Event Resources
Virtual Events

Zoom Webinar or Meeting?

Meetings are designed to be collaborative events with up to 300 participants who can share screens, turn on their video and audio, and see who else is in attendance.

Webinars are designed for the host and any designated panelists to share their video, audio, and screens. Webinars allow 500 view-only attendees.* They have the ability to interact via Q&A, Chat, and answering polling questions. The host can also unmute the attendees. Unlike in meetings, attendees in webinars cannot rename themselves. McCormick has one webinar license, and the media team can set up events for you.

*Webinars with attendance between 500 and 1,000 can be requested online.

View a comparison of webinars and meetings

Zoom Tutorials

Review Zoom Conference Service information on Northwestern's Information Technology website. 

Review Zoom meetings and webinars best practices and resources

Zoom Meeting Tutorials

Zoom Webinar Tutorials

Event Communication

  • Set Event Date and Time. Check PlanIt Purple calendar, academic calendar, and holiday calendar for conflicts.
  • Establish a timeline for event promotion
  • Post your event to PlanIt Purple
  • Promote your event via monitor displays
  • Promote your event via email; include a registration link
  • Send out a reminder email 1-2 days prior to the event
  • Send a registration confirmation email to registrants

Prior to the Event

  • Prepare a script for opening/closing remarks. Include housekeeping notes (i.e. event will be recorded, raise hand for Q&A, post questions in the chat, etc.). View a sample event brief
  • Set up a meeting or a webinar with a registration link
  • Assign co-hosts and panelists. A co-host is recommended for every meeting. This person acts as back-up to the host and is familiar with all meeting settings and the event agenda.
  • Ensure that all event hosts and panelists have log-in information
  • Enable practice sessions for webinars
  • Confirm with all speakers/panelists if you can record the event. You must receive a signed multimedia release form from all speakers/panelists before you record an event.

Rehearsal/Test Session

Schedule a 15-minute test session with the speaker and co-hosts or panelists. Below are a few notes for presenters:

  • Find a good location to record yourself. For this, quiet, free of distraction rooms are best. A carpet can help reduce the echo.
  • Natural light coming from one side is best; the light source should not be located behind the presenter.
  • The image on your computer, laptop, or tablet should be oriented horizontally.
  • Make sure that you can put your computer camera at eye level.
  • Check the status of your equipment to make sure that the camera lens is clean and that your internet connection is stable. If it's not, you can choose to broadcast from campus or another location where your internet connection is strongest. 
  • Your audio quality can be improved by using a USB microphone or a headset with a microphone, but these are not mandatory.
  • For clothing that films well, consider a solid color shirt or a sweater. It's best to avoid whites or busy patterns.
  • The host should confirm that the webinar or meeting settings are accurate.
  • Check the lighting and sound quality.
  • Confirm that the presenter is able to share their screen.
  • Test the viewing of presentation slides.

Live Event

All co-hosts and panelists should arrive to the meeting or the webinar 20 minutes prior to live event. Start the session in practice mode (for webinars) and confirm that all functions listed below are set to your specifications:

  • Q&A (webinar) and Chat
  • Recording
  • Breakout Rooms (meeting)
  • Polling
  • Participant/Attendee settings
  • Video Layout (webinar)

Below is a checklist of items to review as you begin your live event:

  • Test the speaker presentation slides.
  • Check lighting and sound quality.
  • Ask all hosts, co-hosts, panelists, and presenters to close all browsers and applications.
  • Begin broadcast 30 seconds prior to event start.
  • Use spotlight video for person broadcasting the placeholder slide.
  • Confirm that all hosts and panelists are muted until the event begins.
  • If the event is set to “speaker view,” attendees will see the video of the person who is speaking or making noise.
  • Start the event one minute after the posted time.
  • It takes approximately 30-60 seconds for attendees to be admitted from the waiting room into the meeting/webinar.