About Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) and Virtual Auditoriums

Conferences take place in Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) and Virtual Auditoriums (a type of VMR that is optimized for use by a small number of Hosts and a large number of Guests). They act as a digital space that participants using virtually any type of device can join for reliable, HD group video meetings.

When configuring your VMR and Virtual Auditorium services, you define the aliases that are used by conference participants to access that service. Your services can be PIN-protected, and you can also assign Host and Guest privileges to conference participants (see About PINs, Hosts and Guests), and you can limit the number of participants that can join a specific meeting.

All Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums can be accessed via any Conferencing Node. When a Conferencing Node receives a call to a particular Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium alias, it creates a conference instance based on that service's settings. In this way, resources are not used until the first caller actually places a call into the conference. When another endpoint places a call to an alias that belongs to the same Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium, the call is placed into the existing conference instance.

You can change the audio and video prompts presented to participants when they are accessing these services by applying themes.

VMRs do not consume resources on your deployment unless they are actually being used to host a conference. The number of VMRs that can be in use at the same time is limited only by the size of your Pexip Infinity deployment (in terms of server capacity and call licenses).

VMRs can be bulk-provisioned from directory information contained in a Windows Active Directory LDAP server, or any other LDAP-accessible database.

Virtual Meeting Rooms versus Virtual Auditoriums

A Virtual Auditorium is a meeting space that is optimized for use by a small number of Hosts and a large number of Guests, for example:

  • a lecture, where the lecturer joins as the Host and all the students join as Guests
  • an internal team meeting, where the department heads join as Hosts and all the managers join as Guests.

Similarities

Virtual Auditoriums share many of the same features as Virtual Meeting Rooms:

  • Each Virtual Auditorium has one or more aliases associated with it. Participants access the Virtual Auditorium by dialing any one of its aliases - this will route them all to the same conference. For more information, see About aliases and access numbers.
  • They use PINs to protect access, and to differentiate between Host and Guest participants. For more information, see About PINs, Hosts and Guests.
  • You can place a limit on the number of participants that can access a Virtual Auditorium at any one time.
  • Participants can access Virtual Auditoriums from any video endpoint, or by using one of Pexip's Infinity Connect clients - for more information see Introduction to Infinity Connect.
  • There is no limit on the number of Virtual Auditoriums that can be configured on your Pexip Infinity platform. Virtual Auditoriums do not consume resources on your deployment unless they are actually being used to host a conference. Unless you manually restrict access, the number of participants who can access a particular Virtual Auditorium, and the number of Virtual Auditoriums that can be in use at the same time, are limited only by the size of your Pexip Infinity deployment.

Differences

Virtual Auditoriums differ from Virtual Meeting Rooms in that:

  • Raised hands: Guest participants using Infinity Connect clients have an option to raise their hand, to indicate that they wish to speak. (Generally in a Virtual Auditorium, the Host will have muted all Guests, but they can unmute individual guests.) Host participants using the Infinity Connect clients can lower guests' hands, as can the Guest themselves.
  • Administrators can configure a Virtual Auditorium so that Hosts and Guests see different layouts. In a Virtual Meeting Room, all participants see the same layout.
  • In a Virtual Auditorium:
    • Guest participants cannot see other Guests - they will only see the Host(s)
    • Host participants will see all other Hosts first in the video thumbnails (in order of which Host spoke most recently), followed by Guests (again, in order of who spoke most recently).

    In a Virtual Meeting Room all participants can see all other participants, in order of who spoke most recently, and regardless of whether they are Hosts or Guests.

  • In a Virtual Auditorium, Guest participants are not shown the streaming indicator and so will not be aware if the conference is being streamed or recorded. In a Virtual Meeting Room, Guest participants will be shown the streaming indicator.
  • Administrators can configure a Virtual Auditorium so that when a presentation is being shown, the person showing the presentation is fixed in the main speaker position. In a Virtual Meeting Room, this option is not available; the main speaker position will always be voice-switched, showing the current speaker.