Can a past conference recording be played back into a later conference?

Q: Can a past conference recording be played back into a later conference?
Yes! As of November 2018 the recording of a past conference can be automatically played into a later conference. This effectively allows participants to join a pre-recorded event.

Why Do This?

To establish context it’s helpful to know why this capability was developed. Consider an investment firm that gives quarterly briefing to investors. This is often done live via conference call. In that case, everyone dials-in at the scheduled time and leadership makes their presentation.

This has certain implications for team giving the briefing. They must stand and deliver, in real-time, which creates considerable pressure to perform.

The live briefing also allows them to take questions from the audience. That may not be desirable. They might prefer that the questions are vetted in advance, which makes a one-way presentation, or webinar format preferable.

As a result, some firms prefer to pre-produce the briefing, fine tuning their presentation, which is recorded using an initial conference call. That recording is later played back to the larger audience of investors.

This process is always in two steps; Recording and Playback.

Step #1: Recording the Conference

A conference is recorded, creating the presentation that will later be played back to the audience. There are several ways that conference recording can be invoked by the host:

  1. In the conference template, as the conference is being scheduled via our web portal.
  2. On-the-fly using the conference dashboard.
  3. On-the-fly using the telephone keypad.

 

Tip: If you set the conference to be recorded in the template, the entire conference is recorded, including the preamble as the team is gathering to make the recording. If you use the conference dashboard to turn recording off/on again, the conference will be split into two recordings. The second one starting when you toggled the recording function, at the very point you are ready to record the presentation.

Step #2: Preparing for Playback

Once there’s a recording available there are two possible approaches to arranging playback; ad hoc or scheduled playback.

Ad Hoc Playback

The most straightforward approach allows the individual audience members to dial-in to hear the presentation in an unscheduled manner. They can listen at the time that’s most convenient for them. This accommodates an audience that’s distributed across vastly disparate time zones.

  • Log into the ZipDX web portal using your email address and PIN or passphrase.
  • Scroll down to the Completed Conferences section of your home page and locate the conference where the recording was created.
  • Click on the Conference Title to revisit the conference details (pictured below.)

 

Past Call Details Menu

  • In the Recordings section you’ll find a Phone Playback link
    • If recording had been toggled on/off there may be more than one recording offered.
  • Click on Phone Playback for the recording that corresponds to the presentation.

 

Phone Playback Menu

  • The system will create a new conference template from that recording, offering a change to set a few parameters;
    • Give the new template an informative Template Name.
    • A Conference Code is automatically assigned
      • You can change this to any code that is not already in use.
      • The Set button automatically selects another valid conference code.
      • Optionally – Set the template to expire after a desired number of days.
  • Click Save to store the conference template.

 

Conference Playback Template

  • The new template will appear on your ZipDX home page (as pictured above.)
    • The “pb” suffix denotes that it’s specifically for playback of a past conference recording.
    • Unlike a normal template, there is no option to copy to a new template or create a conference.

The “PB” template inherently supports spontaneous conferencing. No scheduling required. The conference begins automatically when someone (anyone!) connects to ZipDX and enters that conference code.

Audience Experience

If playback on demand is your goal, simply distribute the dial-in number and conference code to your audience. They will be able to dial-in, enter the conference code to invoke playback at their convenience. Before playback begins they will hear an announcement advising that they are hearing a recording, followed by the recording itself.

If they stay connect until the end the system will simply announce, “the conference call is now ending” and hang up.

Once they disconnect the system will send you a call summary. This is like a normal call summary, but had details for just one connection in each message.

About Expiring Templates

If you opt to set a value for the template expiry you will limit their access to the recording. For example, if you set Template Expires to 3 days, after that time the template is automatically deleted and they will no longer be able to access playback of the conference.

While the template is truly deleted, the recording of the prior from which it was created remains in your list of past conferences. Thus, it’s possible to create the playback template anew, if necessary.

Scheduled Playback

You might prefer to have a single, scheduled playback event. This is also possible, although considerably more elaborate to setup.

Instructions for this will follow in a separate article.