The Quest #157: ✨How to design a stand out ARRIVAL experience

Hello friends,

Greetings from Barcelona ☀️ where I’ve officially started filming my new on-demand video course 🪄Live Session Magic. I can’t wait to share it with you.

After many requests, I’ll be sharing my road-tested system to save you time and guesswork for designing consistently top-quality online experiences. Click here to join the interest list. You’ll be the first to get access to the course when it goes live. ✨


🙌Many thanks for reading The Quest, your weekly round-up of tips and insights to help you design and lead exceptional online sessions that your group members will love.❤️

Let’s jump right in.

🤔What’s one of the very first decisions you make when designing your live session?

Hint: It’s the exact moment your attendees press click on the meeting link to enter your session. We call it the ✨ARRIVAL✨.

The arrival isn’t always given the attention it deserves.

The other day I joined a live online event a few minutes early, only to find the presenter in the middle of a tech check (that wasn’t going so well). I felt like a dinner guest arriving to find the host still in his bathrobe. It was awkward, to say the least!

Arrivals matter.

This moment shapes your participants’ first impressions. It impacts how valued your participants feel. And it sets the tone for your session. If the arrival is chaotic or dull, engagement can drop before the session truly begins.

Creating a stand-out arrival experience.

A thoughtfully designed arrival can boost engagement and satisfaction.
So, what’s the secret to designing an impactful arrival for your live sessions?

That’s our Quest for this week 🔎

👉 The Soft vs Simultaneous Start: Weighing Your Options

👉 How to Customize Your Zoom Wait Room

👉This Week’s Facilitator Finds

🤷The Soft vs Simultaneous Start: Weighing Your Options

Deciding on the best way to kick off the first moments of your live online session? I like to start by deciding on a soft or simultaneous start. It’s the difference between a casual welcome and a grand entrance.

Let’s take a closer look at each approach.

1/ The Soft Start

Picture this: You step into an open house. The door is wide open. The vibe is laid back. Everyone’s mingling comfortably.

This is your soft start. Attendees trickle in, sparking conversations as they go. Well suited for smaller groups or familiar faces. Great for online networking, team catch-ups, co-working sessions, and ongoing classes.


✔️Boosts early interaction.

✔️Eases time arrival stress.

✔️Sets a friendly tone.


🚫Can seem unfocused.

🚫Might start in bits and pieces.

🚫Early details can be missed.

2/ The Simultaneous Start

Now imagine being at a concert. Lights dim, excitement builds, and then – showtime. All at once.

That’s your simultaneous start. Attendees gather in the waiting room and then enter together. It amps up the energy. And is ideal for larger or new groups. Works well for kick-off events, interactive training, webinars, and big reveals.


✔️Unifies the beginning.

✔️Heightens anticipation.

✔️Ensures consistent information.


🚫Can feel less personal.

🚫Requires precise timing.

🚫Latecomers might miss out.

Whether you opt for a soft or simultaneous start the goal is the same: to create an inviting atmosphere that fosters connection and readiness for the session ahead.

What’s your go-to arrival for your live sessions? Hit reply – I’d love to know.

✍️How to Customise Your Zoom Waiting Room

A simple way to enhance your attendees’ arrival experience is to customize your waiting room. You can add a logo, a message, a question, or a quote. You can even add a short video.


Step 1: Log into Zoom. Go to Settings on the left. Scroll down to Waiting Room Options and Click on Customise Waiting Room 👇

Step 2: Add a session title and text, your logo, and a video or image. I like to share a quote that gets people curious about the theme for your session like this.👇

How could you customize your waiting room for a stand-out arrival experience?

💪 This Week’s Facilitator Finds

#1/ 🎙️Leanne Hughes First Time Facilitator Podcast Preparing to be spontaneous with Lisa Leong. Insightful tips from a radio broadcaster and facilitator for being present and how to adjust in the moment.

#2/ 📋Zoom Survey Feature. A new Zoom feature to help you capture participant feedback at the end of your meeting. H/t to Quest reader Kiana Elkins over in the BACB community for this tip!

#3/ ✍️Liz Fosslien on Pushing Things Off. A LinkedIn Post from a while back that resurfaced recently. It helped me get unstuck in creating my course. In case you need a nudge on a project you are working on…

Read the full LinkedIn post here

💌 Thanks for reading The Quest

I always love hearing your feedback and suggestions. Just hit reply to share your thoughts and ideas.

If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to The Quest 👉here.

If you enjoy The Quest, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with anyone you think might like it.

Creatively yours,

Whenever you are ready there are 2 more ways I can help you:

👉Custom coaching & team training. Book a free 15-minute zero-commitment call with me to see how I can support you and your team.

👉5-week Live Online Course. The Breakthrough Facilitation course gives you tools, personalized feedback, and a proven framework for designing and leading high-engagement live sessions. Join the interest list and be the first to get the next cohort dates and discounts.

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