Managing attendees and panelists in a Zoom webinar

This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2022

The webinar host can manage both the panelists and the attendees of the webinar and have them join as participants in the webinar. You will be able to manage your webinar’s panelists and visitors by clicking on Participants in your host controls page. As part of this, panelists can be promoted to co-hosts or attendees can be demoted to attendees, panelists can be unmuted and video can be stopped.

If you would like to see information about registration, attendees, polling, and other details after your webinar has concluded, you may also view the reporting page.

There are a number of topics covered in this article, including:

  • How to access the Participants panel
  • How to manage panelists
    • Changing a panelist to attendee
  • How to manage attendees
    • Promoting an attendee to panelist
  • Additional controls
  • Attendee view controls

Prerequisites managing attendees and panelists in a webinar

  • There is an add-on available for Zoom Webinars
  • During this webinar, you will have the privilege of being the host

How to access the Participants panel

  1. Open the Zoom desktop client on your computer and sign in.
  2. In this case, you will be the host of the webinar.
  3. The controls for the webinar can be accessed by clicking on Participants.
    On the right side of the screen, you will find the Participants panel. On the Panelist tab, there will be a listing of the host, co-hosts, and panelists and on the Attendee tab, there will be a listing of the attendees.

Note: The following is a list of the participants in order of appearance.

  1. There is an opportunity for participants to speak.
  2. There are participants whose hands are raised in the air. It is displayed at the top of the table which participants raised their hands first.
  3. Participants who did not raise their hands at the end of the session.

How to manage panelists

You can find out more about each panelist by hovering over their name and clicking More. It is possible to manage participants through the following options that will appear on the screen:

  • Mute / Ask to Unmute: The panelist can either be muted or unmuted. The unmute prompt needs to be accepted by them before they will be unmuted.
  • Chat: If you would like to send a message directly to a panelist, you can open the chat window and do so.
  • Make Host: The host of the panel should be assigned to the panelist. It is impossible to have more than one host at a time.
  • Make Co-Host / Withdraw Co-host permission: Co-hosting of the event should be assigned to the panelist as soon as possible. Having a co-host is not limited to one person. You can have as many as you like.
  • Change Role to Attendee: By clicking this link, you will be able to change a panelist’s role from a moderator to an attendee.
  • Note: Demoting a panelist will result in their panelist join link being removed from the web site as soon as you demote them. In addition to this, if it is a recurring webinar, then it will also mark the panelist as removed from all future occurrences of that webinar. Within the same webinar that they were demoted to, if you provide them with the opportunity to go back to a panelist, they will be added back to the website.
  • Rename: The name of a panelist should be changed so that other participants will be able to identify him.
  • Note: You can change the name displayed for yourself in the participants list by hovering over the name in the participants list and clicking on the Rename button. Only the current webinar will be affected by this change. You can change your name permanently in your profile by going to My Profile.
  • Assign to Type Closed Captions: During the webinar, assign the panelist the responsibility of typing the closed caption.
  • Allow to Record Local Files / Remove Permission to Record Local Files: In addition to granting the panelist permission to record the webinar locally, the panelist can also remove that permission at any time. A cloud recording cannot be started by panelists because they do not have access to the cloud.
  • Allow to Multi-pin: Panelists will be able to pin up to nine videos within their view of the webinar within their own personal dashboards
  • Put on hold: Panelists should be placed on hold for a period of time. In other words, they will not be able to hear you, not be able to see your screen share, or not be able to share content either, since they will not be able to hear, see, or hear you during the webinar. The webinar screen will show the message regarding the meeting host allowing them to enter the webinar soon, followed by the name of the meeting and the date of the webinar.
  • Remove: The panelist should be removed from the webinar as soon as possible. Unless you allow participants and panelists to rejoin the session, they will not be able to rejoin if they are not allowed to rejoin.

Changing a panelist to attendee

The demote button will be removed from the panelist join link on the website if you demote the panelist. A recurring webinar will also mean that if the panelist is removed from all occurrences of the webinar, then the webinar will not be repeated. Upon promoting them back to a panelist again within the same webinar in which they were demoted, then they are once again listed as a panelist on the website.

  1. Connect to Zoom’s desktop client by signing in to your account.
  2. In this case, you will be the host of the webinar.
  3. You can find this information by clicking on Participants.
  4. The Panelists tab can be found by clicking on it.
  5. To make a panelist an attendee, you need to hover your mouse over the name of the panelist you wish to attend and click on More.
  6. Change your role to an attendee by clicking the Change Role to Attendee button.

How to manage attendees

You can see the list of present attendees on the Attendee tab at the top of the page. Next to each attendee’s name you will see any non-verbal feedback they have selected. At the top of the list, there will be a search bar available for you to quickly search for a specific attendee if there are more than seven attendees.

Hovering over the attendee’s name and clicking More will allow you to manage the attendees for the meeting. Below you will see a list of options that you can choose from:

  • Allow to Talk: It would be helpful if you could unmute the attendee during the webinar, so she can speak. There will be a prompt asking the participant if they wish to unmute or remain muted. The participant will have the option to confirm. You can ask a participant to unmute their microphone if you already allowed them to speak but they did not do so. If so, click Ask to Unmute to prompt them to unmute their microphone. It will be possible for all participants to hear the speakers.
  • Note: The host and panelists are able to view an attendee’s profile picture and name when the attendee is unmuted. To other attendees, only their name will be displayed on the screen.
  • You will be able to see the following options if you have allowed the attendee to speak:

    • Mute / Ask to Unmute: You have the option of muting or unmuting the attendee. The unmute prompt must be accepted by them before they can be unmuted.
    • Disable talking: The ability to speak to the presenter should be revoked for the attendee. In this way, the participant will be muted and unable to unmute themselves once they have been muted.
  • Lower Hand: Make sure the participant’s hand is lowered as much as possible. After the participants with their hands raised in the participants group are seated, their position in the participants group will move down.
  • Chat: Using the chat window, you can send direct messages to the attendee directly from the chat window.
  • Promote to panelist: Attendees can be made into panelists by making them part of the panel.
  • Rename: Change the name that will be displayed on the screen of the other attendees when the attendee attends.
  • Remove: Attendees must be removed from the webinar if they wish to participate. Panelists should be removed from the webinar if they do not want to participate. Unless the attendee has been permitted to rejoin, they will not be able to rejoin the meeting.
  • You will see a Lower All Hands option at the bottom of the list of attendees, which will lower the hands of everyone who has raised their hand. There is no effect on attendees who have raised their hands and have not been muted by this.

Promoting an attendee to panelist

  1. You will need to sign into the Zoom desktop client in order to use the service.
  2. You will be the host of the webinar.
  3. Select Participants from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the Attendees tab on the left side of the screen.
  5. You will be able to promote the attendee by hovering over his or her name and clicking More.
  6. To promote a panelist to a member of the panel, click the button below.

Additional controls

A few additional controls are located on the Panelists tab located at the bottom of the Participants panel, as you can see in the picture below:

  • Invite: Your meeting will be more successful if you invite others to join you.
  • Mute All: The panelists should be muted, and any attendees who have been given permission to speak should also be muted.
  • More:
    • Ask All to Unmute: If you have given permission for any panelist or attended to speak, you should unmute them. There will be a mute button for those attendees who have not been given permission to speak.
    • Lower All Hands: There is a lowering of the hands of all the panelists who have raised them. Attendees’ raised hands will not be affected by this.
    • Mute Panelists On Entry: We will muffle all of the new panelists when they enter the room, but they will have the option to unmute themselves later. It is automatically muted for attendees (and they will be unable to unmute themselves unless they are promoted to panelists or are given permission to speak).
    • Play Join and Leave Sound : It would be advantageous to have a chime played whenever a new attendee or panelist joins the webinar or leaves it.
    • Lock Webinar: The webinar will be restricted until it is unlocked, so that no new panelists or attendees can join it.
    • Allow Panelist to
      • Unmute Themselves: Panelists should be given the option to unmute themselves at their discretion.
      • Rename: The webinar should provide panelists with the option of renaming themselves
      • Start Video: The panelists should be able to start their video if they wish to, if they wish to do so. It is important to note that if this option is unchecked, it will not interfere with any panelists who have already started their video feed of their panel.
    • Allow attendees to:
      • Raise Hand: In the webinar, attendees are encouraged to raise their hands if they have any questions. In most cases, this feature is used when you need to determine who will be the one to ask questions aloud so that you can prepare accordingly.
      • View Participant Count: Provide attendees with the ability to see how many attendees and panelists are registered for the webinar. In addition to the host, there are a total of four panelists. There will be a message like this at the top of the screen, just after the meeting ID.

Attendee view controls

As well as controlling the video layout of the presentations that attendees make during the webinar, the host or co-host can also control the audio during the presentation. As a panelist, you are able to set your own layout for your view, which is separate from the layout that is shown to attendees.

As you can see, you can customize the controls for attendee views in two different places: in the Participants panel under More, or in the top-right corner of the video section by clicking the View button.The following options are available:

  • My View: In the webinar, you will be able to choose the layout of the video that you will be seeing personally.
    • Speaker: There is a speaker view in the webinar that switches between the active speakers, and when the active speaker is not talking, other video panelists appear above it.
    • Gallery: This gallery view will allow you to display either 25 or 49 participants at the same time (if the feature is enabled in the client settings). The gallery view will be divided into multiple pages if there are more panelists than there is space for in the gallery.
    • Release video order: A custom gallery view order can be set when a gallery view is created, and once it has been set, it will not be changed unless a manual change is made to the order. Choosing this option will allow Zoom to adjust the order of gallery views according to who is speaking and will release the order in which they are displayed.
    • Fullscreen
  • Attendee View: During the webinar, the attendees will be able to see a set layout for the video they will be watching. There is no default view for them (the host’s default view is gallery view). Instead, they see the same view the host does.
    • Follow Host’s View: There is no difference between the active speaker or gallery view which participants will see, regardless of whether the host is using that view or not. The attendees will have the option to view the active speaker’s video and the host’s screen in side by side mode if the host shares their screen. As far as the size of the video and the share can be adjusted, the attendees can do so.
    • Speaker: When the active speaker in the webinar is not talking, the active speaker’s view switches to the actions of the other video panelists above him or her.
    • Gallery: As a gallery view, the screen displays either 25 or 49 participants in equal size (depending on what is enabled in the client settings). The gallery view will be divided into multiple pages if there are more panelists than can be fit within the gallery.

There will be a change in the options when the host or a panelist chooses to share their screen, as follows:

  • My View: In the webinar, you will be able to choose the type of video layout you would like to see.
    • Standard: In the windowed mode of the screen, the main focus is on the shared content, while the thumbnails of the videos are displayed either above the content if the screen is in widowed mode (like the speaker view) or positioned over the content in the upper right corner when it is in full screen mode. It is possible to move these thumbnails by clicking and dragging them during the full screen mode.
    • Side-by-side: Speaker: In order to change the relative size of each side, it is possible to adjust the location of the separator between the shared screen and video in order to allow you to view shared screen alongside the Speaker view.
    • Side-by-side: Gallery: As a result of this feature, you can view shared screens alongside gallery views, with the option to adjust the location of the separator between the shared screens and videos to alter the relative size of the screens and videos jointly.
    • The order in which videos will be released is as follows: The order in which the gallery views appear is locked into place once the order has been set and cannot be changed unless it is manually changed by the user. It is possible to disable this option and allow Zoom to adjust the gallery view order based on who is speaking and the order in which they speak.
    • Swap Video and Shared Screen: As soon as you are in the standard view on the site, this feature will be available to you. If you select this option, the panelist’s video and the shared content of the site will be swapped. This will enable you to keep the focus on the panelist’s video, and minimize the shared content.
    • In fullscreen mode
  • Attendee View: During the webinar, you will be able to set the layout of the video that attendees will see during the event. In most cases, they will see the same view as the host (the host’s default view is the gallery view) since it is set to their preference.
    • Follow Host’s View: There will be a similar view for the participant as well as for the host: the host will display the speaker view, the gallery view, and the side-by-side mode will be available. Whenever the host shares their screen with the attendees, the attendees can see both the side-by-side mode and the speaker view of the content being shared. In addition to the share size, the attendees have the option of adjusting the video size as well.
    • Standard: Throughout the site, the focus is on shared content, with thumbnails of the videos displayed in the top-right corner of the screen over the content itself. By clicking and dragging on these thumbnails, you will be able to move them around the page.
    • Side-by-side: Speaker: There will be a shared screen displayed along with the speaker’s view, with attendees being able to adjust the size of both the shared screen and the speaker’s view by moving the separator between the two.
    • Side-by-side: Gallery: There will be a shared screen displayed alongside a Gallery view, and attendees can change the position of the separator that separates the shared screen from the video to change the size of each section separately in order to be able to see and interact with both simultaneously.