Zoom EventsSource: Zoom

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.

Zoom on a MacSource: Zoom

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?