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Chat - only panelists not attendees


Good afternoon, we just switched from GoToWebinar to wonderful Zoom. In GoTo, the host/panelists could chat solely with each other.  The attendees could not chat directly with the panelists. Can I lock chat down to host/panelists only (and host able to chat with attendees). And turn on the Q&A only for the attendees? Basically, private chat between host/panelist and have the attendees only go through Q&A. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for your help!


Community Champion | Customer
Community Champion | Customer

Hey, @karob42 -- Welcome to Zoom!  Yeah, there's some detailed differences between GoTo and Zoom, and it takes some experimentation and testing sometimes to figure out how these differences affect your user's experience.


Both Chat and Q&A have menu items that allow you to configure "who can do what to whom," so to speak.  Here's pointers to the Zoom Support articles, which are usually pretty good references points, but occasionally a bit technical in presenting the answers:


Meetings/Webinar comparison: 

Enabling Chat (meetings and webinars): 

Chat How-To for Users: 

Host Q&A Info: 


Here are the menu items you'll want to focus on:

... Chat:


... Q&A:



There are quite a few workflows around answering Q&A.  My suggestion is to spend some time with 2-3 friends/coworkers trying out that various options to see how they work.  Some YouTube videos might help... but frankly, just trying them out (know what the options are) is the most instructive.


But feel free to come back here for more info.

Ray - Office Hours at
Please click Accept As Solution if this helped you !

Community Champion | Customer
Community Champion | Customer

I just remembered I answered one of my clients' questions on Q&A earlier today!  I've copied/pasted here...


*  *  *  *  *


Webinar Q&A settings are controlled by the host:



If you’re concerned about too much chatter, a lot depends on your crowd, and setting the tone early: “ONLY put questions about the subject being presented in Q&A”. Needs to be repeated at the beginning of each session!


The “up-vote” ability can render the best results… bringing “common questions” to the top of the heap.  I’ve never seen anyone use the “Attendees can comment” feature on Q&A… that’s just inviting too much chatter.


Hosts, co-hosts, and presenters (I think) can click the … menu and dismiss or delete questions (host view):



Delete just obliterates the question entirely… gone.  I haven’t checked to see if it still shows up in the Q&A report.


Over on the attendee screen after the question is answered, they see (attendee view):




Once answered, the ability to dismiss or delete is still available. Dismissed questions are still viewable, but are removed from the list of “Open” questions (Host view here); they can be “re-opened” as desired:



If re-opened, they are either moved to Open (if not answered) or Answered (if…well, you get it 😊).


Questions can be asked anonymously; up-vote counts are visible:



And there is the “Type Answer” button, which is useful (a) during a recorded presentation, the speaker can answer questions that only require a brief note; and (b) any time, a moderator or host can answer the “trivial” questions, like “will this be recorded” and “help, I don’t hear anything, what can I do”.


If a panelist (or host) clicks “Type Answer”, they just type an answer and it’s done. If a panelist/host clicks “Answer Live”, the attendee gets a cue on the Q&A list (attendee view):




For questions that are answered live, the panelists/hosts have the ability on the “Answered” tab to also add a typed answer (host view):



Ray - Office Hours at
Please click Accept As Solution if this helped you !