I’ve seen numerous requests coming from conference organisers that want to convert their offline event into a virtual one. In this blog post we’ll take a look at the features of Zoom. Which subscriptions do you need? How can you easily transfer between rooms? What hardware do you need? What’s the best way to share your stream?
Which subscriptions do you need?
To break out of the 40-minute time limit, you will at least need a Zoom.us Pro subscription. This subscription also allows you to stream your Zoom Meeting to another platform like Facebook, Youtube or a custom platform to your choice. This will also gets you access to the REST API, meaning that your conference website can integrate with Zoom, for example: When someone registers via your website, register them for the Zoom meeting.
The Video Webinar add-on
In many cases this is also a necessicity. If you have multiple streams coming in from different locations, you want to have control over who’s video is enabled and who’s video is disabled. The Video Webinar add-on allows the host to control video and audio of each panelist allowing you to setup a perfect virtual conference.
Streaming from Zoom.us to Vimeo
One of our clients asked us if it was possible to stream from Zoom.us to Vimeo. The first question that pops as after hearing is: Why would you want that? Well – they’re used to do everything with Vimeo. And Vimeo allows you to easily embed a stream on the website. Makes sense, right?
Luckily Zoom allows you to stream towards a custom service. So, we’ve configured a live event in Vimeo and copied the RTMP URL and key over to Zoom and voila: The full Zoom meeting is now in Vimeo, and can embedded on the website like usual.
Allowing your attendees to connect & network with eachother
I’d say this is the most difficult part of organising a virtual conference. Usually, there’s plenty of time and space available for your attendees to network with eachother. In breaks, before and after the conference and even during sessions there’s always a lot of activity.
How do you do this virtually?
There’s actually a couple of options for that..
- You can allow attendees to start one-on-one video meetings with eachother.
- You can give them a platform like Slack to communicate in.
- Or running a controlled online community platform
Running a controlled online community platform
The last point is where Conference7 comes in. We’ve built our own online community which we can setup for clients as well. This platform allows your attendees to network with eachother in a familiar way: It’s like using a social media platform like Facebook or Linkedin.
This makes it possible to run the networking part completely separated from the virtual conference. It also guarantees that everything is in your control. Our solution provides a timeline/activity feed, allows you to form groups and to create isolated discussions.