What is Autocasting for Presentation Apps?

Available on all plans

Autocasting for Microsoft PowerPoint allows presenters to present a Pigeonhole session slide on PowerPoint and automatically redirect attendees who have joined the Pigeonhole or are in a specific track to the same session on their mobile devices. This essentially allows attendees to be on the same page as the Presenter and prevents attendees from being lost or being distracted from the presented session. 

Note: Autocasting is only available on PowerPoint. For manual casting of session groups outside of PowerPoint, refer to:

Autocasting also only affects the Audience Web App and does not redirect the users on the Admin Panel, Moderator Panel, Projector Panel and Kiosk.

Learn more about using Pigeonhole Live in PowerPoint

How does autocasting work?

Autocasting in presentation mode

Upon launching presentation mode in PowerPoint, autocasting will become active when the presentation is on a Pigeonhole Live session slide.  The following table details the types of slides presented and when autocasting will be active:

Slide that is presented Autocasting Effect on Audience Web App
A Pigeonhole Q&A, poll, quiz or survey Active Affected attendees will be redirected to presented session
Pigeonhole Join Instructions Inactive No effect on attendees
Regular non-Pigeonhole Live slide Inactive No effect on attendees

Types of autocasting

There are two types of autocasting - Track autocasting and Pigeonhole autocasting. 

Track autocasting

Track autocasting occurs when a Pigeonhole Live session WITH a track is being presented in a PowerPoint.

  • Attendees who will be redirected: those currently in any sessions within the same track on the Audience Web App. 
  • This means that attendees on the Agenda, other sessions without tracks, and sessions belonging to other tracks will remain unaffected by the presenter’s cast within the track, and will remain in their current session on their Audience Web App 

This is useful for allowing concurrent presentations by different speakers to take place across different tracks within a multi-track event. 

Pigeonhole autocasting

Pigeonhole autocasting occurs when a Pigeonhole Live session WITHOUT a track assigned to it is being presented.

  • Attendees who will be redirected: All attendees in the Pigeonhole on their Audience Web app, including those in the Agenda. 

This is great for when you want to redirect all attendees in a Pigeonhole to a combined session, for example, at an event where the final keynote speaker uses a Pigeonhole Q&A session in their talk. Pigeonhole autocasting is also suitable for normal single-audience presentations where it is desirable to move all attendees across the presentation without diverting them to tracks. 

Note: We highly recommend that presenters do not mix sessions with tracks and without tracks in a single presentation - the mix of track autocasting and Pigeonhole autocasting may make for a disjointed attendee experience. For example, when a presenter presents a slide with Pigeonhole casting moves to a slide with track casting, the attendees would not be redirected seamlessly (they would need to scan the QR code that is projected on the Projector Panel to join the session. However, if this is the desired flow, then the organiser is free to mix sessions with tracks and without in the presentation.)

Learn more about tracks in How to Use Tracks for Your Event

Autocasting vs Manual casting

Autocasting occurs only within PowerPoint and affects either all attendees in a Pigeonhole or within a track, depending on whether a session has a track assigned to it. Autocasting is active automatically when the presenter is currently presenting a Pigeonhole Live Q&A, poll, or survey slide on  PowerPoint, and becomes inactive when the presenter is presenting a non-Pigeonhole Live slide. No other action is required to redirect attendees. 

This can be useful for cases where Presenters have a set group of audience members, and want to have interactive sessions within their presentations, like having Quizzes, or to hold a Poll and discuss Poll results.

Manual Casting
Manual casting on the other hand is made active by clicking the cast button on the Admin Panel or within the host’s interface on Zoom, Webex or Teams. The affected attendees are only attendees from within the casted session’s session group i.e. parent and nested sessions. This is true regardless of whether or not a track has been assigned to a session that is manually casted. 

This is most useful for events where presentations like Google Slides or using PowerPoint might not be used. Larger events, where the event coordinators are more likely to have team members to help handle different screens, might also appreciate the finer control that manual casting offers. 

Autocasting Override Behaviours

There are certain override behaviours when two presenters attempt to cast and redirect overlapping attendees at the same time. The behaviours are as follows:

New Presenter's Casting Scope
Original presenter’s autocast scope Pigeonhole Track
Pigeonhole Will redirect attendees No effect
Track Will redirect attendees Will redirect attendees

For example, if the Original presenter was autocasting a slide/session that used Pigeonhole autocasting, and a New presenter presented another slide from the same Pigeonhole using Pigeonhole autocasting as well, then all attendees in the Pigeonhole would be redirected to the New presenter’s session (including the Original presenter’s attendees.) Essentially an autocast of the same level by a new presenter would override the autocast by the Original presenter. Audience members would then be following the New presenter’s Pigeonhole sessions in their Audience Web App. 

The track level autocast is lower in hierarchy and therefore would not be able to redirect attendees currently redirected using the Pigeonhole autocast. Thus, tracks would be a good way to ensure redirecting of attendees within tracks only if multiple concurrent presentations are required. 

Note: If a session is manually casted from within the Admin panel, it is the lowest level of cast in the casting hierarchy and so will have its attendees redirected to a session using Track or Pigeonhole autocasting. This also means that when a session is being Pigeonhole or Track autocasted, a manual cast on the Admin Panel for that session will not be available until the autocast has ended. 

Here manual casting of the session is disabled because that session is currently being autocasted