Today’s Zoom Tip - 3 December 2020

When we think of being a good host, we usually imagine keeping glasses filled and making introductions. Hosting a virtual meeting in Zoom is different. The host in Zoom isn’t a social role, it’s the one person with access to all the controls and tools.

Zoom abhors a host vacuum - there always has to be a host in the session. If the host leaves the meeting, the alternative host will assume the role. In the absence of an alternative host, a co-host will become the host. If there are no hosts of any kind remaining, one of the participants will find themselves promoted to the host role!

Top Tip: always work out in advance who is going to be the host of a meeting, to avoid a participant suddenly being surprised with the duty.

By default, the person who sets up the meeting automatically becomes the host, but what if you are setting up a meeting on behalf of a colleague and they are intending to host it? In this scenario, you have a few options to choose from:

NB: there can only be two meetings that you have created (and are therefore allocated as host for), running at the same time, even if you make someone else the host once the meeting starts. So if you are creating a lot of meetings for other people, this isn’t a good option to pick.

  • When you set the meeting up, designate your colleague as the alternative host. You need to use their UCL email address, and they must already have activated their UCL Zoom account, or you won’t be able to select them. They will be able to run the meeting as a host, but they won’t have access the pre-meeting controls to set up polls or breakout groups in advance. You are still effectively the ’real host’ of the meeting so the two meeting rule still applies.
  • Ask your colleague to give you scheduling permissions. Once they have delegated this permission to you, you can create a meeting on their behalf and they are set as the host from the outset.
  • If you have any tips for using Zoom which have really helped you make the most of the product, please email isd-webcomms@ucl.ac.uk or post your tip on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #zoomtips. If you are having any specific issues with the set-up of Zoom, please contact zoomsupport@ucl.ac.uk.


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