AVM events now take place online, on Zoom. If you’re new to Zoom, or unfamiliar, this guide will help you get the most of your event on Zoom. One of the benefits of Zoom is that anyone can use it: you’re not tied to a Microsoft, Skype or Google account, and you can use it on a laptop, tablet or phone, and on iPhone or Android.

This guide presumes you’ll be accessing the event on a computer. Go to the Zoom Help Centre if you need help accessing Zoom on a tablet or phone.

When will I get my event link?

We aim to send out the links at least two days before the event . If you’ve not received an email the day before the event, please check your spam folder. If it’s not there, please email hello@volunteermanagers.org.uk

Help! My event link is not working

If you’re using your browser rather than the Zoom app, this may be due to ad blocker software.Try disabling any ad blocker software you have running, or using a different browser. We recommend watching using the Zoom app to avoid these issues.

Registration provides you with a unique link, so if you are logged in on another device, you will need to log out of that and join again. Zoom help on joining a meeting.

If you’re having issues accessing the event, please contact us via WhatsApp on 07562760488, or email hello@volunteermanagers.org.uk, and let us know your name and the email address on your ticket.

Help! I’m having a technical issue

Zoom uses a lot of bandwidth, so if you have low WiFi speed you may find your video keeps freezing. Try plugging your computer into your router using an ethernet cable, as this may help.

Turning off your video uses less bandwidth, so turning it off may mean you have a better experience.

If you get thrown out of a meeting due to internet issues, you can log back in using the link prvided by the workshop host.

For other issues, including how to use Zoom on mobiles or tablets, Zoom has a comprehensive Help Centre: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us

What if I arrive late?

You will be able to join the event using your link at any time but we will be unable to offer refunds if you do. We recommend joining the pre-event networking.

I can’t come now, what can I do?

Please refer to the full terms and conditions when you booked your ticket.

If you have to cancel or want to arrange a swap, please let us know in writing.

  • Cancellations received more than 20 days before the start of the event, regardless of date booked, will incur a 25% cancellation charge, whether the place has been paid for or not.
  • Cancellations received 19–0 days before the start of the event, regardless of date booked, will incur a 100% cancellation charge, whether the place has been paid for or not.

Although we may not be able to offer ticket refunds, depending when you cancel, we may be able to arrange for your ticket to be passed to one of your colleagues. As your ticket is unique to you, and this includes the access links you have been sent, please get in touch with us if you need to pass your ticket on to a colleague. They will not be able to access the event or conference unless we have processed the swap.

Where a non-member is taking a member’s place at an event or conference, we offer the option of purchasing membership for the non-member, or paying the balance of a non-member ticket.

AVM will not accept liability for people unable to attend due to circumstances outside our control, such as travel disruption, work commitments, poor internet connection, illness, or other personal commitment.

Where circumstances force AVM to cancel an event, the liability of AVM shall be limited to a refund of any fees paid for tickets to that particular event. AVM is not liable for any consequential loss, such as travel costs you may incur.

Why does AVM use Zoom?

Zoom is the most accessible video conferencing platform at the moment, and doesn’t require event hosts or participants to have a Microsoft or Google account. It also has a lot more functionality than platforms like Microsoft Teams, Skype or Google Meets offer.

You can also use it on tablets or phones, though we don’t recommend this, as you won’t get the full event experience.

Please ensure you have the latest version of Zoom installed in order to have the best experience.

How do you ensure AVM events are a positive experience for all?

AVM wants our online events to be a positive experience for all involved, whether they are a delegate, speaker or member of the AVM team. To ensure this we have put certain safeguards in place. These include:

  • Only sending Zoom links to those who have registered/bought a ticket through our online ticketing system.
  • Asking delegates to register on Zoom, so we have a record of who attended after the event.
  • Operating a waiting room system, so we control who joins the meeting, and we endeavour to check against our attendee list.
  • Recording our sessions.
  • Turning off screen share for delegates to prevent Zoombombing.
  • Having an AVM team member in as many breakout rooms as possible. Delegates are also able to leave a breakout room at any time.
  • Saving the main chat.

Expectations of participants at AVM events

Even though this is an online event, we still expect this to be a safe space for participants to learn and share. We have set out our expectations below: 

  • Please log in to Zoom with the name you used to book your ticket/register. Once you’re in the event, please add your organisation as well.
  • During presentations, please remain on mute when you’re not talking, to minimise background noise.
  • For tech issues, please ask in the chatbox. 
  • If you get thrown out you can use the link again, but if you can’t get back in, email hello@volunteermanagers.org.uk
  • If you have questions during sessions, please use the chatbox to ask, unless invited to speak.
  • In Q&A and breakout sessions, please don’t hog time.
  • Everyone should contribute and should be encouraged to speak.
  • Keep questions concise – we have limited time!
  • Only one person speaks at a time. Put up your hand and wait for the presenter or facilitator to call on you.
  • Respect each other’s opinions even if, or especially if, you don’t agree with them.
  • Do not use chat to directly attack another person or their views.
  • Confidentiality: treat the Learning & Development event as a safe space.
  • Don’t share confidential information in the chat – all chat messages may be viewed by the host.
  • AVM does not tolerate any form of abuse, online bullying and harassment, discrimination and abuse on the grounds of any protected characteristic, sharing of illegal and inappropriate imagery, disinformation and misinformation, or the oversharing of personal information. We reserve the right to remove anyone from our events who takes part in any of this.

If you wish to make a complaint about the behaviour of another participant during an AVM event, you will be provided with details of who to contact on the day, or you can get in touch with us at hello@volunteermanagers.org.uk

What do you do to make an AVM event more accessible?

Please let us know at the time of booking if you require any assistance to join an AVM event online, or if you would like speakers’ slides in advance.

Zoom is regularly updating its features. For the latest accessibility information from Zoom, go to their Accessibility page or Zoom’s Accessibility FAQs.

Zoom supports common screen readers including NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, and Android Talkback. Visual interfaces are designed with adequate colour contrast, size, and usage of colour to ensure clarity for users with various vision needs. 

If your are deaf or have hearing loss, autogenerated captions and /or a live transcription are now available at all of our events. We will provide a free place to anyone who needs to bring a sign language translator: please let us know at time of booking. We always aim to spotlight speakers during their sessions.

We will treat your information and requests you make in confidence.

Will captions be available, or can I bring an interpreter?

Zoom has auto generated captions and a live transcript available. We will enable these at events and conferences, so anyone who needs them can access them. 

Captions are automatically generated by Zoom, so may not always be 100% accurate. 

AVM offers up to two spaces, free of charge, for anyone who requires sign language interpreters at an event or conference. If someone is only able to bring one interpreter, we schedule in 5 minute breaks every 40 minutes. 

We will need their name and email address ahead of time so that we know to let them into the event.

Can I change the font size for chat or closed captions?

You can increase the font size of chat and closed captioning in Zoom. You can change this in your Zoom Application settings:

  • Click your profile picture 
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Accessibility
  • Select the size for Closed Caption using the sliding scale at the top of the page
  • Select the Chat Display Size

Unfortunately we cannot increase the size of slides shown through Zoom. 

Can I change the contrast of Zoom?

The Zoom Application on Windows, iOS, and Android support high contrast settings defined in the system preferences of your device. 

The macOS Zoom Application supports Dark Mode.

Can I pin speakers on Zoom

We ask all attendees to remain on mute during events and conferences, and proactively mute attendees who have not muted themselves, to avoid background noise.

AVM will spotlight main speakers and panelists, so that anyone who accidentally unmutes doesn’t replace the speaker. We ask all speakers to ensure they are in a well lit area and face the camera when speaking.

Attendees can pin up to nine speakers, if required. To pin one or more attendees:

  • Hover over the video of the participant you want to pin and click the three dots (…)
  • From the menu, click Pin
  • Repeat as required

To unpin, click Remove Pin in the upper left corner of any video pinned currently. 

Find out more about pinning videos in Zoom.

What if I’m using a screen reader?

Zoom supports common screen readers including NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, and Android Talkback. Visual interfaces are designed with adequate colour contrast, size, and usage of colour to ensure clarity for users with various vision needs. Make sure your screen reader is turned on before you use Zoom. 

Slides shared through Zoom’s screen sharing feature is an HD video stream and cannot be read by a screen reader. We do ask speakers to describe their slides, and can send the PowerPoint in advance of the event.

Henshaws have a blog about Zoom virtual meetings if you are visually impaired. Read the Henshaws blog.

How can I turn on or stop screen reader alerts?

To enable or disable specific screen reader alerts:

  • Sign in to Zoom.
  • Click your profile picture then click Settings.
  • Click the Accessibility tab.
  • You can enable or disable the alerts that play when certain actions are performed (list of alerts in next section). 

Read the points below to learn more about the main alerts:

  • Screen Sharing Started/Stopped by a Participant: The alert will state the name of the participant starting the screen share
  • Public In-Meeting Chat Received to everyone- you may wish to turn this off.
  • Private In-Meeting Chat Received directly to you – you may not hear these if your chat window is closed.
  • IM Chat Received: The alert will state the sender’s profile name and the number of unread messages from the sender.
  • Audio Muted by Host: The alert will not state the name of the host.
  • Video Stopped by Host: The alert will not state the name of the host.
  • In-meeting File Upload Completed
  • Closed Captioning Is Available

When one of the above actions is performed your screen reader will play the alert preceded by the word “alert”.

Zoom’s help page on using screen reader alerts.

Will you use Zoom polls?

Currently screen readers cannot read polls, so we ask speakers to limit polls and quizzes. Where they are used we ask speakers to read out the poll questions and answers, or use another site, like Menti.

Does Zoom have keyboard shortcut?

Yes, Zoom has keyboard shortcuts.

  • Alt+F4: Close the current window
  • Alt+V: Start/stop video
  • Alt+A: Mute/unmute audio
  • Alt+F: Enter or exit full screen
  • Alt+H: Display/hide in-meeting chat panel
  • Alt+U:Display/hide participants panel
  • Alt+Y: Raise/lower hand
  • Ctrl+2: Read active speaker name
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H: Show/hide floating meeting controls
  • PageUp: View previous 25 video stream in gallery view
  • PageDown: View next 25 video stream in gallery view
  • Alt+F1: Switch to active speaker view in video meeting
  • Alt+F2: Switch to gallery video view in video meeting

Commonly used shortcuts for Zoom Chat:

  • Alt+Shift+T: Screenshot
  • Alt+L: Switch to Portrait/Landscape View
  • Ctrl+W: Close current chat session
  • Ctrl+Up: Go to previous chat
  • Ctrl+Down: Go to next chat
  • Ctrl+T: Jump to chat with someone
  • Ctrl+F: Search
  • Ctrl+Tab: Move to the next tab (right)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab: Move to the previous tab (left)

Zoom’s help page with all shortcuts for all devices.

If you are using a Zoom desktop client, you can view and edit keyboard shortcuts under Keyboard Shortcuts. To do this:

  • Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  • Click your profile picture then click Settings.
  • Click Keyboard Shortcuts to access your current keyboard shortcuts.

Can I change the skin tone for emoji/ non-verbal reactions?

Non-verbal reactions are enabled for all events and conferences. By default, Zoom meeting reactions have a yellow skin tone. You can change this in your Zoom Application settings:

  • Click your profile picture
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to the General tab
  • Select your reaction skin tone.

Where do I get Zoom?

For the best experience, we recommend you use a computer, as the networking time will take place in breakout rooms, and these do not work as well on a tablet or mobile phone. You do not need a Zoom account to register, buy you might have a better experience if you download the app. 

The following links should help you download Zoom for your device:

Make sure you have a webcam and audio switched on. You can just use your computer audio if you’re in a room on your own, but in a communal or in a noisy place you will need a USB headset with microphone or mobile phone headphones plugged into your device. We will mute all other participants while speakers are doing their presentations. 

When you register with Zoom you will need to give your name and email address. This personal data will be collected by Zoom and stored under the US Privacy Shield outside of the EEA. Where Zoom detects that your IP address is coming from the UK or EU, you will be presented with a one-time privacy policy update for consent, if you haven’t already selected it. You will also be able to manage cookies preferences.

More information on how Zoom use and protect your data (opens as pdf).

How do I join a Zoom meeting?

We will send a link to the Zoom registration page for the event at least two days before the event. Once you have registered you will receive an email with a unique link to the event. You can register in advance of the event, or you can register and join the event on the day.

We recommend you register in advance in case you encounter any issues on the day.

If you prefer, we can send you a meeting ID and password to join the meeting.

You will be prompted to join the meeting by computer audio or by a phone call. Computer audio is the best experience.

Can I join Zoom from my browser?

If you do not have a Zoom app installed – or are blocked from doing so – you can join from your browser. To do this you need to:

  1. Click the link to join the meeting.
  2. If you are prompted to open the Zoom desktop client, click Cancel in the pop-up.
  3. Click the Join from your Browser link.
  4. If prompted, sign in to your Zoom account. If you do not have a Zoom account, create a new account. You will be prompted to enter your name and the meeting password if it was not included in the join link.
  5. Click Join.

You will have a more limited experience of the event using Zoom in your browser.

Can I join Zoom from my phone?

You can join a Zoom event using a traditional phone as audio only. This may be useful if:

  • you do not have a microphone or speaker on your computer,
  • you cannot connect to Zoom any other way.

If you join an event audio only you will have a limited experience. 

You will receive the phone number to access the event once you have registered.

For the latest accessibility information from Zoom, go to their Accessibility page or Zoom’s Accessibility FAQsPlease let us know how we can support you to access an AVM event or conference. You can email us at hello@volunteermanagers.org.uk