A “Zoom Webinar” is a version of Zoom designed for large-scale meetings such as conference presentations or view-only events.

DePaul has used Zoom Webinars for large events like the Town Halls. Panelists can present, but attendees automatically have their microphones muted and their webcams switched off.

Moderating and administering a Zoom webinar for a large number of attendees is easier than a regular Zoom call.

In the College of Business we anticipate we would use this tool in three areas:

  1. Marketing of the College / Outreach: Large lecture, updates
  2. Virtual events: Town halls
  3. Conferences: Conference opening, keynotes, conference closing
    • (Zoom meetings used for individual sessions)

Currently, we have access to a 100-participant webinar plan. The monthly cost of these plans is as follows:

  • 100 Participants - $40/mo
  • 500 Participants - $140/mo
  • 1,000 Participants - $340/mo
  • 3,000 Participants - $990/mo
  • 5,000 Participants - $2,490/mo
  • 10,000 Participants - $6,490/mo

So what happens if you have more than 100 participants and are using this tier? You can either request a temporary webinar account from Information Services (if available), or use Facebook Live or YouTube Live for overflow viewing.

The roles used in Zoom Webinars are slightly different to those in Zoom meetings. You have:

  • Host: Schedules meetings, assigns alternative host
  • Alternative host: Starts meeting
  • Co-host: Manages administrative tasks during webinar
  • Panelist: The on-screen presenters
  • Attendee: Q&A, chat, raise hand. Microphone can be unmuted

Basic Differences

Feature  Meeting  Webinar
Roles Host and Co-host
Participant
Host and Co-hos
Panelist
Attendee
Audio Everyone can mute and unmute Hosts and Panelists can mute and unmute
Participants listen
Breakout Rooms  Yes No
Waiting Room  Yes No
And there is a substantial last difference. The host can determine the viewing experience for attendees. From the Zoom control panel, the host can change between these three settings (which flow down to attendees, but not to panelists or hosts):

  • Follow host view mode: Participants will see the same view that the host is using, whether active speaker view or gallery view. If the host is sharing their screen, the attendees will have side by side mode with the host's share and the active speaker's video. The attendees can adjust the share and video size.
  • Active speaker view: This view will switch between the host or panelist who is speaking.
  • Gallery view: This view will show the host and all panelists if their video is on.

Ownership has some slight issues:

  • Technically, the webinar owner can schedule (as host) and designate an “alternative host.”
  • The alternative host can start the webinar.
  • All admin (enrollment, outgoing emails, etc.) resides with webinar owner.

One Event At A Time

With Zoom, you can only schedule and run one event at time. Starting a separate Zoom session whilst a Zoom webinar is running could end that first Zoom webinar.

Scheduling Webinars

Scheduling Zoom Webinars is fairly similar to scheduling Zoom Meeting, with a few notable differences.

Registration: Webinars can go ahead without registration. Here, Attendees provide their name and email when joining and are immediately accepted into the Webinar.

If registration is required, a CSV file of Attendees (and Panelists) is imported beforehand. Attendees not on the list can apply to attend, but need to be manually accepted by the Host (approval takes place on the Zoom website). Additionally, you can limit Attendees to authenticated users (who have signed into Zoom).

In teams of Webinar options, there are some things to note.

  • Q&A: The Q&A option is selected by default. This option allows attendees to post text questions. These questions are moderated by the host and co-hosts.
  • Practice Session: A practice session is an environment where panelists and hosts can practice before the webinar officially starts. Attendees do not see anything in the practice session.
  • Enable HD Video For Screen Shared Video: This improves the resolution of the shared screen content, but also can increase Webinar bandwidth.
  • Only Authenticated Users Can Join: This ensures that only attendees who have signed into a Zoom account (free or paid for) can join the webinar. This is generally a good option to select of you are registering attendees.
  • Make The Webinar On-Demand: This automates a link to the Cloud recording for attendees and registrants.
    • However, this is not a suggested option within the College of Business. Zoom Cloud recordings only available for 120 days. We would download recordings and upload to Panopto or YouTube. Our recordings available forever. Our recordings can be edited. Our recording can be put in a password protected area (D2L or Panopto).

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find out more about Zoom Webinars?
The Zoom website has complete documentation here.

Where can I find advice on running a successful event?
Zoom has a very useful guide here. There is a blog post associated with this guide, which is worth reading in detail.


What information do I need to schedule a Zoom webinar?
You will need to provide:

  • The event title.
  • Event date(s).
  • Event start time and end time.
  • Alternative host(s). The alternative host will start the webinar.
  • Panelists.
  • Estimated number of attendees.
  • Whether the webinar is to be recorded or not.

How do I reserve a Zoom Webinar?
Please fill out this request form.

I want attendees to register in advance. What service should I use?
We recommend using Eventbrite or Luma.