A new verision of Zoom now offers conference planners all the features on display at Zoomtopia

Zoom has been furiously working to add full-scale virtual conference
capabilities – up to 13 concurrent sessions across a large conference agenda
that spans up to 5 days – and much more.

The Zoom platform is progressing at high speed – especially for conference planners. OnZoom was released 12 months ago (October, 2020) as a nice place to promote event discovery, sell tickets to single events and allow planners to run a paid or free meeting or webinar behind a firewall accessible only with a user’s Zoom account and ticket. Zoom Events, released in May, goes several steps further by allowing a string of sessions (meetings and webinars) behind their firewall – doing away with the need to send attendees individual links. 

For smaller events, Zoom Events offers the Summits event type – see highlights below.

Now, for larger events, Zoom Events Conferences is here, and it seems the company is aiming its service at gatherings like its own Zoomtopia which hosted 33,000 online guests in September and had all the bells and whistles of the best virtual conferences.

Those who want person-to-person support from Zoom can hire the event services team. They’ve been working with their conference product for months and are the same folks, using the same software, pushing the same buttons, that created Zoomtopia. Since it is custom work, it is anybody’s guess what the costs are per meeting. They will also give you the low down on connecting your A/V suppliers for the best user experience.

Zoom Events Summits

Event Hubs

Each Zoom Event Summitt is like a wrapper for single session or a string of sessions (meetings or webinars or both). Organize all your Zoom events in one place - your event hub - and include your events' listings in OnZoom, their event discovery driectory.

No More Links

Host paid or free events with meeting access for hosts and users stored in Zoom Events accounts. Opt in attendee info is shared with event organizer,

Event Lobby

More interaction and better navigation between your sessions

Centralized Event Management

One Zoom account manages everything and the host account determines all the meetings and webinar settings for the event (rules for security, screen sharing and breakouts in meetings). Alternative hosts can be outside that organization/account.

Sponsor Section

Images, video, pdf downloads, sponsor level chat

Event Design

Speakers bio section is easy-to-use and assign indivdual sessions (meetings and webinars) that make up the event

“Using the Zoom API and related services, we have an immense amount of control over how we incorporate guests. We also leverage the comfort nearly all guests have with Zoom already.”

Alex Lindsay

American computer graphics and video production expert

Head of Operations, 090.media

Follow
@alexlindsay on Twitter and 

Office Hours via Zoom
https://officehours.global/

 

Zoom Events Conferences - Added Features For Conference Planners

Accoding to a blog post by Zoom Product Marketing Specialist David Ball, Zoom Events for Conferences adds new features for the most important tasks:   

Event preparation    

Multi-day and multi-track support: Spread your event over five days and support up to 13 concurrent sessions  

Batch agenda uploading: Easily upload session and speaker information with a single click  

Session videos: Add a sizzle reel or informative video to prepare attendees for a session or introduce speakers  

Event co-editor: Hosting an event is a team effort! Share the workload by assigning up to 20 event co-editors  

Speaker session and bio editing: Give speakers the control to edit their session and bios. Hosts will have the ability to approve edits before pushing them live.

Engaging your audience  

Conference lobby: A persistent space for registered participants to connect, network, and view sessions before and during an event 
 

Session chat: Attendees can chat before, during, and after a specific session to focus on conversation related to the session topic  

Chat moderation: Your teams can monitor the event chat with the ability to remove messages as well as disruptive attendees  

Attendee itinerary: Attendees can keep track of sessions of interest in one central place and build their schedule by adding sessions to their itinerary  

Attendee networking: Event-goers can form new connections by adding others as contacts in the Zoom client   

Livestream sessions to lobby: Attendees can view live sessions at a glance from the lobby before joining  

Sponsor support: Fund your events with built-in sponsor benefits, including dedicated spaces, tiered levels, video upload, and chat  

Session directory: Attendees can easily search for sessions and filter their view based on tracks, audience type, products, or levels 

Surveys: Get insights on the attendee experience and evaluate session success with post-session surveying  

Post-event capabilities  

Recordings: Allow your session content to live on after your event by watching recordings on-demand from the Event Lobby   

Analytics: Get in-event/post-event reports to quickly understand attendance, engagement, and revenue  

Pardot integration: Identify leads and communicate with your attendees beyond your event  

Coming Soon: Backstage

According to another blog post by Heidi Elmore, Head of UCaaS at Zoom, 
“We’re bringing the green room to the virtual space with our Backstage feature. It will give speakers, panelists, and production support a centralized space where they can respond to Q&A, monitor chat, or mingle before going live. We’ll be launching this webinar feature in beta later this year…”

A Few Concerns:
1) Having everyone required to login using a Zoom account potentially gives Zoom itself a lot of knowledge on the buying habits of your attendees. How does Zoom protect the information? According to a spokesperson for the company, "Zoom Event Owners control their Events' data and Zoom provides attendees and hosts a way to share data with each other."

2) Does the platform offer a registration solution for hybrid meetings - meaning if someone wants to register for both the virtual and in-person meeting, or if an organizer wants to give free access to the virtual conference for in-person registration, how does that information get back and forth? 

3) Zoom Events Conferences does not appear to have a "networking roulette" feature that can make attending virtual meetings productive and fun.