FAQ: What Zoom is and how to use it
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video and audio platform for conferencing, meetings, chat, and webinars. For this particular event, we are using Zoom Webinar, a special Zoom feature that allows for a larger number of participants. Webinar roles are separated into panelists (as well as hosts) who are able to be visible and speak during the webinar, and attendees (that’s you), who will not appear onscreen or be heard, but who can join in live chat and Q&A.
Do I have to download Zoom to attend a Webinar?
For the best performance, sound, and video quality, we do recommend downloading Zoom (more on how to do that below). But you don’t have to download Zoom in order to attend a Webinar. If you prefer, you can access Zoom via your web browser (more on how to do that below).
What if I don’t want to download Zoom onto my computer or device?
If you prefer not to download Zoom, you have two alternatives.
- You can access zoom through your web browser without downloading the application.
Here’s how: Just click on the Zoom link while you’re using the browser called Chrome. Firefox and Safari do not work as well for Zoom. (If you have downloaded Zoom, however, you will be able to access the Webinar through any web browser).
- You can also connect from a telephone (cell or landline).
This second method is an audio-only option, and you will not be able to see the video of the conversation. If you wish to access the meeting without video, you have the option for an audio-only experience by calling into the teleconferencing telephone # provided in the confirmation email you should have received from BABF. Several telephone numbers are provided for any Zoom meeting. Simply dial the number that is geographically closest to you. There should be at least one option for a California phone number listed, as well as other options for the United States and abroad.
Ok, I want to download Zoom. How do I do that?
Click here to download Zoom Version 5.0.0 (23186.0427)*
Zoom is a FREE application (or app) that can be downloaded to your computer (PC and Mac, desktop, laptop or ChromeBook), device (iPad, etc.) or smartphone (Apple and Android).
You should be prompted with an option to open Zoom at the time you download it.
We encourage you to open the application sometime before the Webinar to familiarize yourself with the program.
For best viewing: at the time of the Webinar, if you have downloaded the Zoom application, click the link to join from your confirmation email. Zoom will ask you if you want to open with zoom.us. Click “Allow” or “Yes.”
Does it cost anything to download Zoom?
No! Zoom provides a cost-free Basic package for download on their website. Although there are packages available for purchase, all you will need for the meeting is the Basic version, which is free to download.
What if I want to familiarize myself with Zoom before the BABF Webinar?
What if I have privacy and security concerns with using Zoom?
Many security and privacy concerns over Zoom have been addressed in recent weeks. Make sure you have the latest version of Zoom: 5.0.0 (23186.0427)
Information about privacy concerns (tips for optimal pre-meeting and in-meeting security settings and tips for protecting data) are provided on the Zoom website here.
If you feel as though your concerns are not addressed by this information, remember, as a Webinar attendee, your audio and video will automatically be disabled during the Webinar, and you will not be recorded. Additionally, you can always uninstall Zoom from your device once the Webinar is over.
FAQ: Before Your Zoom Webinar Begins
Where do I find the invitation containing the Zoom link for the Webinar?
After purchasing your ticket for the event, you should have received a confirmation email with a link to download Zoom and join the Webinar. If you don’t see this email in your inbox, check your trash and spam folders. If you still can’t find it, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you.
What if I can’t sign in to Zoom?
You do not have sign in to Zoom in order to join the Webinar. Simply access your confirmation email and click the “Join Meeting” link, or launch the Zoom application and enter the Meeting ID# when prompted.
When you click the “Join Meeting” link or launch the Zoom application, you will be taken to a welcome screen. On the welcome screen, you will be given the option to “Join Meeting” or “Sign In.” Simply click “Join Meeting,” and enter the 9-to-11-digit Meeting ID #.
If you must sign in but are unable to, or if you have forgotten your password, you can find tips for login issues here.
FAQ: What to Expect as a Zoom Webinar Attendee
How will the Zoom Webinar work?
Anyone with a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer can download Zoom for free to listen and watch the Webinar live, ask questions to the panelists in a Question box, and chat with other attendees in the Chat Box.
Is a Zoom Webinar the same as a Zoom Meeting?
No, a Zoom Webinar is different from a Zoom Meeting.
In a Zoom Webinar:
- Only the panelists and the host will be heard and seen
- As an attendee, your video and audio will automatically be disabled
- For this reason, you do not need to have a microphone or webcam hooked up to your computer in order to watch the Webinar.
- You will need speakers or headphones to hear the Webinar. Many computers and laptops have built-in speakers.
For more information on what to expect from the Webinar format, please visit this page.
How do I ask a question to the panelists?
Just click on the Q&A Box at the bottom of the Zoom window and type your question. (If you want to ask a question of panelists, please make sure you’re using the the Q&A Box, NOT the Chat Box. The Chat Box is for interacting with your fellow audience members.
How do I chat with other participants?
Click on the Chat Box at the bottom of the Zoom window, and another smaller window will appear. This is where you can interact and share comments with other attendees.
How do I know I’m officially “in” the Zoom Webinar as an attendee?
If you attempt to enter the webinar before the broadcast begins, you will be placed in the waiting room until the Host opens the meeting.
Approximately 10 minutes before our scheduled 7pm start time, we’ll allow attendees to enter. At this time, all attendees should see a Welcome screen, and music will be playing so that you can adjust your listening device and ensure that your system is operational.
At 7:10pm the program will commence, and you should be able to see the panelists and hear them speaking. Remember that all attendees can listen and watch, but their cameras and microphones are disabled.
What if I enter the Webinar after it begins?
The Webinar will be open to all confirmed attendees until the end of the broadcast. Since this is a live Webinar, you will enter at whatever point in the program we are at when you launch Zoom.
How do I change the way the Zoom looks on my computer screen?
Information on the user controls for Zoom can be found here
To change the look of your Webinar:
- Go to the top right hand corner of the window, and open “viewing options”
- Exit full screen and return to a smaller window
- On a computer or tablet, you can change the size of the window and arrangement of the speaker boxes by clicking and dragging on the edges of their windows.
How do I get the best sound and video quality while using Zoom?
You will get the best quality by downloading and using the zoom app, rather than connecting via the web browser. When you click on the meeting link, make sure it opens an application titled Zoom.us in the gray bar at the top of the screen. Use an ethernet cable to connect to the internet if possible. Exit all of your other applications on your device while running Zoom, and try turning off all other streaming devices in the house. If you are using wifi in your home, we suggest that you visit www.fast.com to assess the speed of your wifi in various locales. The website automatically generates your download speed as the largest number in the middle of the screen. Try out a couple different comfy spots and choose the one with the best connection.
FAQ: Using Zoom on a Laptop or Computer
How do I use Zoom on a ChromeBook?
Zoom is available for download at the Chrome Web Store. For more information on downloading and running Zoom on your Chrome visit this page.
I already have Zoom on my computer. Do I need to update to the latest version?
Yes! Recent security concerns with earlier versions of Zoom have prompted the recommendation that only the latest version, currently Version 5.0.0 (23186.0427) be used. In order to make sure you are running the latest version:
- Open the Zoom application and sign in
- Click on your profile picture in the upper righthand corner
- In the scroll down menu choose “Check for Updates”
- Follow the prompts from Zoom to download the latest version, if necessary
My computer is kind of old. How do I know if it can run Zoom?
You can check the system requirements to run Zoom on Mac, PC and Linux Operating Systems here.
If you are using a Chrome Operating System, you can check those requirements here.
FAQ: Using Zoom on devices other than a laptop or computer
How do I join a Zoom meeting on my smartphone?
Zoom is a free app available for iPhones and Android smartphones and BlackBerry.
- For iPhones, visit the App Store for a free download.
- For Androids, Zoom Cloud Meetings is available for free download on Google Play.
- For BlackBerry, the app is available at BlackBerry World.
Note: Some of the functions described here (chat, etc.) may operate differently on your smartphone than as described for laptops and computers. Visit https://support.zoom.us for specific instructions for your smartphone or BlackBerry.
You can launch the app directly into the Webinar on the day of by clicking on the link in your confirmation email, or open the app separately and enter the Meeting ID# listed in the same email. There will be several numbers and options to enter the meeting. For this method, you want the 9-to-11-digit Meeting ID# to enter the meeting from the Zoom app.
How do I use Zoom on an iPad or tablet?
Zoom is a free app available for iPads and tablet devices.
For iPad, visit the App Store for a free download.
For most other tablets, Zoom Cloud Meetings is available for free download on Google Play.
Some of the functions described here (chat, etc.) may operate differently on your smartphone than as described for laptops and computers. Visit https://support.zoom.us for specific instructions for your tablet or iPad.
During the webinar, we strongly suggest that you set your tablet or iPad to Autonomous Single App Mode (ASAM), which allows only the app you are using to access the wifi.
Can I watch the Zoom Webinar on my Smart TV?
Yes! If you have a Smart TV, it is possible to mirror your smartphone or laptop screen on your TV. Instructions for this should be available through your Smart TV help menu. For information on screen mirroring on Roku, visit this helpful step-by-step instructions.
For instructions on downloading Zoom to a Firestick TV, visit this site.