Zoom Basics @ vCIES-2021

There are two formats that Zoom uses: “meetings” and “webinars.” Most sessions at vCIES-2021 use Zoom’s Meetingsformat – this is what most of us are used to when we go to most Zoom meetings – you see all participants. Webinarsare where you see the speakers but not others in the audience.

Zoom Meetings

  • All regular sessions at vCIES-2021 will be using Zoom meetings. (Plenaries and a few other sessions will use the webinar format – see below.)
  • You do not need a Zoom account to attend sessions in vCIES-2021. But if you want to open one, basic accounts are free.
  • Each Zoom room will have a professional host whose job it is to tend to security and technical issues. This person will also make all chairs, presenters, and discussants co-hosts when they arrive in the session. (In this document, “host” refers to the professional host, and co-host refers to chairs, presenters, and discussants.)

For an optimal experience at vCIES-2021 in Zoom meeting sessions, we suggest the following:

  • Download the newest version of the app (Zoom client). The latest version enables more options than older options, will allow you to fully participate in vCIES-2021, and will be the most reliable. If you already have Zoom Client, please make sure it is the latest version. It will be very important to have the latest version – without it you may be unable to fully use some options (including self-selecting break-out rooms).
  • If you are new to Zoom please visit their free training sessions and online information:
  • Please set up your profile to include your name so everyone can see who is present. (Having phone numbers or abbreviations instead of a full name impedes meaningful engagement – speakers want to know with whom they are speaking, and it helps with Q&A.). Profile pictures will be disabled for security reasons, so viewers will see only your name (until your camera is turned on, when your face and name will be visible).
  • To enter sessions, you will click on the links in the Conference Hub.
  • The Hub is now open. We suggest you become familiar with it before the conference begins.
  • When you enter a session you will be in a Waiting Room. The host will let you in. (Chairs, Presenters, and Discussants will enter 15 minutes before the session begins to make arrangements with the Host; attendees will enter about 5 minutes before the session begins.
  • Mute yourself (microphone, lower left corner) when you are not speaking.
  • If your internet connection is weak, you may want to turn off your camera, and close other open apps and documents.
  • If you do use your camera, situate the computer so that (a) you look at the camera, (b) the camera is at face level, and (c) your face is not in a shadow.
  • You can set your screen to see everyone (Gallery View) or the speaker primarily (Speaker View) in the upper right corner.
  • When you share your screen, share an application (not your entire desktop). It is best to close all other programs and documents prior to your session.
  • Zoom meetings will not be recorded because all participants and attendees would have had to give permission to be recorded, which is not possible. And, some speakers do not want to be recorded because they don’t want their materials distributed beyond this presentation.

By entering a Zoom meeting session you are agreeing not to record the session, take screen shots of the presentations, or otherwise copy any of the presentation or materials.

Features available within Zoom Meetings during vCIES-2021 include:

  • Chat – Questions can be posted, and responded to here.
  • Screen sharing – Speakers will be able to share their screens.
  • Whiteboard (option in screen share)
  • Video (option in screen share) is another option for sharing a video stored on your computer. (Otherwise, a link to a YouTube or Vimeo recorded presentation would be shared as a regular screen share.)
  • Annotations will be available for the co-hosts (presenters, chairs, discussants) only.
  • Non-verbal feedback and Reactions (emojis) – including Raise Hand – are enabled.
  • Polling will be available. However only hosts can create these – not co-hosts. Chairs and presenters who become co-hosts must give instructions to the professional host to create the polls, ideally before the session begins.
  • Automated Closed Captioning (in English) can be used by attendees. (Activate it in the menu.)
  • Live Transcript – the automated transcript can be turned on by attendees in the menu.
  • Break-outs rooms:
    • Zoom meeting rooms allow for a maximum of 200 people, and 50 break-out rooms.
    • They can be assigned randomly, manually, or let participants choose. The host must set this up, so chairs should tell the host what they prefer.
    • To self-select into a break-out room – including in the networking spaces and reception spaces – you may need the newest version of Zoom client.
    • Break-out rooms will show names of people in the break-out rooms, which will help people to self-select a break-out room.

Roundtables Presenters, Chairs and Discussants:

Most of the above information also applies to Roundtables, except that Roundtables are taking place within Break-out rooms.

  • When you enter the Zoom room you will see up to four session listed – you can self-select which roundtable to attend.
  • Only co-hosts can share screens in break-out rooms, so all presenters will need to arrive early to your session and have the host make you a co-host in your break-out room.
  • If you do not have the latest version of Zoom client you may not be able to self-select break-out rooms (including for Roundtables, in the networking space, and in other sessions and receptions).


The Presidential Plenary sessions (keynotes) and the Presidential Address will be presented via Webinars. These sessions will be recorded.

  • The process for joining a webinar is similar as joining a Zoom meeting. Click on the link in the Conference Hub. You will join to the waiting room and then be admitted.
  • Use the Q&A to ask questions.

Please also see: Navigating the Virtual CIES-2021 Annual Meeting and What to Expect @ vCIES-2021.