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How To Make Microsoft Teams Live Event Work For You [2020]

This is a complete guide to learn about Microsoft teams live event in 2020.

If you are looking to learn live event in Microsoft 365 teams, you’ll love this new guide.

Let’s dive right in.

What is a live event in Microsoft teams?

  • Microsoft teams live events is designed to broadcast to up to 10,000 attendees and is a more difficult tool which ideally requires formal training. If you are organising a meeting with less than 200 attendees we recommend you use Teams Meetings.
  • Microsoft teams live events enables you to schedule, produce and broadcast events to large audiences online.
  • Microsoft teams live events are different from Microsoft Teams Meetings in that they are predominantly for one way communication to large groups can accommodate large numbers of up to 10,000 participants.
  • Microsoft teams live events are one-to-many communications where the host of the event is leading the interactions and audience participation is primarily to view the content shared by the host.

How to enable teams live events?

Use Teams live events settings to configure settings for live events that are held in your organization. You can set up a support URL and configure a third-party video distribution provider. These settings apply to all live events that are created in your organization.

  • Go to “Microsoft 365 admin center
  • Select “Teams” from admin centers
  • Select “Meetings
  • Select “Live events policies
  • Edit the “Global (Org-wide default) policy” or create a custom policy
  • Within the policy, you should have Allow scheduling enabled and depending on your needs, the specific audience Who can join scheduled live events configured.
microsoft teams live
  • Next, make sure the policy is assigned to users by selecting Users on teams admin center and checking what Assigned policies users have.
microsoft teams live event

Live Streaming-Basics

Below are the main components involved in live streaming, and how they relate to live events in Teams.

microsoft teams live events

Start with content user want to share with your audience. This is probably a combination of:

  • Live video
  • Pre-recorded video
  • Screen share
  • Remote presenters

Depending on what (if any) additional hardware you are using, Teams might be used to provide mixing and encoding capabilities; or just control your broadcast which is produced using an external app or device.

Then, your event will be streamed by Microsoft Stream, using Azure Media Services as the backbone.

Next, your content will go through a content delivery network (CDN), Azure in this case, which can integrate with third-party optimization to reduce bandwidth to large sites.

Finally, your content will be watched by attendees on Teams. The following diagram shows high level components involved in Microsoft 365 live events and how they are connected.

microsoft teams live meeting

Live Event Types

There are two ways you can produce a live event:

Production toolDescription
TeamsPlug in your laptop and go… Produce the live event using Teams, a lightweight option to create the event and invite presenters and panelists to participate on their own devices.
An external app or deviceProfessional camera and sound setup Produce the live event using an external hardware or software encoder via Microsoft Stream. Use this option if you already have a production setup (for example, media mixers) that supports streaming to an RTMP service. This method is typically used in auditorium events, such as town halls, where a stream from a media mixer is broadcast to the audience.

Producing a Live Event using Teams

You can use Teams to produce and mix content. From a producer’s perspective, live events produced in Teams look and operate in a similar way to a standard video meeting – except the producer chooses which video and content source is used as the live feed.

live event microsoft teams

Producing a Live Event Using External Broadcasting Devices

Live events produced using an external app or device take a single pre-mixed input from a hardware or software encoder. It’s not possible to mix additional content sources with an external encoder event, but it does allow producers the ability to use all the mixing capabilities in their existing system. The encoder sends the content directly to Teams via an RTMP ingest, a widely supported industry standard. Events produced outside of Teams are brought into Teams using Microsoft Steam, which means the attendees must be authenticated and cannot be anonymous.

Teams Live Event vs Meeting

There are 2 ways to meet in Microsoft Teams – Meetings and Live events. Below are the details of each way to meet.

  • Meetings in Teams includes audio, video, and screen sharing for up to 300* people (currently 250).  They’re one of the key ways to collaborate in Teams.
  • Live Events are an extension of Teams meetings that enable us to schedule and produce events that stream to large online audiences – up to 10,000 people. If you need a meeting for more than 300 people, use a live event.
Microsoft teams live events

Event group Roles

Live events in Teams has multiple roles (organizer, producer, presenter, and attendee) to broadcast and participate in an event.

RoleResponsibilities
OrganizerSchedules a live event and ensures the event is set up with the right permissions for attendees and the event group, who will manage the event. Creates the live eventSets attendee permissionsSelects production methodConfigures event options (for example, the moderated Q&A)Invites attendeesSelects event group membersManages reports generated after the event is over For more info, refer to organizer checklist. Important: You must be allowed to have a Live Events policy to organize a Teams Live Event. If not, then please request the same through the VIA form (VIA form link here)?
ProducerAs a host, makes sure attendees have a great viewing experience by controlling the live event stream. Starts and stops the live eventShares own videoShare participant videoShares active desktop or windowSelects layouts
PresenterPresents audio, video, or a screen to the live event, or moderates Q&A. Note: Presenters can only share audio, video, or a screen (desktop or window) in live events produced in Teams. Important: You must be a Microsoft Teams (with O365 account) user to present during a Teams Live Event.
AttendeeA viewer. Watches the event live or on-demand, using DVR controls, either anonymously or authenticated. Can participate in Q&A. Important: Attendees DO NOT need to be a licensed Microsoft Teams user to join a Teams Live Event

Note: It is important to have one member of the event group who joins the live event as an attendee so they can communicate any technical issues to the event group, including visual, sound, and closed caption functions.

System Requirements and Supported Platforms

  • Supported operating systems: Windows 10 and later (32-bit and 64-bit), macOS X 10.10 and later
  • Supported mobile operating systems: Android 4.4 and later, iOS 10 and later
  • Supported web browsers: Chrome (last 3 versions), Edge RS2 and later, Firefox (last 3 versions), Internet Explorer 11.

Supported Teams Platforms

How to create a live event in teams?

Schedule a Teams Live Event

  • In Teams, select Calendar and then New meeting.
  • At the top of the scheduler, select New meeting > New live event.
  • Add the meeting title, date and time information, and other details.
  • In the Invite people to your event group box, add the names of your event group—the people who’ll be presenting and producing the event. The event group can consist of anyone inside or outside your org. Just don’t invite attendees at this point—you’ll get a link to share with them later.
  • Select Next.
  • Under Live event permissions, choose who can attend your live event:
  • Make selections under How do you plan to produce your event?
    • If you’re producing in Teams:
  • Select Schedule to add the event to your and your event group’s calendars.

Note: Once the event is scheduled, be sure to make any changes to it in Teams. Don’t edit this event in Outlook.

Captions *

Live event attendees can view live captions and subtitles in up to six languages in addition to the spoken language. Presenters can select the six languages from a list of over 50.

Set up live captions and subtitles

To set up live captions and subtitles for your event, select the Captions box when you’re scheduling your event.

Note: Live captions and subtitles are only available for live events produced using Teams. Use the Translate to a menu to add up to six languages attendees can choose for captions and subtitles in addition to the spoken language. For example, if the spoken language is English, but you know there’s an office in the Netherlands tuning in, select Dutch (Netherlands) so they can get captions in Dutch. Screenshot for reference is below.

microsoft teams live meeting

Note: Supported spoken languages for this feature include English, German, and Chinese.

Get the most out of captions and subtitles, the presenters have to

  • Speak clearly, slowly, and directly into the mic.
  • Avoid locations with background noise.
  • Avoid having multiple people speaking at the same time.

Invite Attendees to a Teams Live Event

As a live event organizer, one of your responsibilities is inviting attendees. When you schedule a live event in Teams, it only sends the calendar invite to event team members.

  • In Teams, select Calendar on the left side of the app.
  • Select the live event.
  • For events that’ll be produced in Teams, select Get attendees a link to copy the live event link so you can share it with attendees
    • Open your Outlook calendar and past the link into a new invite
    • Don’t invite attendees via a Teams meeting.  A new Teams meeting will have its own meeting link
microsoft 365 teams

Produce a Teams Live Event

  • Select Calendar, then the live event, and Join.
    • Queue on the left-hand side:  This is your preview
    • Live event (on the right-hand side):  Is what your attendees can see
    • You (bottom middle):  is where you can turn on or off your audio and video
    • Share (bottom right):  Is where you can share content
    • Mute All (bottom right):  where you can mute everyone
  • To share the desktop
    • Select Share > Desktop > Content > Send live.
    • If the event hasn’t already started, select Start.
  • To share a window
    • Select Share and select one of the open windows from the Windows section in the source tray.
    • Once the window is shared, switch over to the producer UI,
    • Select Content and then Send live.
    • If the event hasn’t already started, select Start.
    • Note: Do not minimize the selected window, as this would prevent a preview from showing in the queue.
  • To share your Video
    • Turn on your camera.
    • Select your camera feed at the bottom of the screen to preview it in your queue (on the left) before sending it to the live event (on the right).
    • Select Send live to send the feed from preview to the live event.
    • Select Start to start broadcasting live to your attendees!
  • To end the event, select End -> Leave

Present in a Teams Live Event

In Teams client, open the invite and join the event as a presenter. When ready, share the Video and/or desktop/application as appropriate using the same steps as a producer. As a presenter, you share many of the basic capabilities of a producer, but you don’t have as much control over the video feeds or the live event itself.

Microsoft Teams live event recording and reports

  • In Teams, select Calendar on the left side of the app.
  • Select and Open the live event.
  • Under Live event resources, you’ll have the option to download the
    • Video recording
    • Attendees engagement report
    • Q&A report etc
  • All is downloaded into the downloads folder on your laptop

Note: Recordings from live events produced in Teams are currently not saved in Microsoft Stream. You can download the recording from the meeting details and upload it manually to Microsoft Stream after the event.

How does an Attendee join a Live Event in Teams?

  • Open the live event link, to join the event.
  • If you open the event from Teams, you’ll join the event in Teams.
    • Note: Live events don’t use your Microsoft Teams device preferences yet. Use your operating system sound setting to choose your speaker for the live event.
  • If you open the event from Outlook, you can join from the web or open the event in Teams.
  • If the live event hasn’t started, you’ll see the message “The live event has not yet started.”
  • Browser
    • If you’re attending the live event on the web, use a media-source extension (MSE) -enabled web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Safari is not currently supported.
  • Video Resolution
    • If the live event begins in low resolution, you might need to manually reset it to a higher resolution.
  • Watch the live event later
    • Once the live event is over, you can still watch the recording using the same link, if the organizer chose to make the recording available.

Microsoft teams live events limitations

CapabilityEvents produced in Teams
The Maximum audience size10,000 attendees1
The Maximum duration of the live event4 hours1
The Maximum number of presenters and producers in a live event10 
The Maximum number of concurrent live events per Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization151
Live event creationTeams, Yammer via Teams
Audience engagement – Yammer✔ (integrated experience)
Audience engagement – Moderated Q & A
Producer client on Windows✔ (Teams)
Producer client on Mac✔ (Teams)
Attendee count in Producer UI✔ (Teams)
Allows multiple presenters✔ (Teams)
Invite a presenter during the meeting
Presenter join on Web and Mobile
External access (federation) & Guest presenters/attendees✔ (Teams)
Presenter – PSTN access✔ (Teams)
Present a screen✔ (Teams)
Share system audio on Windows (available only when screen sharing)✔ (Teams)
Present a PowerPoint (PPT sharing)❌ (mitigated via screen sharing)
Cloud based meeting recording
Auto publish recording to Stream
Live captions and subtitles
Captions in live event recordings
Attendee DVR controls (pause, rewind)
Partner eCDN Support✔ (Kollective, Hive)
Post-broadcast attendance report for Producers
Audience Sentiment Analysis – Live voting & polls

The live event hosted in Teams, Stream, and Yammer will continue to temporarily support events for up to 20,000 attendees, 16 hours in length, and 50 events happening simultaneously until October 1, 2020.

Helpful Videos

Plan and schedule a Live Event

Produce a Live Event

Attend a Live Event

Moderating a Q&A

Teams live event Q&A

When a live event is created with a Q&A option, the Q&A is open by default and attendees can start asking questions even if the event hasn’t started. These questions are only visible to moderators until they publish them to the event.

Open or close the Q&A

  • To display or hide the Q&A panel, click the Q&A button on the top right side of the screen.
  • Once the Q&A panel is open you can toggle the Open/Close switch turn the Q&A function off and on.

Answer Questions

Questions from attendees will appear in the Q&A panel, by default they are private and not seen by other participants.

  • Select a question you want to answer by clicking on it and type in your answer. Questions are private by default.
  • Click the Publish button to answer publicly.
  • Click the Send button to answer privately.

Make announcements

To make announcements through the Q&A function follow the below steps.

  • Click the Make an Announcement button at the bottom of the Q&A panel
  • Type in your announcement and click the Send button
  • Click the Send button

Export reports

You can export the transcript, attendee list and Q&A report from a live event using the following steps.

  • Launch “Teams Admin Center
  • Select “Analytics & Reports
  • Select “Usage Reports
  • Report = Teams live event usage
  • Date Range =  7 days
  • Click “Run report
  • Select the live event
  • Click on the links to download the report
    • Transcript
    • Attendee
    • Q & A report

Regional Availability

You can use Teams live events in multiple regions across the world. The following information shows availability for event team members and attendees.

Note: The region for the event is automatically selected depending on the organizer and the Microsoft 365 tenant location.

Available in these regional data centers

  • North America
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe/Africa

Data location for these countries/regions (supported)

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • India
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom

These countries/regions and clouds aren’t supported (what does this mean?)

  • Germany
  • France
  • Norway
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • UAE
  • Government Community Cloud (GCC)-H
  • DOD

Exclusions and Considerations

  • Data location: Teams data locations, outside of the ones listed above, are not currently supported.
  • China: Event team members and attendees will not be able to use Teams live events because Azure CDN is not accessible in China. A workaround is to use a company VPN connection, which gets the client connected to CDN via the customer’s corporate network.

Live Event Assistance by Microsoft

What are the live events assistance program?

Live Events Assistance is a program designed to help you with your live events. Whether you are new to hosting live events or just need some extra help. Microsoft can help you get more familiar with setting up and running a live event and be directly available during a live event to help if any questions or issues come up.

What does the program include?

Before an event

  • Educate you on how Microsoft live events work across Teams, Yammer, and Stream
  • Guide you to the service to use based on your needs
  • Review best practices for coordinating, producing, and running an event
  • Validate current setup and configuration
  • Plan logistics for rehearsal and upcoming event
  • Answer additional questions

Rehearsing for an event

  • Help producer check event setup and associated technology (where applicable)
  • Help producer run a test event to check audio/video feeds
  • Review producer and presenter controls
  • Answer questions from the producer, event team, and stakeholders

During an event

  • Help producer check event setup and associated technology (where applicable)
  • Help producer check audio/video before going live
  • Available to answer producer/event team questions via chat/phone
  • If issues are identified, help provide next steps toward investigation and mitigation

What is not included in the program?

Due to the nature and complexity of live events that cross the corporate network, eCDN providers, encoders, cameras, Microsoft services, end users’ devices, and available bandwidth, the Microsoft live events assistance offering cannot guarantee that events won’t run into issues at one of the above layers.

Additionally, it is possible that Microsoft may not be able to mitigate the issue during the event. Your assigned live event assistance support engineer will proactively offer suggestions and best practices to avoid such situations and provide next steps toward mitigation if encountered.

How do we sign up?

  • Create your new live event using Microsoft live events on Teams.
  • Provide as much advance notice as possible since capacity is limited during the preview (first come, first serve)
  • Fill out this form with specifics about the upcoming event: aka.ms/LiveEventAssist

A live event assistant will contact you in 1-2 business days and try their best to accommodate your preferred date/time.

What is the price of the program?

During preview (which is until 1 October 2020), the program is free of charge for 4 hours of phone/chat assistance before, during, and after an event.  We need to incorporate the price of the program otherwise.

When is assistance available?

  • Microsoft live events assistance is provided in English.
  • Microsoft’s live events assistance support team is available for engagements (24/5):
  • Monday (09:00 AM PDT) through Friday (06:00 PM PDT)

So that’s how I’m preparing for Microsoft teams live events in 2020.

Now It’s Your Turn:

Which strategy from today’s guide are you going to try first? Or maybe you have a question about something that I covered.

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

Want to improve your Microsoft 365 Teams experience for better productivity? Check out the tips and tricks mentioned here.

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