Getting involved in NetHui 2020: Frequently Asked Questions


Getting involved in NetHui 2020: Frequently Asked Questions


What can I expect from a virtual NetHui?

Are we just going to be watching screens all day? That sounds….pretty dull. 

Don’t worry—we know that the hallway track and social interactions are the best part of any event, and we’re working hard to replicate those virtually! The platform we’re using includes the ability to create chat rooms and side events, message other attendees (with their consent, of course!), interact via polls and contests, ask and upvote questions, and more. We’re building generous breaks into the programme so everyone can still catch up with their friends and meet new people. It’s going to be new for everyone, but we’re excited about the prospects. 

How long is NetHui?

NetHui will take place over two half days on 13 and 14 October, with plenty of breaks for tea, lunch, and time away from your screen. Optional workshops and side events will take place outside these times. 

What happened to the discussion sessions of NetHui past?

NetHui is all about the conversations and connections between new people and perspectives. We’re switching it up a bit this year with breakout streams instead of the classic discussion sessions. 

Now that we’re not limited by the number of breakout rooms in a venue, we’ll have up to a dozen streams, each with a consistent facilitation team who can weave the discussions together and think about how to carry the work forward beyond NetHui (if that role sounds like you, there’s a section in the EOI for that). 

Each stream will focus on the implications of the topic for a particular worldview or sector— think youth, media, government, Māori, tech, or similar—and while the session isn’t limited to folks from that background, the room will centre those perspectives and experiences. The law of two feet (clicks?) still applies, and you’ll be able to switch between discussions any time. 

Can there be in person side events or watch parties?

We want NetHui 2020 to be a virtual-first event. In the past, anyone could stream sessions, but they’d miss out on the ‘hallway track’—chatting with friends on tea breaks, meeting new people in discussion sessions, and debriefing over nibbles and drinks at the end of the day. 

By going fully virtual, we’re trying to create an event where everyone is participating on the same terms. While that doesn’t preclude someone organising a workshop or pre/post event in meatspace, we’d encourage you to give the virtual event a go with us this year so we can all learn together. 

How will you ensure the code of conduct is upheld and attendees are protected from harassment or abuse? 

NetHui is committed to be a safe, accessible, and welcoming event, and all participants will need to agree to honour our code of conduct—that doesn’t change just because we’re going virtual. We’re really proud of the way our community has taken ownership of our kaupapa in recent years, and look forward to seeing how this manifests in a virtual space. 

Our Tūī Team will still be present in all rooms to respond to comments targeting marginalised people and to support all attendees. The platform we’ll be using for the event has privacy protocols in place, so attendees have to mutually consent to exchange messages with each other, and organisers have the capacity to mute or remove attendees if needed. 

Submitting a session for NetHui: the EOI process

I’ve never spoken at a conference before—should I apply?

ABSOLUTELY! The format this year means we’ll have a lot of short talks and longer panels rather than just a couple of keynote speakers, so it’s the perfect opportunity to speak at your first event. You could even pre-record your talk if you want. NetHui is here to create space for new voices and vibrant discussions, so if you’ve ever thought about turning one of your soapbox rants into a talk, this is the perfect occasion for that. 

I’d like to speak on a panel about XYZ, but I don’t really have any ideas or connections for other panelists. Can I submit?

No worries! That’s what the speaker/panelist section of the EOI is for. Tell us a bit about yourself and the topics/angles you could cover—your experience, background, expertise, etc. Then, we’ll look at everyone’s submissions and assemble the programme. If there’s anything you don’t want to cover (or anyone you wouldn’t want to be on a panel with), let us know that too. 

If we think you’d be a good fit for something that’s a bit different from what you proposed, we’ll chat to you about it before you commit so you can decide if you’re still interested. 

I have an idea for a panel that includes the panelists and moderator. What should I do?

Awesome! We recommend you talk to everyone to make sure they’re on board, and then submit an EOI with a summary of the topic and your panelists. If we get submissions from other speakers who we think could add another view to your topic, we might suggest adding them on. Similarly, if you’ve got part of a panel in mind, let us know—hopefully, we can match you up with others to complete the lineup. 

Tell me more about the workshops and side events—what should these proposals look like?

The workshops, meetups, and side events are for anything that would likely be of interest to NetHui attendees, but doesn’t quite fit the plenary talk/panel or discussion session format, needs more time, or has space for limited numbers of participants. In the past, that included things like accessibility workshops, copyright games, an Ally Skills workshop, research forums, and the like. We’re keen to hear your ideas for what this might look like virtually, either at NetHui or perhaps in standalone future events. 

I’m with a partner organisation—do I need to submit via the EOI? 

Yes please! If you’d like to chat to any of the NetHui team about your idea before submitting, please feel free, but ultimately, the responses to that form are going to be what we use to create the programme, so we need it to be there too so that we don’t overlook anything. We appreciate you helping us stay organised and keep all our submissions in one place. 

How specific or detailed should my submission be? 

The EOI is to identify how you are willing and able to be involved, so tell us about how you want to contribute. That might look like bringing a particular perspective to any number of topics (e.g. to look at issues through a disabled, queer, or indigenous lens), putting a more specific provocation out to the attendees, or sharing your work or research. 

The community-designed programme means that we want everyone to be participating on their own terms and in ways that they’re comfortable, which makes for a submission process that’s quite different from most events. 

You’re pitching you, not a talk or presentation. Instead of feeling like you have to fit yourself and your interests into our format, we want to build NetHui around our community. That said, we expect a lot of submissions, so brevity is much appreciated. :) 

I have an idea for someone who would make a great speaker or panelist. Can I nominate them?

We’re always open to suggestions of speakers, but if you know them personally, we’d prefer you share the EOI form with them and encourage them to submit their own proposal. This will give us a better idea of how they’d like to be involved (and make sure they’re interested and available to participate!). This is also a good approach for someone who might be a bit shy—a little encouragement from a friend or colleague goes a long way! If you don’t know the person but just think they’d be great, flick us an email at and we’ll try to reach out to them. 

Do I need to be in Aotearoa New Zealand to be involved?

Nope—that’s the beauty of a virtual event! You might need to get up early or stay up late, but we’d love to have you submit a proposal and/or attend NetHui. The more, the merrier!

I’m interested in XYZ—is that a good fit for NetHui?

If it involves the Internet in some way, then almost certainly! Bonus points if you’re bringing a new or underrepresented perspective, or otherwise challenging the status quo. We always want attendees to walk away from NetHui having learned something new or been surprised. If you want to chat to us before you submit, get in touch at

I’m ready to submit my proposal! What do I do? 

Fantastic! Everything you need to know is here:

Okay, I’ve submitted. When will you get back to me and what can I expect? 

The EOI closes on 31 July. We’ll start reviewing submissions the following week, and aim to be in touch with everyone who submitted within two weeks. We’ll be looking to integrate as many proposals as possible into a coherent programme, so we might be in touch with some folks sooner to discuss their idea or explore combining it with others. That means some people will hear from us before others. We appreciate your patience! If you haven’t heard from us by 18 August, drop us a line. 

How else can I help? 

Help us spread the word and reach more people! Follow InternetNZ and share our posts on Facebook or Twitter. If you know someone who might be interested, send them the EOI form—the submissions deadline is 31 July. If you’ve got a mentee or younger colleague that you think could bring a new perspective to NetHui, encourage them to apply. 

Sponsors & Community Supporters

NetHui wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of a large number of sponsors and community supporters. If you would like to sponsor NetHui 2020 please contact us at

Community Supporters