About the Focus Module – for Online Focus Groups and IDIs

Host online focus groups and in-depth interviews (IDIs)  within CMNTY Platform. Automatically transcribe recorded sessions, bookmark important moments for later analysis and filter on sentiment.

The Focus module offers a seamless location to organize online video sessions with members of your platform. With Focus, moderatos can meet through video with their members, while observers have the ability to observe the session, without members seeing their presence.

Schedule a Focus Session

Focus sessions are easily created by accessing the Admin through the “key” icon in the top-right of the menu or through the Schedule a session button on the Focus overview page.

Sessions can be scheduled in Activities > Focus allowing you to prepare newsletters and platform content to invite users to join your live session.

If you do not have access, reach-out to your Customer Success Manager to discuss adding Focus to your platform.

In Settings, you can decide to include Moderators and Screen & Video Sharing in the recording. By default these settings are turned Off, so update if desired and select Save.

Scheduling a Focus session allows you to set the Language (if using multiple languages), turn on Recording, enable Transcribing and set the Transcription Language, set the Duration, Schedule when the session starts, and segment the session to any User Groups.

Assign the session to your target group or create a user group with selecting New Group. Set the Group Name and add the Participants for the new user group the select Create Group.

Once a session is created, you can Copy Meeting URLDownload Calendar Invite, and Send Invite, to email users with access to the session an invite which includes the calendar event.

Send Invite will only send invites once to each attendee, so if any new members are added to the platform or user group, use the feature to send those users an invite, which includes automatic reminders sent 1 hour and 15 minutes before the session. Additional reminders can be sent through the Newsletter.

From the Focus page, all users will see an overview of Current and Scheduled sessions. As a Community Manager, there is a button to schedule a new session.

Before joining a Focus session, users can confirm their settings using Test Audio and Video. When joining a Focus session, users will configure their microphone and video settings.

Attendees can join a session 15 minutes before the scheduled start date to enter a waiting room until a moderator arrives. Once a Community Manager joins, the session goes live and everyone is entered into the session.

Focus allows for up to 16 video streams, up to 250 audio streams, and 1 screen share. Focus sessions end when no audio stream is detected after 5 minutes or fewer than two audio connections are present in the session for more than 30 minutes.

Transcripts of recordings are available for review in Pulse and take the duration of the session to be processed.


Waiting Room

We offer a waiting room that allows moderators to approve attendees as they enter Focus. Attendees will have to wait for moderators to approve their attendance before joining the session. 

Waiting room is an option you can turn on or off when setting up or during your focus session. 

When you enable the waiting room, participants will have to wait to be approved by a moderator. Both visible and hidden moderators can approve participants and let them in.

Moderators can decide to disable or enable the waiting room during the session. They can allow everyone in or decide who to allow to enter the session one by one. 


When entering a session, Moderators can select their Visibility as Public, shown in the grid, or Hidden, in the backroom. Moderators can edit these settings as throughout the meeting.

To moderate the conversation effectively, Community Managers can Mute or Remove users from the session. Once a user is removed, they cannot rejoin the Focus session, so be sure when removing a user you want them out of the session entirely.

Observers are invisible to members and cannot connect their audio or video, allowing a true observer experience.

Features in the Focus session

Community Managers and Observers can discuss any updates using the Backroom Chat. Members can share any questions using the General Chat, which is available for Observers to monitor as well.

Members can Raise Hand to show their response to a poll asked in the session or to show they want to speak.

Community Managers can start a Whiteboard session. Each member can draw with their cursor in the session and will show a different color. The sessions can be cleared, if you need a fresh whiteboard.

Only Community Managers will be able to share their screen, though only one screen share is allowed at a time. If sharing videos, the video file can be uploaded beforehand in Video Sharing in Publish by selecting Add Video.

Community Managers can also present Polls to members in a Focus session. Polls can be set-up beforehand in Focus > Poll in Publish.

In the session, select the Poll to present, then decide if you want to present the results to your members.

Privacy & Security

All video and audio streams are handled by AWS. Platform access to video chats is set by using unique IDs for each session, which are stored within the database of platforms. The region the session is being ran in depends on the location of the server the platform is hosted on.

Ending a Session

When finished with your Focus call, it is best to choose to end the session using the End Meeting option when leaving Focus. Sessions can run up to 30 minutes after all users leave the session if not ended by an admin. To save time and prevent participants from joining an ended session, choose to end the session when finished. 

Recording & Transcripts

All Focus sessions can be reviewed in Analyze by selecting the Qualitative AnalysisFocus section from the left menu. When reviewing sessions, you will see a red dot indicating recorded sessions, which will have a transcript included. 

Recordings and transcripts can be downloaded through the buttons at the top of the page. Transcripts can be edited or bookmarked by hovering over the specific speaker’s dialogue and selecting the corresponding icon.

Moments saved during the sessions are available for creating clips. Polls and Whiteboard results are available for review in Pulse after the session.