If you ever need to join a meeting without the participants in the call knowing you are there, it's not too difficult. It can be useful if you're in an unsuitable place to meet, but you still want to listen in on the meeting. It's also useful for supervising new sales or customer success employees while they are being trained.

What is shadowing?

Shadowing a call means that you can only listen to a call. You will not be heard or seen by others. Only the host and other colleagues within your Demodesk organization will know that you are listening to the call.

Steps to shadow a call

1. Find all upcoming meeting links by colleagues under Meetings > Upcoming Meetings > All Team members.

2. Click on the meeting link and type in your name as you would when joining any meeting normally. Here, you can enable shadowing by clicking the Join as a shadow button. Your screen should look like this:

3. Click Join meeting.

4. Now you are connected to the meeting as a shadow. Only the host and other colleagues with a Demodesk account will know you are there. If you want to join the meeting, you can click the join meeting button in the bottom bar.

Preplanned shadowing

  • If a meeting is not live or about to start (i.e. shown in the live tile), one can create a reminder to shadow a meeting:

    • For oneself: Everyone can add oneself as a preplanned shadow.

    • For others: Only the host and admins can create a shadowing reminder for others.

  • The calendar event is a separate event, so external participants cannot see internal participants.

  • The event is created on the calendar of the host, so they see who plans on shadowing. All further shadows will be added to the same calendar event.

  • Currently, the shadow event is not automatically updated if the main event is rescheduled (coming soon).

  • The link in the event will automatically enable the shadow option in the audio onboarding (through a URL parameter)

Automated updating of shadowing events

If the main Event changes, the shadowing event will be adjusted accordingly. Here's what's going to happen:

  • Synced properties: Demo basics like date/time changes, duration, name, ... (via dashboard, customer booking, backsync).

  • Handover (via dashboard): we delete the old shadow event and create a new one in the new host's calendar.

  • A general known limitation: When changing the event, we also change the response status of participants to "needs action / no response".

DISCLAIMER: The following feature is currently in Beta testing

Instant shadowing

  • Live meetings are shown on the "Scheduled by me" and "All team members" tab

  • The all team members tab is accessible by everyone (both permissions, admin and user).

  • The number indicates how many meetings are running and starting within the next 15 minutes at a specific moment.

  • Live tiles show live and upcoming meetings (starting within the next 15 minutes):

  • The image shows the slide currently shown in the meeting.

  • When hovering over a live tile, users can shadow the meeting, and see the slide progress as well as the time that has passed.

  • The link in the event will automatically enable the shadow option in the audio onboarding (through a URL parameter).


Q: Are we allowed to shadow customer calls without their explicit consent in European countries (GDPR)?

A: TL;DR: yes. We're obviously not allowed to give legal advice here, but this is what many lawyers reply to this question:

From a data protection perspective, you can base call shadowing on the implementation of pre-contractual measures and/or your legitimate interest in the participation of other employees for coaching purposes (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b or f GDPR), so that no explicit consent is required.

Make sure that shadows do not use speaker phones, as there may be unauthorized listeners (esp. in home office) and thus there may be a violation of the confidentiality of the spoken word, which can be prosecuted.

Further, you can not take recordings for coaching purposes – you have to follow the normal consent process for that.

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