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How To Effectively Use Microsoft Teams For Webinars?

Today, we are going to take a look at 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 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 a webinar

  • Let’s jump into Microsoft Teams and 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 but not least, you have live events. This is mainly for communicating information from a few people to many. There’s really minimal interactivity. Let’s click into the 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 so no one has to, only people in my organization, or everyone has to. All leave it to only people in my organization.
  • I also have the option to configure what the registration form or page looks like, and in a moment, we will come back to that.
  • Next, I need to fill out all of the 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 attends 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 that 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 the location and description of the webinar.

Customize registration form

Next, click to view the 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 a whole bunch of details and just a few things to call out. You will notice when it starts. The previous form that I filled out, and this is when the actual attendees will start joining. I also entered speaker details. I put Patil down, and I called out a lot of very positive things about him that is sure to lead to a promotion.
  • 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 their 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 mandatory. We ask 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’ve saved 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 that everything looks good, we can start spreading the word. We can copy the registration link and you can share that in an email, LinkedIn, Yammer and teams.
  • I have a message composed that I’m going to send out to all employees, encouraging them to attend the town hall and inserting a hyperlink. Now, people can use the link to register.

Attendance view

  • When the attendee opens up the registration page, it’s prefilled with my information. They have to provide their first name, last name, email address and what their favorite cookie company is, and they can click on Register now.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to the attendee, telling them that they have registered and that 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 on 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 use their mic? Do I want to allow cameras, meetings, and 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 is waiting in the lobby into this webinar. This is just like your standard teams meeting, where you 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

FeaturesMeetingsLive eventsWebinars
Maximum number of participants  Up to 100010 0001000 interactive (i.e. interact the way you would in a standard team meeting)
Use video and audio  YesRoles-based in that only presenters can these featuresYes
Share contentYes, but depends on meeting permissions  Roles-based in that only presenters and producers can use these featuresYes, but depends on meeting permissions
Privately view shared content  YesNoYes
Take control of a shared presentationYes, but depends on meeting permissions  NoYes, 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 participantsYes, but depends on meeting permissions  NoYes, but depends on meeting permissions
Admit people from lobbyYes, but depends on meeting permissionsNoYes, but depends on meeting permissions
Change participants’ rolesYes, but depends on meeting permissions  Yes, but is role-basedYes, but depends on meeting permissions
RecordingsYes, but depends on meeting permissions  YesYes, but depends on meeting permissions
Communicate via chat?Yes, using the meeting chat functionalityYes, using the Q&A functionality, if enabled  Yes, using the meeting chat functionality
Invite guests  YesYes, by sharing the event link and requiring no authentication  Yes
Restrict to UCT staff and students only  YesYesYes
Work for online and blended (a combination of online and face-to-face) meetings  YesNoYes
Ideal for classroom style teaching  Yes, but it is recommended using either a headset or a separate set of mic and speakers  NoYes, but it is recommended using either a headset or a separate set of mic and speakers
Keynote addressesNo  YesYes
Audio/video delayNone, as participants communicate in real-time  About 20-30 secondsNone, as participants communicate in real-time
Breakout roomsYesNoYes

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 for the machine are needed.

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

Get-CsOnlineUser | Select-Object -ExpandProperty TeamsMeetingPolicy

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

List the policies and their required properties. Run the following command:

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

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

If any of the properties say 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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