Instead of jumping right to the platform that will host your Zoom sessions, decide:

1. What Does The Audience Want To Learn?

Learning is the main reason your audience will attend your virtual sessions. Break this out for each group of stakeholders.

2. Do I Have An Event Plan?

While learning may be the most important thing to your audience, the opportunity to interact will keep them engaged.

  • Zoom meeting or webinar
    If interactivity is key, a discussion based Zoom meeting is the bread and butter. They work especially well for friendly audiences where participants already know each other. Some clever event organizers are using the Zoom webinar – which keeps attendees at more of a distance but still allows Q&A and chat – to have the same level of interactivity as Zoom meetings by inviting some of their attendees to become panelists.
  • Paid vs free registration. Paid may be fine as long as it is based on the value of the content.
  • 1,2,3 Day Marathon Meeting or Short Sprints
    There’s a growing movement to spread online conferences out over days, weeks and even the year. A very successful show about the technology behind digital events is called Office Hours which uses Zoom’s webinar format to discuss all things production, including Zoom meetings, every day.

3. From The Event Plan, Determine Zoom’s Settings

– breakout rooms
– share their screens
– chat
– polling
– recording

**Optional: Enable 3rd party apps: Zoom recently announced it launched Zapps, 3rd party apps that can be launched from within in Zoom’s settingsOver 25 launch partners are building Zapps and there’s more to come!


4. Anticipate Tech Challenges

With live sessions, the internet connection is extremely important for host and panelists. Make sure the host and speakers have a strong, wired internet connection, if not the entire meeting could be a struggle.

5. Event Roles - What About A Team?

Zoom allows the host to assign event roles. At a minimum. you’ll want to have a co-host (whose face can be hidden with the “non-video participant” setting) to handle the chat room, tech support and it may also be nice to have them use Zoom’s spotlight video feature and start and stop recording where appropriate. Practicing often and early at every stage of the process will ensure that hiccups will be uncovered and erased in time for the event.

6. After Completing These Steps, Now Make It Look Good

For virtual meetings and small events, consider using the design and production experts They will help you organize a neat package for everything – registration page, session pages, on demand recordings – behind a WordPress gateway that links directly to your Zoom account.  After that, because it is WordPress, it will be easy to add as much as you want – including some new and fun platforms that will allow your attendees to network. Sure, they may not be as fun as the dances you’ve hosted in the past, but it’s pretty close!

This article originally appeared on our sister property which specializes in making online events stand out by using Zoom and WordPress toolsets together