Understanding Conference Roles

ZipDX is a continuously evolving platform for virtual meetings. The latest release of the service consolidates access to the various “roles” available to conference participants, adding two brand new roles in the process.

In the past, when an organizer created a conference they would invite people using their email addresses. In the process, it was possible to assign someone to have Host status. Everyone involved in the conference was either a Participant or Host.

Assign Host

As of June 10, 2015 the system offers the organizer the ability to assign each invitee one of six different roles, as shown below.

Assign Role

The core roles of Host and Participant have been available since the launch of ZipDX. In addition, the Auditor and Owner roles have been available for some time, but not exposed here. Observer and Interpreter are brand new roles.

1. Host

The conference Organizer is the person who created or scheduled the conference. The organizer is also the default Host, although they may assign one or more attendees as Hosts.

A conference Host has access to various tools for managing the conference. Access to such tools may be by way of keypad codes or the web-based conference dashboard.In the conference dashboard hosts are indicated by a gold star in the attendee list.

Dashboard Host Indication

A Host may perform any of the following:

  • Turn on/off Lecture modes
  • Lock/unlock the conference
  • Move participants between rooms
  • Mute/unmute participants
  • Rename participants in the dashboard
  • Dial-Out to add participants to the conference
  • Adjust the volume of any participant
  • Record conference-specific announcements
  • Adjust the SI settings of a multilingual conference*
  • Turn conference recording on/off*
  • Turn conference transcription on/off*
  • End the conference

*if enabled for this conference

2. Participant

Participant is the default role. Participants have access to a subset of conference features, either by keypad code or, if permitted, via the web-based conference dashboard. A participant can only act on themselves.


The following are a few things that a Participant may do:

  • Mute/unmute themselves
  • Raise/lower their hand
  • Cast a vote when a poll is being taken
  • Move between rooms or language channels
  • Adjust their own microphone volume
3. Observer

Observer is a new role in the system. When an Observer joins a conference they are automatically placed into room 8, behind one-way-glass. As such, they can listen to the discussion in the main conference, but cannot interact with that group. They can only interact with others in room 8, behind the one-way glass.

Observer indicated in conference dashboard

This ability to clandestinely listen-in makes the Observer role ideal for conducting virtual market research. The research team can lead the discussion in the main conference, while product management monitors the event in-process, without any potential for accidentally engaging the test group.

Like a Participant, an Observer only has access to controls pertaining to their own involvement in the conference.

4. Interpreter

The role of Interpreter is a new feature applicable only to multilingual conferences. An Interpreter has access to the full suite of Host controls in the conference dashboard, giving them the tools necessary to manage a conference. It also defines the behavior of the ZipLine 3.0 web phone, giving them control of the flow of interpretation during the conference.

An Interpreter does not have access to post call summary details , call recordings or transcriptions.

5. Auditor

The role of Auditor is part of a suite of ZipDX compliance features supporting clients in the medical and financial industries. An Auditor for a particular conference has special privileges with respect to monitoring a live conference and accessing post conference records.

The Auditor may:

  • Join the conference clandestinely
    • Does not appear in conference records shown to Organizers/Hosts
    • Is muted by default when joining the conference
    • Can unmute to barge-in if desired
    • Is not included in reported count of participants
    • Is not announced when connecting to the conference
  • View the post-conference call summary
  • Access conference recording and transcript (if any)

Further, a pre-recorded announcement can be associated with the Auditor. When the Auditor is invited to a conference this recording will be played to each participant before they join the call. This is typically used to play a disclaimer notification to every participant joining the conference.

6. Owner

The conference Owner has post-meeting access to call recordings and transcriptions. By default the Organizer is also the Owner of the meeting. However, there are times when the conference Organizer and the Owner of the call may be different people.

For example, an administrative staffer may create a conference on behalf of a Senior Executive. If they both have ZipDX profiles the staff person creating the call would be the conference Organizer. That person would assign the Senior Executive to be the Owner of the call. In this case, once the conference is completed access to the call summary, recordings and transcriptions (if any) would be granted to the Senior Executive and not the conference organizer. This ensures that potentially confidential material is not accessible by staff involved in merely arranging the conference.

The conference Owner need not have Host privileges during the call.

The ability to designate a conference Owner is especially useful to clients that use our API to remotely manage their conferencing activity.


Posted in: Feature Profile

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