What you need to know
- Zoom has a new product called Zoom Events.
- It allows for ticket sales, event hub building, informal chat hosting, and more.
- It's meant to expand the conferencing capabilities of the Zoom communications platform.
Zoom Events is not yet live, but it's coming soon, and it promises to be "an all-in-one platform that gives you the tools to create engaging virtual experiences that attendees will love." In short, it's hoping to make remote conferencing closer to its real-life counterpart than ever before.
Zoom Events will allow for ticket sales and registration for events, all customizable by those creating the gatherings as though they were renting out a real venue with limited seating. The new platform will also offer users a hub where they can list upcoming events to let people know what's coming next and when. And events will be shared to a public directory so that, just like a real event, passersby can discover them organically.
A Zoom spokesperson told The Verge that event pages will have the ability to feature "video event previews," which is one more smart way to replicate the experience of popping a head in the door of an event to get a feel for what's happening.
Plus, just like a real event in the physical world, Zoom Events' text chat features will allow people to hang around after an event's wrapped or before it's begun and chit-chat to pass the time. Text chats like these (which you can find in plenty of places, like Steam's community tab general chats for individual games) are a great place to discuss topical items with randoms and familiars alike, though they don't quite capture the feeling of actually networking with people. Still, they're a step toward making events feel a little livelier and more in line with what happens when you round a bunch of people up to share an experience.
Though details are scarce on the upcoming Zoom product's specific pricing details, including what sort of commission Zoom might take from paid events, the concept itself is intriguing. The logistics and financial aspects of the actual Zoom Events release could change that perception, but what features have been detailed thus far certainly make it seem like a compelling option for multi-day events and other group functions that aren't better suited for real-world hosting.
So the question then is: What will Microsoft Teams' answer be? Teams recently made a big push to erode its work-only stigma by releasing Teams for personal use, hoping to gets friends and families to use the service. Will Teams come up with a counter for Zoom Events to sway both average consumers and major event hosters to its platform?
Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe. As a user of both platforms, Zoom's client is a horrible mess. Don't get me wrong, Teams client wasn't the most intuitive. But it has improved over the past 6-8 months. There are plenty of event planning tools that are far superior to either Zoom or if MS offers a similar feature.
That's an interesting feature -- the ability to charge for "Events" -- but I'm not sure it's consistent with the philosophy behind Teams. If your goal is to host a virtual event and charge attendees, maybe that's OK if Zoom is your tool for that. I can see the appeal to monetizing those and good for Zoom for seeing that opportunity, but it seems fundamentally at odds with what Teams is all about, which is collaboration between members of a Team (or other group). If MS adds this too, that's fine, I have nothing against it, but I'd much rather they put their efforts into continuing to build out the UI and collaborative features that are at the heart of Teams. Video meetings is just one small part of what Teams does and chasing every facet of what's possible in a video call feels counterproductive to me. Teams is a combination of Zoom, Slack, Office, Whiteboard, OneDrive, real-time Translator, VoIP phone system, and a few other features that have no parallel outside of Teams, and they're all integrated in a beautiful way where truly the "whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
Agreed, but unfortunately in the feature comparison checkbox way of thinking, you have to check all the boxes, whether it makes sense or not.
Not everyone is trying to run a conference center. For small scale operations, Microsoft Bookings already provides some of that feature set - quite possibly enough to meet a small business' needs.
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