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Event organizers should be their own class of superheroes for all the effort it takes to design, plan, and execute impactful attendee experiences. Current health concerns and travel restrictions related to COVID-19, however, have canceled or postponed many events around the world and could jeopardize future events as well. While it may not be feasible to host those experiences in person, it doesn’t mean they can’t go on.
Event organizers looking for ways to quickly adapt and host trade shows, user conferences, sales kickoffs, and other events online have a great option in Zoom. Zoom’s video-first unified communications platform is a great alternative to hosting an in-person event because you can connect speakers, sponsors, panelists, and attendees — and replicate much of the face-to-face interaction — anywhere and on any device.
At Zoom, we’ve successfully run countless online events using our own technology. Here are our best practices for creating an impactful, world-class virtual event experience using Zoom.
Virtual events can take many different formats, and Zoom offers a solution tailored to fit any use case. When you’re planning an online event, think about what you want your user experience to look like and ask yourself this question:
What level of interaction do I expect from my attendees?
If you expect attendees to mostly just listen, you’re on the fast track to a Zoom Video Webinar. When you need more back and forth between the audience and the host, a Zoom Meeting might be the better option. Here’s more info to help you decide whether to host your online event as a webinar or a meeting.
Think of webinars like a lecture hall or auditorium. Webinars are ideal for large audiences and events that are open to the public. Typically, webinar attendees do not interact with one another. Though Zoom provides options for you to get more social with your attendees, your average webinar has one or a few people speaking to an audience.
Zoom Meetings are great for hosting interactive sessions where you’ll want to have lots of audience participation or break your session into smaller groups. Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature allows you to easily assign participants to virtual side sessions and bring them back to the main meeting. If you are hosting a secure internal event, we suggest using our Waiting Rooms feature. You can send all participants to the Waiting Room when they join your meeting or only guests (participants who are not on your Zoom account). You can then admit attendees one by one or all at once. While Zoom Meetings also offer tools to manage participant interaction, they are more impactful when you’re looking to have broader participation.
For the most part, a Zoom webinar will be the preferred solution for many digital events because it provides a simpler platform to manage large audiences.
Whether you need to host digital marketing events, all-hands meetings, product announcements, or training sessions, a Zoom Video Webinar is an easy-to-use option for managing and engaging with your audience. For instance, you can quickly promote an attendee to a panelist so they can interact live. Other features like hand raising, Q&A, and polling enable additional engagement.
Here are some other benefits of using Zoom Video Webinars for your digital event:
The event host sets the tone for the event. Practice and preparation beforehand will ensure your audience has the very best experience. Here are a couple of pro tips to ensure you have a successful digital event:
For additional webinar best practices on designing content and creating impact, check out these webinar hosting tips from Let’s Do Video founder David Maldow.
One of the main benefits of an in-person event is the interaction. Online events also can offer an informative and interactive experience while you enjoy the comfort of your home or office.
It’s important to put just as much effort into the online experience as you would for an in-person event. Here are a few tips to help you maximize engagement:
Zoom’s PayPal integration allows you to charge a registration fee for events hosted on the webinar platform. This seamless payment process ensures you can focus on delivering a great digital event experience without worrying about collecting fees. All you need is a personal or business PayPal account.
When registering for your event, attendees will be redirected to PayPal to complete their payment. To complete the payment, they will log in to their PayPal account or use their credit card during guest checkout. Once the payment is complete, they will receive instructions on how to join the webinar.
Have you thought about going bigger with your digital event? When the content is set, your speakers are prepped and ready, it’s time to go live.
Zoom webinars and meetings can be broadcast across social channels with Facebook Live, Facebook Workplace, and YouTube Live, as well as a custom livestream integration. This allows participants to join via Zoom or watch on social, so your content can reach a larger audience without any extra effort.
Here are some additional resources to help you deliver a successful online event experience:
You also can contact a Zoom product specialist to learn about our online event consulting services or get a personalized demo today!