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How To Effectively Use Microsoft Teams For Webinars?

Today, we are going to take a look on how to use Microsoft teams for webinars.

What are webinars and when would you use them? Well, with webinars, you can set up a registration page for your session. If an attendee wants to join, will they have to register ahead of time when they actually join your session in Microsoft Teams? You have access to all of the same meeting capabilities that you’re used to. You also get access to a whole bunch of the analytics. For example, who joined your session? How long did they join for? This is ideal for things like a company town hall. Maybe you’re hosting a conference or maybe you’re addressing employee concerns about safety at the cookie company. Just an arbitrary example.

Setup Microsoft teams for webinar

  • Let’s jump into Microsoft teams and let’s look at how we can take advantage of webinars. I am in the main calendar view of Microsoft teams and to set up a webinar, go up to the top right hand corner next to the new meeting button and click on the dropdown to see the option for webinar.
Microsoft teams for webinars.
  • How is this different from the other two meeting types? Well, you have your standard meeting type, and this is probably the one that you’re most familiar with and this is typically used for smaller interactive sessions. Last, you have live events. This is mainly for communicating information out from a few people to many. There’s really minimal interactivity. Let’s click into webinar.
  • Now, I can define the details of this webinar. The very first question is who has to register for this event? When I click on the dropdown, I can set it no one has to and only people in my org or everyone has to. All leave it to only people in my org.
  • I also have the option to configure what the registration form or page looks like, and in a moment, we will come back to configure that.
  • Next, I need to fill out all of different fields and these will only be visible to the presenters. I will type in a title for the upcoming meeting. With this town hall, we want to make sure that our president attend so I will also include Patil. I can also set a time for the webinar this time. This meeting invitation will only go out to me and Patil.
  • Separately, when we go into the registration form, we will set the time for the webinar for all of the attendees. Why would you want to set it up so this time doesn’t match the registration form? Well, maybe we want a little bit of buffer time to prepare ahead of the webinar. We will set up 30 minutes ahead of time just to make sure we’re prepared to answer all of the questions. You can add a location and description of the webinar.

Customize registration form

Next, click into view registration form.

  • We can customize what the registration form looks like. At the very top, we have the option to upload an image so we can turn an otherwise bland registration form into something that’s a little bit more exciting. I mean, after all, you are trying to get people to come to your event. Let’s click on upload an image. This opens up a prompt where you can upload your image. You can see what the ideal dimensions in pixels are. You can crop your image if you’d like.
  • I can fill in some of the event details and all of the attendees who come to this page will be able to view these details. I will go in and type in some information. I’ve now entered in a whole bunch of details and just a few things to call out. You will notice with the time that it starts. The previous form that I filled out, and this is when the actual attendees will start joining. I also entered in speaker details. I put down Patil and I called out a lot of very positive things about him that is sure to lead to a promotion.
  • Over on the right hand side, you can define what information you want attendees to fill in. Let’s say their first name, their last name and the email address. You can add additional fields. You have some preset options.
  • You can even add your own questions using the add field option. I have added the question, what is your favorite cookie company? I made this required. We use this question sometimes at the Cookie Company to employees who just don’t answer correctly.
  • Now that we have configured this page. Up in the top left hand corner and let’s click on Save.
  • Now that we save this page, we can also preview what it looks like. Up in the top right hand corner, click on View in browser to check that out.
  • It is what attendees will see when they come to register for the event.
  • Now that we have confirmed everything looks good, we can start spreading the word up. We can copy the registration link and you can share that in email. LinkedIn, Yammer teams.
  • I have a message composed that I’m going to send out to all employees, encouraging them to attend the town hall and insert a hyperlink. Now, people can use the link to register.

Attendance view

  • When attendees opens up the registration page, it’s prefilled in my information. They have to provide their first name, last name, email address and what is your favorite cookie company and they can click on register now.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to the attendee and telling that they have registered and they can add the event to their calendar.

Edit webinar options

  • If I want to make any changes to the webinar, I simply navigate to my calendar and then click into the webinar event. Within the meeting details. Once again, I could copy the registration link and modify the registration form.
  • I could also change various meeting options. I could decide do I want to allow attendees to be able to use their mic? Do I want to allow cameras, meeting, chat so I can configure all of these different settings?
  • Back in the webinar meeting details, I also have registration details which opens up a CSV file where I can see all of the different registration details.

Webinar meeting experience

Once you’re ready to join the webinar, simply click on join within the meeting. Once I join the meeting, I can view the lobby to see everyone who’s waiting to join. I will admit any attendee who are waiting in the lobby into this webinar. This is just like your standard teams meeting to access all of the same controls that you would expect. I could share my screen and start a breakout room. I could also see that everyone who registered for this webinar shows up as one of the attendees.

Microsoft teams webinar vs live event

Features Meetings Live events Webinars
Maximum number of participants   Up to 1000 10 000 1000 interactive (i.e. interact the way you would in a standard team meeting)
Use video and audio   Yes Roles-based in that only presenters can these features Yes
Share content Yes, but depends on meeting permissions   Roles-based in that only presenters and producers can use these features Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Privately view shared content   Yes No Yes
Take control of a shared presentation Yes, but depends on meeting permissions   No Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Mute participants   Yes, but depends on meeting permissions   Producers control when presenters may speak. Attendees can only listen. Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Remove participants Yes, but depends on meeting permissions   No Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Admit people from lobby Yes, but depends on meeting permissions No Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Change participants’ roles Yes, but depends on meeting permissions   Yes, but is role-based Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Recordings Yes, but depends on meeting permissions   Yes Yes, but depends on meeting permissions
Communicate via chat? Yes, using the meeting chat functionality Yes, using the Q&A functionality, if enabled   Yes, using the meeting chat functionality
Invite guests   Yes Yes, by sharing the event link and requiring no authentication   Yes
Restrict to UCT staff and students only   Yes Yes Yes
Work for online and blended (a combination of online and face-to-face) meetings   Yes No Yes
Ideal for classroom style teaching   Yes, but it is recommended using either a headset or a separate set of mic and speakers   No Yes, but it is recommended using either a headset or a separate set of mic and speakers
Keynote addresses No   Yes Yes
Audio/video delay None, as participants communicate in real-time   About 20-30 seconds None, as participants communicate in real-time
Breakout rooms Yes No Yes

Microsoft teams webinar option not available

The option to schedule webinars should be available regardless of the value set. To check the values set in the Teams meeting policy, we need to use PowerShell. The settings we’re looking for are not visible from the Teams Admin Center. Let’s check it then, shall we?

Connect to Microsoft Teams powershell. To manage the policies we need to sign in with our administrative account. Note that administrative means Microsoft 365/Teams administrator. No elevated permissions to the machine are needed.

Check which Teams meeting policy is assigned to your account. To do this, run:

Get-CsOnlineUser firstname.lastname@contoso.com | Select-Object -ExpandProperty TeamsMeetingPolicy

If you get empty output, it means the account has the global policy assigned. If you get any name, save it. You will need it in a second.

List the policies with their required properties. Run the following cmdlet:

Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy | Select-Object identity, AllowMeetingRegistration, AllowPrivateMeetingScheduling

Check for either the global policy or the one with the name you noted. If both properties have True your settings are correct:

If any of the properties says False you might need to change it using Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy:

Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity $policyName -AllowMeetingRegistration $true -AllowPrivateMeetingScheduling $true

That’s how we use Microsoft teams for webinars. For more information about webinars in teams, visit the Microsoft website.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which strategy from today’s guide are you going to try first? Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

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