Running live events and meetings on Zoom and avoiding “Zoom Bombing”

Tl;dr sharing resources on how to use Zoom for running both live events and meetings, skip to the bottom for links.

Since the lockdown started, Zoom has become a go-to tool for running events and meetings online. I’d been using it for various things for a few years, but hadn’t really spent too much time and effort digging into what it could do. Then I got involved with XR who use it a lot for delivering training, so I saw features like the breakout rooms in action. I was impressed. It was by far the most powerful application I’d seen in the field, and it just worked.

Of course, I never expected that we’d all be living and working in part over Zoom due to a global pandemic. However, when it became clear what was happening, I realised that the knowledge we’d built up in XR on running things over Zoom might be valuable for others. So, I took some existing XR training on how to use Zoom, adapted it, and started running it for people in the local community and beyond with the help of others in XR. From the positive feedback we got, it seems it was useful for many.

At the same time, in my role as Project Coordinator for the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies, we were having to rework our live lecture programme for an online audience. We did a trial on Zoom, and it was a success. The live events worked really well, and the YouTube channel we created with the recordings has been a relative hit. You can find it here, if obscure academic scholarship on the history of yoga is your bag. Or, if you just want to see what the recordings look like (note: they are slightly edited, simple trim edits done with the YouTube editor, and more complex ones with an aged version of Adobe Premiere. But you get the gist.)

I created guides for both scenarios and shared them on twitter, which people seemed to find helpful. So, to create a more persistent record, I’m putting them here too, see below.

Now, I should mention Zoom security concerns. Zoom has had some major security and privacy issues exposed as a result of increased use and scrutiny. Most of the flaws have been fixed (and I’m impressed with how fast and sincerely Zoom seemed to handle this). But it is still possible for malicious actors to get into meetings and share horrible things on the screen, cause mayhem in the chat, scribble unwanted things on a shared screen etc, but ONLY IF you haven’t taken precautions. These are also outlined in the documents below.

I hope these are useful, please feel free to share them if so. I’m also keen to keep them updated so if people have suggestions on improvements or other good resources I could add, please let me know or pop them in the comments. And if you are a small community organisation who wants more advice, feel free to get in touch with questions (details here or tweet me) and I’ll help if I can.

Resources:

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