Software to manage/track participants over multiple Zoom webinars
September 21, 2021 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Another database question. Help me again, Metafilter! Mrs. Gefilte is currently involved in providing admin support for a large project. The gist of it is that many dozens of external organizations are being invited to participate in a series of workshops which are being held over Zoom. Participation in these workshops needs to be tracked for future reference/analysis (i.e. who was invited, who attended, which organization(s) do they represent, which workshops did they attend, etc.) The current setup isn't working well.

Right now, invitations are being sent with a generic Zoom registration link, and participation is being manually tracked in AirTable. Of course, this is leading to massive data entry and reconciliation issues: people signing up with different email addresses, recipients forwarding the registration link to others within their organization, participants using various ways to indicate which organization they belong to, etc. NOT GOOD.

Ideally, there would be a way for participants to register themselves in a central database, and then to register for the Zoom webinars that are relevant to them, and then Zoom would feed back to the database if/when people participate. They've tried managing this with Zapier and AirTable forms but there are some peculiar quirks in AirTable which makes this very difficult.

To make things harder, for whatever reason, the project is not allowed to have a public-facing website. (I feel like even a simple Wordpress site with a few plug-ins could manage this with a lot less hassle, but c'est la vie.)

Is there any software platform that could do a better job at this than AirTable? Would some kind of CRM be helpful? Any advice would be most appreciated!
posted by greatgefilte to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's kludgy as well.. heck... but I've used a members-only sharepoint site with federal employees. (Uncle Sam locks down employee tech use tightly).

In terms of making the plan more future "resistant," how do the powers at be want to handle the situation where multiple people may join from one account? (e.g. a conference room in the office).

I think it might be worth exploring Zoom's back-end features (if you haven't already). For instance, Dashboard for meetings and webinars or Customizing webinar registration.

It also seems that this query might be in the general webinar marketing/tracking space. 4 ways to automate your webinar marketing.
posted by oceano at 7:27 PM on September 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

If the organization is using Zoom Webinar, simple data analysis can be performed on the CSV file that’s available afterwards (maybe they’re already doing this?) The data in this file lists individual user registration/attendance information such as name, email address, organization, and how many minutes they attended. Analysis can be performed on the CSV file using Excel, Google Sheets, or AirTable. If you combine the CSV files from different events you can see which individuals/organizations have attended the most often. Zoom has a registration form that can be customized so no public website would be required. This isn’t a streamlined database solution but I’d thought I mention this just in case.
posted by mundo at 7:28 PM on September 21, 2021

Response by poster: oceano, how do you use Sharepoint? Does it integrate well with Zoom, or do you have to use Teams for webinars, etc? I'll check out the link as well.

mundo, thanks for the suggestion, the issue is that they need to track not only the webinar attendees, but all those who have been invited, and as I mentioned, the biggest issue is making the data line up - an invitee might register on Zoom but use a different name for their organization compared to the one on file, or a different spelling of their own name, and that'll mean hours of manually correlating different spreadsheets. :(
posted by greatgefilte at 12:35 PM on September 22, 2021

Totally understand if AirTable or spreadsheets are not the right tool for the job. While the organization is searching for a solution, they could use Airtable’s Dedupe app to save time spent searching for approximate matches and duplicates. It will highlight items that are similar or duplicate. It requires a paid plan but sounds like they already have one if they were using Zapier.

Zoom Webinar allows tracking the number of users who click on an invite link and organizes this data by source name, such as “email blast” or “Facebook.”
posted by mundo at 1:45 PM on September 22, 2021

an invitee might register on Zoom but use a different name for their organization compared to the one on file, or a different spelling of their own name, and that'll mean hours of manually correlating different spreadsheets.

I just want to say from recent personal experience that you are 100% correct about this, and anything you can do up front to avoid it, your Later Self will thank you for.
posted by Lexica at 3:21 PM on September 22, 2021

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