Microsoft Teams live events enables users in your organization to broadcast meetings (video and sharing) to online audiences. Since the live events feature of Teams is new and changing rapidly, here are 17 useful things to know.
(Note: this post will focus ONLY on Microsoft, not what EventBuilder adds to Teams.)
Microsoft refers to live events as a feature in Microsoft Teams, not a separate product (they similarly referred to Skype Meeting Broadcast as a feature of Skype for Business).
- Target "general availability" is Q2 CY 2019. As of this writing the “live events” feature is still in “public preview” (meaning it could change or not work quite perfectly).
- Microsoft Teams live events is considered the next version of Skype Meeting Broadcast and will eventually replace it (we think it could take a while). It appears that it may be called “Broadcast Meetings” when it is generally available.
- It’s available in the Americas, Europe/Africa, Asia Pacific, and Go Local Canada. Other locations are unavailable or require workarounds.
- The stated use case for Teams is stated in two different ways on Microsoft’s site. One, that it is meant for one-to-many communications (versus collaboration). The other is “large townhall-style meetings.”
- “Audience engagement” is “moderated Q&A” through Teams or an “integrated experience” with Yammer.
- Recordings are viewable in Teams, Microsoft Yammer, and/or Microsoft Stream.
- Invitees must become "authenticated users” of Teams to join an event. In other words, if they do not already have a Microsoft ID, they will have to create one.
- Rules for who may view a live event as an attendee changes depends on how the live event is encoded (see below).
- Teams will support producing in two ways: “quick start” or “external encoder.”
- "Quick start" is what you inside the app that uses the audio and video sources you’re already set up with.
- "External encoding" sources audio and video from an external or software-based encoder and uses Microsoft Stream.
- Quick start and external encoding require different licenses to use them.
- Maximum duration for a Microsoft Teams live event is four hours.
- Only producers see an attendee count during the event.
- Presenters must be defined in advance (there is no “promote” feature to change someone’s role to presenter once an event has started).
- Presenters must join from a PC (meaning “no” to web or mobile).
- There are specific requirements about who may present at a Microsoft Teams live event with regard to both licensing and permissions. To quote Microsoft exactly, “Important: Office 365 guests, federated, and anonymous users can't be invited as producers or presenters in Teams live events. However, guest and federated users can join as anonymous live event attendees.”
The bottom line
Teams is Microsoft’s fastest growing product, it’s worth knowing what is on the horizon. The above post is straight-up fact condensed from Microsoft sources. Still, there are a few things we may deduce:
Teams will likely always need other features relative to webinars and webcasts. Microsoft’s big play is corporate communication and collaboration, and by comparison the “webinar market” is a rounding error that doesn’t really move the needle. Consequently, it's likely there will be always be need for more advanced or market-specific features needs that don't make sense for Microsoft to develop.
Expect a lot quickly. The rate of development on Microsoft Teams is stunning, even to us…and here at EventBuilder we both A) live in Teams all day every day as an all-virtual company, and B) have specialized in real time communication technologies for nearly two decades.
Some aspects of Microsoft Teams live events need their own attention here. For instance, soon we’ll post about attendee experiences, including a couple things we discovered by accident that you will want to be aware of so you can help attendees be successful.
Given that virtual events on Microsoft products is all we do in both services and software, we’ll keep you up to date on what your options are.