Breakout rooms are a powerful tool to engage your participants during a meeting. Let me explain how to manage virtual breakout rooms in Lounjee so you can have full control over your breakout participants.
If you don’t know what breakout sessions are, I invite you to read this article first. We explain what they are, how they can be used and we also give you some tips to animate effective breakout rooms.
Creating Intelligent Breakout Rooms
The first thing you need to know is that only Event Admins are allowed to create breakout rooms. Upon creating a breakout session, the admin can decide how many rooms to create and change their capacity. Admin can also set the breakout session duration so that the session doesn’t run forever. Please note that you can end a breakout session at any time by clicking on the 3 dots on the breakout session and selecting “End breakouts”. The time counter will then go down to 60 seconds to leave enough time for participants to wrap up the session.
Once breakouts are created, admins will see a window to arrange each breakout room as they want, just like wedding tables. By default, all participants are assigned randomly to a room. But the great power of Lounjee is that you can rearrange them by using the participants’ profile info. Click on a participant avatar to show their profile on the right-hand side.
Let’s take an example: you are the admin of a digital nomad community and you want to create breakout rooms to discuss taxation. Let’s imagine that you want to create 5 rooms:
- Digital Nomad Taxation in Europe
- Digital Nomad Taxation in America
- Digital Nomad Taxation in Asia
- Digital Nomad Taxation in Africa
- Digital Nomad Taxation in Oceania
You can check the participants’ location on their profile to assign them to the room that’s relevant to them. This feature is really unique to Lounjee and can only be used if your members have provided the information you need in their profile. That’s why I strongly encourage you to ask them to complete their profile as much as possible. Not only will it help you create intelligent breakout rooms, but it will also improve their matching suggestions in the Discover section!
Allowing Participants To Choose The Room They Want To Join
Sometimes, we’ve had admins who wanted to allow their breakout participants to choose the room they want to join. This is possible in Lounjee but I must warn you that if you have a large number of rooms and/or a large number of participants, it can be quite time-consuming to do that with the breakout room feature. So if you have too many rooms and/or participants, please consider using parallel sessions in your event agenda instead.
In order to allow participants to choose the room they join, you have to add them to all rooms. This can be done before starting the breakout session by clicking “add” on each room and selecting the people you want to give access to all rooms. Upon starting the breakout room, participants who have access to more than one room will see all available rooms listed in My Event. They can decide which room they want to join first and they can switch to another room at any time.
You also have the ability to add someone to another room during the breakout session. Go back to the breakout session, click on the 3 dots and select “Edit breakouts”. Click “add” on the room and select the person you want to add to it. This user will then see a popup saying they’ve been assigned to a new room. It’s up to them to decide whether they want to change rooms or not.
Seeing Who Is Live In Each Room (And Re-Assign Them If Needed!)
Another useful feature you want to know about Lounjee breakouts is the live statuses. After breakout rooms are started, the admin can click “Edit breakouts” to see who actually joined each room. Live statuses automatically update every 10 seconds.
In the header of each room, next to the breakout room name, there’s a counter with a green phone icon that tells you how many people are in the breakout room. Click on the breakout room to see the details.
You will then see all room’s participants and icons next to their avatar inform you about their statuses:
- No icon: that person never joined the breakout room
- Green phone icon: that person is currently in the breakout room
- Red phone icon: that person was previously in the breakout room but has left
Knowing about these live statuses is very useful because it can help you re-assign people. If someone is alone in a breakout room, you may want to re-assign them to another room with people in it for instance. To do so, hover your cursor over the participant you want to re-assign and click “move”. You can then select the room you want to move them to. This user will then see a popup saying they’ve been moved to a new room. If they click “go” they will be redirected to the new room. They can also ignore the popup if they want to stay in the current room.
Last but not least, I’d like to tell you about the Unassigned people section. You may have noticed that upon creating or editing breakout rooms, there’s a section called “Unassigned” below the rooms list.
If participants register late for the breakout session – after breakouts are created – that’s where they will show. If you remove a participant from all rooms, that person will also show in the unassigned section.
To assign these participants to a room, hover your cursor over their names and click “move”. You can then select the room you want to put them in.
I hope this article will help you manage virtual breakout rooms on Lounjee next time you use them. Let me know in the comments how your experience was!