What’s a breakout room, actually?

A breakout room is a space which can be utilized for presentations, team meetings or small-group discussions. What is the purpose of these rooms? What are they used for? What should you consider when looking to create your own breakout room? These questions and more will be answered in this guide!

What's a breakout room?

A breakout room is a small, private space designed to facilitate group interaction. It's often used for smaller meetings or as an overflow area in case the main event becomes overcrowded. The point of these rooms are to provide some privacy and comfort so that attendees can relax before returning back to the larger group. Breakout rooms are also great for hosting presentations, workshops, and other activities related to the conference or meeting.

How can a breakout room be used?

Breakout rooms are typically found in conference settings where they provide an area for participants to have discussions or work on projects that would be too disruptive in the main meeting space. They are also used by companies as part of their onboarding process to introduce new employees to company culture and values. They can also be used as training areas for staff who need specialized instruction on products or services offered by the organization.

What are benefits of a breakout room?

Participants enjoy breakout rooms because they offer privacy so people don't feel like they're being judged, which helps them open up more during conversations . Breakout rooms are also useful for presentations, workshops and activities that require participants to be in a more intimate setting.

Another benefit is that  breakout rooms provide a place for small meetings and brainstorming sessions. It's important because  it allows participants to feel included in the process of generating ideas and discussing them, even if they are not part of the larger group.

What to consider before creating a breakout room?

There are several things you'll need to consider when creating your own breakout room:

- What is the purpose of this space? What will it be used for? What will you do in this space and how many people will be using it at a time?

- Where is your breakout room located relative to the rest of the conference or meeting areas. Is it too far away from everything else that attendees won't want to use it because they don't feel like walking all that way? Or, does it have to be in a secluded area so that people who are working on projects don't get distracted by passing conference-goers?

- What size breakout room is needed, and how many seats do you need  for the room?

These questions should all be considered when you're creating your breakout room. What is important to you and what will be most beneficial for attendees?

What is a virtual breakout room?

A virtual breakout room is an online version of the physical space described above. What this means is that participants can meet and discuss things in a private area thanks to web conferencing tools. It's also possible for people who are not co-located to utilize these rooms by using their webcam and microphone. What is most popular about these rooms is that participants can share their screens and documents to help each other with work or projects.

What are some benefits of a virtual breakout room?

- Virtual breakout rooms allow people who aren't co-located to participate in the conversation  . This means telecommuters, remote workers and those who are traveling for the meeting can still collaborate with everyone else. What's great about this is that it allows people who would not normally be able to participate in certain project or initiatives, due to their location, an opportunity to contribute and gain visibility at work.

- It also provides more privacy than a physical breakout room because participants don't have to worry about being overheard. What's great is that this helps people open up more during their discussions and feel like they're not going to be judged for what they say, which leads to better collaboration.

- What many find helpful with virtual breakout rooms is the ability share screens and documents while collaborating on a project or initiative. It allows participants who aren't co-located to feel like they're actively involved in the conversation and that their work matters. What is important here, though, is to make sure everyone has access to these resources so nothing falls through the cracks because of technical issues or lack of sharing permissions.

Benefits of breakout rooms: What are some other benefits?

There are many benefits to breakout rooms, especially for larger events or conferences where people need a space that is dedicated to having small group discussions. What's great about them is that they allow participants who aren't co-located the opportunity participate in sessions and generate ideas with everyone else. What's also beneficial is that these spaces give smaller groups privacy so they feel like they can openly discuss things without worrying about judgment or outside interference. What's great is that breakout rooms allow for increased collaboration and better work-life balance because the space makes it easier to be productive, even when you're away from your office.

What's also great is that breakout rooms help to increase productivity and engagement among employees because they feel like their work matters. What are some other benefits?

What should you consider before creating your virtual breakout room?

It may seem obvious, but before you create your virtual breakout room for participants or attendees to use, it's important to take into consideration who will be attending. What's great about virtual breakout rooms is that they allow participants who aren't co-located the opportunity to still feel like they're a part of the conversation and helping with projects, but it's important to make sure everyone has access to these resources so nothing falls through the cracks because of technical issues or lack of sharing permissions. What's also great is that breakout rooms encourage face-to-face communication and collaboration while allowing participants to maintain a work-life balance, even when they're away from the office.

How to set up a great virtual breakout room? 

When planning your breakout room, it's important to remember that you're still holding a virtual event. What this means is that participants may not be able to attend or participate if they lack certain technology. What's great about virtual breakout rooms is that everyone can still be a part of your event and contribute, even if they're not co-located. What's important here is that you take into consideration the needs of all attendees so their experience with breakout rooms goes as smoothly as possible.

For starters, it's also important to make sure that all participants have the necessary technology and equipment they need. In today's digital age, everyone is busy and often gets distracted with other tasks while at work. What this means is that if they don't have the equipment or software they need to participate, it's likely they won't be able to attend your breakout rooms.

What you can do here as a conference planner is make sure everyone has access to these resources before the event begins so there aren't any disruptions once people arrive at their virtual breakout room. What's also important here is that you take into consideration who the breakout rooms are for. What this means is that some groups might prefer a quiet space to discuss projects or ideas, while others may need more energy and inspiration from those around them by creating their own music playlist during these sessions.

Over to you

What's your favorite breakout room?

What should you consider before creating your virtual breakout room?

How to set up a great virtual breakout room? What about setting one up for remote employees or those who work from different locations and need the ability to collaborate while still feeling like they're part of the team.

There are so many great uses of breakout rooms - you're yet to discover you favourite one!


Ola Czmut
Ola Czmut

Happily combines a love of writing and new technology as a copywriter, and enjoys the puzzle of putting together a good article. In her spare time she likes to catch up on the latest, greatest books, bake chocolate chip cookies and ponder her next travel destination.

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