I just ran my first Zoom event with breakout rooms. Overall, it’s a useful and usable feature. There are a number of thoughtful details, like the countdown to return people to the main room and the various indicators of who is assigned to which room and whether or not they are in it.
There is one behavior that puzzles me. IxDA Pittsburgh was kicking off its first mentorship cohort, and we had 17 mentor/mentee pairs. I had to create 17 breakout rooms and assign the correct pair to each one. Zoom allows you to create the rooms at any point, so I got on early, and I started assigning participants to rooms while they were still in the waiting room. I thought I would have most of them assigned before we even started the event. However, when I allowed everyone to join, and they moved from the waiting room to the main room, all of the breakout room assignments disappeared. I had to start all over again.
I don’t know if that’s a really bad oversight or if there is a use case I’m not thinking of for which that behavior is desired. I wasn’t happy about it, at any rate.
It also lost the room assignment as a participant dropped off the call and then came back. It would be nice if it were smart enough to recognize participants and reestablish the room assignment automatically.