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How to shadow a call
How to shadow a call

Learn how to shadow a meeting without anyone seeing or hearing you.

Alina Stoehr avatar
Written by Alina Stoehr
Updated over a week ago

If you ever need to join a meeting without the participants in the call knowing you are there, you can do that with Demodesk. It can be helpful if you're in a place not conducive for meeting, but you still want to listen in on the meeting. It's also useful for supervising and coaching new sales or customer success employees.

What is shadowing?

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

But keep in mind, only registered Demodesk users can shadow calls!

It is possible to:

Steps to shadow a call

Invite staff members as shadowers

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

2. Click the three dots on the right side of the meeting in question > Add shadowing participant>Click "Send invitations" to have the shadowing calendar event sent to the selected participant.

Plan a shadowing event for yourself

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

2. Click "Shadow meeting" on the right of the meeting you'd like to shadow. Click Confirm to have the shadowing calendar event sent to you.

Shadow ongoing meetings from the Virtual Sales Floor

  1. Click on the live meeting tile to shadow

  2. You can toggle the Shadow button on and off before joining. To ensure full power to the host, they will still need to let you into the meeting.

  3. 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.

Automated updates 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".

What is the virtual Sales Floor

  • 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)?

Answer (Expand)

A: 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 โ€“ you have to follow the normal consent process for that.

Q: Who can create shadowing events?

Answer (Expand)

A: If a meeting is is scheduled in the future, one can create an event to shadow a meeting:

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

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

Q: I do not see the shadower as part of the original meeting. Can my guests see the shadower event?

Answer (Expand)

A: The calendar event is a separate event, so external participants cannot see internal participants. The shadowing event is created on the calendar of the host, so they see who plans on shadowing. All further shadowers will be added to the same calendar event.

Q: I am afraid my shadowers use the wrong settings and join as a participant. How do you prevent this from happening?

Answer (Expand)

A: The link in the event will automatically activate the shadow option in the audio onboarding, achieved through a URL parameter. Unless your staff member intentionally toggles and adjusts the settings, this feature will remain unchanged.

Q: How to cancel a shadowing event?

Answer (Expand)

A: To cancel a shadowing event, please delete the corresponding shadow calendar event from your calendar. If you wish to keep your calendar unblocked and not affected by the shadowing event, simply respond to the shadowing calendar event with a "No." Unfortunately, there is no option within the DD dashboard to cancel the shadowing event or free up your calendar.

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