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CLARIN2021: Platform Practicalities and FAQ

This page contains all the relevant information regarding the practical arrangements relating to the virtual nature of the conference and a FAQ section.

FAQ section 

How can I attend the conference?

Zoom: The CLARIN2021 conference will be held with the video conferencing program Zoom. You can install the Zoom program on your machine. If you have Zoom already installed, please make sure you update to the latest version. You can get more details about Zoom and how to get started by clicking on the following links: How to get started with your pc or Mac and How Do I Join Or Test My Computer/Device Audio?

Slack: During the conference we will use Slack for on the spot conference communication and questions. Join the Slack workspace using the link provided to you via registration notification email. Slack can be installed on your computer but is not obligatory or necessary, Slack can be used in an internet browser. 

Should I install any software on my machine to take part in the conference ? 

The CLARIN2021 conference will be held with the video conferencing program Zoom. You should install the Zoom program on your computer. If you have Zoom installed, please make sure you update to the latest version.

Where can I find the Zoom link to the meeting room for the session I want to attend?

All participants have received an email with instructions and the necessary details via email (subject: CLARIN2021: Registration notification and practical details). Please check your email for the correct Zoom links. These links will also be announced in realtime in the Slack #announcements channel. 

If you did not receive an email please check the spam folder in your mailbox and then contact us by emailing events [at] (events[at]clarin[dot]eu)

How do I make sure I have the latest update of Zoom?

Read the step-by-step instructions

How can I see which version of Zoom I have?

Read the step-by-step instructions

Why is Zoom used and not another video conference option?

See Why we are using Zoom below on this page.

How can I join a break-out room?

Break-out rooms will be used for the posters, bazaar stalls and parallel sessions. The screencast below shows how to join a breakout room:

Do I need a passcode for the Zoom meeting and what is the passcode?

In principle by clicking on the link provided in the instruction email you will be allowed in the meeting. A passcode is only needed if you call in by telephone (e.g. if you cannot connect a microphone to your computer).

I do not have a microphone on my computer. Can I call in by telephone?

Yes. As an alternative to a microphone/headset connected to your computer you can join Zoom meetings by phone. You can call in to a number in your country to minimize the telephone bill.

Can I use a tablet to attend the conference?

Yes, you can use a tablet (iPad or a tablet running Android) to attend the conference, if you install the Zoom mobile app

Can I use a smartphone to attend the conference?

Yes, the same requirements and limitations as for tablets apply.

What are general behaviour rules and instructions for attendance and communication during the virtual event?

When joining the virtual conference meeting you will be muted, and your video will be turned off. If you have questions and comments during the session, please type them into the Zoom chat. Afterwards during the time allocated for Q&A, the session chair will either read out loud your question or unmute you and invite to ask the question yourself. Always respect the time.


General information

CLARIN is using Zoom for the organisation of virtual events, and general information can be found here:

Zoom instructions for specific programme sessions

Breakout rooms

Individual breakout rooms for networking during the afternoon slot (14.50-15.50) on all three days, and during the networking lunch on Day 2 will be enabled from the main Zoom meeting. This means that:

  • You can identify the rooms used by the presenters you would like to talk by the title of their contribution (prefixed by ‘Paper’, ‘Bazaar’, etc.)
  • During the networking lunch there will be a large number of rooms open, and meeting participants will be able to see who is in which room, and to join the conversations they are interested in. This functionality works ONLY in the Zoom client on your computer, on an iPad you will be able to see only the titles of the breakout rooms.

In order to join the breakout room, you should hover your mouse on the number next to the room title that shows how many participants are already inside the room. Then the Join button will appear.

Panel setting

In the Zoom meeting room used for panel there will be two possibilities to share your comments/questions:

  • Q&A for the Panel 
  • Regular Zoom Chat 

Zoom links

Check the email that you have received. We will also announce the zoom links of the upcoming sessions in the #announcement channel in Slack.

Why we are using Zoom

Some background on why CLARIN uses Zoom for the Virtual Annual Conference:

  • We have a long history of videoconferencing, starting with solutions like Flashmeeting in the preparatory phase of CLARIN (2008), and later on Adobe Connect. Experience showed that introducing a new system requires quite a bit of effort from all sides. Since the importance of video conferences is ever increasing, we absolutely need a robust and rock stable solution. Problems that occur or switches from one platform to another immediately impact many participants. 
  • Before switching from Adobe Connect to Zoom we did a lot of research on available systems, including some large scale tests in December 2017. The choice for Zoom was not a random one, but something that followed a thorough process of talking to many others using such platforms, looking into all the options and testing.
  • Given the limited number of system administrators available at CLARIN, using a hosted solution, where we do not need to run anything ourselves, is an important consideration. It is possible that some open solutions offer a hosted package too, but for Zoom we have now have 2.5 years experience, including getting a rapid response from the helpdesk when things do not work out as expected.
  • As a firm believer in Free Software, CLARIN has been actively looking into open solutions, before and after our move to Zoom. Jitsi, BigBlueButton, FireFox hello, and more in general WebRTC-based solutions – as far as we experienced they cannot really compete with the feature set, robustness and user-friendliness of Zoom.
  • There are a lot of not so well known features from Zoom that make it work extremely well: automatic mic volume adjustment, robust dealing with firewalls (falling back from UDP to TCP worst case), the possibility to enable/disable echo cancellation, very useful diagnostics for meeting admins for when something does not work. Especially the latter saves us a lot of time when debugging occasional issues: we can give clear advice (get another mic) or even give suggestions about firewall settings.
  • Proven scalability. Recently, infrastructure projects like -hub and SSHOC have been using Zoom for large-scale virtual events. Even for meetings with over 300 participants, it worked flawlessly.


  • Join our Slack workspace ( using the link in the registration notification email
  • Slack can be installed on your computer but this is not obligatory. You can also access the Slack workspace from your browser. 
  • Use the CLARIN2021 Slack for chatting with other participants and to get fast answers to all your questions related to the conference. While the use of Slack is optional, we warmly recommend it as an alternative for the usual face-to-face interaction.
  • During the conference, the Slack workspace will be opened continuously.
  • If you have Slack installed on your computer you can add a workspace by:

    • Clicking the + icon on the top left corner to “add workspaces”.
    • Select “sign in to another workspace” and insert “clarin2021” so you add the workspace and click “continue”.
    • In your Slack app, on the top left you will now have multiple workspaces.
    • Please find here more details on signing into multiple Slack workspaces
  • If you attended last year's conference, you may a) see a message saying "A user with that email address already exists. Please use another one instead." or b) get an e-mail with this message: " We received an attempt to create an account for <your e-mail address> on CLARIN Annual Conference 2021, but this account already exists." after trying to sign up for the CLARIN 2021 Slack workspace. If this happens: