While many things have gone back "normal" now that the pandemic is no longer as dire as it once was, virtual meetings are still as popular as they were in the spring and summer of 2020. And if you ask experts in tech and business, they'll tell you that virtual meetings aren't going anywhere. In fact, they'll continue to be the standard for years to come. 

Whether you run your own business, work as an employee in a company that's going virtual, or simply use video conferencing for networking, designing your own virtual "Zoom studio" will help you stand out in a positive way.

What is a Virtual Zoom Studio?

The term "studio" might intimidate you, but it shouldn't. A virtual Zoom studio can be as simple or intricate as you'd like. The important thing is that you have a dedicated space in your home or office where you can host/attend virtual meetings in a professional setting that's free of distractions.

In some cases, your Zoom studio might double as your office. In other instances, it might be a totally separate space - like a large closet or even a rented coworking space. 

The benefits of having your own studio include:

  • Fewer distractions. You might have a beautiful kitchen, but hosting your meetings at the kitchen table opens you up to a whole host of distractions that compete for your attention. A virtual studio allows you to optimize your space.

  • More professional appearance. Think about things from the perspective of other meeting attendees. The more professional your studio looks, the more they're going to take you seriously. First impressions are everything - a studio ensures you give off the right vibe.

  • Productive mindset. When you enter your meeting studio, it instantly puts you in a frame of mind where you're ready to be productive. (Hosting a meeting while sprawled out on the sofa does not.)

You can spend anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to tens of thousands of dollars building out your own virtual Zoom studio. The amount you spend isn't the most important factor. It's about including the elements you deem important so that you can enjoy more of the benefits listed above. 

Tips for a Professional Virtual Zoom Studio

Not sure where to begin? It's really pretty simple. Here are several ideas that you can take or leave:

1. Upgrade Your Tech

It all starts with your technology. At a bare minimum, you need good sound and video. For a small investment, you can purchase a microphone and an external webcam to instantly upgrade your meeting capabilities. Be sure to do your research and read Amazon reviews to make sure the equipment you're getting is compatible with your computer. 

2. Design Your Background

Your background is the second thing to focus on. There are two different strategies you can go with here:

  • Physical background. With a physical background, your studio/office is your backdrop. In addition to including some stylistic touches and decor, you might install a large whiteboard for teaching and instruction. You could also mount a screen and use it to share slides or videos (though you can also do these things digitally inside of the Zoom software).

  • Virtual background. Don't have a particularly impressive backdrop and don't want to spend the money to upgrade it? Purchase a green screen for $20 and use a virtual background. This gives you the flexibility to project any image you want. 

While virtual backgrounds can work in a pinch, nothing beats a professional physical background. If you're serious about creating a professional look, we recommend going this route.

3. Get the Lighting Right

Good lighting is often what makes or breaks a virtual Zoom studio. Some people have too little lighting, which creates visibility issues and makes the video feed appear "splotchy." Other people have too much light, which creates harsh glares. You want to get this just right. 

Ideally, you'd like some natural light facing you (behind the camera). However, you never want direct sunlight that creates sunspots, streaks, or glares. For best results install some translucent blinds that allow some light to enter without creating glares. You can then purchase video conferencing ring lights to even out the lighting. We recommend using a three-point lighting setup.

Make Your Zoom Meetings More Impressive

For a few hundred bucks, you can turn a boring office into a compelling virtual Zoom studio that helps you host world-class meetings and establish credibility in the virtual world. Use these tips to get started, but feel free to get creative!