How to Start a Zoom Meeting and Invite People to It
If you’re working from home during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, you may soon find the need to have a video conference with your colleagues, if you haven’t already. Instant messaging may fulfill most of your daily communication needs, but sometimes you just need a bit of face time with your peers, especially if you’re planning a group meeting.
One video conferencing solution that has seen a sudden surge in popularity among enterprises over the past few weeks is Zoom. You’ve probably already heard of it, but if you’re here, it’s likely this is the first time you’re having to use it. You needn’t fret, though. It isn’t the most complicated software. In what follows, we’ll walk you through the simple steps involved in hosting a meeting in Zoom and inviting other people to it.
How to Start a Zoom Meeting
If you haven’t already, head on over to zoom.us and download the Zoom app to your computer or mobile device. Zoom has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox as well. Launch the app and sign up for a free Zoom account or sign in directly via SSO, Google, or Facebook.
Time needed: 3 minutes
Once you’ve installed Zoom and signed in, here’s what you need to do to host a meeting.
- If you’re using Zoom for Windows or Mac, click the tiny downward arrow to the right of the New Meeting button to choose whether or not you want to use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI).
You may want to do this if you plan to host similar meetings in the future. Sharing your PMI and password with others will allow them to join your meetings without you having to send an invite every time. This is optional. You can change the password by hovering over the PMI number displayed in this menu and selecting PMI Settings. To change your PMI, you will have to upgrade to a paid “Pro” Zoom account.
- Click the New Meeting button.
On a mobile (Android or iOS) device, tapping the New Meeting button will take you to a new screen where you will be able to choose whether or not you want to use your Personal Meeting ID. Once, again, this is optional. Check the description of the previous step if you’re curious as to why you would want to do this. The same screen also lets you disable video on your way into a meeting. You can do the same once the meeting has started.
- Click Join with Computer Audio (or select the Call using Internet Audio option if you are on a mobile device) to start the meeting.
Your meeting has now begun and you can start inviting participants.
How to Invite People to a Zoom Meeting
1. Switch to the Manage Participants (or Participants) tab.
2. Click the Invite button.
3. Select Copy URL or Copy Invitation (available only in the Zoom desktop app).
The invitation includes the meeting ID and password in addition to the URL. Participants only need the URL to join a meeting. Now, the easiest way to share invitations is directly through your Zoom contacts list, though, if you’re here, it’s unlikely you already have your intended participants added to your Zoom contacts just yet. Moreover, sharing the meeting URL with someone will allow them to join your meeting without having to create a Zoom account. They will, however, still need to install the app.
4. You can now paste this link into an email or share it via text message. Anyone who clicks this link will, by default, be sent to the Waiting Room.
5. When a participant joins, you will be notified that they have been sent to the Waiting Room. You can Admit them into the meeting directly from this notification or from the Manage Participants (or Participants) tab.
If you’re using Zoom on your computer, you will have to move your mouse pointer over their name, then click the Admit button.
How to Join a Zoom Meeting
On receiving an invitation to a Zoom meeting, simply click the included URL (link). The link will open in a browser, which will in turn ask for your permission to open Zoom app. Doing so will take you directly to the meeting provided you have the Zoom app installed on your computer or mobile device. You will not need to sign up for a Zoom account.
If you were only sent a meeting ID and password, launch Zoom, select Join a Meeting, then enter the provided ID followed by the password.
Note that if the host has Waiting Room enabled (it is enabled by default), you will have to wait for them to admit you into the meeting.