Creating a Live Chat

A live chat is a real-time chat room that can be used to organize a focus group to discuss different topics. Live chats are organized and moderated in real-time to have an in-depth qualitative discussion withan intimate group of community members.

Creating a Live Chat

  1. Navigate to the Live Chats tab in Activities:
  2. To create a new Live Chat, click the “+” button on the left-hand side of the screen.

1: Live Chat Details

  1. Add a Title and Description. The Description will display on the Live Chat Landing Page. This is where members can RSVP for the live chat.
    Member view of the Live Chat Landing Page


    Live Chats can only be accessed via desktop or laptop computer. Members will NOT be able to participate from a mobile device.

    We recommend emphasizing this to members both in the Live Chat Description and in any relevant email communications.

  2. Image or Video: You can also add an image or video to display on the Landing Page. This media will display along with the Description.
  3. Add to Topic: By default, Live Chats are added to “Live Chat” category, but you can also choose to add the Live Chat to one or more Topics. Select any Topics you want to add the Live Chat to.
  4. Live Chat Options: To help moderator and clients stand out during a live chat from members, you can choose a default background color that will display for all moderators and clients.
    • During the live chat, you can manually change the background color per individual moderator or client if you would like any mod/clients to stand out from the others.
  5. Activity Card Options: Similar to other activities, you can set your Activity Card options, which includes the activity card image, featured image, featured button call-to-action, and activity card description. Set these accordingly.
  6. Session Ended Message: Provide a Title and Description, which will display to members after the live chat has ended.
  7. Session Full Message: You can set a maximum number of members that can join the live chat. If a maximum is set, you can enter Title and Description for a message that would display to members who attempt to join the live chat once the maximum has been reached.

    When many members attempt to join a live chat session simultaneously, the actual number of members allowed into the session may exceed the maximum you set.To account for this, we would recommend setting your maximum number 2-3 members lower than your actual desired maximum.

  8. Be sure to select Save & Continue.

2: Steps

Steps are how we describe different sections or events in the live chat. You can choose to add a Text Prompt Step, a Poll Step, or a Media Step. During the live chat, the chat happens on the right hand side of the screen, while the left hand side of the screen is reserved for displaying the steps.

Text Step

A text step is just like it sounds – a piece of text that can be displayed to members. This is useful for content that members should be able to refer back to (like a set of questions) or a welcome message.

Member view of text step

Poll Step

A poll step is an imported Qualtrics or Alchemer survey for short surveys to be taken during the live chat.


Please note that only members will be able to see the actual survey questions in a poll step. Moderators will see a blank screen in its place as pictured below.

Member view of poll step
Moderator view of poll step

Media Step

A media step is any media displayed to members during the live chat. This could be an image or video you uploaded, a YouTube video, or a PowerPoint presentation.

Member view of media step

3: Invite

You can either invite all community members or select invitees. If you choose to invite select invitees, you can either invite a group or individual members. Groups must be created before you can select them here. (Related articles: Dynamic Groups, Static Groups)

4: Schedule

You have two dates to schedule – your Post Date and your Session Start Date.

  1. Your Post Date is the date and time that your content will appear in the community and be available to members to view.
  2. The Session Start Date is the day and time of your live chat. Members who RSVP for the event are able to add a calendar item to Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Hotmail Calendar, or iCal Calendar, so be sure to put the correct date down!
  3. Select Save and Exit. You’re all set!

Automatic Live Chat Emails

Members who RSVP to your live chat will automatically receive the following System Emails:

  • Live Chat Reminder: This email sends to community members who RSVP with “Yes” or “Maybe” to a Live Chat.  This email will send both 24 hours and 1 hour before the scheduled live chat will begin.
  • Live Chat RSVP Confirmation: This email sends to community members immediately after they RSVP with “Yes” or “Maybe” to a Live Chat.

You can view and customize these emails in the platform under Comm Center > System.

Copying a Live Chat

Copying an existing live chat will duplicate all of its text, settings, and steps (including media and polls).  Simply go to the “Actions” dropdown menu and select “Copy”:

Copy a live chat
Updated on October 5, 2021

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