Setting Up The Control Room

Control Room

Control Room is a behind-the-scenes area where an event organizer can perform several actions, such as:

  • View current or upcoming sessions
  • Chat with Presenters and other Control Room staff members
  • Send out a variety of alerts
  • Access Admin Mode, where the assigned person can preview all areas of OnAIR, assuring that connections, videos and more are correctly set up 
  • Overlay OnAIR with a small video feed of the person serving as event host or MC
  • Play a “Starting Soon” sound track 30 seconds before a timeline item begins. This can be any audio track, including chimes or a person announcing that the next timeline event is starting soon

Setting Up Control Room

Control Room is Configured in the OnAIR Portal Settings:

  • Enable Virtual Control Room – check this to enable the Virtual Control Room
  • Virtual Control Room Email Addresses – enter the email address for each person authorized to access the Control Room during your OnAIR program
  • MC Live Feed Platform – select the YouTube or Vimeo External Connection which is needed to support the Live Feed function
  • MC Live Feed Video ID – select the Live Feed Video ID here
  • Play Sound 30 Sec Before Timeline Item Starts – this enables a “Starting Soon” MP3 to play 30 seconds before a timeline item begins. This can be any audio track, including chimes or a person announcing that the next timeline event is starting soon
  • Start Soon Sound MP3 File – enter the MP3 of the Starting Soon Sound here. Please make sure the sound is a maximum of 4 seconds in length. Click here for a library of available MP3 files you can use.

Control Room Functionality

Instant Presenter Alerts

You can send an instant alert message to the presenters of a specific session. This is a great way to give them instant feedback about a specific situation.

For example, if the presenter is not sharing their screen or if their microphone's muted, you can enter a message, like this that will go out to all presenters in that session.

This alert appears in a red alert box that assures that the presenter will view it immediately.

Session Preview with Analytics

For any session in your OnAIR program, you are able to see a preview of what the attendees are seeing right now in that session.

That's a great way for you to make sure that the presenters are delivering their presentations without any challenges with their audio or screen sharing. You can also see what the attendees are seeing. 

There are some analytics you can view in real time:

  • You can see the number of attendees that are participating in a specific session at the current time.
  • You can also see the number of presenters that are logged in to the presenter view, which is covered in the next lesson.

Presenter and Team Chats

With Presenter Chat, you can send out messages to all presenters currently in Presenter View for a specific session. For example, this is useful if you want to remind all presenters to turn on their microphones and cameras.

If you're operating as a virtual group and you're separated in different locations, you can use the control room team chat to communicate with all other administrators assigned to the control room.

Live MC Video Feeds

Host Live Feed is an option that allows you to push a video stream of your host or Master of Ceremonies to attendees. 

Your live feed would typically be a YouTube live broadcast, which is easily setup up in the OnAIR portal’s set up section.

Once that is done, you'll see the live stream preview coming through. This would typically be your conference host, who's going to be telling attendees when to move into different sessions, just like at a live event.

You can also set where the Host Live Feed is broadcast to. The default is to all attendees not currently in sessions or meetings. 

You can also select specific sessions and broadcast the live feed to all attendees in the selected session. This is useful if a session ends early and the host just wants to communicate with the group. 

Finally, you can choose to broadcast the Host Live Feed to all attendees. This should only be for short announcements as attendees could be on calls, in video meetings, functions or sessions.

When you're ready to broadcast, just select the Go Live button. OnAIR will give you a five second countdown and then whatever is displayed in the Preview stream will now display in a small window with an audio and video feed for attendees.

At any time, you can end the host broadcast and that will close the small host video screen in the OnAIR portal. 

This is a valuable tool to help keep your attendees entertained and organized in between sessions.

Alert Options

The last tool we will look at is alerts, which lets you send alerts out to all the attendees through the OnAIR portal. 

These alerts can be one of four types:

  • Important alerts, which displays in red and it grabs people's attention. 
  • Information alerts used for providing general information. 
  • Timeline refresh alert, which are quite important because it will prompt attendees to click a refresh button in the message that is displayed. 

This is useful if you've added additional sessions or functions that weren't in their timeline when they logged in. 

If you make changes to an existing session time, or name of a session or a presenter, those will update instantly without the attendee needing to do anything. 

But if it's a new session, then they do need to do a refresh and this alert is a great way to tell them that.

  • Presenter Alerts are for all presenters who are currently in the presenter view. 

For example, if you have four concurrent sessions and the previous session is running two minutes late, you could alert all four presenters about this delay and they should delay the start of their presentations by two minutes.

Whichever alert type you choose, just enter a headline and message then press send, and the alert is sent instantly.

Admin Mode

Another powerful tool that administrators have access to is Admin Mode. If you are authorized in the Control Panel you will see a toggle where you can turn on or off Admin Mode.

In Admin Mode, you will see every session and function that is available to any attendee. Even if some sessions were filtered out because of your registration type, in Admin Mode, you will see all sessions.

Admin Mode is a great tool for you to check that every session has been set up correctly.

In Admin Mode, it doesn't matter when the session is due to start, you can click on the session and select review, and that will let you into that session. 

  • If that session is a pre-recorded or synchronized video, that would start playing. 
  • If that session was a live broadcast and the stream was available, then you would see that live stream. 
  • If the session was a webinar and the webinar was active, then you would see that webinar. 

In Admin Mode, you are getting access into the session ahead of when the attendees could get in.

You can also click on the Admin Info Widget and review a display of key set up information for a specific session.

Admin Mode is a powerful tool for you, as the event organizer, to perform a final check, making sure that you have set everything up correctly.