How does the waiting room work?

Q: How does the waiting room work?
 A: The Waiting Room is a breakout room that can be used to hold participants awaiting the formal start of a conference call.

The Waiting Room is a special form of breakout room. If enabled by the conference organizer all Participants joining the call will automatically be placed in the waiting room. Hosts joining the call are never passed into the waiting room.

While in the waiting room Participants hear only music, they cannot chat amongst themselves.

When creating a conference the waiting room can be:

  • Disabled – in which case the conference begins when the first participants arrives.
  • Enabled until the host arrives – at which point everyone is automatically moved to the main room.
  • Enabled but the host must manually move everyone from the waiting room to the main room.
  • Enabled, only for those a conference code, or anyone joined to the call more than once.

Conference Security

The last option is applicable to those concerned with the security of their conference call. Our identity conference scheme provides a way to have conference calls entirely without conference codes. This is designed to ensure that everyone joining a conference call is positively identified, as is often the case with board and executive committee meetings.

However, there are times when it may be necessary to invite a guest to a conference. If the guest is not known to the system, using a conference code provides them way to join the call. If the conference code is shared in an indiscriminate fashion others may gain access to the conference. This last option ensures that such participants are held in the waiting room until their identity can be confirmed by a host.

Host Announcements

A Host can move themselves to the waiting using the conference dashboard or *49 on their telephone keypad. When a conference Host moves to the waiting room the music stops, allowing them to address participants who are waiting for the conference to begin.

Best Practice

While the music ensures that waiting participants that they are connected, people tend to become uneasy if left in the waiting room more than a short while. If participants join the conference well in advance of the official start it may be a good idea to periodically have a host address them. A simple welcome announcement and status report (“…the XYZ Conference will be starting in 15 minutes“) offers reassurance that they’re in the right place.

If the start of the conference is delayed a Host should definitely move to the waiting room and advise the group of this fact. Keeping the waiting group informed is key to retaining their engagement.