Hosting a webinar with pre-recorded content

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With simulive webinars, you can reduce the amount of effort required to successfully run a webinar by using pre-recorded content. Simulive webinars are helpful when you want to reuse content for a webinar, such as broadcasting marketing sessions, repeating your organization’s all hands sessions across multiple time zones, delivering training courses, and more.

Simulive webinars allow hosts to share a previously recorded cloud recording as a video file within a webinar. The webinar will automatically start at the scheduled time, without the need for the host to be present. The host and panelists can still join and interact with the audience through live chat and webinar Q&A.

Simulive webinars can be managed by users with scheduling privileges. Both users must have a webinar license and Zoom Events or Zoom Sessions license in addition to existing prerequisites.

Additionally, you can create simulive webinars in Zoom Events sessions.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for hosting a simulive webinar

  • Zoom Events Unlimited license or Zoom Sessions Unlimited license
  • Pro, Business, Enterprise, or Education account
  • A saved recording on the Zoom cloud
  • To join the simulive webinar, you must have a Chrome, Safari, or Chromium Edge browser on desktop

Limitations of simulive webinars

  • Hosts and panelists cannot speak to or appear on live video in front of the webinar attendees
  • Hosts and panelists can only use the chat and Q&A features to communicate with attendees during the session
  • Only the speaker view is selected in recordings, even if you recorded with multiple views
  • Hosts can’t add multiple cloud recordings to a single simulive webinar
  • Users can't join simulive webinars from a mobile browser

How to set up a webinar with simulive capability

Create a simulive webinar

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Webinars.
  3. On the right, click Schedule a Webinar.
  4. Next to Webinar Type, choose Simulive.
  5. Click + Add Recording to choose a previously-recorded personal cloud recording to add to simulive, then click Save.
    Note: After adding the recording, the webinar Duration will automatically populate to a duration that encompasses the recording, but you can manually adjust this as needed.
  6. (Optional) Click Watch Recording to preview the recording you selected. Click Change to add a different recording.
  7. Select webinar settings as needed.
  8. (Optional) If you want create a recurring series, do the following:
    1. Select the Recurring webinar check box.
    2. Set the recurrence schedule, repetition pattern, and end date.
      • A recurring series for simulive webinars can’t be No Fixed Time recurrences. They must be daily, weekly, or monthly recurrences.
      • Hosts can set a webinar series to be either live or simulive webinars. You can’t make a single occurrence within a series to be simulive and the other occurrences live.
  9. Click Schedule.
    The simulive pre-recorded webinar will start automatically at the time(s) selected.

Once you’ve scheduled a simulive webinar, you can edit a session at any time up until the session starts and modify any webinar options. You cannot edit a simulive webinar while it’s in progress.

Note: You cannot delete a cloud recording that’s being used for a simulive webinar.

Convert a scheduled live webinar to a simulive webinar

Hosts can easily convert a previously-scheduled live webinar to a simulive webinar. This allows you to set up and start registration as soon as you know you want to conduct a webinar, but don’t have the content ready yet. Once the recording is ready, you can edit a webinar session and change it from live to simulive. You can also change a simulive webinar to a live webinar at any point before the scheduled start time.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Webinars.
  3. Hover over the webinar you want to convert, then click Edit.
  4. Next to Webinar Type, choose Simulive.
  5. Follow the steps to create a simulive webinar.

Modify webinar options

Set up webinar Q&A auto-response

Before the session starts, you can set up an auto-response for Q&A, which is helpful when the host or panelists may not be present. When enabled, attendees will get an auto-response when they ask questions during the session. An example of an auto-response could be, “Thank you for your question, we will get back to you shortly.”

Note: If Q&A is enabled for the webinar, you can also manage the auto-response during the webinar.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Webinars.
  3. Click the topic of the simulive webinar.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Q&A tab.
  5. In the Auto-Response section, click Edit, then do the following:
    1. Choose if you want to set up an auto-reply to attendees when you are not present. If enabled, attendees will get an auto response when they ask questions during the session. You can turn it off if you join the session to answer manually, or choose to leave it on and view the Q&A report later.
    2. Enter your auto-response, then click Save.
  6. (Optional) In the Settings section, click Edit, and modify other webinar Q&A settings as needed.

Set up a follow-up email to attendees with a link to the recording

You can choose to send a follow-up email to webinar attendees, which is a great way to recap the recording that was used in the simulive webinar.

To copy the recording link to use in the email template:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Recordings.
  3. Locate the same recording that you added to the simulive webinar.
  4. Click Share.
  5. Next to the Shareable Link, click Copy.
  6. (Optional) Adjust any sharing settings as needed, then click the close icon .

To add the recording link to the follow-up email:

  1. In the navigation menu, click Webinars.
  2. Click the topic of the simulive webinar.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Email Settings tab.
  4. In the Follow-up Email to Attendees section, click Edit.
  5. Modify the email settings as needed.
  6. In the text box at the bottom, paste the recording link.
  7. Click Save.
    When the simulive webinar ends, attendees will receive a follow-up email at the specified time with a link to the recording.

Customize additional webinar settings

Once you’ve scheduled a simulive webinar, you can customize any options as needed. Learn more about the following webinar customization options:

Invite attendees to your simulive webinar

You can invite attendees to your simulive webinar the same way you would invite them to a live webinar. Learn more about inviting webinar attendees.

How to host a simulive webinar session

Simulive webinars will start automatically at the scheduled time, so hosts aren’t required to be there at the start. To control webinar host functions, join the simulive webinar as the host. The simulive session will launch in a desktop browser window. During the session, you can conduct Q&A, polls, chat with attendees or other panelists, and promote attendees to panelists to help answer attendee questions.

How to generate simulive webinar reports

Reporting for simulive webinars is the same as live webinar reports. Learn how to generate webinar reports.

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