Sacramento German Genealogy Society

Live Webinars (Zoom) & Meetings

Due to the COVID-19 virus lockdown, SGGS has discontinued its in-person meetings for the time being. Those have been replaced with live online webinars and meetings using the Zoom video conferencing system.
Attending online events that could be taking place anywhere in the world adds a new complication – time zones.  Display a list of time zone codes.
Converting the stated event time into your local time is not just adding or subtracting hours using a chart. You there is also the issue of whether your local or the event locales are observing daylight savings time. And if time zone is not specified, you will have to identify time zone from the stated location. To assist with all this, SGGS provides a pre-configured time zone converter. Click on the red link to the right.
Change the date and time of one of the displayed entries, click outside the edit box and all the entries will be updated. You can also add more cities to the list.
What is a webinar?
A webinar is a live presentation that you watch and listen to using your Internet-conneted computer, smart phone or smart tablet. Webinar audience size can range from a small group to thousands of people from around the world. You may be granted some degree of interaction with the speaker such as asking a question, which will be heard by the entire audience. Who gets to ask quetions and when is controlled by the person serving as the webinar host. Audience mics are typically turned off during the presentation. Then during a question and answer session afterwards, audience members can take turns asking questions. Exactly how you obtain permission to ask a question will be explained as part of the webinar's connection instructions.
2. Which video conference service does SGGS use?
SGGS uses the Zoom <> video conference service. But some online meeting and webinar speakers may use a different service.
3. What sort of equipment and software do I need to connect to an online meeting or live webinar?
Minimum hardware is a computer or smart device equipped with a speaker. Asking questions requires a microphone (or not if the webinar allows entering questiions into a chat box). Displaying your image instead of a generic icon to the speaker and audience requires a camera. Said devices may be built-in or if not, you can attach external ones. Wearing headphones with a mic provides better audio than relying on the tiny mic and speaker in your computer. Instructions from Zoom. 
For software, you generally must install the client app for the service being used. For Zoom, you will need to install the Zoom client app. When you connect to your first Zoom-based webinar, the system will ask permission to install the Zoom client app. You can save time by installing that app prior to connecting.
How do I test my equipment setup?
Zoom provides an automated one-person meeting that you can join to check whether your setup is working. Click here to go to their join screen.
How do I connect to an online meeting or live webinar?
In general, you will be provided with a URL (clickable link) what will connect you to the online session. You may have to answer a few subsequent questions such as your computer asking permission to give Zoom access to your camera and mic. For members-only events, connection instructions will be emailed to current members. For public events, that will be found in the SGGS website's calendar entry. 
Said instructions will include an agenda and a description of how the presentation will be conducted. The later will specify when you will be allowed to ask questions and how you can get permission to do so. For small audience sessions you will press the raise-you-hand button to get the host's attention. For sessions with a large audience, you will likely have to register ahead of time and be put on a list. The time allotted for a question and answer session is always limited. So there is no guarantee that you will be able to ask your questions. And you may be limited to one question or a fixed amount of time.
6. Is training available?
Zoom has extensive online help and training content which includes videos, blogs and written tutorials. Go to the Zoom home page and select one of the options under their "Resources" menu.
7. Problems?
When connected to a Zoom-based webinar and you encounter problems, please consult Zoom's FAQ page or their troubleshooing page. Unfortunately, SGGS lacks the resources to troubleshoot and resolve any problems on your end.
Download the SGGS webinar attendee guide
Download the SGGS meeting attendee guide
If you have any general questions, please send email to SGGS <>.