EBS: Conference Notification Types & Best Practices

When creating a Conference Notification, either to send now, scheduled for later, recurring or via a notification template there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make this the best user experience as possible.

It is important to understand that there is always the chance for a connection anomaly and users must be prepared to take secondary action. Because of situations outside Everbridge or your control (e.g., mobile signal strength), we cannot assume that every contact path will always work every time. This is why Everbridge provides and encourages a multiple-modality contact means and strategy.

The multi modal mindset should stress:

  • Set your delivery order for:
    1. Text Path (e.g., SMS text)
    2. Text Path (e.g., email)
    3. Voice Path (e.g., mobile phone)
    4. Voice Path (e.g., business phone)
  • Ensure that the interval between delivery methods is “1” (minute)

Why do we recommend attempting text paths first? By delivering conference call information to text paths first we provide the necessary information for a user to manually call in which will almost always be relevant to at least one if not more attempted contacts.

If we call and make a connection to a voice path first (mobile phone as an example) with no text for the call in information and the participant gets cut off (dropped call, bad reception) the recipients are left without the Conference Call details. If the recipients have already received the call in information via text paths they can quickly access that information and call back in.

A standard user best practice for the targeted audience should also include information such as "if you are contacted for an emergency conference call, join the bridge and are not joined within 60 seconds by other participants you should access your SMS or email and attempt a manual call in." This may be reinforced via the body in the conference notification message body and/or during and after training and prior to or during test notifications.

Conference Bridge Types

Conference notifications can support various types of conference bridges. The types available to your organization will depend on the features included in your contract.

NOTE: Please contact your Account Manager if you would like to use a conference bridge type that you currently do not have access to.

Currently, Everbridge offers three types of conference bridges:

Standard Conference Bridge

  • Available within the Mass Notification and Incident Communications products.
  • Everbridge-provided dial-in number.
    • Note that in the United States, some telephone operators may charge additional usage fees for calling phone numbers used for conferencing. Contacts will need to inquire with their telephone operator to determine if they will be charged additional fees for calling into the Everbridge-provided dial-in number. You can find your Standard Conference phone number in your Organization Settings > Notifications > Conference Bridges > Everbridge Conference Bridge [X].
  • Support for up to 96 contacts to join the conference.
  • Contacts are prompted to enter an access code after dialing into the conference bridge.

Custom Conference Bridge

  • Available within the Mass Notification and Incident Communications products.
  • For clients who have their own conferencing service and want to integrate it with the Everbridge platform.
  • Support for up to 250 contacts to join the conference.
  • Contacts are prompted to enter an access code after dialing in to the custom conference bridge.

Smart Conference Bridge

  • Available only within the Incident Communications product.
  • Support for up to 250 contacts to join the conference (249 if recording enabled).
  • Secure Conferencing - Only contacts with allowed caller ID will be allowed to join the conference.
  • Contacts don't need to enter an access code after dialing in; will be joined into conference automatically based on caller ID validation..

Conference Call Etiquette

Everbridge provides four default conference bridge Lines with four unique access codes to a non-hosted Conference Call Center.

As each person is placed into these conference bridges, the parties online will hear the joining “tone”. It is recommended that all parties self-mute until the organizer joins and requests a roll call:

  • Non-speakers should keep themselves "muted".
  • Recipients should not place themselves on hold as the hold music will be heard by all of the recipients.
  • Speakerphones should be used with discretion; outside noises may be picked up and are distracting.
  • Phones that are in use in close proximity of each other should be muted so that there are minimal chances for reverberation and other outside noises.
  • The maximum number of participants for Custom and Smart Conference Bridges is 250; Standard Conference Bridges have a maximum of 96 participants. Custom Conference Bridges must be able to support up to 250 participants.
  • All notification recipients are on the Smart Conference participant list and can join the conference provided the conference has not reached its participant limit.
  • The maximum number of concurrent conference bridges in play is 50 (simultaneously).

Clients may choose to use their own conference bridges to take advantage of the Conference notifications. Clients need to note the behavior when calling their bridge lines so that the parameters for dialing the access codes etc., are configured correctly via the conference bridge wizard.

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