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.

That said, this guide presumes you’ll be accessing the event on a computer. The Zoom Help Centre will explain how to do things on tablet or phone, if you’re unclear.

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.

Getting started with 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. 

Oh, and don’t forget a cuppa, and a pen and paper.


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. We will treat your information in confidence.

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

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. Download the AVM guide to AVM events on Zoom for those who are deaf or have hearing loss.

If you are blind or partially sighted, Zoom works with most screen readers. We have created a guide, with the help of peers are RNIB, which should help you access an AVM event if you use a screen reader. Download the AVM guide: Accessibility information about Zoom for those who are blind or partially sighted.

Before the event

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 [email protected]

Registering with Zoom

To join us on the day you need to register with Zoom (unfortunately Zoom doesn’t let us register you). You will be sent a link to do so.

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).

Joining a meeting

  1. Once you have registered you will receive an email with details to join the meeting. You just need to click on the link in that email. If the meeting is due to start, you can click on the link straight away.
    • You do not need to set up a Zoom account to attend the event. 
  2. If requested click on Download App
  3. Click on Open Zoom Meetings
  4. Click on Join with Computer Audio.
  5. If you are asked about Sharing Your Video, say Yes to this.
  6. If you are asked about Joining with Computer Audio, select this option.

If you are having problems joining over the internet, there will be options for you to call in by phone.

Waiting Room

Once you’re logged in you’ll be placed in a waiting room while the team confirms you’re on our list.

Help! My 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.

Ensuring 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 cant get back in, email [email protected]
  • 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 on who to contact on the day, or you can get in touch with us at [email protected]

Technical issues

Freezing: Low bandwidth

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.

Thrown out of the meeting

If you get thrown out of a meeting due to internet issues, you can log back in using this link you were provided 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.

Using The Zoom Toolbar

Most of the controls you will need during the event will be in the Zoom Toolbar, at the bottom of the page. Don’t worry if you don’t see all of these options, as this will depend on the meeting settings. You can turn off your speaker and/or camera in the toolbar.

Checking and controlling your sound and video

You can turn your sound on and off using the ‘Mute’ button on the toolbar. You can also test your audio if you are having any issues hearing or being heard.

You can turn your video on and off using the ‘Stop Video’ button on the toolbar. You can also add a virtual background by clicking the arrow next to ‘Stop Video’ and selecting the background option.

Controlling your view

With everyone muted, you should only see the speaker who is talking. To see the speaker in a larger frame, click on the button at the top right hand side, which says ‘Speaker View’: 

If you want to see all participants the same size, click on the button at the top right hand side, which says ‘Gallery View’:

Changing your name on view

At AVM events we encourage participants to add their organisation name to their name. You can do this by opening the Participants list in the toolbar, hover over your name, click More, and choose Rename to change your screen name displayed to other participants.

Using Chat

Please use the chat if you want to ask questions, have missed anything, or are having issues you want to raise with the tech team. To use the chat:

  1. (Go to your toolbar and click Chat if you cannot see the Chat panel)
  2. Type your message at the bottom
  3. When you are ready to send press Enter on your keyboard
  4. To contact an individual privately, or one of the tech team, select their name in the list in the chat box.

Breakout rooms

We frequently use breakout rooms to facilitate networking amongst participants. You are encouraged to turn on your video and sound to fully participate in a breakout session.

Getting help during the event

You can use the Chat function to private message your workshop host if you are having issues during the event. You’ll be told on the day who you can contact.

If you are having trouble accessing the event on the day, please check your joining instructions for WhatsApp contact details.