BigBlueButton: Event Scenarios

With BigBlueButton you can host events with up to 600 attendees at a time.

Presentations, polls, screen sharing, public chat and shared notes can be used without restriction in all types of events.

For most evets, you will not need to adjust any settings. For different event scenarios, we have provided general and specific recommendations.

Recommendations for All Events

  • To ensure that attendees with weaker devices or poor internet connections can participate in your event, use only the resources necessary for an event.
  • The number of simultaneously visible cameras is dynamically adjusted based on the number of attendees. By default, a maximum of 12 cameras are displayed. This side-by-side display can be turned off individually if, for example, you want all participants in a course to see each other at the same time. However, this should only be done on high performing end devices

Events with up to 300 Attendees

  • The HD and FullHD webcam resolutions should only be used by presenters.

Events with 300 and up to 600 Attendees

  • Enable the attendee list.
  • Limit attendee camera sharing or require attendees to share their own camera only when needed or requested.

Restricting the Rights of Participants

Restricting participant rights

As a presenter, you can find the restrict participant rights feature in the settings (cogwheel, red arrow) of the participants list.



Blocking the participant list from other participants

If show participants list is disabled for other participants, moderators and presenters will continue to see the list.

Block webcams

If the share webcam feature is disabled, all existing camera shares of participants are deactivated. Moderators and presenters can still share their camera.

If you later unblock the webcams, the cameras are not automatically reactivated. Participants can reactivate them individually. This feature is useful for interruptions during larger events. The amount of data transferred is reduced and the overall event and especially weaker endpoints, are relieved.


 Blocking other participants’ webcams

Disable the show other participants’ webcams feature. Participants see only the presenters’ cameras and their own. Hosts still see all cameras.

Blocking of microphones

If the unlock microphones feature is disabled, all attendee microphones are disabled, but they can still listen. The presenters’ and hosts’ microphones are not affected.

If you re-enable the microphones, attendee remain in “listen only” mode, but can reactivate their microphone individually. This feature can also be used to reduce the amount of data transmitted in the event of interference at very large events, thus reducing the overall load on the event especially on weaker endpoints.

Enable the side-by-side display of camera

You can find the function to show webcams side-by-side in the main menu of BBB (three dots, red arrow) under open settings.

This setting only affects you. Please note that displaying a large number of cameras can put a considerable load on your device. If the connection status indicates problems or if the image and sound are only transmitted with interference, re-enable the side-by-side display of webcams.

Click on the three dots in the upper right corner.


Click Open Settings.


Disable page by page display of cameras.

Consultation for Special Requirements

If you are planning an even larger event or have special requirements for your conference (e.g. many high-resolution cameras), please contact us at We will be happy to advise you.

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BigBlueButton – New layout and settings

With the new default settings, participants no longer miss the beginning of a presentation during a conference.

More space for videos

The new layout increases the video area for all participants in a BBB conference. The public chat and default presentation no longer appear automatically at the start of a conference. When messages are shared in Public Chat, a corresponding icon appears in the top left corner.

With one click you show the public chat again. (You can still find the phone number to dial in in the public chat.)

You can use the button at the bottom right to display the presentation again immediately.

New presentation mode

If a new slide is displayed in the shared presentation, the presentation is enlarged or drawn on, it is automatically displayed again for all participants - if it was hidden.

Participants who initially hide the presentation to view videos larger often forget to restore them. With the new setting, participants no longer miss slides.

More news from the Data Center → may be found here.


BigBlueButton (BBB) ​​is a freely accessible open source software for web conferencing. It has been used in digital teaching since the 2020 summer semester and is hosted on the servers of the ZDV at JGU. The software runs with the latest version 2.4.


An overview of the most important questions (FAQs)

BigBlueButton functions at a glance


  • BigBlueButton can be used barrier-free with screen readers. The website offers special BigBlueButton screenreader tutorials. The navigation hints and demonstrations refer to the screen reader NVDA.

Privacy Policy

  • The ZDV operates BigBlueButton for all schools, colleges and universities in Rhineland-Palatinate. A video conferencing system is available to you that meets the current data protection regulations. Because all BigBlueButton instances are operated by the ZDV on servers within the University of Mainz.
  • for the full BBB Privacy Policy

Support structure

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BigBlueButton conferences with more participants possible

In the last few weeks, the ZDV has carried out extensive tests with regard to conference sizes. Due to numerous optimizations and improved settings with the new BBB version 2.4, the team recommends new guidelines for the number of participants in a BBB conference.

Adjusted conference size recommendations

With the new recommendation, conferences with up to 600 participants can be held. Presentations, surveys, screen sharing, public chat and shared notes can be used without restriction.

We have put together an overview of all the new scenarios for a BBB conference and what you need to consider:

Test out the new possibilities with us

Test the various functions with us with a large number of participants.

We invite you to a BBB testing event on February 18 at 10:30 am.
Access link:</a >

Advice for special requirements

If you are planning very large events or have special requirements for your conference (e.g. many high-resolution cameras), please contact We would be happy to advise you.

More news from the Data Center → may be found here.

Virtual backgrounds and a new layout manager at BigBlueButton

For BigBlueButton conferences, there have been more functionalities for studying and teaching since the beginning of the year. An overview of the most important changes:

  • Your own background can be blurred when the camera is released and various virtual backgrounds are available
  • New layout manager: switch between "focus on presentation" and "focus on webcams" possible; the moderator can set the layout for all participants
  • More flexible handling of the breakout rooms (group rooms) through individual naming and extension of the term
  • Recordings include poll results from polls and links from shared external videos
  • No more tunnel effect (recursive, shrinking display) when releasing the entire screen
  • Messages from moderators are highlighted in public chat
  • The list of participants shows who has released the camera

The VCRP has created a video on the most important innovations:

The video conference system is available to all colleges / universities and schools in Rhineland-Palatinate and is hosted by the ZDV at the JGU.

More news from the Data Center → may be found here.

New version of the video conference system

The new version BigBlueButton 2.3 was launched on Monday, May 10th. The open source software is the basis for the video conference system, which is available to all colleges / universities and schools in Rheinland-Pfalz and is hosted by the ZDV.

During the further development, the BigBlueButton development team took into account the suggestions and wishes of teachers. Better interaction with the participants was important to them. New in version 2.3 are functions such as: an independent “raise hand” button, optimized and new survey options and the random selection of participants.

The Digital Teaching Competence Team has created an overview of the new functions.

With the update to 2.3, the system architecture was fundamentally renewed. This ensured that all components will continue to be looked after by a security team in the future. The reprogramming of central components has also significantly improved performance and scalability. The ZDV team managed a smooth transition by replacing the BBB servers one after the other. In this way, failures could be prevented and users of the video conference system did not experience any impairments.

More news from the Data Center → may be found here.

Official starting shot for BigBlueButton at the JGU

Mainz, 28. May 2020

Today the JGU Data Center (ZDV) officially releases the software BigBlueButton (BBB) with long-term support at the Johannes Gutenberg-University. The open source software for web-conferences will run on the university's own servers ensuring a high level of data security. During the ongoing summer semester and for the semesters to come it will be an important pillar of digital teaching and lerning at the JGU.

Important for using BBB at the JGU was on the one hand the integration with the digital teaching platform Moodle, on the other hand the possibility to record sessions. Other advantages compared to other conference tools are:

  • breakout-rooms for working in small groups
  • working cooperatively via whiteboard
  • creating surveys and webinars
  • integration with the communication software Mattermost

This way BBB increases the flexibility for our teachers regarding planning and conducting classes.

Head of the Data Center Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Brinkmann feels confindent about BigBlueButton becoming another key component in digital teaching and lerning at the JGU: "We have made very good experiences with this software so far and with it we can close the gap in the range of videoconference systems, that existed between Skype for Business and Teams."

Backstage, new options are already in progress, such as a download function of recordings.
As usual the Data Center and the task force Digital Teaching and Learning offer on their web pages helpful instructions and tutorials on login and using the software.

An overall the federal state project

In cooperation with the ministry of science, development and culture (MWWK) and the ministry of education of the federal state Rhineland-Palatinate the Data Center makes BigBlueButton available to other colleges, universities and schools in Rhineland-Palatinate as well.

More news from the Data Center → may be found here.