How to Make the Most of Zoom for Every Kind of Event is a post in Library Journal by Ben Drain who is IT Services Technician for the Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, Pennsylvania. In it, Mr. Drain offers a number of useful tips when hosting a meeting using Zoom.
Online meetings have become ubiquitous for many of us. Once our library started offering Virtual Meeting Rooms to the public via Zoom, we immediately began fielding questions on how to best structure online events. Since how an event is structured has such a large impact on its success, we wanted to share some best practices we’ve learned.
(While I’ve used Zoom for the examples below, much will be useful for other platforms even if the interface and exact functionality differ. When comparing platforms or plans, consider the ability to promote other staff to co-hosts. This will greatly assist with facilitating large events. On Zoom, this is available for Business plans and above.)
No matter the group size or event structure, be generous with your patron communication beginning with promotional signage and continuing through to the virtual ‘curtain rises’. The more you can get patrons up to speed about the technology, norms of your virtual space, and event structure, the more you inform their expectations and the smoother things will go. Make sure you have consistent messaging in all written correspondence and signage, having a personable MC that kindles a sense of community (an effort as minor as welcoming patrons by their screen-name as they enter the event goes a long way to establishing a positive experience), enough labor so that each hiccup doesn’t disrupt everyone’s experience, and the right settings and functions that define your virtual space…”