Tips and Tricks

Tips for hosting a large meeting with Zoom

You can now use Zoom to host video meetings with up to 500 interactive participants or up to 1,000 view-only participants. And while that’s great news, there’s a caveat: when more people tune in, there are more opportunities for things to go awry. But with a little extra prep and planning, you can host a large video meeting with confidence.

Make a plan

Send out calendar invites to everyone you expect to be on the call.  Think about adding a meeting agenda so everyone understands the topics you'll cover and the order you'll discuss them.

Plan a rehearsal

Try to schedule time with your presenters and stakeholders before the event to do a dry run. If you’re sharing slides or other documents during the call, load them all onto the host’s computer.

Set up early

Give yourself plenty of time to set up your equipment and make sure everything works. Open  documents you want to share before the meeting starts. Test any links you may want to open during the meeting beforehand. Don't forget to close any applications you won't be using.

Recruit a co-host

If you’re the primary presenter as well as the host for a large audience conference call, you’ll want to enlist the help of a facilitator or co-host.  This will give you an extra set of hands to help with any technical issues your attendees may experience. A co-host can also watch the moderator controls to make note of any participants asking a question via chat and take care of administrative tasks, like muting participants or recording. To make another meeting participant a cohost, click 'Manage Participants' in the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window, choose 'More' next to their name, and select 'Make Co-Host.'  

Send a welcome message to attendees

If you’d like participants to use chat or other interactive features during the meeting, send them an email with welcoming instructions. You may also want to remind attendees to turn on their camera and that they’ll be muted upon entry to the meeting.

Mute participants upon entry

Take action before the meeting starts to prevent disruptive noisy feedback when someone joins your meeting by muting all participants upon entry. You can allow participants to unmute themselves once they’re in the meeting. To enable this feature, click 'Manage Participants' in the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window. Click 'Mute All' or click the drop-down menu next to 'More' and select 'Mute Participants' on Entry. 

Prepare a greeting slide

Let participants know that they're in the right session by making a welcoming PowerPoint slide visible to them when they join the meeting.

Remember to record

Recording your sessions enables you to reach colleagues who couldn't attend. It also gives attendees a way to review the content that was covered.

Need more help?

If you have questions about using Zoom, call the IRT Service Desk at 650-725-8000, or check out the IRT's Collaboration Tools website.