Participant Tech Guides

Here's some text below to help you access our 3 chosen platforms this year.


Before attending any sessions please remember to read the Code of Conduct and the micro aggression and cultural appropriation guidance – You can find them all on this website (code of conduct tab, and the 2 under it)

Please also ensure that you read any trigger warnings that have been circulated ahead of the session. If any of the content in the session makes you uncomfortable and you feel you need to leave, please do so silently so that the session can continue to run, and reach out to the organising team at if you need any support. If you do want to rejoin, again, please do so silently so that you do not disrupt  the session in flow. 

Your session host / tech helper will let you know who and how to contact someone if there is an issue where another attendee has not followed the Code of Conduct (but in short, also email us – )

If you have any accessibility needs you can email the session lead ahead of the session, or once in the session message the host, raise a hand or drop a message in the session chat. You can also reach out to the organising team at if you need any support. 

A host or tech helper may remove you from the session at any time – this could be for a range of reasons, (for example, asked to mute and didn't, asked to turn on or off camera and didn't/couldn't, code of conduct issue or similar). This is always within the host/tech helpers' role and their decisions will be respected. If you are concerned, email


The link to join our Discord is on the contact page of the website now. For those new to the platform, please see the beginners guide below. In sessions, there will be a technical helper you can ask for help. Please do sign up and register now, we will be chatting a lot informally on Discord during the event, (not just for the sessions formally held on there), and you may need to familiarse yourself with how it works in advance. 

Beginner's Guide to Discord – Discord

Our Discord also has a help channel called – Discord Admin Help and How to Guide  – ask for help in there – ideally far in advance of the session you want to attend, so other attendees can help you out. 

When you join our Discord you have  to do an intro in the intro channel to be granted access to the other channels. The intro can include where you are from very roughly, e.g. Bristol, the name you booked your BiCon tickets under (your true name, does not have to be your legal name or dead name), and a bit about you. 

Please do this ahead of the session you are booked on to, ideally a few weeks before BiCon.



You must be using a computer (incl laptop) to use Gather Town (you cannot reliably access via a smartphone or tablet – but some success has been had during our tests using chrome on a mobile phone or tablet). Please use Chrome internet browser for the best experience (safari and firefox will work though).

Online there are two helpful gather guides in different formats: YOUTUBE VIDEO Intro to Gather spaces:


We have pulled the basics below for people to refer to. 

You will be asked to enter your name and create your Character. You will need to allow the browser to access your microphone and webcam. There is also a very brief tutorial to go through to help you understand the basics. When you enter, you will see your name above your avatar, which you can now move around the space.

Setting or Changing your Name and Character Style You set your name in the preview screen when you first enter a Gather Space. You can always change your name by clicking "Edit Character".  (Go to the control panel at the center bottom of your screen and click on your name to open your User Options. Click "Edit" near the top of the new window that pops up).

Moving around – Use the Arrow keys, or the WASD keys on your keyboard.

Interacting with people – If you are in open space, then your microphone and video will automatically start sharing if you move within close proximity of another attendee’s avatar – just like walking up to someone in real life! As you walk away from them, your video and audio connection with them will drop off.

Private Spaces – There will be a number of Private Spaces of differing sizes. These Private Spaces are shown as tables. Walk up to one of the various tables with chairs and you will enter that "private space”. In these areas you can chat with other participants sitting in the space. There will be private tables for only two people in case you wish to have a one-on-one conversation with someone.

Finding your friend – If you wish to locate a specific individual, you can search for them in the search bar under the Participants tab on the left hand side of the screen. You can even find a route to the location of the person you are looking for if you need to and your avatar will walk to them if you click 'follow'. Use with care – you don't want to appear overly keen by following people around without consent – it could result in you being kicked out. 

Interacting with objects – To interact with an object (like a chair), just walk close to the object and press ‘x’ (It will tell you this on the screen, you don't need to remember it!)

Ghost mode – If you find yourself trapped in a crowd of people, and cannot move past them, hold down ‘g’ to turn yourself into a ghost so you can walk through them and out of the area

Dance – Show off your funky moves by pressing ‘z’ on the dance floor and your avatar will dance!

Raised Hand – To raise your hand, you can either select it from the Emotes Menu or press the number 6 on your keyboard. While your hand is raised, your name will move up to the top of the Participants list. For the raise hand emote, you have to press the number 6  again for the emote to disappear. Alternatively, you can click on the raised hand emote in the emote menu or the clear all button to lower your hand

Messaging – users can send and view messages in the Chat Panel, located above the participants tab, second from the bottom on the left of your screen. Here, you can view past messages, as well as send messages of your own. You can send messages to three different kinds of recipients, which you can toggle using the options located in the drop box at the bottom of the Chat Panel. 

These options allow you to send a message to: 

  1. Everyone – Your message will appear in the chat panel for every user in the space. 
  2. Nearby – Your message will appear in the chat panel for every user that you are currently video chatting with. This could be whoever is standing within your interaction distance, or whoever you are in a private space with. 
  3. Individuals – The remaining options will display the names of other users in the room. You can scroll through this to select a user to send a private message to. You can also click on a users name in the chat history to make them the recipient of your next message.

You can also click on a person's name in this chat panel to automatically start private messaging them. 

How the videos work – In Gather, when your avatar approaches others in an area on the screen, a video automatically starts between you and the people you approach. All videos will initially appear at the top of your screen. In an open area, you will be connected to everyone nearby. When you are in a Private Area, you will be connected to everyone who is also inside of the private area.

When there are multiple participants in one gathering, a select number of video call windows will be shown at the top of your screen. The number of video participants shown depends on the size of your browsing window and resolution of your screen. 

Turning off another user's video and audio for yourself – If there is another participant who you do not wish to hear or see you can mute them or turn off their video. To do so, hover your mouse over their video box and click on the microphone and/or video camera icons to mute and/or turn off their video for yourself. Doing this will only mute their audio/video for yourself and no one else in the space. They will still be able to see and hear you, and everyone else will still be able to see and hear them. To turn their audio/video back on you would follow the same steps. Note that if you turn off another person's audio or video for yourself, if they leave your range of conversation and return, it will reset the setting so that you will be able to see and hear them again.

To Exit – just shut your browser down on your device.  Again, you can leave at any time. You do not need permission, or to announce this.



BASICS: Zoom is an online video communication tool – it's free to all our participants to use. You will need: Internet connection (WiFi or mobile data) and a Computer or Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone ("device") to access the session. Please do run a test call before you join a bicon session to make sure your video/audio work OK. 

You should download the app in advance (from, apple or play stores) and then using whichever device you want, click the invite link (which you'll get in an email)for the session you want to join. When you click the link – it will open the app on your device REMEMBER TO GIVE IT VIDEO AND AUDIO PERMISSION IF IT ASKS! And if using a laptop remember to say you want to join in via computer audio.

Your Zoom Username – To change your name once you are in a session you can click the dots near your video / photo on screen and select ‘rename’ – and you can put your pronouns here too! 

Muting yourself – Please always be on mute if you are not directly talking. Go back on mute after. Zoom is very sensitive, and it can interrupt the audio of the main speaker. You may think you're not making any noise-  but I assure you – you are haha! The tech help or host may mute you ifyou forget, and give you a reminder. The mute icon is the bottom left of whichever zoom screen you are using.

Video – To turn OFF your camera (so that no one can see you): Click 'Stop Video' at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. The same button will now say 'Start Video' and have a red line through the image of the video camera. To turn your video camera back on, click this again. On 18+ sessions tech helpers will ask you to turn cameras on at the start briefly. If you don't do this the tech helpers may remove you. 

Who you see on screen The person who is speaking will be the one on the big screen. Everyone else joining the session will be in the smaller screens.  If you would like to see everyone on the screen as the same size: Click the 'Gallery View' button at the top right hand corner of your screen. 

To go back to the original screen at the beginning (one big screen of the person speaking): Click the 'Speaker View' button at the top right-hand corner of your screen.

How to leave the meeting – You can leave the session at any time. To leave: Click 'Leave Meeting' at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Please do so quietly so as not to disturb the experience for others.