“Our mission is to build one platform delivering limitless human connection”: Zoom’s Debjani Gupta

“Our mission is to build one platform delivering limitless human connection”: Zoom’s Debjani Gupta

At Zoom, security and privacy are a top priority.

Debjani Gupta

Mumbai: Virtual events have taken the world by storm, offering a dynamic and sustainable alternative to traditional in-person gatherings. In a world where connectivity knows no bounds, Zoom is leading the way with Zoom Events, a platform designed to elevate your virtual and hybrid event experiences. From corporate conferences to personal meetings and everything in between, Zoom Events is redefining the possibilities for gatherings of all sizes, ensuring you can connect, engage, and succeed from the comfort of your home or office.

Indiantelevision.com caught up with Zoom Video Communications country marketing leader, India, Debjani Gupta to discuss Zoom Events’ evolution, effective monetisation strategies, and much more.

Debjani Gupta leads Zoom’s marketing in India and is responsible for the company’s brand, communications, go-to-market, product marketing, lead generation, and customer marketing. She joined Zoom in 2021 and shaped its marketing from scratch. She has been instrumental in helping build confidence and trust in Zoom and its solutions among the country’s CIO community. Under her leadership, Zoom has been able to grow massively and develop a strong standing as a platform of choice within the enterprise business segment. Her understanding of the business, pulse of the team and market fuels strong go-to-market strategy and campaigns that drive business growth.

Edited Excerpts:

On Zoom’s launch in India, the idea behind its launch and were there any competitors at the time you launched it

Zoom was launched in India in early 2019. Back when we launched, the company set out to create a communications platform that would adapt to the realities of the world, not the other way around, and we operate Zoom with the same mindset today.

Debjani Gupta

In order to match the diverse workstyles of our customers, we are able to use Zoom’s entire platform to get work done — with employees in the office, at remote locations, or working across time zones. Today, it’s not just meetings that keep our employees connected and efficient — it’s Team Chat, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Events, and other AI-powered solutions on our platform.

Zoom gained rapid popularity due to its user-friendly interface, high-quality video and audio capabilities, and features like screen sharing and virtual backgrounds. The platform's ease of use and reliability contributed to its widespread adoption, making it a preferred choice for many businesses and individuals in India and globally. Zoom’s speed of innovation meets the modern pace of business, stays ahead of customers’ evolving needs, and delivers exceptional customer experiences. Only by using the platform with one another, learning what works and what needs fine-tuning, can we continue to make it a leader in the industry and what our customers deserve.

On Zoom Events’ evolution to meet the changing needs of event organizers and attendees as the world transitions to a post-pandemic environment

Virtual events have not only become more common but are now a critical part of marketing tools to reach and engage more people. Virtual and hybrid events have become a vital part of marketing strategies in recent years, as event marketers embraced the simplicity, expanded reach, and cost savings that virtual events can provide. Virtual events have not only become more common but are now a critical part of marketing tools to reach and engage more people.

Debjani Gupta

With opportunities to extend brand reach, decrease operating costs, and engage audiences with inclusive and sustainable experiences, there’s never been a better time to host a virtual event and elevate marketing effectiveness.

Last month, Zoom bolstered its events portfolio with the addition of our easy-to-use Production Studio for Zoom Events, which allows event hosts to easily create professional virtual webinars and sessions without needing a production agency. Zoom has also enhanced its hybrid setup flow for event hosts. For event professionals who struggle with planning hybrid events and feel like it requires twice as much work, Zoom Events aims to simplify that process with new features. Now available in the web portal, event professionals can use templates to easily set up hybrid events, including the ability to build out hybrid ticketing, add venue maps, and set up a native hybrid experience via the Zoom mobile app.

On the differentiating aspect of Zoom Events from other virtual event platforms and the reason event organizers should opt for Zoom Events

Zoom understands what customers need for modern collaboration. We also look to our customers for their feedback and insights to determine what features they want to see. With Zoom, event planners do not need to settle for a one-size-fits-all option. Instead, they can choose from three flexible event solutions, each of which is designed to fit unique event needs. The Zoom Events portfolio plans, supports, and produces some of the best virtual, live, and hybrid events on Zoom and helps in meeting organizers’ varying needs, without sacrificing desired features. Our portfolio currently includes:

1.   Zoom Sessions, our latest event management solution that delivers much-needed flexibility and expanded features for single-session events.

2.   Zoom Events, an all-in-one virtual event platform for hosting multi-day, multi-track virtual and hybrid events supporting up to 50,000 attendees.

3.   Zoom Webinars, ideal for large, one-to-many broadcasts featuring simple setup and join. It supports 500–100,000 participants.

Zoom’s AI-powered customer experience (CX) solutions announced at Zoomtopia 2023 help ensure that customer-facing teams have what they need in one place to support and engage customers. Event managers will receive better support around event prep and live event execution with the help of generative AI in Zoom Events through AI-composed event email invitations and lobby chats (coming soon), and sessions (available next year). Zoom also offers Event Services to help plan, support, and produce high-end virtual or hybrid events.

On the security and privacy measures that Zoom Events has in place to ensure the safety of sensitive data and interactions during virtual and hybrid events

At Zoom, security and privacy are a top priority. We are proud to promote meaningful and interactive online events around the globe, and we also want to empower users to help keep their events safe and secure. Here are the key insights into the security and privacy features provided by Zoom Events:

Before the event begins:

1.   Geographic Access Control: Restricts event registration based on specified countries or regions, enhancing control over attendees.

2.   Content Review: Hosts can review and approve content like speaker bios, documents, and polls before they are published, helping to ensure the appropriateness of materials.

3.   Payment Processor Integration: Links to trusted third-party payment processors for payment transactions.

4.   Registration Control: Hosts can cancel registrations and process refunds if needed, giving flexibility in managing attendee lists.

During the event:

1.   Control Panel Features: Enables hosts to control chat functionality, reset messages, and manage different event sections, enhancing real-time moderation capabilities.

2.  Moderator Roles: Allows hosts to assign moderators who can review incidents, report users, and manage event-related details, enabling a proactive approach to disruptions.

3.   Annotation, Name, and Mute Controls: Hosts can disable annotations, prevent attendees from changing their names, and mute/unmute participants as necessary, minimizing disruptions and creating a smooth event experience.

By offering these features, Zoom Events provides a comprehensive set of tools for hosts to create security-focused and controlled virtual and hybrid events, helping to safeguard sensitive data and interactions throughout the event lifecycle.

On the strategies that Zoom Events offers to event marketers to effectively monetise their events and generate revenue

Hybrid events existed long before the seismic shift to remote life. More than just an alternative to in-person events, hybrid experiences are more sustainable, inclusive events that can reduce travel expenses and appeal to broader, more diverse audiences. These benefits, combined with advanced data and analytics, make it easy to see why they are an integral part of any modern event marketing strategy.

Debjani Gupta

At the conclusion of an event, the Zoom Events dashboard enables hosts to generate reports and enjoy enhanced sorting functionality to view, export, and download valuable metrics. It is a valuable tool for hosts to review data and see how many connections and one-on-one chats were initiated.

Further, this provides additional opportunities to identify any areas to improve networking at future events. Event marketers no longer have to guess ROI and attendee engagement owing to transparent analytics surrounding registrations, booth sponsors, livestream views and duration, content downloads, tickets sold, event sponsors, and more. Hybrid events are changing the way we do business, and the companies that embrace this new event strategy will be better positioned to lead their markets and gain market share.

On any localised features or considerations that Zoom Events has incorporated to cater to the unique preferences and requirements of Indian event organisers and attendees

Zoom Events is a versatile, all-in-one platform that allows event organizers to create a variety of engaging virtual experiences for attendees will love.

On Zoom Production Studio and the mobile app for events enhancing the production quality, engagement, and collaborative aspects of virtual and hybrid events

Zoom recently announced two key updates and investments in its Zoom Events portfolio — Production Studio and a Zoom Events hybrid experience, including the ability to use the Zoom mobile app for events to help event professionals expand their reach and foster community beyond the events, engage and inform audiences while building connections across in-person and virtual audiences, and simplify the hybrid experience. Now available globally with a Zoom Events or Zoom Sessions license, Production Studio allows event professionals to easily create virtual event design elements for polished, professional, and dynamic events. With Production Studio, event specialists can curate and customize the attendee experience without needing specialized design skills. Whether planning internal events like an All-Hands webinar or external marketing events like product demos, Production Studio provides dynamic layout options, custom branding, and presenter management tools to help make virtual events visually engaging and uniquely branded.

The Zoom mobile app (available for Android and iOS) makes managing an itinerary, event chat, session Q&A, and networking easier for on-the-go participants. Attendees can join the event, explore, bookmark, and attend sessions; receive important event notifications; navigate the physical space using maps and digital aides; easily switch between in-person and virtual / on-demand sessions, and connect with other in-person and virtual attendees. During live events, mobile app users can access event sessions; participate in chats, polls, and Q&A, and view recordings of past events.

On Zoom Events replicating networking and real-time feedback in the virtual and hybrid event space to create a similar level of engagement and interaction

Virtual and hybrid events require a stronger focus on creating engaging, virtual experiences that replicate in-person networking. To ease this transition, Zoom Events virtual networking features, which can be enabled or disabled on a per-event basis, help event marketers bring the magic of in-person events to remote audiences. Zoom Events networking tools encourage active conversation and engagement between remote participants who enjoy networking with other attendees. With networking enabled, participants have several options to connect with others before, during, and after the event has ended.  

Zoom Events Networking features include a variety of options to build your professional network with digital name tags and social profile directories. To improve communication among event attendees, Zoom has augmented the Zoom Events chat experience for easier profile discovery and navigation, and better participation throughout the event. Users can chat from the lobby, in between sessions, with sponsors, and one-on-one beyond the virtual expo floor.

Zoom Events Expo brings the excitement of an in-person expo to a virtual audience by connecting sponsors, attendees, and booth representatives. Attendees can “walk” the expo floor, chat with reps at the booth, and see sponsor logos, product demos, and relevant content just as they would in person. Where brand reach was once defined by the size or location of your booth, virtual events allow you to extend your brand beyond a 10×10 backdrop to an exponentially larger audience.

On Zoom’s vision and mission for the next three years and any future trends or innovations you anticipate will influence the events industry in India

India is a strategic market for Zoom, and Zoom is committed to the region. We see great opportunity in the communications and collaboration space and will continue to support the growing enterprise and SMB segments across multiple industries, including banking, healthcare, and education, as well as government and citizen services. Our latest innovations announced at Zoomtopia 2023 demonstrate our commitment to evolving our platform in ways that help empower limitless human connection, solve real business problems, and strengthen customer relationships.

Debjani Gupta

Whether you are a seasoned events pro or need a guide to hosting hybrid events, we will continue to keep our customers at the centre and empower event specialists to curate and customize the attendee experience. The events industry will continue to evolve, and Zoom is dedicated to making virtual events as engaging, inclusive, and memorable as possible. With Zoom Events, organisations can foster a tighter sense of community between attendees and hosts, enabling them to connect, learn from one another, and expand their professional networks. Over the next several months, we’ll continue to add even more features and tools to help attendees be a part of meaningful, engaging and productive interactions within their industry. We aim to deliver an experience that enables a new kind of productivity — one that brings all the best tools and applications for modern, engaging collaboration into one destination.