When planning for public meetings, it’s important to balance access with control. Zoom Webinars or streams may not always be practical for times when you want high levels of interaction between your participants.

1. Initial Considerations

Before scheduling your meeting, ask a few questions first:

  1. Who are your participants? If this is an event for the BU community, you can restrict access accordingly.
  2. How are you publicizing the event? If you plan to advertise via social media, consider linking to BU hosted web page or requiring registration through Zoom or an event management platform.
  3. Who can help you run the event? Having a co-host or two available to manage crowds and questions will help the event organizer focus on the content at hand.

2. Scheduling the Meeting

When scheduling your meeting, look for and enable appropriate security options:

  1. Enable registration so you can easily monitor attendance numbers and avoid publishing your meeting URL directly.
  2. Enable Waiting Rooms if not already on or required by your account. Using the option to automatically admit members of the BU community can help make large events manageable.
  3. Disable the ability for participants to join before the host.
  4. Enable authentication for your meeting. Use the “Boston University” option if all of your participants are members of the BU community. If not, add custom email domains, add an authentication exception for guest presenters, or use “Sign In to Zoom.”
    • Using authentication for a public meeting can discourage malicious participants from joining.
  5. Designate an alternative host who can assist with waiting room and security management.

After scheduling your meeting, you can publish the event registration information on a web page, calendar, or social media post. It is never recommended to post a meeting link, ID, and/or passcode on social media directly.

3. Hosting the Meeting

There are many elements to consider when hosting a public meeting. Maintaining a productive and safe environment will be a key to success.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the In-Meeting Security Menu, which provides quick access to many critical features:
    • Disable participants’ ability to share their screens. Unsolicited screen sharing can be highly disruptive. If a select number of participants should be able to share, you can make them a co-host.
    • Disable the ability for participants to unmute their microphones or start their video if you have a panel of speakers. Much like screen sharing, unwanted audio and video can be disruptive.
  2. Establish expectations. Consider things like:
    • Whether or not participants should turn on their video.
    • If participants should raise hands to ask questions.
    • If participants should ask questions in the chat.
  3. Review our tips for handing meeting disruptions.