Webinars come in many shapes and sizes; however, their primary goal is to support synchronous seminar-like virtual sessions with one or several panelists. This can encapsulate experiences ranging from a simple PowerPoint presentation to a more dynamic event with audio, video, screen sharing, and audience participation. Below you will find guides and resources to help you request a Webinar and confidently lead your event.
To get started, we encourage you to watch our Zoom Webinars video below.
Is a Webinar the best fit for your event?
Zoom Webinars and Meeting Rooms share a similar look and feel, but there are important differences to highlight to best determine which platform is right for your event. Use the resources below to explore the virtual event options available to you.
- Webinar & Meeting Room Comparison: Compare both similar and unique features offered by each platform.
- "Webinar-like" Meetings: We provide instruction on how to use the settings in a standard Meeting Room to create a "webinar-like" atmosphere for participants. This includes instructions on how to disable participant audio and video as well as how to configure the chat settings to function more similarly to the Webinar's Q&A tool.
- Live Events with a Virtual Audience: Learn how to integrate Zoom into your live event experience, enabling virtual attendance.
- Conference Services: If you find that your event has needs outside the scope of our services, Conference Services offers some virtual meeting options.
Request a Webinar
Before requesting a Webinar, we encourage you to watch our Zoom Webinars video. When you are ready, select this link to complete and submit a Zoom Webinar Request Form.
Requests require review and approval from the Constituency Engagement workgroup (48hrs, Mon-Fri). We recommend submitting requests between 2-6 weeks of your event date. Please do not submit webinar requests greater than six months in advance. This timeline affords sufficient opportunity to process your request, organize your Panelists, and promote the event to your attendees. Upon approval of your request, a team member from Digital Media Services will reach out with next steps to customize your unique Zoom link for the event.
Note: Zoom Webinars are limited to University Faculty and Staff only. Students interested in virtual events are encouraged to review our documentation on "Webinar-like" Meetings.
Webinar Instructions and Resources
Learn about our recommended workflow to deliver an outstanding webinar experience, from start to finish. To further expand on these sections, please see our Zoom Webinars tutorial video above.
To best ensure quality video and audio for your event, look to our Webinar Minimum Requirements page. This equipment is available for checkout from the Equipment Loan Program.
To best familiarize with our process, it is important to highlight Webinar roles as defined by Zoom. This will help to avoid confusion when communicating with team members and addressing questions.
- Attendees: Your audience attending the event. They cannot see or hear each other like they would in a regular Zoom Meeting.
- Panelist(s): The official term used to describe any user who is not an attendee. "Speakers", "presenters", "moderators", hosts, co-hosts, and ASL interpreters are all examples of panelists.
- Host: A panelist with elevated privileges. There can only be one Host at a time in a Webinar. The Host has the ability to launch the Webinar environment, start the Webinar broadcast, adjust settings, and manage other users.
- (Optional) Co-host: A Co-host is also a panelist with elevated privileges. There can be multiple Co-hosts at one time. Co-hosts have all the same privileges as the host, except they cannot end the webinar (only the Host can do that).
While enabling Zoom registration for your event is optional, it is something we strongly encourage. The registration feature offers numerous logistical and analytical advantages. Visit our webpage on Zoom Registration Benefits to see if the registration feature is right for your event.
The feature to enable auto-transcript/captioning is available for all Zoom Meeting and Webinars. Only the Host has access to this feature. In your Webinar or Meeting, from the Zoom toolbar that includes Participants, Chat, on the far-right is a Live Transcript button with the "CC" icon.
Click Live Transcript, then from the options select Enable Auto-Transcript. This feature will be enabled and available for all Attendees and Panelists. From our experience, it is roughly 90% accurate though may misinterpret names of individuals spoken. Nevertheless, this feature affords greater accessibility in your events and meetings.
To further expand accessibility considerations with full accuracy, Student Accessibility Committee recommends contacting ACSCaptions.com (AI-Media) in order to schedule a captioner for your event. Exact pricing may depend upon date, time and duration of event.
To assign the Captioner proper transcriptions rights in your Zoom Webinar, follow these steps:
- Once you have scheduled a captioner from ACS, please be sure to provide their email address so we may add them as a Panelist to your webinar. We recommend padding 15min prior to your event to ensure they are able to arrive and be assigned their captioning rights.
- Before your press the Start Webinar (or Broadcast) button, the Host must navigate on their Zoom toolbar to select Live Transcript and then select Assign a participant to type.
- From the Participant list, find the captioner's name and click More > then select Assign to type Closed Caption. They will have a new window available to provide live, real-time captioning/transcripts. A "cc" logo will be next to their name in the Participant list.
- Once they begin typing, the "CC" menu item will be visible to the Attendees to choose to enable this feature.
In preparation for your event, we encourage you to share the link to our Panelist Resources page with your Panelists. This page covers several areas, including:
- How to Join the Webinar
- Optimizing your Network Connection
- Appearance and Presentation Tips
If this is your first Webinar, or perhaps your event will require plenty of coordination, you may want to consider requesting a Sandbox Webinar. A Sandbox Webinar is like a test Webinar you can use to rehearse your event content and gain familiarity with the settings discussed earlier. Here are some examples of what folks have done with Sandbox Webinars in the past:
- Practice screen-sharing presentation slides
- Test Gallery View and Speaker View
- Experiment with the Q&A tool, and
- Inviting other colleagues to join as Attendees
- Go over the run-of-show with panelists
If you would like to request a Sandbox Webinar prior to your event, please email your Service Request email thread.
Please note that Sandbox Webinars are not set to record automatically, though you are welcome to use the Record button during the Webinar if you would like.
To best optimize security and minimize distractions during your event, we provide recommended setting configurations for your Webinar. These settings are adjusted by the Webinar Host during the Practice Session before going live. For full details, we encourage you to review our Pre-Event Checklist.
For your event, you may wish to use our provided Housekeeping Slides. These slides are designed to help introduce the Webinar environment and tools to your Attendees who may be new to Zoom.
Our suggested event timeline spanning the Practice Session before going live up until the conclusion of the Webinar:
|60-15 minutes before||Practice Session||Make sure all your Panelists are present.
Review the “Pre-Event Checklist” and configure settings.
Have a “Welcome” slide up before going live.
|5 minutes before||'Start Webinar'||Press the ‘Start Webinar’ button.
Let your attendees in ~5min before.
|Minute 0||Housekeeping||Briefly review the Webinar features available to your Attendees. If applicable, introduce the Zoom Webinar features via our Housekeeping Slides.|
|The Main Event||Dive right into the presentation!||Introduce your topic, Panelists, and/or get right into your presentation!|
|Final 5-15 minutes||Leave time for Q&A||Pad in some time for your attendees to ask questions.
Save “the best for last” to retain a great question to help conclude this section.
|Final 5 minutes||Leave with a "Call to Action"||What’s the purpose of your event? Don’t forget to leave with a clear call to action. Where should your attendees go next? (recording, later events…)|
|Final minute||Thanks and 'End Webinar'||Thank your panelists, presenters, and all who attended.
Press the ‘End’ button to conclude the Webinar.
Digital Media Services will compile reports and recordings upon the conclusion of the event. These assets will be provided within one business day after your event. Please be aware that longer events may result in extra time for recordings and reports to finalize. As we close out your Webinar Service Request, we will provide you with a SharePoint folder link that contains the following:
- Attendee Report: This will include the usernames of the Attendees as well as other session information (Join Time, Leave Time, Time In Session, and Country/Region).
- Performance Report: A quick-look summary of Webinar metrics (total duration, total Attendees, etc.).
- Q&A Report: A digest of all the Q&A activity (questions and responses) that occurred throughout the event.
- Registration Report (if applicable): A breakdown of each registrant including full name, email address, attendance status, and responses to any custom questions.
- Webinar Recording source files: This typically includes several files encompassing Speaker View, Gallery View, Share Screen View, Audio Only, and Audio Transcript. These files will be downloaded from Zoom and uploaded into a temporary SharePoint folder for the requestor to download.
Retention Policy for Reports and Recordings - Please be aware that reports and recording files will only be available for 30-days after your event. Be sure to download and save all reports and recordings to your own computer, or copy them to your private OneDrive. Do not link directly to media assets from our DMS SharePoint site, as it is not intended for video sharing and such security and playback features that Panopto enables.
For sharing and communicating with your attendees (or those who weren't able to attend):
- Upload your Meeting Recording to Panopto. Consider uploading your finalized and reviewed meeting recording video to Panopto. Panopto is a tool managed by Information Technology Services for lecture capture and video sharing. You can make videos 'public', 'unlisted' (only accessible to those with the link), or 'private' (limited to an audience within Loyola that you decide who has access to).
- Send a follow-up message. Consider sending a follow-up announcement/message to those who attended and/or those who couldn't attend, sharing the recordings, where future events can be found, or other call-to-action details.