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How to host your Online Escape

We're thrilled to be working with you to bring the world to our travelers in a brand-new way. This page contains resources for hosting best-in-class experiences. Please review all information below carefully.

Important note: You must sign in to your Go Ahead Tours Zoom host account to start your Online Escape.

Zoom may automatically log you into a different account you’ve previously used. Check your Zoom settings: if the email address used to activate your Go Ahead Tours host account is not there, sign out and switch to your host account.

Online Escape must-dos

It's your responsibility as a host to lead an exceptional experience during every Online Escape.

Start on the right foot

  • Always begin by welcoming participants to today's Online Escape with EF Go Ahead Tours.
  • Introduce yourself and share a bit about your background.
  • Explain how questions and interactions will work during your Online Escape.
  • Invite participants to introduce themselves and encourage them to mute themselves when they’re not speaking.

Remember your time limit

  • Your Online Escape has a set duration that participants are expecting.
  • Going over by a few minutes is okay, but make an effort to complete your session in the allotted amount of time.

Finish strong

  • Before you say goodbye, thank participants for joining today’s Online Escape with EF Go Ahead Tours.
  • Invite your participants to join another Online Escape and travel with us in the future.

Leading your Online Escape

Apply these guidelines for hosting a live virtual experience with everything you already know about interacting with travelers on tour.

Be ready to help

  • Your participants may have technical questions at the beginning of the Online Escape.
  • Be ready to help troubleshoot with suggestions, like how to turn on video or un-mute.
  • You can also use the “Chat” feature to send a message to all participants.

Bring the enthusiasm

  • You know the energy and passion you bring when leading an on-tour experience? Online Escapes need all that—and more!
  • Think about news broadcasters and the need to “play big” to hold peoples’ attention. (It may feel awkward, but it helps.)
  • The more you showcase your personality, the more engaged your participants on the other side of the screen will be.

Make it interactive

  • As the host, you’re in control. You have the ability to mute participants in order to minimize background noise during your Online Escape.
  • If background noise from participants becomes distracting, you can also ask participants to mute themselves.
  • Take breaks to check in with participants and ask for their questions.

Tell a story

  • Make it personal by both sharing your own stories and prompting others to participate.
  • Tie the Online Escape to a Go Ahead Tour in an authentic way by referencing how they might experience this live on tour.
  • Online Escapes are all about the best parts of travel—connecting across cultures and learning from each other. Enjoy yourself!

Technical FAQ

Find answers to your top questions about using the Zoom platform.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a third-party video conferencing platform. It’s easy to use from a computer, tablet, or phone. Visit the Zoom website to learn more about signing up and downloading the app.

Do I need to create a Zoom host account?

No, your contact at Go Ahead Tours will create a Zoom host account for you using your email address. You’ll receive an email from Zoom asking you to activate your host account.

Important note: If your email address is already associated with a Zoom account, please provide us with an alternate email address. This will prevent any issues you may have with signing in to your host account. (You can ask your contact at Go Ahead Tours about how to set up an alias that will forward Online Escape date information to your primary email.)

What do I need to know about my Zoom account?

As a host, we’ve created a Zoom Pro member account for you tied to the email address we have on file.

You’ll be a Licensed user, which means you have several features available, including starting a Zoom meeting, and allowing participants in from a waiting room. We recommend visiting the Zoom Quick start guide for new users to learn more about Zoom if you aren’t familiar with it.

Can I use my personal Zoom account to run my Online Escape?

No, you must sign in to your Go Ahead Tours Zoom host account to start your Online Escape.

Zoom may automatically log you into a different account you’ve previously used. Before starting your Online Escape, always check your Zoom settings. If the email address used to activate your Go Ahead Tours host account is not there, sign out and switch to your host account.

What do I need to do before starting my Online Escape?

The most important things to do to prepare for your Online Escape are:

  • Test your internet connection, which you can do by clicking here.
  • Make sure the device you’re using has the ability to stream video and audio and meets the Zoom system requirements for desktop or mobile devices.
  • If you’re planning to join using a tablet or phone, be sure to download the free Zoom app in advance. (Available for download on iPhone or iPad here, and for Android devices here.)
  • Review our pointers for leading an Online Escape.
  • Review our tips for video and audio set-up tips.
Which device should I use to host my Online Escape through Zoom?

Your device needs to have both a microphone and camera so that you can lead in both video and audio parts of your Online Escape. You can use your desktop computer, tablet, or phone to access your Zoom link.

If you’ll be in a stationary position while hosting your Online Escape, we recommend using a computer to improve the quality of your video and audio connection.

Before joining your Online Escape, make sure your device meets the Zoom system requirements. Read Zoom’s system requirements for desktop computers here. Read Zoom’s system requirements for tablets and phones here.

How do I test my internet connection?

A strong internet connection is important for an optimal experience hosting your Online Escape. Testing your internet connection is a good way to set yourself up for success and it’s easy to do—just click here to join a test meeting.

We’ve let participants know that we can’t guarantee the quality of the livestream video during their Online Escape, but strongly recommend everyone takes this step to test their internet connection in advance.

Where can I find the Zoom link to start my Online Escape?

Each of your Online Escapes is associated with a unique, password-protected Zoom link. Be sure not to share your access link with others to protect the privacy of yourself and the other participants.

To start your Online Escape, you’ll simply click on the access link that’s available on your host dashboard. You’ll also receive an email reminder 30 minutes before your Online Escape is set to begin with your access link.

When should I join my Zoom link to start my Online Escape?

You’ll receive an email reminder 30 minutes before your Online Escape is set to begin. At that point, we recommend getting prepared, testing your internet connection, and ensuring your device camera and microphone are working properly.

We’ll let the participants know that they should click on their Zoom access link 10 to 15 minutes before your Online Escape start time. Please begin allowing participants in from the waiting room at the scheduled start time of the event.

How do I know if a participant is in the waiting room?

When a participant joins your Online Escape, you will be notified that someone is in the waiting room via the “Manage Participants” icon. Click on “Manage Participants” and either press “Admit” to allow them in one-by-one, or click “See waiting room” to view all attendees. You can watch this video from Zoom to see how to use the waiting room feature.

I’m having issues using my Zoom access link, what should I do?

First, make sure you’re using the correct link that was provided to you in your reminder email, as well as on your Online Escape reservation page. If you’re having trouble, close Zoom and try again.

If you continue to have issues, reach out to your Go Ahead contact or start a live chat with us.

I’m having audio or visual issues on Zoom, what should I do?

Double check your “Mute” button to make sure it’s turned off, and ensure that your “Video” button is turned on. Make sure you join the audio portion of your meeting too. If you’re still running into audio or video issues, visit this Zoom Help Center page.

A participant is having issues with Zoom, what should I do?

Encourage the participant to check that their “Mute” button is turned off, that they’ve joined the audio portion of the meeting, and that their “Video” button is turned on.

You can use the “Chat” feature in Zoom to send a message to the participants in your Online Escape.

If the participant continues to have issues, you can prompt them to use the live chat feature on goaheadtours.com to get in touch with a Customer Experience Representative.

Video & audio set-up tips

Follow these six steps to livestream success.

Choose the right device
  • We recommend using a computer rather than a mobile device if possible.
  • Make sure your device has a working microphone and camera.
  • If you’re using a phone, we suggest using a small, lightweight tripod that you can place down or hold like a selfie stick.
  • If you’re holding your phone, keep as still as possible. Shaky video can make viewers uncomfortable.
Frame your shot
  • Consider your surroundings—once you’re on camera, participants can see you and everything behind you.
  • If you’re using a computer, place it at eye level.
  • Keep orientation in mind while hosting—participants on a computer and tablet will default to a horizontal view, while those on mobile devices will default to a vertical one.
  • Stick to solid colored clothing (stay away from patterns and stripes, which can be distracting).
Adjust your lighting
  • Make sure you’re visible on camera.
  • Try not to have a bright window or light source behind you.
  • You want your face to be well lit from the front or side.
  • If possible, try to position yourself with a window in front of you for nice, even natural light.
Check your audio
  • Minimize background noise as much as possible.
  • If you’ll be outside during your Online Escape, we suggest using headphones or a plug-in microphone to help cut down any wind noise.
  • Test and adjust your speaker output and microphone input levels in your Zoom setting beforehand, too.
Practice makes perfect
  • Turn on your video camera and do a practice run of your Online Escape.
  • Be sure to look straight into the camera, not at yourself on the screen (having your computer at eye level will help with this).
  • If you’ll be walking and talking, stop to talk and try not to turn around too much.
Test your internet connection
  • Make sure your internet connection in the location where you’ll be leading your Online Escape is strong! Test it right here.