I want a Zoom webinar that is also a Zoom meeting
April 14, 2020 12:53 PM   Subscribe

In the non-virtual world, I’m involved in a lot of events where there are two to four people talking on stage, followed by interaction with the audience, and between audience members (eg: we ask people to talk to the people sitting near them about what they just heard). I wonder if there’s an online tool that can replicate this. Zoom is frustratingly close. But from what I understand, there are two separate products, "meetings"and "webinars" which each do part of what I want but not all of it.

My understanding is:

Zoom “meetings” allow breakout groups (for stuff like talking to the people at your table). But as near as I can tell, they don’t let you highlight a small group of people (you can spotlight one person, but not a group) and users control how they see things.

Zoom “webinars”, I think, give more control over how the “on-stage” part appears, including being able to present a “panel”. But they don’t let you have breakout groups.

I’m hoping for some way to bridge this divide, using Zoom or other tools: To do an event where there’s an “onstage” part, with a small number of people talking, but which also allows the audience members to go into video breakouts to talk to each other.

I am very grateful if anyone has:

a) Any suggestions for how to do this

b) Any suggestions for resources to figure it out: point me to some discussion group or expert or other resource who might point me in the right direction

posted by PersonAndSalt to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have done exactly this with WebEx Training (note: not the same thing as WebEx Meetings). It's a clunky interface, but it gets the job done.
posted by mosst at 1:02 PM on April 14, 2020

Mefite ManInSuit has a link in his bio to some writing on exactly this kind of thing, I think.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:35 PM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks! I'll look into Webex Training!! I wonder how much it costs? The Webex site doesn't even list price, it just says "contact sales". That seems worrisome in terms of affordability. But I'll check

A couple of other possibilities that have come up as I look into this:

1) Use two tools. Like, do the "panel" part in facebook live or some other streaming platform, and to the "discussion" part in a Zoom meeting, and have users switch between the two. This seems potentially clunky.

2) Do the interview using a tool apart from zoom meetings that allows for split screens (a video tool like be.live or streamyard. Or even just a video chat). Then share that screen into a Zoom meeting. I'm not sure how technically feasible that is... It seems tricky.

I welcome thoughts!!
posted by PersonAndSalt at 6:01 PM on April 14, 2020

We are piloting some Zoom webinar public events and have been using the text chat function for taking questions.

You should look into Hopin, it has a lot more networking features and it’s not too expensive. A lot more sponsorship/branding options as well.
posted by Concordia at 1:31 PM on April 15, 2020

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