by monger


May 16, 2007

Discovering Templates

Today we’ll take a look at the best way to use meeting templates with Acrobat Connect Pro. Just like an email template or spreadsheet template, meeting templates are a powerful tool that can save you time when you create multiple meetings based off the same design or layout scheme. Before I get into how to effectively use templates, let’s take a look at how to create one.
As a regular user, you have the ability to create your own personal meeting template. In fact, it’s so easy, you can create a template from any of your existing meetings. The only thing you need to do is move one of your existing meetings into your “My Templates” folder. Done. See how easy that is? Suppose you don’t have a meeting that is worthy to create a template from. Start from scratch and create a new meeting. Before we start creating our template, let’s take a look at what information a template stores.
Layouts, pods, and most contents and room information are preserved in the template, including the following:
* Layouts with name, order, and starting (selected) status
* Pods with name, size, position, and settings for full-screen toggle
* Pod content
* Page number in FlashPaper and position of the seek bar in Flash Video (FLV file)
* Whiteboard overlay contents
* Poll state (Prepare, Open, Close), questions, answers, and broadcast results
* Questions and answers, Chat pod link, and status (Open, Answered, All)
* Text in Notes pod
* Camera and voice settings
* Room on hold (Yes, No)
* Value for guest entry
* Messages to be displayed to users when a meeting is on hold or ended
* Room background, screen resolution, and bandwidth
* Presenter Only area status
So, in effect, almost anything you put in your meeting room including content, notes, layouts, pod locations, etc will be there when you create a new meeting from a template. Cool – huh?
Another great feature about templates, is that once you make a template, you can always go back and change it or tweak some things. We all misspell things or forget content.
To create a template, create a new meeting (or modify and existing one) and create all the layouts and pods that you want to have in your template. Also, the template will remember what layout you left off on, and what status the meeting was on (On hold, block users, open, etc) After your template meeting is finished, simply move the meeting into your template folder. Next time you create a new meeting, you will have the option to choose that template from the template pulldown menu.
If you think this is a template that everybody would benefit from, ask your account administrator to move it into the shared templates folder.
To give you some ideas on how templates can best be used, here are some ways we use templates at Adobe.
1. We use Acrobat Connect with our large meeting rooms, and we frequently integrate the voice and camera pod with these meetings. Because they are large meetings, more of the focus is on slides and other content than chat/polls/etc. We’ve created a template that reflects this focus and also has renamed some of the pods and layouts – instead of the “chat” pod, it’s called “questions for the presenter”
2. A while ago, our Knowledge worker business unit asked us to create a template for their sales staff. This template not only has content specific layouts, but it also has all the relevant content included in all the appropriate layouts. This content includes a custom background, videos, presentations, and PDF’s in the file sharing pod. It’s basically a virtual starter kit for our sales staff when they have to create a connect meeting room for a customer.
3. We conduct over 50 eSeminars a month, and many of them are new topics. To make creating these rooms easy, we’ve created a template that has specific layouts according to our eSeminar flow. We’ve also created polling questions that we ask in every eSeminar. That alone saves us the time from cutting and pasting polling questions 50 times a month!
Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to create templates and how to use them effectively.

Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform, powering complete solutions for web meetingseLearning, and webinars, on any device.