Getting started with Zoom

When you sign up for Zoom, the FREE version allows you to host classes up to 40 minutes long. If you need to host a longer session, the pro version is c. £14 per month once tax is included. Bear in mind that with children at home, you won't have a 100% captive audience so a slightly shorter session than normal may be preferable anyway.

Although Zoom technically allows you to host up to 100 participants, we really recommend keeping your classes small and interactive if this is how you would do it in real life.

Once you've signed up, you can click on 'New Meeting' to give it a first whirl by yourself before taking on customers!

Zoom lets you see all of your participants on screen at once, using the 'Gallery View'. Our booking emails also asks parents to add their children's names to the screen (blanked out below) so that you can interact directly with them during the session. Many kids are used to speaking to grandparents through technology, and they respond so well when you talk to them and know that you can see them. This is where the value of a live class really comes into it's own - it's so much better than watching something on YouTube!

Photo by kind courtesy of Little Folk Nursery Rhymes

For parents, it will look more like this:

Photo by kind courtesy of Little Folk Nursery Rhymes

During the class, it's then really important that you use the MUTE ALL button that can be found in the 'Participants' window. 

Your customers will not be able to hear you clearly unless you do this - but do encourage your customers to unmute themselves in between songs and get involved!!

Top Tip - You can also increase the volume of yourself vs. the other participants in the room. Click on the up arrow " ^ " shown next to the mute button in the bottom left hand corner, and choose 'Audio Settings...'

Untick the 'Automatically adjust microphone settings' box, increase your 'input volume', and then tick 'Automatically adjust microphone settings' again. This will ensure that your volume is generally louder than everyone else - whilst also automatically adjusting so that you don't accidentally deafen anyone. 😅 

It's also great to have this setting, as you can then have the occasional song where everyone unmutes and joins in together. Zoom does a nifty thing of jumping around to display whoever is singing loudest, making for a lovely interactive session! 

Equipment

You don’t really need much equipment to get started with your online classes if you have a device with a microphone and camera! However, your biggest challenge with this is going to be having a consistent internet connection, so if you are using a computer DO get a physical wire to plug into your internet, instead of relying on WiFi. Also, having other members of the house streaming Netflix whilst you’re broadcasting a class is a definite No Go!

Setting up your space to make it look good makes it feel a bit more special for your customers and sets you apart from the other participants. Display your logo and have some bright coloured props! Put up a backdrop if you can and make it look unique to you.

On sound – test it out with someone friendly, but generally there is no need to sing through a speaker if you’re in a quiet space and have got a reasonable microphone (and turn up your settings as above). You don't need usually need special lighting either - Zoom generally adjusts the lighting quite well automatically for you.

A Quick Note on Pricing Your Classes

We suggest keeping your prices similar to your normal classes, but consider setting a price for the whole family to attend together instead. Each family will still only take up 1 square of your screen in Gallery View, so unlike in a physical venue, having more children to a household won't affect the quality of the class delivery for everyone else.

We are also revamping Happity to help direct local parents towards their 'nearest' virtual classes - our aim is to help these people become 'in real life' customers when all this madness is over! Can you imagine how excited the kids will be when they get to meet you in person?? 😄 Keeping your prices similar to your normal classes will mean you can keep the groups smaller, more interactive, and help parents know what to expect from a real life class.

Next Steps

Now that you have an idea of how to use Zoom and are starting to get comfortable with it, you now need to schedule your 'meetings' in Zoom to create a regular 'room' for your classes to take place in.

Read the next article on how to set up a regular Zoom room. 

If you're a Happity Member, you can reach out to us for support with getting yourself set up, or use our VA service (£18+VAT per hour) to get everything scheduled for you.

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