Best Practices for Virtual Meeting Breakout Rooms

BlueJeans by Verizon
3 min readJun 4, 2023
Virtual Meeting Breakout Rooms
Virtual Meeting Breakout Rooms

Plan your next virtual meeting or event, including virtual meeting breakout rooms, using BlueJeans technology. Let’s be honest, the global pandemic has firmly solidified the work from home and hybrid work concept. Many organizations barely skipped a beat as they pivoted over to virtual events and video conferencing. With that said, it is easy to see why virtual conference breakout rooms are key to a successful virtual meeting or event.

A virtual meeting breakout room works a lot like a physical one: It’s a mini meeting split off from a larger meeting. That is, each breakout session is a separate forum from the one in the main meeting. Participants may move between sessions and rejoin the main meeting as needed.

An audio or video conference host might choose to set up virtual conference breakout rooms for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Conducting a workshop or demonstration
  • Holding brief sidebar chats
  • Organizing team brainstorming sessions
  • Talking to a small set of students or trainees

Best Practices for Virtual Meeting Breakout Rooms

Decide if you want to randomize or preselect the breakout groups

Depending on your topic and desired outcome, the first step is to decide whether to assign or randomize the groups.

Test technology and give attendees clear instructions on how it works

While BlueJeans makes it easy for you to plan a successful video conference with virtual meeting breakout rooms, it is still important to do a tech test prior to your event. It is also recommended that you provide attendees instructions in advance on how the virtual breakout session will work.

Define virtual meeting breakout room activities in advance

Just as it’s important to define and find success for your overall virtual event before jumping in, it’s important to establish the activity and goal of your virtual meeting breakout room session before randomly assigning or preselecting attendees to different rooms.

Keep the size of the group small and manageable

Your group number should always be smaller in virtual settings, as talking over one another can easily happen when too many audio feeds run into one conversation or audio delays happen. Smaller groups also allow each attendee to feel included and engaged, which can typically be a challenge from behind a screen.

Choose a moderator or designated leader

Virtual meeting breakout sessions should appoint a specific person to watch the clock, keep the conversation on track, make sure all objectives are met, and step in if someone is dominating the conversation. That person should also be familiar with the video conference technology and be able to answer any questions.

Make group discussions engaging

If there is one thing that single-handedly makes virtual breakout sessions more effective, it is engagement. The conversation should be organically structured and engaging.
Some virtual tasks that we have helped brands incorporate into their virtual breakout sessions include poll questions, role-playing, an online quiz, live video from the presenter or group moderator, videos, and more. The key is to actively give participants something to engage with so that they can have ownership over the session.

Share virtual conference breakout room takeaways

Last, but not least, if it makes sense for your type of virtual event, share the takeaways or insights that were gathered in each virtual meeting breakout room with the larger event. This could happen during an open conversation or debrief immediately following the breakouts, or even as a document that is shared with attendees as a follow-up to the event that keeps the conversation going.
You can easily incorporate virtual meeting breakout rooms into your next virtual conference or event. BlueJeans provides video conferencing for the digital workplace.

For more information about how our video conferencing platform works to connect and engage everyone and how it can benefit your business, contact us.

Check out our BlueJeans Meetings page or try BlueJeans Video Conferencing for Free.

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BlueJeans by Verizon

BlueJeans offers the latest in video conferencing to help organizations achieve multi-party, interactive video communications and hybrid events.