Zoom is investing in the virtual events space with the launch of a much anticipated virtual production studio and by cleverly integrating Zoom Events features into its mobile app.
Zoom announced two key updates that represent investments in its Zoom Events portfolio. A brand-new virtual production studio and a clever integration of Zoom Events-specific features into the general Zoom mobile app.
Zoom is a giant in the corporate communication worlds, however it’s not cracked the multi-session virtual events market. RingCentral’s acquisition of Hopin’s virtual event assets may have spurred Zoom.
Zoom recently got into hot water over its latest generative AI features, and its terms of service that enabled the company to use user video calls to train its AI. Those terms have since been revised following a somewhat public mea culpa from Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. Zoom’s latest financial results were positive, with the company raising its full-year guidance.
Production Studio is a new virtual studio feature that allows event professionals to go beyond the standard Zoom look and feel. The studio is only available with Zoom Events and Zoom Sessions but not on Zoom Meetings or Zoom Webinars.
The Production Studio provides dynamic layout options, custom branding, and presenter management tools. It promises to make virtual events visually engaging and uniquely branded. “With Production Studio, event specialists can curate and customize the attendee experience without needing specialized design skills,” said Elias.
The layouts shared in previous demonstration video looks similar to other virtual studios such as StreamYard or Restream. However, Zoom’s version offers a relatively deep level of customization of video feed sizes and layouts. Some will see this as an advantage, and others will find this to be overkill. The product may actually appeal to audiovisual companies and production agencies. Those that use Zoom Events often integrate with other video tools to create the same effect.
Zoom is positioning Production Studio as a tool that allows planners to bypass production agencies. It even suggests the tool can free up time and budget. “Now, every event pro has access to professional-looking events in an easy-to-use interface, without spending thousands of dollars on a production agency,” said Annika Elias, product manager at Zoom.
Mobile App Upgrade
Zoom has taken a novel approach to its mobile app. All users can now use the regular Android and iOS Zoom app to access Zoom Events features. Removing the need to download a separate app is a bonus for anyone who regularly uses Zoom on mobile.
New features specific to Zoom Events that can now be accessed via the Zoom app include managing itineraries, exploring and attending sessions, navigating the physical space using maps and digital aides, connecting with other in-person and virtual attendees, and switching between live and on-demand sessions.
Zoom is keen to promote Zoom Events as a tool to power hybrid events. It has released new templates to try to simplify the hybrid event setups. The resources address hybrid ticketing, adding venue maps, and setting up a native hybrid experience via the Zoom mobile app.
Zoom will showcase Production Studio and the Zoom Events mobile app at its user conference Zoomtopia on October 3–4.