How to participate in Comm Academy 2021

Comm Academy 2021 is entirely online and virtual - and that means how you participate with your fellow participants, speakers, and the organizers is different than in past years.

We've put this page together to help you navigate the new systems we have in place for the event - we truly hope everything goes smoothly for you, and we're here to help if anything goes wrong.

Schedule (Sched)

Comm Academy's complete event schedule, session details, and speaker biographies are provided by a service called Sched. We've embedded it on this website for quick and easy access. Once you've registered, you'll also get an invite to create your own account with Sched, where you can then manage a personal schedule of talks you're interested in, and optionally configure a user profile to share with everyone, indicating you are an attendee (this is optional! by default, everything is private).


Comm Academy's live content will be presented entirely via a YouTube livestream - this means to watch the event, you will need to use YouTube.

After the event, all individual presentations will also be made public as YouTube videos, freely available for anyone to view at any time.

YouTube is a service provided by Google. You do not need a Google or Gmail account to view the Comm Academy content, but certain additional features do require having an account and being logged in.

The event's YouTube livestream page is located here: Comm Academy 2021 stream

YouTube - Live Chat

We are using the integrated Live Chat feature of the YouTube stream as our primary way to take questions during presentations. After each presentation, our MCs will ask the speakers the top questions in a live Q&A session. You can (and should!) ask questions in real-time during the presentation - no need to wait until it's over. Our team will collect the top questions from the chat throughout the presentation.

In order to use the Live Chat features, you do need a Google account. If you haven't commented on YouTube videos before you may need to do a few things before the event, and we'll outline everything that you may need to do here.

I already have a Google or Gmail Account

Perfect, just load the Comm Academy 2021 stream and make sure you're signed in to your existing Google account.

I don’t have a Google or Gmail account yet

You can create a free Google account easily, and you don't have to sign up for Gmail - you can keep your existing email address. Google has a guide on how to create an account on their website, here: Google: Create a Google Account - follow that guide and then come back here once you're done.

Please Note: If for any reason you choose not to sign up for, or use a Google account - you won't be able to chat on the livestream.

YouTube says I need to Create a Channel - What do I do?

If you have not commented on YouTube videos before, you may see a button over the chat window that asks you to "Create a Channel to Join the Chat" - just click that button, and then follow the instructions presented, and you'll be ready to chat in no time!

This may ask you to provide a name - this name is what will be shown publicly to others when you send chat messages. You can use your real name, your first name and callsign, or any username you would like here.

Youtube's documentation for how to create a Channel can be found here:

Cascadia Radio Slack - "Hallway Chat" and participant help

We also have a second, optional chat system powered by Slack available throughout the conference.
This is hosted on's Slack Workspace, which is a year-round amateur radio oriented community focused in the Pacific Northwest.

The intent of the Slack chat is to foster the concept of the "hallway chats" we're used to having at conferences - ad-hoc communications and more in-depth conversations that we're likely to have at Comm Academy outside of the presentations, with fellow participants and speakers alike.

There are a few channels within the Slack workspace to be aware of for Comm Academy, and if you sign up near the event, you will be added to these automatically:

  • #commacademy-general - This is the main event chat room, and you are welcome to discuss any relevant topics here along with the rest of the Comm Academy participants, speakers, and staff. We may start "threads" for focused discussions about specific talks or topics, as appropriate.

  • #commacademy-help - This is the place to go if you need help with something related to the conference. Ask your question here, and somebody who's name starts with "CommAcademy" will be there to help!

  • #general - This is actually Cascadia Radio's main chat room, and you will be automatically added to it as well. However, we ask that you try to keep all Comm Academy discussion in the above two channels as much as possible.

I already have a Cascadia Radio account

Great! If you've been a member for a while, you may need to manually join the above channels - please do!

I don't have a Cascadia Radio account

Signing up for Cascadia Radio's slack is easy - you can click this Comm Academy Slack Invite Link, or read more about Cascadia Radio and click the "Join Now" button on their website, here:

Please Note: If for any reason you choose not to sign up for a Cascadia Radio Slack account, you won't be able to use it to chat.

Code of Conduct

Please behave as a kind and friendly guest, just as you would at an in-person Comm Academy event.

Comm Academy participants are invited guests of the Cascadia Radio Slack, and as such we must adhere to their existing Code of Conduct. If you are participating in the Slack workspace, please take a moment to read, understand, and abide by the Code of Conduct document at the following link: Cascadia Radio: Code of Conduct.


If you're stuck and unable to get something working, please reach out to us in the #commacademy-help Slack channel.

If you can't get on Slack and still need help, you can reach out to us on any of our Social Media accounts, or email us at