Think of a Host like a room monitor / staff at a physical conference. You are responsible for getting the speakers ready backstage and when to open the doors to the room. When the session is over, the doors close so the room is ready for the next session. 

Webinars must be started by a host. You should have received the login details and start/end times of the webinar you are scheduled to host. Use the event app or planner to confirm the list of speakers. 


If you are the host for a keynote or larger webinar, review this virtual Keynote Intro article to create a professional entrance experience. To make sessions more fun and engaging, check with your organizer to add ScanHunt virtual event gamification. Or share this virtual events bingo card with the attendees via chat while they wait for the session to start.


1. Update the Zoom App

Ensure you have the latest version of Zoom installed. On your computer where you'll be hosting the webinar, go to https://zoom.us/test and follow the steps to join a test session via the app. Update the app if prompted.


2. Open Practice Session

If there is no other session before yours on the same Zoom license (same Zoom login), you can start the Webinar early to open up the practice session for panelists (speakers). This allows you and speakers to set up and get ready without any participants seeing or hearing you. We recommend to start at least 15 and if possible, 30 min, before the official session start time.

Learn more


The Webinar is automatically set up already to start in this practice mode. 

  1. Log into https://Zoom.us with the credentials provided to you by the organizer
  2. On the left, navigate to PERSONAL > Webinars > find the webinar you are hosting > click the Start button. If you receive a message that this host is still running another webinar, please wait or check with the organizer if another host is going over their allotted time.



Do not press the record button
If you press the recording button at this point, you will be recording the practice session and it will be visible for all viewers who watch the recorded session! The recording should automatically start when you start broadcasting. 


3. Rename Yourself 

The name displayed in the participant list may be a generic name associated with the Zoom login you used. In order for attendees to know who to contact for support issues, rename yourself in the session: 

  1. Click the Participant list
  2. Click your name and rename yourself to "Session Support" or a similar name


4. Adjust Settings

Are you planning to use Chat? or Q&A? Double check the settings to make sure they meet your needs. 

For example, in large webinars, some hosts turn chat off completely and only use Q&A. Or they set chat to only chat with hosts. You can also control who receives questions submitted via the Q&A. If you have a session moderator, maybe all questions should go to the moderator? 

Is there going to be a poll? You can still prepare the questions now.


If you have a team member assist you or a moderator that you'd like to make co-host, you can easily assign roles using the Participant panel.


5. Help Speakers get Ready

All your speakers have received a personal link to join as "Panelist". Do the following A/V check with each of your panelists:

  1. Test if they can hear you
  2. Ask them to turn ON their mic and confirm that you can hear them. 
  3. Ask them to turn ON their webcam.
  4. Double check that the name is correct - if not, you can rename the panelist in the participant list (this can happen if the originally invited speaker cannot join and forwarded their panelist email with the special personalized link to another speaker to take their place. When the backup speaker clicks that link, Zoom applies the name of the original speaker)
  5. Ask panelists to 
    1. set their slides into presentation mode
    2. share their screen
    3. confirm you can see their screen share
    4. stop sharing their screen
  6. Ask all panelists to MUTE themselves (turn mic OFF)
  7. Review the session timeline with all panelists and remind them to stick to their time. Explain to the speakers how you will communicate their time is running out and the next speaker must be introduced. 
  8. Double check that the moderator is going to remind everyone that the webinar is being recorded. 


6. Prepare for Broadcast 3-5min Before Session Start

  1. Are you going to be showing looping sponsor slides or a looping video with audio? Be ready to start those. If you have looping slides, set them into presentation mode in full screen now. 
  2. Ensure all speakers are muted and let them know that attendees are about to join. 
  3. Mute yourself and turn your webcam OFF
  4. Start screen sharing
    1. Attention: if your looping slides contain audio, ensure to click the "computer audio" in the screen share dialog before selecting the app or window you are planning to share
  5. Press the Broadcast button - you are now live!
  6. Double check that the recording has automatically started. You should see a cloud recording symbol in the top left corner.


7. Assist Users with Technical Issues

You may have attendees who are unfamiliar with video conferencing tools and are for example unsure how to access the audio portion. 

Here are some helpful links to the Zoom knowledge base: 

Zoom Virtual Session Participant Guide



8. End the Webinar

If the webinar was set up via EventPilot, it will end automatically a few minutes after the session's scheduled end time. If you don't want your speakers to get cut off, work with your moderator to keep speakers on time and ensure that the session ends on time. Participants will appreciate this too. If the Webinar was set up outside of EventPilot and does not end automatically, make sure you end it for all participants (don't just leave the meeting). Also in this case end on time as another host may require the license to start their practice session.