The video conferencing platform launched its events solution in July 2021, calling it “an all-in-one platform with the power to create virtual experiences that attendees will love.” It had all the essentials that hosts could expect, from branded event hubs to lobbies, ticketing, and event analytics. Zoom has enhanced the solution even further in the last few months, adding support for exhibition booths, sponsorships, and much more.
Conferences on Zoom Events refer to multi-day meetings and webinars that include several tracks and sessions. The host can run previews of individual sessions and concurrent sessions that have their running chat. To host a conference with Zoom Events, one needs to create the conference and then get started with the hosting experience.
Prerequisites for a Zoom Events Conference
The organization or host must have a Zoom Events license with a Pro, Business, Enterprise, or Education account subscription. Further, you need either the Zoom desktop or the Zoom mobile client to create the conference. The events license is compatible with the Zoom desktop client version 5.8.6 or higher on Windows and Mac computers and the Zoom mobile client version 5.8.6 or higher on Android and iOS devices. Also, ensure that a Stripe or PayPal Business account is in place if you want to create a paid conference.
Creating a Conference with Zoom Events
To create a conference in Zoom Events, follow these five steps:
1. Sign in to Zoom Events
2. On the top-right corner, click Create.
3. Click Conference.
4. Go through the pop-up message, and when done, click on Got It. This message appears when you establish a conference for the first time. You will see another pop-up notice once you click on Got It; when you have finished reading the message, click Got it.
5. Enter the needed information for each phase of the procedure to establish a conference. A real-time preview of the conference will be updated and displayed on the right-hand panel when one inputs information during the creation process.
This is where you enter most of the event’s details, settings, and configurations, ultimately determining the hosting and attendee experience.
The Zoom Events platform has seven tabs to help you host conferences successfully:
- Basic information tab – Here, conference hosts can add basic details like the event name, description, and category. You can also specify if this is a free or paid event and block event access from certain countries. There is also an option to add up to 20 co-editors who can work on the event details alongside the main hosts.
- Conference profile tab – The conference profile information includes a masthead image for the event, further details about the conference, and contact information. Hosts can verify the email they connect to an event to receive queries and communication seamlessly. This tab has an optional fundraiser section where you can specify a non-profit to donate to and set a fundraiser goal.
- Sessions tab – You can either upload a CSV file containing all of the session information or type in the details manually in the sessions tab. This section essentially details the conference agenda, the time duration of each session, and its participant details. Here, you can specify an alternative host who will also be invited to the event once it is published. The sessions tab has controls for recording and live streaming.
- Speakers tab – When you import a CSV file with meeting information included in the Sessions tab, the speaker information contained in the CSV file will appear in the Speakers tab. The host can add a photo, name, company details, contact information, bio, social links, and a video of up to 60 seconds for every speaker.
- Sponsors tab – Adding sponsors is optional and lets the conference host add sponsorship details in three tiers – silver, gold, and platinum. You can add details similar to the speaker tab and control conference functionalities like downloadable material, chatting with sponsor representatives, etc.
- Expo tab – Expo is a newly introduced feature in Zoom Events. This tab allows you to add expo dates and times when these specific sessions and concurrent tracks become available. Depending on your license, you will be able to access expo builder tools to finetune this experience.
- Tickets tab – The tickets tab allows hosts to define ticket quantity, name, description, and registration details per the license’s capacity. It also supports reserve tickets for user roles like Speakers, Alternative Hosts, Panelists, Interpreters, Sponsors, Expo, and Moderators. You can configure the details of paid tickets and connect them with Stripe or PayPal accounts.
Finally, a set of advanced options allow the user to optimize the configurations further – e.g., post-event surveys, visibility levels, lobby open and close date, and so on.
Hosting a Zoom Events Conference Once it is Published
Once the event you created is published, a host can move in and out of conference sessions with a special ticket. There should be prespecified sessions where the host can introduce the different speakers, sponsors, and exhibits. When the primary host is unavailable, the alternative host can step in. Q&A features in Zoom Events allow conference hosts to deliver a rich, interactive experience.
Once the event has ended, you will be able to access the host analytics dashboard from the Past Events section of the Zoom platform. This provides information on total tickets sold, gross income, full refunds, final duration, and registrants that opted-in/out to share registration information. The analytics dashboard lets the host deep-dive further into granular details like lobby analytics, session analytics, expo analytics, etc.
Another essential feature that hosts should remember is private conferences using Zoom. When configuring the details via different tabs, you can set the discoverability to Private Event Restricted to Invitees on the Guest List Only. This lets you reach a precise and targeted audience, making the most of Zoom Events’ rich conferencing functionalities.