
  • No chat box for texting in a Room, but you have group discussions.
  • Can do screen-sharing.
  • Use on computers or smart phones.

The easiest way to use Facebook Rooms is by joining the “24-Hour Comics Day Online” group, and then joining an existing Room, or creating your own Room for your time zone or city. Here I have a detailed article explaining how you can do this.

Zoom (free version):

zoom

  • Users who are new to Zoom will need to download and install the free Zoom software.
  • Limited to 100 participants.
  • 40 minute time limit.
  • You can set up as many Zoom meetings as you need to cover the entire 24 hours, but then you will need to invite participants for each meeting.
  • Has a chat box for texting.
  • Can do screen-sharing.
  • Invite people by giving them a link.
  • Use on computers or smart phones.
  • No Zoom account needed to join.

Zoom (cheapest Pro version):

zoom paid

  • Users who are new to Zoom will need to download and install the free Zoom software.
  • $149.90 /year/license.
  • Limited to 100 participants.
  • No time limit.
  • Has a chat box for texting.
  • Can do screen-sharing.
  • Invite people by giving them a link.
  • Use on computers or smart phones.
  • No Zoom account needed to join.

Google Meet:

Google_Meet

  • Google Meet runs in the Chrome web browser on your computer, or the Google Meet app on smart phones.
  • Free.
  • Host and participants must have a Google/Gmail account, which is free.
  • Limited to 100 participants.
  • Limited to 1 hour per meeting.
  • You can set up as many meetings as you need to cover the entire 24 hours.
  • Has a chat box for texting.
  • Can do screen-sharing.
  • Invite people by giving them a link.
  • Use on computers or smart phones.
  • Easiest way to set up a Google Meet is via Google Calendar > Create an event.

Discord:

discord

  • Free.
  • No time limit.
  • Limited to 50 people for video streaming.
  • Participants must sign up for free Discord accounts.
  • Mostly used by young people who are into online gaming, but not limited to that.
  • Easily jump between voice, video and text channels.
  • Can do screen-sharing.
  • Invite people by giving them a link.
  • Use on computers or smart phones.

***

Those are your video conferencing options. Pick one for your event.

My personal recommendation is to go with Facebook Rooms, because it’s free, has no time limit, and most people are already on Facebook and familiar with its social features.

To make it easy for people to host their events on Facebook, I have set up a “24-Hour Comics Day Online” group for this purpose:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/24hour.comics
You can just join the group, which lets you enter any existing Room or you can create your own Room to host an event for your city and time zone.

I have written an article here that explains how to join an existing Facebook Room or set up your own room in the “24-Hour Comics Day Online” Facebook group.

With everyone in one Facebook group, it makes it easier for participants to socialize and see which other communities are out there in the different time zones.

All the best for this year’s challenge, and remember to have fun!

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