Breakout Sessions

Overview

Breakout sessions are like mini WebEx meetings within your main WebEx meeting. They are a great tool to use when attendees need to participate in small-group activities and discussions.

Breakout Session features:

  • Hosts and cohosts of a WebEx meeting can set up, re-organize, and close breakout rooms at any point during a meeting.
  • Participants can be split up into rooms automatically (random) or manually.
  • The host and cohosts can join and leave individual breakout sessions whenever they want. 
  • Hosts and cohosts can broadcast messages to all of the breakout sessions at once, individual breakout sessions, or individual participants.
  • Participants can invite the host to join their breakout session if they need help.
  • Breakout sessions can be configured to close automatically after a set period of time.
  • At this time, Breakout sessions CANNOT be recorded.

Participants will receive a message asking them to join the appropriate breakout session once the host opens them. The host will remain in the main WebEx meeting room, along with any participants who were not assigned to a breakout session.

The Breakout Session feature can be enabled while scheduling a WebEx meeting. Simply check the box next to Enable breakout sessions.

enabling breakout sessions during scheduling

Breakout sessions can also be enabled during meetings by the host or a cohost. Find the Breakout option in the top menu and select Enable breakout sessions.

enabling breakout sessions during a meeting

Once breakout sessions have been enabled, a Breakout sessions button will appear in the bottom toolbar for hosts and co-hosts.

Breakout Sessions button

 

Configuring Breakout Sessions During a Meeting

  1. Click the Breakout session button in the bottom toolbar.Breakout Sessions button
  2. A Breakout Session Assignments window will open. Specify the number of sessions you wish to create and select whether participants will be split up automatically (randomly) or manually.Specifying number of breakout rooms and how participants will be assigned
  3. Click Create Assignments.
  4. Another window will load where breakout sessions can be managed further. Hosts and co-hosts can:
    • Add, remove, or rename sessions
    • Move participants between rooms
    • Configure additional settingsconfiguring breakout sessions
  5. (Optional) Click the Settings button in the bottom left corner of the Breakout Sessions Assignments window. A window will appear where you can:
    • Allow attendees to return to the main meeting whenever they wish.
    • Allow attendees to join their breakout session at a later time, instead of joining immediately when the sessions open.
    • Set breakout sessions to automatically close after a pre-determined amount of time amount of time.
    • Turn on a countdown timer that warns attendees when breakout rooms are about to close.Additional breakout session options

Opening Breakout Sessions

  1. Configure your breakout sessions using the directions in the previous section.
  2. Click the Start Breakout Session button in the bottom right corner of the Breakout Session Assignments window.Start Breakout Session button
  3. Once breakout sessions have begun, a new “Breakout sessions” tab will appear in the Participant Panel where you can see who is in each session. You can also click Join to jump into one of the sessions.Breakout sessions displayed in the Participant panel

Closing Breakout Sessions

The host and cohosts can manually close breakout sessions at any time by clicking on the End All Breakout Sessions button in the bottom right corner of the Breakout Session Assignments window.

End All Breakouts button

 

Hosts, co-hosts, and participants have several options for communicating with each other while breakout sessions are occurring.

  • Hosts/co-hosts can join and leave breakout sessions at any time.
  • Hosts can broadcast messages to all of the breakout rooms, individual breakout rooms, or individual participants.
  • Participants can ask the host for help.

Joining/Leaving Breakout Rooms (Host and Cohosts)

In either the Breakout Session Assignments window or the Breakout session tab of the Participant panel, click Join for the breakout session you wish to enter.

Joining a breakout session

To leave a session, click on the Leave Session button in the bottom toolbar.

Leave breakout session button

Broadcasting Messages (Host and Cohosts)

  1. Click Broadcast in the Breakout Session Assignments window.Broadcast button
  2. Use the dropdown menus to determine who the message will go to:
    • If "All breakout sessions" is chosen in the first dropdown, you can use the second dropdown to select one of the following: 
      • All participants in session – Everyone will receive the message.
      • All Cohosts and presenters in session – Only the cohosts and presenters in each session will receive the message.
    • If a particular session is chosen in the first dropdown, you can use the second dropdown to select one of the following:
      • All participants in session – Everyone in the specified session will receive the message.
      • A particular attendee – Only this attendee will see the message.
  3. Type your message in the text box.
  4. Click Send.Sending a broadcast
    The intended participants will receive the broadcasted message.
    Received broadcast

Asking for Help (Participants)

While in a breakout session, participants can ask for help. One way to do this is to click on the Options button in the bottom toolbar and select Ask for Help.

Ask for Help button in participant's bottom toolbar during breakout session

They can also click Ask for help in the Participant panel.

Ask for Help button in Participant panel during breakout session

The host will be notified that someone is asking for assistance.