Zoom Event Production: Technical Production Guide

  • Zoom Event Production: Technical Production Guide



  • Determine the type of license required for the event (Webinar or Meeting) and number of planned participants
    • If the license is to be borrowed, coordinate with OIT PACE via the OIT Service Desk
  • If live captions are required, schedule with ACS. More information can be found here: https://oit.duke.edu/what-we-do/services/captioning
    • If you will be streaming to either Facebook or Youtube and will be using live captioning, you will need to inform the vendor the captioner will need to use StreamText, where the captioner captions directly to Zoom but then sends a feed to StreamText that will send the captions to YouTube or Facebook. This doesn't add an additional cost, but it does ensure the captions that appear on the stream are smooth and timely.
  • Work with the Event Coordinator to determine what limitations need to be placed on attendees (non-active participants). That will help determine which license you need.  

Desired Control



No video on entrance (can’t turn on)


Send out automated reminders to registrants


No video on entrance, attendee can turn video on but can’t turn back on after being turned off


No audio on entrance

Can not unmute

No chat

No chat to individuals

No raise hands

Non-Verbal Feedback


Breakout Rooms


No screen sharing

Waiting Room




Control attendee view



  • Create a list of all event production hosts, presenters and support staff
    • Send each production host, presenter and support staff the document “Virtual Event Production: Presenter’s Guide”
  • If creating a multiple day event, we suggest just creating a Zoom event for the first day/time and sharing that link in any invitations. When the first day is completed, you can go to your Previous Meetings on duke.zoom.us, edit and update the settings for that day’s event to the next day, and the meeting will be moved back into upcoming meetings. Participants will be able to use the same meeting link they used before.
  • If your event is complex, we recommend using a production agenda. We've attached one here for your review and/or use.
    • The production agenda also automatically creates a list of pre-recorded materials which is helpful when making sure you have everything you need
  • Schedule at least one practice session with all event hosts, presenters and support staff
  • Set up streaming on YouTube or Facebook Live if required. YouTube requires set up to happen 24 hours in advance.
  • Determine what if any pre-recorded video will be required
    •  Note: Playing back media directly from the host computer is the only way to guarantee great results. Re-streaming media will work, but not to a high level of quality. 
  • Create inventory list of required video files to be produced/submitted
  • For webinars, set up two shared documents: one with all the individual URLs for panelists and one for the attendees. Ask that the Event Coordinator send the panelist URLs out to all required with the “Virtual Event Production – Guide To Presenting” document.
    • The Event Coordinator may decide to have the system send out the invites. If that is the case, these documents are still useful to have in case of problems on the day of the show.
  • We highly recommend using a Microsoft Teams space to help organize the people and documents for the event. This space can then be used for the backchannel communication on the day of show. This is only available to people with a Duke NetID. If there are production people without a Duke NetID, you will need to establish an additional method, for example, text messaging or the Zoom App Chat function.
  • Only the host can manage breakout rooms so if you are going to have breakout rooms in your meeting and if your event coordinator wants you to manage those rooms, make sure you create the meeting and send the invites to the event coordinator for distribution
  • When scheduling your meeting or webinar, use the actual date and time for the schedule so as not to confuse attendees. You will still be able to start the webinar earlier to allow your hosts and presenters to get online.
  • The email address of the person who created the webinar will appear as the support person on the system generated emails sent to panelists and attendees. This can/should be changed before automated emails are to be sent. This can be accessed in the “Email” tab of your Webinar settings.


  • Pre-Recorded Video Sharing Best Practices
    • VLCs playlist feature is recommended for sequencing pre-recorded video for sharing
      • VLC playlist can also be used for images, like from PPT, and sequenced accordingly
      • It is good to add a blank 3-sec video in between videos to ensure the next pre-recorded video doesn't play too early.
    • The sharing computer must have audio turned on. The volume of sharing computer impacts the volume of presentation
    • 1280x720P video is recommended 
    • Make sure you check “Share computer sound” and “Optimize Screen Share for Video Clip” when sharing your screen to present video and/or audio only
    • Computer sharing video must have strong internet connection. Recommend a wired connection
    • While we are not allowed on campus, we have found it valuable to use a computer remotely controlled on the Duke campus to share pre-recorded video. If you are going to do this, you should have two accounts, one on your main computer and a different one on the media streaming computer logged in at the same time.
    • Depending on your capabilities, a better way to share video would be to use something like Wirecast or OBS to play the videos through their virtual camera into a Zoom session. This will make transitions and media organization much easier.
    • We recommend having a copy of all videos on multiple computers even if you are using a remote computer to stream the video. This will be helpful if the designated playback computer loses connection or other issues happen.
  • Attendee/Panelist Management
    • Work with the Event Coordinator in case someone enters the meeting as an attendee and needs to be promoted to co-host (meeting) or co-host/panelist (webinar) to present, show video, audio, etc
    • Sometimes presenters will forget to mute their audio or turn off their video (if that is desired) so you should do that as well in coordination with the event coordinator. You can use the "Unmute with Consent", which is a nice compromise to "Request to unmute" (previously a host could unmute participants but Zoom considered this a privacy violation).
    • If someone is causing problems in your meeting and you don't know who they are, report them to Zoom before ejecting them if possible.
  • Meeting Run Of Show
    • We recommend that all hosts, panelists and production staff enter the meeting space 30 minutes before show time to test their connections, mics and video.
      • To prevent attendees from entering your event prior to start
        • Meetings: Use the waiting room to keep out early attendees and manually admit your production hosts, presenters and support staff
        • Webinar: Keep your webinar in “Practice Mode” so only hosts and panelists may enter.
      • Technical Producer check all systems and equipment
        • Have a backup plan in place for all critical equipment
      • Make sure all production hosts, panelists and support staff have logged into your backchannel communications software
    • Start the “Countdown Video” 15 minutes prior to start if used
    • Work with the moderator to make sure the event is running on time
    • On a webinar, it is helpful to have another device (phone, iPad, computer) logged into the meeting as an attendee so you can monitor the event as the attendee is seeing.
  • Breakout Rooms
    • Only the person that is actively the host can start or populate breakout rooms.
      • While you can make someone else the host, they must create and launch the breakout rooms. If they assign people to a breakout room and then pass the host to someone else, all breakout room assignments will be lost
    • As of v5.3, it's now possible for attendees to self assign themselves into breakout rooms, move between rooms and back to the main event. Note, to move between rooms and back to the main event will need to be enabled when the breakout rooms are created. 
    • You can create the break-out room names when editing a scheduled meeting prior to the start of the live meeting. This is especially helpful since it'll save time for the host during the live meeting and when self-assigning participants to the breakout rooms will be used.  
    • If the person who is the Zoom host wants to randomly assign people to break out rooms, it can easily be done on the spot as requested.
    • The only way to guarantee assignments to breakout rooms is to use NetID authentication and assign people using their netID email address. Otherwise, the system will not know who people are.
    • We do not recommend trying to manually assign people to breakout rooms unless the meeting is small
      • If you do manually assign breakout rooms, those assignments will remain as long as the meeting is open so you can just reopen the same rooms.
      • If you want to start over, press "Recreate" and it will remove everyone from the rooms allowing you to start again.
    • Zoom Breakout Room Documentation
  • Spotlighting Multiple People
    • The host can spotlight up to 9 participants for everyone in the meeting. With host permission, users will now be able to pin up to 9 participants on their end.
    • You can also achieve this in a webinar by requiring all but the people you want on screen to turn off their video and then hide non-video participants in your settings, however, using multiple user spotlight is recommended when nine or less are needed to be spotlighted.
  • Recording
    • Cloud recording provides 3 separate streams of video:
      • Gallery View
      • Active Speaker View
      • Screen Share
    • Local recording only gets active speaker view
    • It’s recommended that you have your administrative system do a local recording in addition to the cloud recording for redundancy
    • If you are also live streaming (YouTube, etc), you should also record the live stream as further backup
    • If you do not record, you will not be able to save the chat transcript
  • Joining a meeting by Phone
    • Participants can use the phone's dial pad using DTMF tones to Mute/Unmute (*6) and Rase hand (*9)
    • Hosts can also control the meeting using the phone src="https://duke.service-now.com/s dial pad. See Joining a Meeting by phone for a list of available host commands. 
    • Phone participants WILL be placed in breakout rooms.

Enabling and Customizing Features

Once the decision has been made to include certain features in your Meeting/Webinar, the scheduler of the meeting will need to ensure these features are enabled.

Personal Settings

 Go to duke.zoom.us ->Personal->Settings

  • Breakout Rooms (Meetings only)
    • First enable here then you can start them in your meeting.
  • Chat
    • You can completely enable or disable chat here
    • If you want to prevent participants from saving chat, enable Prevent participants from saving chat.
  • Closed Captioning
    • First enable here before you can assign in your event
  • Cloud Recording
    • There are custom options you may want to enable/disable on a per meeting/webinar basis. For example, the option Record thumbnails when sharing may need to be disabled if you are sharing pre-recorded videos but you may want to keep it enabled if a presenter is sharing slides and you want the active speaker thumbnail to appear in the recording.
  • Live Streaming
    • To allow ad-hoc streaming to Facebook and/or YouTube, you'll need to enable Allow live streaming meetings.
    • If you want to stream to YouTube using a pre-scheduled share URL so you can advertise before the meeting/webinar starts, you will need to enable Custom Live Streaming Service and enter the Stream URL, Stream Key and Live Streaming Page URL.  
  • Polling
    • First enable here then you can start them in your meeting.
  • Waiting Room (Meeting only)
    • First enable here

During Scheduling of Meeting/Webinar

  • Live Streaming
    • To use pre-scheduled YouTube channel, after you’ve scheduled your event, you can now go back and select the name of the event under Topic and at the bottom in the Live Streaming section, select configure live stream settings to enter the Stream URL, Stream Key and Live Streaming Page URL.  
  • Registration
  • Meeting Password
    • It is highly recommended to always include a password.
  • Enable join before host
  • Mute participants on entry (Meetings)
  • Only authenticated users can join
    • Only Duke Users with these email domains that have a zoom account will be able to join. *.wxdu.org,*.duke.edu,*.alban.org,*.dku.edu.cn,*.dukekunshan.edu.cn,*.nescent.org,*.foresthistory.org,*.robertsonscholars.org
  • Polling
    • You can set up your polls here prior to the meeting*
  • Q&A (Webinar only)
    • Enable or disable the feature*
  • Waiting Room (Meeting only)
    • Enable/Disable*

*Will only be available if you enabled in your personal settings

For additional details on scheduling a meeting without registration, https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362413-Scheduling-meetings.

For additional details on scheduling a webinar without registration, https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/204619235-Scheduling-a-Registrationless-Webinar

During the Live Meeting/Webinar  

There are multiple places within the Zoom Meeting UI where you can customize how the meeting will be run. They can be enabled/disabled on the Meeting menu bar and within the pop-up menus.

Zoom Meeting Menu Icons

  • Security
    • Lock Meeting
    • Enable Waiting room
    • Hide Profile Pictures
    • Allow Participants to:
      • Share Screen
      • Chat
      • Rename Themselves
      • Unmute Themselves
      • Start Video
      • Suspend Participant Activities
  • Participants (Meetings Under More)
    • Ask All to Unmute
    • Mute Participants upon Entry
    • Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves
    • Play Sound When Someone Joins/Leaves
    • Allow Participants to Rename Themselves
    • Lock Meeting
    • Lower All Hands
    • Enable Waiting Room*
    • Merge to Meeting Window
  • Participants (Webinars)
    • Panelists Tab
      • Invite Button
      • Mute All Button
      • More Button
        • Mute Participants upon Entry
        • Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves
        • Play Sound When Someone Joins/Leaves
        • Allow Participants to Rename Themselves
        • Lock Webinar
        • Allow Panelists Start Video
        • Lower All Hands
        • Allow Attendees to:
          • Raise Hand
          • View the participant count
        • Attendee Video Layout:
          • Follow Host's View
          • Active speaker view
          • Gallery view
        • Merge to Meeting Window
      • For each panelist name in panelist list
        • Ask to Unmute
        • More Button
          • Chat
          • Ask to Start Video
          • Make Host
          • Make Co-Host
          • Change Role to Attendee
          • Rename
          • Put on Hold
          • Remove
      • For each Co-host name in the panelist list
        • Chat
        • Ask to Start Video
        • Make Host
        • Withdraw Co-Host Permission
        • Rename               
    • Attendee Tab
      • Allow to talk button
      • More button
        • Chat
        • Promote to panelist
        • Rename
        • Remove
      • Lower All Hands button
  • Chat (Under Ellipses)
    • Participants Can Chat With:
      • No one
      • Host only
      • Everyone publicly
      • Everyone publicly and privately
    • Merge to Meeting Window
  • Share Screen "^"
    • One participant can share at a time
    • Multiple participants can share simultaneously
    • Advanced Sharing Options...
      • How many participants can share at the same time?
        • One participant can share at a time
        • Multiple participants can share simultaneously (dual monitors recommended)
      • Who can share?
        • Only Host
        • All Participants
      • Who can start sharing when someone else is sharing?
        • Only Host
        • All Participants
  • Polling*
    • If Pre-added polling questions during scheduling
      • Launch Poll
    • To add a poll question during a meeting/webinar
      • Add a Question (Only the host who scheduled the meeting can add a new question.
    • The meeting or webinar host has the option to download the full poll results when the poll has ended during the live session, rather than waiting until the meeting or webinar has ended. This will launch their browser and begin the download of the CSV poll report.
  • Record
    • Record on this Computer
    • Record to the Cloud
  • Q&A **
    • Open
    • Answered
    • Dismissed
    • Gear Icon
      • Allow anonymous questions
      • Allow attendees to view:
        • answered questions only
        • all questions
          • Attendees can upvote
          • Attendees can comment
  • Closed Caption*
    • Assign someone to type
      • Assign a participant to type
      • I will type
    • Use a 3rd party CC service
      • Copy API token
  • Breakout Rooms*
    • Assign participants into <enter #> Rooms:
      • Automatically
      • Manually
      • Let participants choose room
      • Create Breakout Rooms

Once you src="https://duke.service-now.com/ve created your room(s), you" l see another pop-up window, with additional information, 

    • Options button (gear icon)
      • Allow participants to choose room
      • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time
      • Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically
      • Breakout rooms close automatically: <enter time> minutes
        • Notify me when the time is up
      • Countdown after closing breakout room
        • Set countdown timer: <enter time> seconds
    • Recreate button
    • Add a Room
    • Open all rooms
    • Rename
    • Delete Room
    • Assign
  • More Elipses*
    • Live on Facebook
    • Live on YouTube
    • Live on Custom Live Streaming Service
  • In gallery view, the host can select options in the top right corner of the video layouts
    • Unmute button
    • Ellipses button
      • Unmute My Audio
      • Start Video
      • Rename
      • Edit Profile Picture
      • Hide Non-Video Participants
        • Note: If the host hides non-video participants, the host can revert back by selecting the pull down menu at the top center of the Zoom webinar window,
        • Total non-video participants:<count>
          • Show Non-Video Participants
          • Manage Participants
      • Hide Self View
      • Assign to type Closed Caption

  *Will only be available if you enabled in your personal settings for Meetings Only.
**Will only be available if you enabled for Webinars.

Post Meeting

    • Consolidate all local and cloud recordings in one place
    • Edit if desired for the event.
      • It is advisable to replace the Zoom recorded screen share of video with the original video elements if possible.
    • Publish video in Warpwire if desired (can be NetID protected)
    • The host can download meeting analytics & chat transcript from Zoom


Article Number: KB0033035