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What virtual event emcees should know about breakout rooms (2 min) | Warwick Merry, CSP, CVP

According to expert virtual emcee Warwick Merry, CSP, CVP, breakout rooms are the most overlooked, most powerful tool going for creating connection.

Need some ideas? Check out this two-minute excerpt of Warwick's #ThoughtLeaderConversation with V2’s Head of Strategy Roger Courville, CSP.


Sponsor: V2, LLC -- expert virtual and hybrid event production,  

Host: Roger Courville, CSP,   



[00:00:00] Roger Courville, CSP:  Talk to me about breakout rooms. You mentioned loving breakout rooms and I know you've used the I word interaction more times than I count, so go for it.

[00:00:09] Warwick Merry, CSP, CVP: Yeah. Look, and this is the thing, breakout rooms, it's, I am stunned like we have been using. I mean, I've been using Zoom well before the pandemic kicked in, and then when it kicked in and Zoom continued to evolve and not just Zoom, but also teams and everything else that runs on it stuns me to this day.

And it was just, I think it was a couple of weeks ago, I was running a session and people had never been into breakout rooms before. And I'm like, I know. How can you not? How can you do? Like, these things are so cool because you can do things like put three or four people in a room and so they can chat to each other.

They can share screen, they can draw on whiteboards, they can do some really basic stuff that even technophobes can do things even. You can draw on a bit of paper and hold it up to the camera, like you can interact to get your ideas across and your voice gets heard. And I think this is really important when it comes particularly to online events.

People want to be heard, and so you can do that. Then come back to the main room, grab three or four different ideas that have come out of it. And share that with the masses and then continue to move on. So it's a great way for everyone to be part of the event, be heard, learn from, and, and connect and do that networking stuff as well.

I'm always encouraging people, you know, cut and paste your LinkedIn profile thing in there so we can connect to each other while you're in that breakout rooms, that kind of thing. What I don't like, and I see this a lot and some Some, some speakers do this and they, they like, oh, I've heard I must do an interaction.

Right? Here's a poll, here's a breakout room, here's a whatever. And then when they come back, they just move on. They do nothing with it. I'm like, what the heck? I know, right? It's like you've asked me to do and you've done nothing with it. So why did I do that? So this is, you know, it's like they're a great tool and you've gotta do something with it.

Like, you know, and it'll be like having a word cloud going, Hey everyone, go to the word cloud and put how you feel today. And they're not showing anyone. They're not going, oh yeah, someone's feeling. It'll be excited, someone's a bit scared. No need to be scared. Have another coffee. Get your anxiety up, or you'll be fine.

Let's keep going. You know? So it's just, you've gotta be able to use it or at least refer to it or do something with it. Otherwise it's a waste of time.


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