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Hosting a Zoom event by Helen R

Many thanks to those inspired people who have set up virtual activities to keep us entertained and intrigued.
For those of you who have  been joining in on Zoom, we thought you might like a few pointers to get to grips with some of the other options available, especially if, like me, you might  like to be able to host an activity yourself. I am not an expert as I am new to Zoom myself !

Zoom is free, can be used whether you use Windows or Mac, enables you to have 1:1 meetings (unlimited time and number) or group meetings (unlimited number, ltd to 40 mins duration per meeting)

To host a Zoom meeting, you will need to have signed up to Zoom, if you haven’t already.
Go to    and sign up : Enter your email address, you will then receive an email from which will ask you to “Activate Account “– click on this complete registration and enter a password.

All the options  below are pretty obvious once you explore Zoom, but here are some pointers:
You could click on this link to have a play with the icons and controls mentioned below, if you’re planning a Zoom meeting:

1)  Hosting a zoom meeting : Sign into your Zoom “web portal page” and choose schedule a meeting.  
Choose a date and time and click save.
To invite others to your meeting: click on “copy the invitation” (bottom right) and send to those you want to invite (eg:   for all clog members)

2) Security: only those you’ve sent the link to can join your meeting, Zoom will block it if someone is joining from a different email address.  As host  you can also set up a “waiting room“ so you will see who’s waiting before you choose to let them in.

3) Settings: You may want to make screen sharing “host only”, enabling you to mute/unmute everyone, allow participants to unmute themselves if they want, lock a meeting , turn off annotations (to stop others annotating your presentation/pictures by accident).
4) Share screen – you can put up something from your desktop onto the main screen for everyone to see- powerpoint, document, image etc.   This video goes into more detail.

5) Breakout rooms - allow you to split your Zoom meeting into separate  group sessions. Eg: virtual pub quiz teams can confer in teams with their own screen, then rejoin main session with you hosting.   The meeting host can choose to split participants into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between main session and breakout sessions at any time.
6) Virtual background – I know you’ll choose to play with this feature first ! Have you zoomed someone who looks like they’re sitting on a palm fringed beach ?  In the video icon’s options you can click on this and select a suitable background image from your own photo albums or an online image. I’m told it works better if you have a plain wall behind you, or it can sometimes look a bit weird....
I hope you’ll enjoy exploring all the possibilities of Zoom and are inspired to try it out.