Like all of Lync’s services, chat rooms underwent a change going from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013. Group Chat, a basic saved-chat-room function, grew into Persistent Chat, a stronger and more tightly-integrated tool.

I covered Group Chat in 2011, in my “20 Tasks Every Lync Administrator Should Know” series. Persistent Chat got a two-part overview in May: What it is and how you use it (Part 1), and 8 potential uses for chat logs (Part 2).

There’s one thing I didn’t cover in all this. The Auditorium Chat Room.

Auditorium Chat is an “e-Podium”

In Persistent Chat Part 1, I pointed out an important distinction between IM conversations and Persistent Chat Rooms: IM is private, while Persistent Chat is not (by default).

Auditorium Chat takes this one further.

In a Chat Room set to Auditorium Mode, only certain users (listed as Presenters) can post messages. All others just read what the Presenter says. Once the chat is done, it’s saved like all other chat room logs.

Remember attending lectures at school? The professor stands at a chalkboard or a podium and teaches everyone in the audience?

Same principle. It’s just done through Lync.

Uses for Auditorium Chat Rooms

There are as many uses for an Auditorium Chat Room as there are for normal chat rooms. However, an Auditorium Chat is best used when you have a structured presentation to give.

Also, consider these two factors:

  1. The primary function of Lync Chat Rooms is to create a lasting reference. Instant Messaging is great for on-the-fly conversation; a chat room log, you’d want to keep for others to check later on.
  2. Persistent Chat logs can be set to Open, Closed or Secret.

We can identify certain roles using these factors…types of presentations well-suited to Auditorium Chat mode. Here’s a few examples.

Auditorium/Open: Announcements, Company Seminars/Training
Auditorium/Closed: Internal Documentation, Project Management
Auditorium/Secret: Change Log, PR Talking Points

How to Create Auditorium Chat Rooms

Auditorium chat is available in both 2010’s Group Chat and 2013’s Persistent Chat.

How to create them in Lync Server 2010: Setting Who Can Post Messages in an Auditorium Chat Room

How to create them in Lync Server 2013: TechNet OR Lync Condition Blog

Quick Tip:  A normal chat room may be changed to Auditorium mode in its “Manage Rooms” options. But creating fresh chat rooms for Auditorium presentations is simpler.

Have you used an Auditorium Chat Room? For what purpose?

Auditorium Chat Rooms: How to Use Lync's Built-in Podium
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