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How to Set Up Zoom Webinars | Full Step-by-Step Guide

Learn the ins and outs of how to setup a Zoom webinar. From scheduling your Zoom webinar to registration, our guide covers all you need.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
March 5, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Since the pandemic in 2020 generated a surge in remote work, Zoom has been booming!

Zoom webinars have also benefited from this rise in traction. Webinars offer an opportunity for people to connect and share ideas in an expansive digital environment.

By understanding how Zoom webinars work and how to set them up effectively, you can easily take the right steps to prepare your online events for success. This can help you deliver the best possible value for your attendees while boosting your professionalism.

So how do you set up a Zoom webinar? Where should you begin? This is your comprehensive guide to everything you need to know.

Can anyone use Zoom webinar?

Since 2020, Zoom meeting participants have increased by a whopping 2,900%. Today, Zoom webinars register more than 45 billion annual minutes These growth trends represent excellent opportunities for users interested in the power of webinar content. But can just anyone get involved?

Unfortunately, full access to the Zoom webinar suite is dependent on your subscription plan. Some features are only available for users with high-level subscriptions or relevant add-ons.

Requirements for hosting Zoom webinars

In order to host a Zoom webinar event, you’ll need the Zoom Webinars add-on. This will allow to host webinar events that don’t require registration. Under a basic plan, Zoom webinars cap a duration of 45 minutes and support a maximum of 100 participants.

A Zoom pro, business, enterprise, or education level plan is the best option if you want access to the full suite of Webinar features, including registration. A subscription to one of these plans grants you access to all features, such as capacity for 100,000 webinar attendees and 1,000 interactive video panelists. It will also provide you with analytics tools and HD recording and live-streaming options.

How to set up a Zoom webinar: Step-by-step

Wondering how to set up a Zoom webinar? Simple! Follow these steps to begin.

How to schedule a Zoom webinar

In many cases, you’ll need to schedule your Zoom webinar ahead of time so that people have plenty of time to make themselves available for the event. Here’s how!

Step 1: Sign in to the Zoom web portal, and choose “Webinars” from the navigation menu on the left side of your screen.

Step 2: Select “Schedule A Webinar”, and enter your event’s topic and description in the relevant fields.

Step 3: Use the fields on your screen to fill in the date, time, time zone, and duration of your webinar event.

Step 4: Scroll down to confirm video, audio, and other webinar options. Then finalize by clicking “Schedule”.

How to set up registration for a Zoom webinar

Do you need your webinar attendees to register before attending your event? Follow these steps to set up.

How to setup a Zoom webinar from the online portal

Step 1: Sign into the Zoom web portal and choose “Webinars” from the navigation menu on the left of your screen.

Step 2: Select “Schedule a Webinar”, and update relevant webinar settings as needed.

Step 3: Scroll down to the registration section and select the “Require registration” checkbox.

Note: If your webinar is a recurring event, you can use settings to control whether attendees need to register just once or re-register for each new webinar event.

Step 4: Click “Schedule” to finalize your webinar and registration settings.

How to setup automatic registration on Zoom

You can also set up automatic registration functions! Here’s how.

Step 1: Once you’ve scheduled your Zoom webinar, scroll to the bottom of the details page, and select the “Invitations” tab.

Step 2: Review the registration options under “Registration Settings”. If manual approval is listed, click “Edit” on the right.

Step 3: Under “Approval” in the “Registration” tab, select “Automatically Approve”.

Step 4: Finally, “Save” your changes before sharing an invite with your attendees.

How to set up registration with manual approval

Alternatively, you can also opt to control registration approval manually. Here’s how.

Step 1: When you’ve scheduled your webinar, scroll down to the details page, and navigate to the “Invitations” tab.

Step 2: Review registration options under “Registration Settings”, and select “Edit” on the right of the currently listed approval option.

Step 3: Under “Approval” in the “Registration” tab, select “Manually Approve”.

Step 4: Ensure that you “Save” your changes before inviting attendees to your webinar event.

Step 5: Once an attendee registers, return to the “Webinars” page and select the correct “Webinar”, followed by the “Invitations” tab.

Step 6: Select “Edit” beside “Manage Attendees”, and select the relevant users, confirming whether to confirm or deny registration.

Best practices for setting up Zoom webinars

When setting up Zoom webinars, you should consider a few important considerations. These best practices can help you confidently approach your event and deliver the best possible outcome for all involved.

Plan ahead of time

First, leave plenty of time to plan ahead for a successful webinar! Instead of leaving your event up to luck, think carefully about what you’ll need to do to make things run smoothly.

By planning well, you can identify solutions for potential problems or pitfalls and ensure that your webinar runs seamlessly. This can help you stay calm when it’s time to go live, as well as showcasing your professionalism to your attendees.

Check your work

It’s also a good idea to check and double-check all of your webinar settings and controls. This can help you catch and repair any issues long before your event begins.

Revisit your webinar settings and verify that all features are working as they should be. Confirm that your controls are in line with your goals for your event. This approach allows you to approach broadcasting with the utmost confidence.

Try a test run

Similarly, a test run can help you ensure that you are ready for an event that goes off without a hitch! Take some time to try your software and any equipment so that you can troubleshoot problems before they get in the way of a real webinar experience.

Testing out your tools can make you feel much more in control of your webinar event. It can also help you identify new ways to make your event as effective as possible. This can only improve the quality you deliver.

Market your event

It’s no use hosting a webinar event if no one ever knows about it! Give yourself plenty of time to explore marketing opportunities, and start spreading the word about your webinar. Aim to get people registered before the day of the event.

Marketing a webinar doesn’t have to be complicated. You can reach out to existing connections, including your email list and social media followers. Use Riverside clips to create short-form content teasers that get people interested in what you have to say! You might even be able to list your event with popular online directories, like Eventbrite.

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Learn from feedback

Last but not least, you need to be ready to learn from the feedback you receive. After your webinar is over, attendees may be willing to share their thoughts and ideas. Use these insights, coupled with other event metrics, to inform your future webinar planning.

The more you improve your skills based on experience, the better impact you can offer for your audience. This will help you continue to grow and develop as you rely more on the power of webinars for success.

Is Zoom your best option for webinars?

Zoom is a popular choice for hosting webinars, but the platform also has some disadvantages.

As a basic Zoom user, you can only host short webinars for a low volume of attendees. In order to access longer durations and larger cohorts, you’ll have to commit to a paid subscription.

Zoom can also be prone to low-quality video and audio which depends on your internet connection. This can lead to lags that may make clear communication more difficult to compromise the overall quality of the content you produce for your audience.

If you plan on repurposing your Zoom webinar, it may be difficult to edit. Besides low-quality recordings, you can’t download separate video tracks for each of your guests giving you less editing control.

Fortunately, Zoom is not the only webinar platform on the market! There are many other tools designed to offer intuitive and impactful webinar results.

“Riverside is far better than Zoom for recording interviews.” - Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur and marketing leader.

Riverside: A Zoom webinar alternative

If you’re looking for a way to host and record webinars in high quality, then Riverside is a suitable Zoom webinar alternative.

Riverside webinar software

Riverside provides all-in-one hosting, recording, and editing! You can host a webinar with 7 guest speakers and up to 1000 audience members directly on Riverside. Alternatively, push your stream live to YouTube, Facebook, Linked in or any social media platform all at the same time.

To keep things interactive, invite your audience members to call in live or use our presentation recorder to share informative slides. You can record your webinar in up to 4K video resolution and then repurpose it using our AI editing tools.

Key features:

  • Up to 4K video resolution and up to 48kHZ sound quality for incredible quality
  • Background noise removal tools to eliminate audio distractions
  • In-built recording features that allow you to make the most of your content
  • AI Magic Clips for automatic short-form videos and content repurposing
  • Automated editing tools for custom backgrounds, layouts and logos
  • Text-based editing for easy, intuitive, time-saving editing approaches
  • Easy customization, including logo and branding functionalities
  • Intuitive interface with beginner-friendly options for studio-quality results
  • One-click shareable invite links for easy invitations and joining
  • Capture screen shares for simple, integrated visual materials
  • Presentation recording so you can upload slides and capture them in high-quality
  • Local recording to minimize connectivity disruptions, with separate video and audio tracks for up to 8 speakers
  • AI transcriptions that automatically transcribe content in over 100 languages
  • Live-streaming features that make it easy to broadcast in real-time
  • Up to 1,000 audience members, allowing for mass communication
  • Producer mode, with high-level video creation controls available
  • Native teleprompter, keeping your content on track throughout

FAQs on how to set up Zoom webinars

Still unsure about how to set up Zoom webinars? Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions.

What is the difference between a Zoom meeting and a webinar?

Zoom meetings are the standard offering of the Zoom platform and are aimed at interactive sessions for small groups. Generally speaking, a meeting is best for up to 10 people collaborating. Zoom meetings offer features like video and audio sharing, muting and unmuting functionalities, and waiting and breakout rooms.

Zoom Webinar is an add-on product explicitly designed to support larger audiences, as in the case of a webinar or virtual conference. Webinars include specific controls that help to minimize disruptions when working in large groups. These features include audio-only mode, listen-only mode, exclusive unmuting, host-only video sharing, and even PayPal and EventBrite integrations.

Can you have a Zoom webinar without registration?

While it is possible to host a Zoom webinar without requiring registration, it’s often best to include a basic registration function for the best results. Registration is a good idea if you want to host an effective webinar and make the most of possible leads after your event.

Final thoughts

Setting up a webinar can feel like a daunting task, but with the right skills on your side, you can easily make your virtual event a success and even scale your business.

When you know how to take control of your webinar and set up effectively, you can begin to plan more impactful online events that generate interest in your brand and what it can offer. This gives you scope to build your webinar strategy and drive more traffic to your content with every event you host.

Are you ready to take your webinar hosting to the next level with a comprehensive and easy-to-use hosting interface? Try Riverside today, and start creating events that engage more than ever before.

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