Preparing for your Conference
Before your conference begins, here are some helpful hints and steps you can follow to ensure a smooth and productive meeting:
- Make sure all your Participants have the equipment they will need for the meeting setup properly PRIOR to beginning. Not having to troubleshoot video or audio problems during the meeting will make the experience better for everyone involved.
- Test thoroughly beforehand!
- Make sure you have the latest versions of both your browser and of the Adobe Flash Player. You can check www.adobe.com for the newest version of Flash Player.
- Clear your browser cache of old files and try to close any applications that are not crucial to your conference.
- Always make sure to select ALLOW if the Flash Player Settings box prompts you before you join a video conference. This is important, if you select DENY then NO feeds (Video/Audio/SMD) will function in the conference!
- Make sure you have configured your meeting the way you want it to be well in advance of the scheduled date/time. Don’t wait until the last minute!
- Make sure that no other applications are using the camera feed (MSN messenger, Camera Software etc) before you log into your meeting.
- Use a headset if possible if you plan on using VOIP in the meeting as it will reduce many issues that may arise.
- Open the web browser of your choice (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) and enter the URL that was created for your organization.
- Make sure there is no ‘www’ before the company name or the URL will not work! Once loaded click the “Agree” button to continue.
- Click the Host button to continue. Logging in as a Host allows you to create meetings.
- Your meeting participants will click the Guest button as this will allow them to be a participant in your conference.
Enter the User Name and Password that was created when your account was established.
The Host Options Screen and Functionality.
Create a Meeting.
To create a meeting, simply click the Create Meeting button. All the features below are optional, use them to enable optional features or disable features you don’t need.
- Meeting Name: Type the name you wish to call your meeting here. If the name is available and not already in use on the account, the green circle with a check box will appear to the right.
- Meeting Date/Time: You can set the date and time for your meeting here. This information is primarily for the benefit of the guests you are inviting via the email invitations, as the system does not restrict the Host from using the meeting at any time or based on this setting. In other words you can use this meeting whenever you like regardless of the date/time settings, but as far as your guests know the date/time you set is when they are supposed to join.
- Click the Advanced Options To open the Advanced Parameters you can set for this meeting:
- Expected Attendees: Change this number to the amount of attendees (including Hosts) you expect in your meeting and the system will use this number to determine how many total video windows to show based on the number in the Video Windows selection.
- Video Windows: This setting will determine the total amount of video windows you wish to display in the meeting, any attendees over this amount will not display a video window.
- Host Only Video: With this selected only the host will have video in the meeting.
- Host Only VOIP: With this selected only the host will be able to use VOIP audio in the meeting.
- Meeting Security: You can set an optional password for your meeting by selecting Password or require the guests to register by their email address by selecting Registration. When you select Password you can enter the password desired in the box below, if you click Registration you will need to click the Registration Options to access your options (See Below).
- Registration Options: The default choices for your attendees to specify
- Maximum Attendees: From here you can change the total amount of attendees for this conference. Your maximum number is determined by the amount of seats you have purchased for the account.
- Auto Accept Attendees Checkbox: By having this box checked it will bypass asking the Host of the conference if an attendee can join or not. With this engaged guests can join the conference without a Host being present.
- Show Meeting in Search: If checked this will allow the meeting to appear in the Guest Meeting Name field as a searchable meeting. This means if the Guest types in the name it will search for the name, otherwise this meeting will have to be typed fully in the field in order for the Guest to find and join it.
- Disconnect Users after x minutes: If you’re having a meeting for a particular amount of time, you can automatically disconnect your users after x amount of minutes. For example, if the value is set to 30 minutes, each user will be disconnected after 30 minutes. If one party joins a meeting at 9:00, he or she will be disconnected at 9:30. If another party joins the same meeting at 9:05, he or she will be disconnected at 9:35.
- Video Quality: Choose between Standard or Low (Bandwidth) options for all camera images. Low (Bandwidth) should be used if you’re trying to preserve bandwidth in a situation where some users might not have the best internet connection
- Audio Settings: Your two main options for audio in the meeting are setting up a telephone conference bridge using the options below, or using the internal VOIP system that is automatically available by default in every meeting. The VOIP system requires either a headset with built-in microphone (recommended) or an external microphone and speakers on the computer you are at.
- Phone and VOIP Options:
- Standard Audio Control: Recommended for those with headsets. Offers manual microphone gain for direct control of sound setup.
- Noise Reduction Audio Control: Recommended for those on external desktop/laptop audio setup. Auto-configure will help you automatically configure your microphone gain.
- Turn User’s Microphone On Automatically: The Guest microphone will be turned on automatically when they join the meeting.
- Disable Ability To Turn Microphone On / Off: Your guests will not have the opportunity to turn their microphones on or off. The host would control this setting.
- Use Toll Free Conferencing: If you wish to provide your participants with a toll free number to call, simply click on Sign Up to start a new account. Once this process is complete, you will be given a toll free call in number, as well as a unique code to use in your conferences. You also have the option of entering your own teleconferencing information in these fields if you do not wish to use one of our systems. Simply enter the number and code appropriately and this number will be including in your email invitations and in the conference room.
- Use Toll Conferencing: This is the free version of our teleconferencing, where all you and your guests pay is the long distance fee (if applicable) to a US area code.
- User Options Button: These are the options to control what the Guests can use by default inside your meeting.
- Meeting Skin: Select the Skin you’d like to use for the meeting you’re creating.
- Default Video Layout: Choose between all Video Layout options as a default for your meeting.
- Display Welcome Message: If unselected the Welcome window with the Meeting info will not appear when a User joins the meeting. Meeting Info is still available via the Meeting Information label on the Control Panel.
- Default To Docked Self Video: If unselected, each Client will begin the meeting with his/her video window on the stage instead of in the ‘docked’ position on the Control Panel.
- Hide User List Checkbox: If you wish to hide the User List in the conference check this box. Note: The Host will always see the user list.
- Hide Chat Window: If selected the chat window will not be visible and usable by all participants for text chat messages in the meeting.
- Enable Persistent Chat: If enabled this will log all public chat messages and display all past messages to any new participants that login to the meeting.
- Hide Language List: Clicking this checkbox removes the Language List Dropdown menu from the top left hand portion of the screen.
- Hide Options Menu: Clicking this checkbox removes the Options Menu from the top left hand portion of the screen.
- Hide Shortcut Buttons: Clicking this checkbox leaves only the Disconnect and Exit buttons in the top right hand portion of your screen. Note: your guests will only see the Exit button in the top right hand portion of their screen.
- Hide Exit Button: Clicking this checkbox will not show the Exit button in the top right hand portion of the meeting screen. Hosts will still have the Disconnect button.
The Final Step to create your conference is to click Ok and you may send out your optional Email Invitations before joining.
- The invitations panel is used for meetings either at a future date or ones you are about to create. It pulls the parameters you set in the previous screen and places them in an email with a link to your meeting.
- Click the To: Button to add recipients to your recipients list, these can be added by hand or added from your Contacts Manager list that you may propagate ahead of time beforehand. To add contacts to your Contacts Manager you can add them from this screen, or add them to the Contacts Manager by clicking on the Options button in the upper left of your screen as the Host.
- You may send as a BCC if you do not wish that your Guests can see the other participants invited to this meeting by checking Send to Recipients as BCC.
- You can also send the invitation out in a format that allows the Guest to add it as a calendar item by checking Send as Calendar Event. This is compatible with Outlook, Gmail etc.
- The contents of this invite can be adjusted to your tastes and specific needs in the main body section, simply adjust or add text and change as needed.
- Lastly you may also send Host login instructions to the email in the field at the bottom by checking the checkbox accordingly. This is useful if you are simply creating the meeting for someone else or if you wish to have another Host login to this meeting.
- Once you click Ok your emails will be sent out and your conference will be created. Alternatively you may also Skip this step if you do not wish to send out Email Invitations at this time, you may always opt to send them later from within the conference.
Joining a Meeting
- You can reuse any meeting you have held in the past by simply selecting it from this dropdown list and clicking the Join Meeting button. Meetings will retain all the parameters you originally set them up with, but do not store information or remember who attended last.
- Before you join, you will be able to configure your camera and microphone accordingly. Use Select Camera and Select Mic to setup and choose your respective devices before choosing or typing your Meeting Name and Your Name above.
[Note: A camera and Mic are not required to join a meeting, this screen is merely to help you set these up before you join where applicable]
To Continue: Skip to the Using Your Conference Section Below
Editing a Meeting
- To edit the parameters of a previously created meeting, click the Edit Meeting button. All the features below are optional, use them to enable optional features or disable features you don’t need.
- You may edit any meeting you have previously created from this screen. This includes General Settings, Advanced Settings, Audio Settings and User Options, all of which will be applied the next time you use this meeting.
- After you select the meeting to edit in the drop-down at the top (or you can type the name in the box to the left) simply click the appropriate section you wish to edit about this meeting.
Ending a Meeting
- To delete and remove a previously saved meeting from the Join Meeting List, click the End Meeting button. All meetings created will be saved under the account login they were created with until you delete them in this manner.
Editing the Host Options
- To edit the Host Options, click the Edit Host Options button in the upper left of your screen after you have logged in as a Host.
The Meeting Recording Feature.
- The Meeting Recording Feature allows you to create an archive of your meeting for use offline. The following components are recorded during your meeting: Host and Participant Video, Host and Participant VOIP Audio, Host and Participant Public Chat messages, ShowMyDesktop Presentations, Noteboard content and Whiteboard content.
- Recording are saved for a maximum of 30 days before being deleted.
- Recordings are limited to 3 hours.
- If all users leave the meeting the recording will stop automatically and may require up to 48 hours before it is available to download
- Utilities: You can download any of the additional items on your account from here. This includes the ShowMyDesktop Application, the SMD Highlighter Tool (Windows Users Only) as well as the Outlook Plugin Tool.
- The Outlook Meeting Addin Tool allows you to import your Contacts List from Outlook into your Contacts Manager lists, as well as create and/or join meetings.
- To use the Outlook Meeting Addin:
- Close Outlook, then Download or Run the file
- Once installed, you can access the Tool under the My Meetings dropdown in the upper left of your Outlook screen.
From the dropdown you are able to Join a Meeting, Create a Meeting and End a Meeting after you specify your Domain and Login Info under Settings. In addition you can upload your Contacts from Outlook into your Contacts Manager under your specific login Username/Password.
Meeting Room Functionality as a Host.
1) Meeting Info Box/Welcome: This box will hold the meeting name, default port setting and security protocol (SMTP).
2) Your Video Box: This is the default location for your video box when you enter the meeting. The video boxes, as well as the components below, are contained within the sidebar box. This sidebar can be minimized, as well as disconnected from the right hand side of the screen and moved around. Click the small
to hide the sidebar.
The sidebar will disappear, instead of showing in the normal space (illustrated in red below) it will be hidden from the conference area.
To float this panel and make it movable on the screen, click the icon shown in the upper right corner of the sidebar.
3) Audio Options: To use the VOIP capabilities of the meeting area, first choose the type of audio you expect to be using: Headset or Speakers.
- Headset: Acoustic Echo Cancellation operates in low-echo mode. This offers the least amount of echo cancellation but is also the least processor-intensive.
- Speakers > USB Mic: Auto echo cancellation operates in Half Duplex mode. In Half Duplex mode, only one party should speak at a time, as part of the echo-cancellation includes lowering the volume of other Users. Labeled USB Mic because USB microphones do NOT support Full Duplex mode. More processor intensive than Low-Echo (headset) mode.
- Speakers > Line/Built-In Mic: Auto echo cancellation operates in Full Duplex mode, which offers the highest quality of Echo Cancellation. Allows users to speak at once without lowering volume or producing echoes. Will NOT work with USB microphones; must be line-in or built-in. Requires the most processing power of the three options.
4) User List: This displays the current attendees in your conference including the Host(s).
5) Chat Area: Use this to text chat with attendees in your conference.
6) Functionality Buttons: These are your buttons to activate the functionality as a Host in the conference room.
Installing Show My desktop.
NOTE: In order to share your desktop with your Participants, you will need to have the ShowMyDesktop plug-in installed! To simply view the presentation, this installation is not required.
NOTE: Guests need to be given ShowMyDesktop Rights from within the User Rights section in the Host Options before they are able to see the Install ShowMyDesktop option in the conference room. (If you already have the ShowMyDesktop drivers installed, you do not need to go through the installation process again!)
Installing on Windows XP/Vista/7 – In Internet Explorer
- Click the Install ShowMyDesktop button to begin
- Click Install ShowMyDesktop again
- Simply click Run to start the application installer.
- It may prompt you with the following box, simply press Run again:
- Follow the installation instructions and continue below…
Installing on Windows XP/Vista/7 – In Mozilla Firefox
- Click the Install ShowMyDesktop button to begin:
- Then click Install ShowMyDesktop again
- Firefox users will need to save the file to the desktop and double click the icon ShowMyDesktop.msi to continue
- Simply follow the prompts through the installation process to install the Plugin. Then follow the installation instructions and continue below.
Installing on a Mac
- Join a meeting as a host and click on the Install ShowMyDesktop button.
- Click on the Install ShowMyDesktop button in the new window that opens.
- You will see the ShowMyDesktop zip file in the downloads manager and it will most likely be saved to the desktop. Double click on the ShowMyDesktop zip file.
- Once unzipped, you will have a new folder on your desktop called ShowMyDesktop. Open that folder and double click on the .dmg file
- Now the disk will be mounted and you should see two .pkg files. Double click on the ShowMyDesktop.pkg, NOT THE CLEANUP
- Follow the steps on the screen in order to install the ShowMyDesktop function.
- When finished, quit your web browser and reopen it.
Completing the installation and running SMD
- Once the installation is complete, click Finish.
- To activate the Show My Desktop, you must reload the meeting by simply clicking Reload Meeting.
You are now ready to share documents with others! Continue to the next section to learn how to use the Show My Desktop Plugin.
If for any reason you need to uninstall the Show My Desktop plug-in, perform the following steps:
- Go to the Add/Remove programs management console in the Control Panel.
- Scroll the list of installed applications until you find ShowMyDesktop
- Select the entry and click on Remove
- Reboot the system. The ShowMyDesktop application will be completely removed. After uninstalling the machine needs to be restarted so that all the driver entries are removed properly from the device manager.
Understanding the Different Versions
By default, ShowMyDesktop runs at a respectable 3 Frames Per Second (FPS) which can show most applications and objects. However, you can contact your Sales Representative and get more information about upgrading your version to either 7 or 10 FPS. Once you have uninstalled your old version of SMD and installed the upgraded 7/10 version, you will have to contact your sales representative to activate the following functionality: In order to have this option you need to contact your Sales Representative for more information.
Once the ShowMyDesktop has been installed and your computer rebooted, log into your account as a HOST and start a meeting to test.
- To Activate, select ShowMyDesktop from the buttons in the lower left corner of the screen (See Below)
ShowMyDesktop Options: Once you click the ShowMyDesktop… Button, you can now configure your presentation options to fit your presentation.
1) What to Show: You can choose how you would like the SMD to handle what is shown on the screen by choosing from the options here.
- Entire Screen: This will show the entire screen, everything YOU see, your attendees will see.
- Select Application: Select from a list of currently active applications running.
- Active Application: Show only the application you want, if you switch to another application the Screen sharing will pause until you come back to the original application.
- Other Device: Here you can display the camera in the area that the SMD would show your desktop.
2) Other Options: Screen Updates: You can choose between two different SMD modes depending on how much bandwidth you and your attendees expect to have available.
- Favor Sharpness: This will keep the screen as sharp as possible, but you may experience greater delay between movements.
- Favor Speed: This will include a specific function to optimize bandwidth. As you navigate between documents or screens, the screen will temporarily get less clear in an attempt to save bandwidth. Pausing movement for 1 second will increase the resolution again.
Other Options: Main Video Panel: Here you can select which participants video will show in the upper right corner of the screen during your presentation (defaults to the host of the meeting).
3) Other Options: Show All Attendees: Here you can select if the participants video boxes will be shown on the right corner of the screen during your presentation.
4) Other Options: Allow Fit to Screen: By checking this you are telling the system to stretch the presentation to fit into the viewers browser window. In other words, if the person viewing has a larger resolution than you, this will stretch it to fit their screen size. You can also it to be set by default by checking the box below.
5) Load Highlighter: If you want to draw/write over the top of your screen (like in Microsoft PowerPoint) then you can download and run the Highlighter Tool for use in your presentation. (SEE BELOW)
6) Start/Close: To start sharing your screen with the group, press the Start button. To return to the conference, press the Close button.
Once your presentation has started, you can pause or stop by clicking the pause/stop buttons on the right:
Running and Using the Highlighter Tool
If you want to draw/write over the top of your screen (like in Microsoft PowerPoint) then you can download and run the Highlighter Tool for use in your presentation. (NOTE: CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR MAC USERS) From the SMD Options box press the Load Highlighter Button and a small box will popup:
Simply click OK and Run to open the file, or save the .exe to your desktop and double click the icon to run.
You now have the following buttons:
1. Restore Mouse Cursor and reset tool
2. Freehand drawing tool (With line thickness selector below)
7. Write Text
8. Numeric Notation
9. HIDE transparency – to hide what you have drawn
10. Screenshot Tool
11. Clear all Highlighter drawings
12. Hide Desktop icons – you can then use your desktop as a virtual one-way blackboard to write freehand notes
13. Color wheel selector
b) Web Video Player
The FLV player allows you to stream a video from a URL with full sound and video to all participants at once.
Source URL: Enter a URL for a video file to play in your meeting.
Launch Host Video In New Browser Window: The video will open in a new browser window for the host.
Prerequisite I) The video must be in one of the following formats:
- .FLV – Flash Format
- .F4V – Flash Format
- .F4P – Flash Format
- .F4A – Flash Format
- .F4B – Flash Format
- .MOV – Standard Mac Output Format
- .MP4 – Other Codecs
- .M4V – Other Codecs
- .M4A – Other Codecs
- .3GP – Other Codecs
Prerequisite II) The video cannot be in a location like YouTube or any other website that does not have the full direct path to the video. The video file must reside in a location other than the local computer or from a website where the video is embedded. The file can be uploaded via FTP to a web server or uploaded to any location that would allow the full path to be propagated (e.g.: www.mywebserver.com/myvideo.flv)
PLEASE NOTE: onlinemeetingrooms.com does not endorse, nor support any of the third party websites or third party software mentioned in this article!
- If you have a video that is not in one of these formats, you will need to convert your video to one of these formats. The most common formats are FLV, MOV, and MP4. Here are some links for conversion software - http://www.rivavx.com/index.php?encoder&L=3 and http://www.flv-converter.org/ - once again, please note that these are pieces of software that are not in relation with nor supported by Onlinemeetingrooms.
- Once your file is in the correct format, you will need to upload the file somewhere on the internet.
- If you host your own website or have access to the company that does host your site, the best thing to do is to upload the video there. After all is said and done, you will have a direct hyperlink to your video. This is the hyperlink you would paste into the Web Video Player.
- If you do not want to host this video on your website, you will have to find another place to host it, as onlinemeetingrooms cannot play the video directly from your computer. Most websites that host FLV videos will charge a fee to do so, however if you have a photobucket account, you can also use them to host your FLV video, at no cost at the time this document was written. You can check out photobucket here - http://photobucket.com/ Once hosted, you will get a direct link to the video. Copy the link, delete the text “?action=view¤t=” from the direct link. Now you have a direct link to the file which you can paste into the Web Video Player window.
- To use photobucket, create an account and login.
- Create an account for Dropbox.
- Click on the Files tab.
- Click on Public folder and then Upload.
- The Noteboard can be used to collaborate with attendees in a text format.
- The Note Board can be edited by anyone inside the Meeting. Simply click Lock Noteboard to type into the box, then Unlock Noteboard when done.
- The following image illustrates all the text options you have simply by choosing them from the bottom portion of the Noteboard.
- You can collaborate in a visual format with the Whiteboard.
- The White Board allows you as the host to upload an image (JPG format only) into the background of the whiteboard that all attendees can add notes to using the tools on the right.
- Click Options to activate the options available to the Host.
- Click the Set Background button to upload an image
- Click the Fit Drawing Area to Window to fit this image into the box
- Click the Clear Whiteboard to clear the notes made
e) Survey Manager
1) Activate a Survey: Click here to Activate a previously created survey
1) Activate a Survey: Click here to Activate a previously created survey2) Activate a Poll
2) Activate a Poll
3) View the Results of a Survey:
(This option only is applicable if you have recording purchased for this account. If you wish to enable recording please contact your sales representative).
- If recording is enabled on your account, you can turn the recording off/on from this button. The unique recording feature within the meeting enables you to record any feed in the meeting, allowing you to replay the meeting inside a browser again at a later time.
- You can change the position of single attendees or the entire group from the Video Layout.
- Tile: Set the videos in tiled order
- Horizontal: Sets the videos in horizontal order
- Fit: Fits all videos into available screen size
- PIP: Short for Picture in Picture, this is a great setting for one-on-one meetings. It allows you to have one large camera image and one smaller image inside the larger camera image.
- Order: This affects the Host’s view only and not the view of those attending the Meeting.
- Alphabetical Order: This option will organize the attendees alphabetically by user name.
- Custom Order: Define the order you wish the videos to appear in the room. Click Custom Order then Edit Custom Order
- Connection Order: This is the default option. It will organize the attendees based on the order in which they entered the Meeting.
- No Video Windows: This option will remove all video feeds from the room. It will not remove any attendees, only their video windows.
- Use Transition Animations Checkbox: Uncheck this to disable the transitional animations shown when changes are made.
- Broadcast Video Size and Position*
- Broadcast Interface allows the host to control the size and placement of the video windows that all attendees see in the meeting room. Once in place, the attendees cannot alter these settings.
To set, adjust the size and placement of the Host video windows as desired, then click Enable Now. The Enable Now button will change to Disable Now. To release, click Disable Now. All attendees windows will revert to their original settings.
Audio / Video Settings
- Click this to turn on or off your webcam and microphone as well as adjust sound levels and choose other devices.
Exit the Application
- Logs you out completely as Guest or Host.
- To allow the Feedback List, choose Show Feedback Options. Your guests will see the Select Feedback drop down menu on their screens.
- Tell your guests to use the Select Feedback drop down menu to give non verbal responses during the meeting.
- Look at the user list to see which users are giving what feedback.
- Clear Feedback to remove the icons from the user list.
- Kick Attendee allows the host to disconnect one of the guests from the meeting.