A Zoom Webinar requires a host to start the webinar. The host has additional rights such as promoting attendees to co-hosts or panelists, controlling chat features, and also the ability to start the Broadcast (going from speaker practice mode to publicly broadcasting to participants - it's like opening the doors to your ballroom in a convention center). 


There are two ways for hosts to start the Zoom Webinar: 

  • Via the Host Start URL provided in the CMS. In this case, your staff who will host the webinar must be a registered attendee who can log into the app or planner. You do not need to provide the Zoom logins. 
  • Directly from the Zoom account. You need to provide the Zoom logins to your staff who will host the webinars. Your staff needs to pay attention to not accidentally launch the wrong webinar or launch too early while that same license is in use by another session. 




Starting a Webinar via the Host Start URL


This option allows you to provide special links to your staff without giving them access to your Zoom accounts. It also ensures that nobody can accidentally start the wrong webinar at the wrong time or start a webinar while that same license is still in use by another session. 

  1. Ensure your staff who will host the webinars is registered as attendees and can successfully log into the planner or the app.
  2. Use the CMS > Add-Ons > Virtual Sessions > Sessions to copy individual host start URLs directly or export the virtual sessions Report > Download Full Report for a spreadsheet that contains the Host Start URL. Remember that Zoom events are generated for the next 3 days and not all days of your conference may be included yet. Please resend a copy of the report to your staff daily. 
  3. When your staff accesses the Host Start URL, they are prompted to login. They must log in with their event registration credentials, the same way your attendees would log into the planner or the app. 
  4. Once your staff is logged in, they are presented with a page that displays a Launch the Webinar button

    The Launch the Webinar button displays based on your Speaker early access before session start time setting in the CMS > Add-Ons > Virtual Sessions > Setup. This means, if your Webinar starts at 10am and you have set the early access time to be 10 minutes, the host can start the webinar as early as 9:50am.


If you have a keynote with many panelists and the Zoom license is not used by another session before the keynote, you can launch the webinar earlier than the 10 minutes by using option 2: Starting a Webinar from Zoom.




Starting a Webinar from Zoom


Each Webinar is generated on one of your Zoom licenses. Each license has an associated Zoom user email or individual Zoom login for that email. You should have noted the full Zoom login details from when you created the Zoom accounts.


If your technical hosts have access to your Zoom accounts, meaning they can log into Zoom on the individual licenses, you can use this option.


Starting from Zoom directly allows you to start a webinar earlier than the buffer time you have set in the CMS. You have to ensure though that the webinar license is not used for another ongoing session before starting a webinar early. 


  1. Use the CMS > Add-Ons > Virtual Sessions > Sessions or by exporting the full sessions Report > Download Full Report to see which webinar was created on which Zoom license. 
  2. In time before the session, log into the specific Zoom account for that specific license. 
  3. Click on Webinars and you should see the particular webinar in the Upcoming Webinars. Double check the title and date/time to ensure you are starting the correct Webinar. 
  4. Click the Start button for this webinar.




Host Powers


Hosts can open the webinar for attendees by pressing the start broadcasting inside Zoom (which also turns on Recording). For attendees, the JOIN button appears in the planner and app about 3 minutes before the actual start time. If the host has not yet started broadcasting, attendees will see a screen that the webinar has not yet started. Therefore it's best to start broadcasting 1-2 minutes early. 


The host can also assist 

  • attendees with technical issues using the chat 
  • act as moderator for questions submitted by attendees
  • help non-technical presenters screen share their presentation (have presenters send their slide deck to the host in advance)
  • promote attendees to become panelists or co-hosts


Send the link to this article to your hosts to prepare. 


If you need technical staff assistance to host your webinars, please contact us. 




Understanding Zoom Licenses