Well before the meeting
Plan the roles and responsibilities
Before the meeting, plan the roles for the meeting’s organisers, for example:
- person sending out the invitation for the event
- person(s) controlling the presentation computer(s)
- chat moderator(s) – two moderators are recommended for larger events!
- chairman/”host” and presenters of the event
- potential breakout room administrator
- potential breakout room facilitators
- person in charge of recording the meeting
- person in charge of the schedule (if not the host)
- person in charge of the potential editing of the event recording
It is also a good idea to agree on who has the host rights for the event and who may possibly need co-host rights. It is recommended to assign the person in charge of recording the event as a co-host. However, co-host rights are not required for sharing content, for example. The host can assign co-host rights only after the meeting has started.
When creating the event, it is also possible to determine alternative hosts; the persons assigned as alternative hosts can start the meeting on behalf of the host.
Other things to consider when planning an event
- Is a normal Zoom meeting enough or do you need room for a larger number of participants? Read these instructions about Zoom’s Webinar and Large meeting licences. If necessary, you can order them for a specific period of time.
- It is good to have a programme/script for the meeting and to distribute this to the participants beforehand.
- If the meeting will be recorded, it is recommended to inform the participants about this in advance.
- Based on experience, it is best to share the presentations on the presenters’ computers. In case of any problems, it is recommended to send copies of the presentations to the host.
- If a meeting space has been reserved for the event organisers, the organisers are recommended to think about who should arrive to the meeting space in person and who should participate from their computer, depending on the organisers’ roles. This should be noted in particular by facilitators of small groups since it may be difficult for them to work in the same room.
- It is recommended to agree whether the chat conversations will be saved and to inform the participants about this in advance.
- It is possible to launch polls during and before a meeting.
- If the meeting is not recorded, it is recommended to take a screenshot of the poll results during the meeting. After the meeting, the results can be downloaded as a csv file.
- Breakout rooms can also be created before the event, but when doing so, the members must be manually added. If you automatically divide the participants into groups, any possible group selections made beforehand will get overwritten.
- However, if you know exactly who will be attending the event, you can divide these persons into groups in advance (this requires that the attendants are already using Zoom).
- You can name the manually created rooms and set a time limit for them (e.g. for tasks).
- It is recommended to carefully plan the use of breakout rooms, their instructions for the participants as well as the potential breakout room facilitating.
Preparing for the meeting in the presentation or meeting space
- Reserve enough time (30 min – 1 hour) in order to prepare for the event. Test the technology beforehand, especially the microphones.
- Turn off the microphones and speakers for everyone else except the presenter computer.
- Put mobile phones on silent.
- It is recommended to open the materials on the presenter computer(s) in order to be ready for the presentation.
- On the presenter computer, close Outlook, Teams and all similar programmes in order to avoid sharing anything unnecessary.
- Make sure that the right person has been assigned as the host and add any co-host rights for the persons requiring these.
After starting the meeting
- Make sure the participants can hear the audio and see the video and presentation materials.
- Instruct the participants with regard to asking questions: should they use their microphones or the chat for asking questions and will the questions be answered during or after the meeting? Briefly instruct the participants about the essential buttons (microphone, video, chat, potential polls).
- Share the meeting’s programme with the participants.
- If the event is recorded, remind the participants about this.
During the meeting
- Chat moderating; if questions are answered after the presentation(s) and there is a lot of chat conversation, it might be a good idea for the moderator(s) to pick out questions as they are being asked in the chat.
- Hosting and instructions, if required.
- Make sure that the meeting is advancing according to the schedule.
At the end of the meeting
- Save the chat.
- Share any possible polls with the participants if this has not already been done. If necessary, also take a screenshot of the results for yourself.
- End the event.
- The possible recording of the event is stored in an mp4 file on the recorder’s computer.
Things to consider regarding different functionalities
Facilities and equipment
- Make sure that the participants can also see some video about the presenters.
- In small spaces and for capturing the voices of only a few persons, having a table microphone such as Jabra is enough.
- In larger events with numerous speakers in the same space, it is recommended to use a meeting space with fixed equipment.
- For example, In the Unitube lecture recording rooms of the University of Helsinki, it is possible to plug the computer in the lecture room’s camera and microphone and to stream the image and audio through Zoom.
- Many university meeting spaces are equipped with fixed meeting microphones and prisma cameras, for example.
- The abovementioned equipment usually work by simply plugging in the device and selecting the right source of image and audio on Zoom.
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