Best Practices for Large or Public Zoom Meetings


This article is to help advise those who will be hosting Zoom meetings that will have many participants or be open to the public.

Meeting Disruptions

Possible sources of disruptions in meetings come from:

  • Legitimate meeting attendees who do not mute their mics and whose microphones pick up unwanted noises, or who have their webcams on and unintentionally show something disruptive or embarrassing. Solution: Have people dedicated to muting mics or turning off webcams. See Roles.

  • The chiming noise of people entering and leaving a meeting. Solution: Turn off the chime. See In the Meeting.

  • People who don't belong in a meeting joining, either accidentally (a "wrong number") or on purpose in order to be disruptive or spread hate messages ("Zoom Bombing"). Solution: Restrict access to the meeting. See Restricting Access to Invited Attendees.

  • Legitimate attendees who insist on interrupting when it is not their turn to speak by unmuting themselves and talking or by sending out chat messages to all participants. Solution: Prevent unmuting or global chat. See In The Meeting.



In a large or public meeting, it is best to have people in the meeting who have been granted host or co-host privileges and who have the following duties:

  • One person to monitor chat and help make sure that questions or comments come to the attention of the presenter(s). This can include reading questions out loud in the meeting, or aggregating similar questions (e.g. "We're getting a lot of questions about ___, can you talk more about that?").
  • One person to assist any participants or presenters who might be having technical difficulties. Assistance may be provided over private chat, or the person needing assistance may give a phone number they can be called at.
  • One person to manage attendees by:
    • Admitting attendees from the waiting room.
    • Muting participants whose open mics are causing noise.
    • Muting the webcams of any person who is (accidentally or purposefully) showing something inappropriate or embarrassing.
    • Spotlighting presenters, to make sure they show up as the primary speaker to other attendees.
    • Remove attendees who are not behaving properly or do not belong in the meeting.

Note that if your meeting utilizes polls or breakout rooms, the person managing those must be given Host (and not just Co-Host) permissions for the meeting.

Large Meeting License

Normal Pacific Zoom accounts can have meetings with up to 300 participants. UIS maintains a 1000 person add-on license which we can add temporarily to an employee account at no cost to the employee's department. Please let us know at least 2 working days before your event that you will need this. The license add-on is available on a first-come-first-served basis. Users who repeatedly need the 1000 person add-on may need to work with UIS to purchase their own ongoing add-on license.

For Zoom meetings that may have more than 1000 users, a purchase of a license to use the Zoom Webinar feature (see below) is needed.

Meeting Settings

The following settings may be considered while setting up your meting.

  • Registration: Required: Enabling this option creates a registration link (seen at the bottom of the meeting info page after the meeting is created). To attend the meeting, people must have signed up in advance with their email address. This helps control who can attend, get an email address list for attendees, and get good numbers for how many will attend. However, it also makes it harder for people to join the meeting. See Zoom's documentation for more.

  • Security: Passcode: This requires non-phone attendees to enter a numeric or alphanumeric password, which can be distributed ahead of time to those who will join the meeting. This helps to prevent people who were not invited from finding the meeting.

  • Security: Waiting Room: This puts meeting attendees in a waiting room when they first join the meeting, from which they cannot see or interact with others. The Host and Alternative Hosts bypass the waiting room automatically upon joining. The host can send messages to the people in the waiting room and can admit them at any time. Enabling a waiting room helps keep the public out of a meeting while presenters are still setting up and checking their systems. For a meeting with a known guest list, it also helps keep unwanted people from entering.

  • Video: Participant: Off: This starts meeting attendees with their webcams off, which can reduce the bandwidth needed by meeting attendees, and also help keep attention on the presenters.

  • Enable Join Before Host: This allows the meeting to start as soon as someone joins it. This is not recommended for large or public meetings, because it allows any person who can join the meeting to start it, which may interfere with other meetings the owner of this meeting is hosting.

  • Mute participants upon entry: This setting starts participants muted, although they do have the power to unmute themselves. This is strongly recommended for large or public meetings to reduce background noise.

  • Only authenticated users can join: This setting requires people to be signed in to their Zoom client with a Zoom account (Pacific or otherwise) to join a meeting. This can help ensure that attendees are joining using their real names or email addresses, and can prevent troublemakers who are kicked out of a meeting from joining again under a different name. However, most people are used to being able to join a meeting without first logging into Zoom, so this may make joining more difficult or confusing for them.

Restricting Access to Invited Attendees

Depending on how concerned you are with non-invitees attending the meeting, and how much extra work you are willing to put on people attending the meeting, there are multiple ways you can restrict access:

  • Set a waiting room and only let people whose names match your guest list in.
  • Require registration as discussed above.
  • Email the passcode for the meeting only to those people you want attending. if you email it close to the start of the event, it reduces the chances people will share the passcode with friends or post it on social media.
  • Hide the passcode in a Box-protected link as discussed next.

Box Links to Zoom Meetings

To restrict a meeting to only Pacific people, you could schedule the meeting and put the link to the meeting, the passcode, or both in a Box Note. You can then generate a share link for that Box Note, choosing the "People in your company" option, which makes it only available to current students, faculty and staff, and distribute only that share link.

In this case, the process for a Pacific person to join the meeting would look like this: they would get an email inviting them to a meeting, and that email would have a link. They would click on the link, and be directed to log into the Single Sign-On page with their PUNet ID and password (if they're not already signed on). They would then see the link to the Zoom meeting, which they could click on and join.

This method would not prevent a Pacific person with access to the Box Note from sharing the Zoom link and/or password with non-Pacific people.

In The Meeting

During a meeting, you can access the following functions that can help manage large or public meetings:

  • Participants -> "..." -> Play sound when someone joins or leaves: Uncheck this to remove the chime that happens when a person enters or exits the meeting, which can be annoyingly often in larger meetings.
  • Security -> Lock meeting: Choose this to prevent anyone new from joining the meeting. Useful if all attendees are present or if latecomers are not allowed. Keep in mind, however, that legitimate attendees might drop out of a meeting (e.g. because of a bad internet connection, or their computer crashing) and need to re-join.
  • Security -> Enable waiting room: You can turn on or off the waiting room, as described above.
  • Security -> Allow Participants to -> Share screen: Use this to prevent attendees from sharing their screen. Does not apply to hosts and co-hosts.
  • Security -> Allow Participants to -> Chat: Use this to prevent anyone from using the chat feature. Does not apply to hosts and co-hosts.
  • Security -> Allow Participants to -> Rename themselves: Check this to prevent attendees to rename themselves as a means of making a statement. Does not apply to hosts and co-hosts.
  • Security -> Allow Participants to -> Unmute themselves: Check this to keep participants muted even if they try to unmute themselves. Does not apply to hosts and co-hosts.
  • Chat -> "..." -> Participants can chat with: Use this setting to choose who participants (anyone not a Host or Co-Host) can chat with. This can be used to keep the chat channel for use for chat by and with presenters, and stop attendees from broadcasting messages to other attendees.

Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar is a paid add-on for accounts that allows user accounts to host "webinar" type events in addition to regular meeting-type events. Webinars are meant for few-to-many type communication rather than many-to-many communication. In a webinar, participants do not have an option to turn on their microphones or webcams, cannot chat with each other, and can only communicate with presenters by chatting with them.

For more on the difference between meetings and webinars, see Meeting and Webinar Comparison.

The prices for webinar as of October 2020 are:

  • For up to 500 participants: $140 per month per host
  • For up to 1,000 participants: $340 per month per host
  • For up to 3,000 participants: $990 per month per host
  • For up to 5,000 participants: $2,490 per month per host
  • For up to 10,000 participants: $6,490 per month per host

Because it can take considerable time to change webinar licensing, please request the addition or removal or a webinar license at least 3 weeks ahead of time.

See Also


Contact Support


Article ID: 134238
Thu 7/8/21 12:08 PM
Thu 1/13/22 1:06 PM