How to Create, Launch and End Breakout Groups

One of our most exciting features is the ability to create breakout groups in the CircleSpace™️. This step-by-step guide will explain how to sort your participants from your main session into the subgroups you want and to send them on their way to the breakout circles.

Breakouts are created, launched, monitored and ended from the breakouts panel in the Tools menu of the CircleSpace™️. To open the breakouts panel, click on the Tools button at the top right of the room, above the agenda space, and select ‘Facilitator Tools’. Then select ‘Create Breakouts…’

Now that you have the breakouts panel open, you can begin to sort your participants. You can do this by either automatically assigning them to breakout groups, or by intentionally assigning each participant to a particular group.
To place participants at random into groups, click the ‘Auto-Assign to Breakouts‘ button on the bottom left side of the panel. You will then be asked how many groups you wish to create, and whether you would like to include yourself in a breakout. The number of groups available to create depends on how many participants are in the room. You can even include Circle members, who are still absent (for example, when you know they will be arriving shortly). Upon arriving, they will be redirected to the breakout directly.

Your name will always appear first, then you will see the present members, whose initials are in blue circles, and below them the absent members, whose initials are in white circles (e.g. Bart de Vocht in the above image). If you prefer to see only the present members, you can hide absent members from the list by selecting the option “Hide Absent Members” in the three dots menu next to “People” on top (see image below).

If you want to intentionally sort your participants, simply start dragging participants into the breakout group section, or create a group by clicking ‘Add Breakout Group‘ on the bottom right of the panel. With this second option, you’ll be asked to name the group, and from there all you have to do is click and drag the participants you want to place in each group.

If you make a mistake or want to get rid of the groups you have already created, simply click the ‘Clear All‘ button at the bottom of the panel (see image below). You can also click and drag participants out of a group again in order to remove them from the group or to drag them to another group.

When you have created a breakout group, you may wish to edit it (renaming, clearing it of participants, or deleting it altogether). Click the three dots menu on the right of each group to do so.

The ‘Rename Group‘ button will open the text editor where you can type in a different name for your group.
Clicking the ‘Clear Group’ button will remove all participants from that group and return them to the People list on the left.
Finally, you can delete a group entirely by clicking ‘Delete Group’.

When you have completed filling the groups and are ready to launch the breakouts, all you need to do is click ‘Start Breakout Session‘. This will immediately send each participant to with the assigned group into a separate room.

To end your breakouts and call people back into the main group, click ‘End Breakout Session’. This will send a message to the participants in the breakouts to come back to the main room.

When in the breakout room, participants can click ‘Return to the Session’ when they are finished to come back to the main room.

Once you have sent people to breakouts, you can monitor them. Head over to How to Monitor Breakouts in Progress to learn more!

How to Monitor Breakouts in Progress

So you’ve sent participants into separate breakout circles, and now you want to keep an eye on the circles and be able to communicate with them. With the ‘Monitor Breakouts’ function on our breakout panel, you’ll be able to do just that from the breakouts dashboard. Be aware though that you’ll only be able to use this feature if you’re not included in the breakouts. Read on to find out how it works.

Opening the Breakouts Dashboard

  1. Once you’ve assigned breakouts groups and sent them on their way using the ‘Breakouts’ button found in the ‘Advanced’ section of the settings menu, you’ll notice the ‘Monitor Breakouts’ button on the bottom left. Clicking this will open the breakouts dashboard in a separate tab. Note that you won’t be able to monitor breakouts if you assign yourself to one.

Monitoring Your Breakout Circles

  1. On this new page the first thing you’ll see is the overview of the groups in the breakout circles, represented by circles on the top left of the page. Each circle will show sections that ‘light up’, each representing a participant in each group.
  1. If a breakout circle needs your assistance, they can press the bell at the top left of their circle. You’ll get a notification on the bottom left of the dashboard, and an orange bell icon will also appear in the middle of the circle requesting your presence. To enter the circle, click the arrow icon just below and to the right of the bell.
  1. Do you want to communicate with the breakouts groups? You can send a message to all groups from the dashboard in the ‘Broadcast Message’ section, and they’ll see it in the chat box on the bottom left of their circle. However, you won’t see any messages that the groups write in their chat box.