Zoom announces new platform for virtual events

The new Zoom Events is designed for post-pandemic events that incorporate both in-person and virtual attendance.

Zoom on Wednesday announced a new platform it plans to roll out this summer for live events that incorporate both in-person and virtual attendance. Zoom Events anticipates a post-pandemic world where consumers want to hold onto the flexibility and convenience that digital platforms have offered, even as they return to normal life. 

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The platform will allow users to build an event hub to manage and share events, customize ticketing and registration, control access to billing, host events (free, paid, one-time or series), bring attendees together with integrated networking, and track event statistics like attendance and revenue. 

Events can be kept private or posted to a public directory. They can be used with an existing paid Zoom Meetings or Video Webinar license. 

Zoom Events is a natural segway for Zoom, which saw its usage expand far beyond enterprise video conferencing over the past year. 

"At the beginning of the pandemic, we witnessed how Zoom was being used on things we never imagined before, like a chef providing cooking lessons or yoga instructors conducting classes,"  Wei Li, head of the Zoom Events platform, said to ZDNet

In response to those new use cases, Zoom last year rolled out OnZoom in beta to help entrepreneurs and content creators monetize their events with ticket sales. Now, OnZoom will be rebranded and folded into Zoom Events. The events hosted via the platform can be either private or searched and explored publicly.

Zoom Events will also serve use cases for larger entities, such as large businesses that need to manage and host internal events (like an all-hands meeting) or external events (such as a user conference). 

Zoom isn't the only collaboration platform tailoring its tools for virtual events. Earlier this month, Cisco shared plans to make Webex Events a better tool for live, large-scale events. Last year, LinkedIn rolled an offering combining LinkedIn Live with LinkedIn Events. 

Still, as Li noted, Zoom has become fairly ubiquitous. Zoom became a household name in 2020, as people used the video conferencing platform to facilitate virtual meetings, classes and birthday parties. By the end of the company's FY 2021, "Zoom" had become a verb, and its revenue had jumped 326 percent.