Turn your Zoom room into a safe and professional production machine
If you are producing a virtual event that aims to engage your audience, create connection and energy among your guests and if want your participants to leave on a high, you need to produce in a Zoom room.
This suggestion always surprises our clients- who assume that if they are producing a high end event a Zoom webinar is their best choice.
Why do they assume that? Well, there are two reasons people choose Zoom Webinars
1. Polish. Event producers think the webinar functionality allows for a more polished event.
2. Control. Event planners foresee a sea of unruly zoom bombers interrupting their speakers and a mob of kitchen dwelling grandma’s interrupting the conversation with clanging pots and pinging silverware.
#1 is wrong. #2 is easily addressable.
Q: How do you get a totally polished zoom event in a zoom room?
A: Two zoom rooms.
Zoom one is your production Zoom. This is your green room/stage. Zoom one is the private zoom room for your talent (panelists, performers, speakers etc). Your talent can easily see and speak with one another and your production team can cue the talent with no worry that the audience can see or hear the cues.
Zoom two is your audience zoom. This is where your community watches the goings on in Zoom one. It’s also where the audience gets to see and be seen, to wave, to chat and to feed off of one another’s energy.
If you are using a mixer of any sort you simply send two programs out — one to Zoom 1 and one to Zoom 2 — make sure your program feed is spotlighted in both. There will be about a half second lag, but it feels very natural in today’s Zoom ecosphere.
If you have no mixer then you can use share screen to bring Zoom One into Zoom two.
Voila — a “perfectly” produced and safe community centric event.
The control issue comes up in your audience room. You want to make sure there are no Zoom bombers wreaking havoc on your beautiful event, or multitasking audience members unknowingly adding their own soundtrack to the show.
No worries, Zoom has a setting(s) for that.
1. Set all attendees to “mute”
2. Uncheck “allow attendees to unmute themselves” (this is a little counter-intuitive so we’ll say it again, you have to UNCHECK this option)
Now all attendees are muted and can only speak if you give them permission.
If your attendees have no access to audio you are 90% safer.
We generally let our attendees text chat to each other and allow them to add virtual backgrounds and or images to their profile but if you are super concerned that someone in your audience could use chat, virtual backgrounds or personal images to disrupt the event, they can all be turned off in your zoom room settings.
And there we are — a zoom room that is totally under control
Our team has used zoom rooms this way dozens of times and included DJ’s group screenshots and group games into the zoom room experiences. Our audiences happily wave and chat to each other while the event is live and leave telling us how much fun they’ve had. Meanwhile the events are polished and professional and the speakers are protected and taken care of.
So now, we’ve explained why Zoom Webinars are black holes of engagement and energy, and how to use a zoom room like a pro.
What are your tips for keeping zoom rooms, safe and also fun and engaging! Let us know! Even better — invite us to your next event. We’d love to share a room with you.
originally published on Medium