There may be affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a commission if you purchase something through a link. However, please be assured that I only recommend products I have personally used and love!
A few years ago, when I was still working as a tech VA, a client wanted to set up an ‘always open’ Zoom meeting/room so that her membership clients could hop in and out and co-work together without her needing to organise, instigate or be there. After a little trial and error, I set it up for her and it was very successful.
More recently, my clients in The Profitable Playground wanted to have a space to co-work, so I set one up for them. One of them asked how I’d done it, and so this tutorial was born!
You will need to set up a separate Zoom Pro account because you can’t run multiple Zoom meetings simultaneously/concurrently. But at ~$15 a month, this is well worth it as a value-add to your program.
1. Schedule a Meeting
We’re going to set up one meeting which serves as our always-open co-working room.
For Scheduling, you want to set it as a recurring meeting with ‘No Fixed Time’ for recurrence.
For Security, I would recommend setting a memorable passcode as opposed to selecting a waiting room. However, we’re going to set it up so the passcode they need is included in the url, so the majority of the time the passcode you set here won’t be needed.
And then I’d recommend having the rest of the settings like this:
2. Adjust Zoom account-wide settings
Settings → Meeting
This is what I’d recommend (with the most important settings being in bold):
- Waiting Room: Off
- Meeting Passcode: On
- Personal Meeting ID (PMI) Passcode: On / Doesn’t matter
- Require passcode for participants joining by phone: On / Doesn’t matter
- Embed passcode in invite link for one-click join: On
- Only authenticated users can join meetings: Off
- Only authenticated users can join meetings from Web client: Off
- Approve or block entry to users from specific regions/countries: Off
- Host video: Off
- Participants video: Off
- Audio Type: Telephone and Computer Audio
- Allow participants to join before host: On
- Enable Personal Meeting ID: On / Doesn’t matter
- Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting: Off / Doesn’t matter
- Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when starting an instant meeting: Off / Doesn’t matter
- Mute all participants when they join a meeting: On
- Upcoming meeting reminder: Off
In Meeting (Basic)
- Require encryption for 3rd party endpoints (SIP/H.323): Off
- Chat: On
- Private chat: On
- Auto saving chats: Off
- Sound notification when someone joins or leaves: Off
- File transfer: On / Your choice
- Feedback to Zoom: On / Doesn’t matter
- Display end-of-meeting experience feedback survey: Off
- Co-host: Off
- Polling: Off
- Always show meeting control toolbar: Off
- Show Zoom windows during screen share: Off
- Screen sharing (All Participants): On
- Disable desktop/screen share for users: Off
- Annotation: On / Your choice
- Whiteboard: On / Your choice
- Remote control: On / Your choice
- Nonverbal feedback: Off / Your choice
- Meeting reactions: On / Your choice
- Allow removed participants to rejoin: Off
- Allow participants to rename themselves: On
- Hide participant profile pictures in a meeting: Off
In Meeting (Advanced)
- Report to Zoom: On
- Virtual background: On
- Video filters: On
- Everything else in this section: Off
You may want to allow for breakout rooms though… depending on how you want people to use the co-working room.
- All on.
- You don’t need to worry about any of these.
3. Get the ‘meeting’ url
Once you’ve created your Co-working ‘meeting’, you need to get the url.
Meetings → Click on the name of the meeting you just created
Then copy the Invite Link. It should have ‘?pwd=______’ in it, which is an alternative to them using the passcode.
4. Set it up as a shortened or PrettyLink
I would recommend using a plugin or tool like PrettyLink so you can create an easy-to-remember url for your Zoom co-working room. e.g. www.elizabethgoddard.co.uk/coworking
This also means that if you ever want to change the Zoom meeting or add an intermediary ‘instructions’ page, you can do so without needing to give anyone a new link.
How it works
With these settings, anyone with the link can enter the co-working room at any time. You’ll get an email notification for the first person in there for any ‘session’.
You may want to encourage your students/clients to post in your Facebook group/community when they’re about to go in so others can join them. You could then weekly delete those posts so it doesn’t get too cluttered.
I really hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful! Let me know in the comments if you try out offering it!