An Introduction to the Conference Dashboard

Q: How can I manage a conference that's in-progress?
A: The Conference Dashboard! The conference dashboard is a web-based set of tools for managing a conference in real-time as its in-progress. The dashboard gives meeting hosts visibility of the participants connected to their conference, and a comprehensive suite of tools ensure a productive conference experience.

Who has dashboard access?

Hosts & Interpreters

The dashboard is available to people invited to the conference in the role of Host or InterpreterThe person organizing the conference is always a Host. For a larger or more involved conference they may designate additional hosts to help them manage the conference.

When a Host access the dashboard they can access all the tools. They can make global adjustments to the conference, or impact any participant connected to the conference.

Participants (maybe!)

Conference participants can be permitted dashboard access, but it’s not uncommon for the host to restrict participant dashboard access when scheduling the conference. This a is a setting available in the conference template.

If participants are granted dashboard access, they are only able to access controls for their interaction with the conference. They are not able to impact any other participants use of the system.

When does the dashboard become available?

The conference starts when the first person connects. In the ZipDX web portal, this is when the conference moves from Pending Conferences to In-Progress Conferences.

Launch Dashboard

This is when the various tools for managing the live conference become available, including the Dashboard button. Click on the Dashboard button (highlighted) to launch it in a separate browser window.

Dashboard Geography

For the host, there are 4 sections to the dashboard display:


1. The Host controls

1. Host Controls

Shown only to the conference Hosts, this stripe across the top of the window offers a series of functions used to manage some of the global settings of the conference.

Details about the items in this menu are described in Conference Dashboard 201: Host Controls.

2. Participants List

2. Participant List

This section lists everyone connected to the conference. It also list everyone who was invited but is not connected.

Participants List

Several tabs across the top of the participants list control what you see; All Participants, only Active participants, a callback list of those who have disconnected.

Sorting Participants

The participant list can be sorted in various ways by clicking on the column headings.

  • Name – Alphabetical.
  • Name – Time of arrival.
  • Hand Raised – Sorts participants who have their hand raised, in the order that they raised their hands.
  • Audio – Sorts the participants making sound to the top.
  • Room – Sorts by breakout room number.

Details about the items in this menu are described in Conference Dashboard 202: Participant List.

3. Activity Window

3. Activity Window

Lists those participants who are sending sound to the conference. They might be speaking, or merely making noise.

Dashboard Activity Window

The activity also indicates changes in state, for example when a participant joins or exits the conference. These status updates are only briefly displayed.

Eliminating Unwanted Noise

If a participant is making noise they will be listed in the Activity window, along with others who are actually speaking. It’s usually possible to discern the noisemaker from the speaker.

Clicking on the noisemaker’s entry in the activity window reveal a pop-up menu. Clicking on the Soft Mute option to mute the participant, eliminating the noise. The participants hears a prompt advising them, “You are now muted, press *6 to unmute.”

Details about the use of the activity window are described in Conference Dashboard 203: Activity Display.

4. Text Chat

4. Text Chat

The text chat function in the dashboard allows hosts and participants to share short text messages.

Dashboard Text Chat

This has many possible applications. here are some of the more common use cases:

  • Allows Hosts/Moderators to coordinate while a structures conference is ongoing.
  • During a webinar, allows participants who are muted to ask questions of a presenter.
  • During a multilingual conference, allows interpreters acting in tandem to coordinate their activities.

Details about the use of the activity window are described in Conference Dashboard 204: Dashboard Text Chat.