How to Create a Zoom Meeting

Sean Lund-Brown

TLDR: Open Zoom on your desktop or mobile device. Click on a user, group, or account, and click “Start a meeting.” Alternatively, use the Schedule option to schedule a Zoom meeting. Read on for more details, premium options, and more.


For those of you who have used Zoom before, you might not think you need an entire article dedicated to creating a meeting. However, some have never used the Zoom platform and they may need a little more information. In this guide, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about creating Zoom meetings, as well as other features you can take advantage of to do even more with these meetings than ever before. 

We live in a virtual world and being able to use virtual tools can change the way that companies do things. Imagine being able to get your entire team together in a single space without having to be physically together—it’s a lot easier than using emails and message boards to communicate. No matter how great technology gets, there will never be a replacement for face-to-face communication. 

Zoom was founded back in 2011 but it didn’t become the booming sensation that it is today until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Suddenly, people were stranded at home, and yet school, work, and the world all needed to keep going. Zoom saw an opportunity and seized it. Despite the existing popularity of platforms like Skype, Google Duo, Facetime, and other video clients, Zoom, well, zoomed out of the crowd and into the front row, becoming one of the most-used software applications today. 

Zoom is great because it allows anyone to have a video or audio meeting at any time. It doesn’t require signup, payment, or other hassles. Even those who have never used Zoom before can just click a meeting link, enter their name, and join the meeting. It’s that easy. Of course, that is if your host is capable of creating the meetings effectively. 

And that’s why we’re here. Although Zoom makes it pretty simple to create meetings, it still helps to go over the details ahead of time and learn about what you’re up against. Sometimes, it helps to have a head start by knowing what you’re going into. From what it’ll cost to how much time it takes, and even what options you have when scheduling a meeting, we’ll cover it all here. First up, let’s talk about whether you’ll pay to use this platform. 


Can I create Zoom meetings for free?


Zoom is free for all participants and free for users or hosts with certain limitations. You can host meetings of up to 100 participants, but the meetings will be limited to 40 minutes or less when you have more than three people in attendance. If you decide to upgrade to a paid plan, you’ll get more recording time, room for more participants, and access to a lot more features and perks than you get with the free plan. 

Of course, if you just need a basic meeting tool for short meetings, Zoom’s free version is enough to get the job done. Take the time to check it out and see what you’re getting before you settle on the package or version that you’ll use because you might find more features that you can use than you initially expected. 

Zoom is not the only virtual meeting tool out there today, but it’s certainly one of the most robust for its cost and it offers a lot more for free than some of the available platforms. Feel free to check it out without paying for a subscription until you’re sure it’s what you need. 


Is Zoom secure?


Among the list of questions that people have about using Zoom for online meetings, security is a big topic. Zoom uses premium encryption and encoding to ensure that all data and meetings are secure, all recordings are stored safely and shared securely, and that nothing gets out of the hands that it belongs in. Zoom prides itself on its options for enhanced cloud encryption and end-to-end local encryption, making sure that your files are secure at all times. 

There are even certain circumstances where Zoom meetings cannot be recorded or shared because they are hosted by clients with sensitive industry information or data compliance requirements. The bottom line? Zoom is secure as you make it, so be sure to take advantage of that when it comes to your own meetings and webinars. 


Instant meetings vs. scheduled meetings


Zoom users have two options when it comes to creating meetings. You can set up a meeting ahead of time by scheduling a Zoom event for a later date. You can also create an instant meeting when you want to get in touch with your team right away. Instant meetings allow you to start immediately and invite whoever you want at any point in time. 

Simply click the “New Meeting” option from the box or click on your camera (when “meet with video” is enabled) when you’re on another channel or chatting with someone else. Then, you’ll be able to get into a Zoom meeting right away, invite anyone that you’d like, and even record the meeting so that you can reference and share it later. 

Scheduled meetings offer a lot more options, but are just as simple to set up. Simply sign into the Zoom client and click the schedule icon. From there, you’ll be greeted by a host of options that go well beyond choosing the date and time:

  • Topic
  • Recurring vs. individual meeting
  • Meeting ID
  • Passcode
  • Waiting room
  • Encryption
  • Video and audio sharing
  • Calendar and scheduling options
  • Advanced options

It’s so easy to schedule a Zoom meeting and yet it can also give you the chance to create the exact type of meeting that you want, including the premium security and encryption that your company needs for its sensitive content. 

Zoom also offers resources for scheduling meetings through third-party calendars like Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal, and others. However, it’s usually easiest and most efficient to schedule through Zoom and then share with your other calendars and your participants. 


What about scheduling from a third-party app or service?


As mentioned, you can schedule a Zoom meeting from many third-party calendars and tools. There’s even a PDF on how to schedule meetings for someone else if you’re an executive assistant who is trying to take care of a busy schedule for your boss. If you use Windows, you’ll see the option to schedule for Outlook. If you use iOS, you’ll get a default option to add it to iCal. You can also share the email, and then people can add it to their calendar from their Google, Outlook, or other email clients. 

This will still require you to go to Zoom and create a meeting, but you can schedule it from any calendar that you like and share that link with everyone who needs it. You’ll eventually need to share the Zoom meeting link and ID, but the integrations with calendars generally make this easy to do. Follow the link shared above to get all of the explicit details about scheduling from any compatible client. 


Don’t forget about editing and other options


Too often, people just share or post videos and get on with their day. However, you have a lot of options for editing and sharing your meetings once they are over. Some meetings aren’t worth saving or sharing, but others could be great assets to add to your library. Not only that, but a pretty good meeting can become phenomenal when you clean up the rough editing a little bit and brush up the quality. 

If you have a premium-level account, you’ll have access to premium editing features and options to modify your recordings before you save or share them. You can also choose to download your files, edit them on your own local drive, and then upload them via services like YouTube or Vimeo. 

That meeting or webinar that took you 20 minutes to edit and upload? Share it on social media and watch the views climb as you draw in a whole new audience with whatever information you’re sharing in your meeting. You could also use these videos to upload on your website for training or educational purposes. 

Ultimately, you have a lot more that you can do with Zoom meetings than just have the meeting. You can record, share, edit, and so much more. Want to have a safe holiday? Host the company holiday party on Zoom instead of in-person and have everyone come for a good time. Then, you can save and share the video, or even create a highlight reel, on your website where you talk about your company and the people who work there. 


Other important how-to tips


As a quick refresher (or first-time crash course for some) before we close, we want to go over some other valuable how-tos for Zoom that can make it easier for you to do business online. In addition to creating and scheduling meetings, you’re going to need to know how to get Zoom, test it, and even invite others to join you. 


How to download Zoom

You can download the desktop Zoom client from the Downloads page on the Zoom website. It’s available for Linux, Mac, Windows, and ChromeOS. You can also find the mobile app for iOS and Android there, or you’ll be able to download them in Google Play or the App Store. Simply locate the application, click “download” and follow the download and installation process. 


How to use the test meeting feature

If you want to test your microphone and video before you actually have a meeting, or just want to get to know Zoom better, you can create or join a test meeting to try things out. You just have to go to zoom.us/test, click “Join”, and get going. Stay as long as you’d like and try as many features as you want. 


How to invite people to a meeting

There are several options for sharing and creating invites for your Zoom meeting. Most often, you will generate a share link when you schedule the meeting and then you can email that link to everyone. You can also share it via Zoom Chat or another communication service. You’ll even have the option to add the meeting to your own Google or Outlook calendars and give other people that option in their invites, as well. 


How to create an account

If you don’t want to just keep using the links you get to join meetings as a guest user, you can create an account on the Zoom sign-up page. Here, you simply enter your email, click the activation link that’s sent to you, and start creating your account. You will then be able to access this account on the desktop client, the web portal, and the mobile app. 



You could also leave the scheduling to us when you partner with Smith.ai


You’re busy, no doubt. A lot is going on in your business and perhaps the last thing that you need is to have to schedule meetings and set up Zoom calls on your own time. Fortunately, you can hire a receptionist to do the work for you. Even better yet, you can hire a team like the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai to help with scheduling, intake, after-hours calls, live chat, and so much more. 

Ask about our customized solutions for all of your admin and communication needs, and how we can even assist with Facebook message answering, payment collection, and more. We’ll even help you create the perfect strategy to handle every last thing so that nothing goes undone and you’ll never have to worry about doing it yourself. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business, from admin to communications and more. You can also find us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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