Roles in a Zoom Webinar

There are several roles that can be played for a webinar: the host, cohost, panelists, and attendees. If you are speaking in a webinar, your role will be determined by the host.

It is the user whose webinar the webinar is scheduled under who is the host of the webinar. In addition, they have full permissions to manage the webinar, the panelists, and the attendees. It is not possible to have more than one host of the webinar. The webinar host is able to do many things, including stopping and starting the webinar, muting panelists, stopping the panelists’ video, and removing attendees from the webinar.

The co-hosts are provided with many of the same controls as the hosts, allowing them to manage many of the administrative aspects of the webinar, such as managing attendees and starting or stopping the recording. It is the host’s responsibility to designate a co-host. Co-hosts are not authorized to begin a webinar on their own. During the webinar, a host can assign an alternate host to begin the webinar if they need someone else to perform that task.

There is no difference between a panelist and a participant in a webinar. Video can be viewed and sent, screen sharing can be done, annotations can be added, etc. Depending on the webinar host, you may need to be assigned panelist permissions. Several features can also be disabled for panelists, including the ability to start video, share your screen, and record. Watch this video to learn how to invite panelists and how to add them to your webinar.

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It is the host who chooses whether or not to unmute the attendees who are viewing only. The host is in charge of controlling how the viewers see the webinar. During the Q&A and the chat, participants will have the opportunity to interact with the host and the panelists. Click here to learn how to attend a webinar as an attendee.

Prerequisites for roles in a Zoom Webinar

  • Add-on for Zoom Webinars
  • Host privilege for this webinar
  • For co-host feature:
    • Co-host enabled for host’s account
    • Co-host control assigned by the host
  • For panelist feature, promote attendee or invite panelist

Comparison of controls

In the following table, we compare the webinar controls available to the host, co-hosts, and panelists. If you want to learn more about each feature, click on the embedded links in the table or see Host and Co-Host Controls in a Meeting for more information.


  • The host can disable features marked with an asterisk (*).
  • Some features require specific prerequisites. Check the article to see if your account meets the requirements for that feature if you don’t see it.

Participate in Zoom Webinar

Host Co-host Panelist Attendee
Join during practice session (see note)
Start the broadcast
Mute/unmute themselves
Start/stop their own video ✔*
View attendee list
Share screen
Request or give remote control
Chat ✔*
Save chat
Ask questions in Q&A
View All Q&A and respond
Create or edit polls
Start polling
Answer polls ✔*
Assign someone to enter closed captions
Enter closed captions ✔* ✔*
Raise hand
Use call-out to join audio by phone
End webinar
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It is not possible to assign co-hosts in advance. Co-hosts are selected as panelists and then promoted to co-hosts after they attend the webinar. As an alternative, they can be assigned as host alternates. Alternate hosts can join or start practice sessions.


Manage participants

Host Co-host Panelist Attendee
Mute or unmute attendees
Stop panelist’s video
Ask a panelist to start video
Spotlight a Video
Promote attendee to panelist
Demote from panelist to attendee
Change attendees’ view
Change who attendees can chat with
Remove attendees
Allow attendees to talk
Assign Co-host Permission
Put panelist on hold
Invite others to join webinar



Host Co-host Panelist Attendee
Record to cloud
Record locally ✔*


Live stream

Host Co-host Panelist Attendee
Live stream on Facebook
Live stream on Workplace
Live stream on YouTube
Custom live stream


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