Different Options to Setup Breakout Rooms or Live Q&A
We've noticed breakout rooms have become a bit of a buzzword of sorts in recent times for virtual events. Many event planners are looking for breakout rooms, but everyone has a different idea of what they are and need to accomplish. Still, there are a few common styles of breakout rooms, and this article will lay out several options that PheedLoop can facilitate to help you power your breakout room experience.
Additional Sessions or Sub-Sessions
Built-in to PheedLoop is a powerful setting for each session called sub-sessions. Sub-sessions allow you to connect smaller or related sessions which you don't necessarily want on your main schedule, to show up under a parent session you have designated to be a container for the sub-sessions. Each sub-session is still a normal session, offering all the features any other session would allow. There are a vast array of use-cases for this, including:
- Breakout rooms, allowing attendees in the main session to click into a separate set of sessions design to address some sub-topic or branch off from a larger lecture-style session into smaller conversational groups
- Q&A session with the speaker - useful, for example, in the case of a pre-recorded main session, branching out for those interested to a live sub-session with the speaker
- Poster presentations for academic events where attendees can click into individual sub-sessions for typically 5 - 15 minute shorter sessions
- AGM voting, in which case you want only specific attendees (using session access restrictions) to be able to click into a sub-session with a polling option to cast their votes
Sub-sessions simply won't clutter your main schedule view, and will only show up under their parent session. Upon navigating to a sub-session, the attendee can easily navigate back up to the parent session as well. There is not a way to automatically push attendees into sub-sessions and pull them out, the attendee will need to click into the sub-session and back to the parent session on their own.
To assign sub-sessions to a parent session, visit the Sessions module in your dashboard, select a session from the table, and select one or more sessions from the Sub-Sessions field. There are also several ways to restrict access to sessions only to specific groups of attendees. Explore the related articles below to learn more.
Group Networking Rooms
Group networking rooms are a powerful way to allow for live video conversations using PheedLoop Meet (PheedLoop's own web-based video conferencing tool). Group networking is part of the virtual networking module, found under the "Groups" sub-tab within the Networking section of the virtual event portal. An upgraded version of group networking allows for up to 25 rooms with 25 people in real-time in there at once, with up to 16 simultaneous video feeds, and text chat which maintains the group's chat history.
Group networking rooms can be created by you, the event organizer, or you can allow attendees to create rooms on their own. Group networking rooms are decoupled from sessions, but provide a separate area where attendees can navigate to and have conversations around any topics you select. Often used for discussions around some sub-theme of the main session, or a Q&A opportunity with speakers post-session. Learn more about group networking here.
Streaming Platform Built-In Functionality
Some events are looking for a breakout room experience which is built right into the streaming platform they are using. While PheedLoop's streaming solution does not offer this natively, there are streaming platforms that are commonly integrated with PheedLoop which do. The one we've seen event planners use with great success that integrates very nicely with PheedLoop is BlueJeans. Here is a video overview that describes how breakout rooms/sessions work within BlueJeans.
A common question we receive is whether Zoom's integration with PheedLoop allows for breakout rooms - the simple answer is that it does not. Our integration with Zoom is via the Web SDK, which is primarily meant for Zoom's core functionality for webinars and meetings such as audio/video participation, and streaming. Zoom has mentioned that it is on their road map to bring breakout rooms to their SDK. When it is released, all PheedLoop who use Zoom will be able to benefit from the functionality.