These days, it can seem like everything takes place on Zoom: work, social events, and even language lessons. While accepting an invitation to a Zoom meeting can be pretty straightforward, creating your own Zoom meeting takes a little work.
Not only do you need to decide whether to schedule it in advance — you’ll have to choose how many participants to invite and what security settings to put in place. You may also need to assign roles, such as a facilitator, panelist, or note-taker.
In this post, we’ll show you how to figure out what type of virtual meeting to host, how to customize the meeting settings, and how to create Zoom meeting invitations.
What can you do in a Zoom meeting?
Virtual meetings are a must for remote teams and employees who work from home. You can use Zoom to create a recurring meeting invitation for your colleagues or coworkers, or set up regularly-scheduled meetings with customers and clients.
But the benefits of Zoom go beyond just video calls. Zoom offers more advanced tools for video conferencing, such as recording, screen-sharing, and breakout rooms.
You can use host controls to mute or remove participants, and even decide who gets let into the meeting in the first place.
Finally, you can use a tool like Anchor AI to take automated notes for you, so you can have a full transcript or official minutes of your Zoom meeting.
Limitations of Zoom meetings
Zoom does have some limitations, though, and it isn’t right for every meeting. If you have a free Zoom account, you’ll be limited to 100 meeting participants and a maximum of 40 minutes for most meetings.
If you use Zoom for business, then it might be worth upgrading to a Pro account, which lets you invite up to 1,000 participants and host a meeting for up to 30 hours. (That may sound exhausting, but we can think of a few reasons why you might need that option, such as an all-day conference or webinar that people can drop in and out of.)
Of course, Zoom isn’t your only option for virtual meetings. Other platforms, such as Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, are also available.
How to create a Zoom meeting in 5 steps
Once you’re ready to create a Zoom meeting, you’ll need to head to the Zoom website. Technically, it’s Zoom.us, but Zoom.com will take you there as well.
Step 1: Create an account
If you don’t have a Zoom account, now is the time to sign up. You don’t need an account to attend a Zoom meeting, but you do need one to create a Zoom meeting.
Fortunately, this isn’t hard, and if you’re just signing up for a free account, you won’t have to enter in any billing information or credit card details.
Step 2: Download Zoom onto your device
You can access all of the host tools from the Zoom web portal, but you may find it more convenient to download a Zoom desktop client or Zoom mobile app.
You can choose from several different options, including iOS and Android mobile apps, the Chrome browser extension, and the Zoom plugin for Microsoft Outlook:
Zoom is compatible with most operating systems, including Mac and Windows, but you may want to check your computer audio and webcam just to make sure it works.
Step 3: Schedule a new meeting
There are two ways to create a new meeting: The first is to launch it right then and there, and the second is to schedule a new meeting in advance.
If you choose to create a new meeting right away, then you can choose from three options: with video on, with video off, and screen share only.
Otherwise, you can click on Schedule a Meeting, where you’ll see this screen:
Here, you have the option to configure some basic meeting options, such as what time zone the start time is in, whether it’s a recurring meeting, and whether or not it has a passcode.
Notice that since this meeting is set to 1 hour, there’s a friendly reminder that it’s outside the maximum 40 minutes allowed for free accounts.
Step 4: Customize your settings
Under the Settings menu, you’ll have the option to customize your meeting options even further. One option is to set up a waiting room, which means that if other participants arrive before you do, they’ll have to wait for you to let them into the meeting.
You can also decide whether to allow users to join from a meeting link or meeting ID without entering a passcode:
Another useful tool for webinars is the “authenticated panelist” feature, which requires speakers to sign in from the same account where they received the conference room invitation. That just helps confirm their identity.
Finally, if your Zoom meeting is confidential, you can consider turning on the end-to-end encryption feature, or blocking users from certain countries from joining.
Step 5: Send invitations
Now that you’ve scheduled your meeting and customized the settings, it’s time to invite participants. There are several different ways to invite others to your meeting:
Via Zoom: If your meeting participants are already connected to you on Zoom, you can click on the Contacts tab and invite them directly.
Via email: If you prefer to send out email invitations, you can click on the Invite by Email tab. Zoom will automatically generate an email containing the meeting link and meeting invitation that you can send from your own email address.
Via calendar: If you’ve scheduled your meeting in advance, then you can add it to your calendar and invite others to the event. Just click on the Time option next to the scheduled meeting, and Zoom can automatically add the event to your Google Calendar or Yahoo Calendar, or create an .ics file for Microsoft Outlook.
Of course, you can always just copy and paste the meeting details and send them via text or Facebook message, or post them in your team’s Slack channel. They can click the link or enter the meeting ID here:
Just remember that the more people you share the link with, the more people who may show up to your meeting. You can reduce the risk of surprise guests by turning on the waiting room feature or requiring participants to enter a meeting password.
If you plan to have regular meetings with the same people, you can set up a Personal Meeting ID (PMI) so you don’t have to send a new meeting link every time.
Use Anchor AI to take Zoom meeting notes
Creating a Zoom meeting doesn’t take a lot of effort – but hosting a successful virtual meeting does. Once you’ve scheduled a new meeting and invited participants, make sure you have an effective team meeting agenda and a plan for taking notes.
Instead of using a team member for note-taking, ask Anchor AI to take notes for you. You’ll end up with a full transcript of your Zoom meeting, so you easily find the details you need.
Plus, Anchor AI can even identify speakers and action items, making it easy to turn your transcript into official meeting minutes or off-the-record notes.