Microsoft Teams is an amazing tool that brings people together for virtual meetings, but did you know that its also a great option for broadcasting to a wider audience? With Microsoft Teams Live Events you can livestream your town hall, council meeting, concert, webinar or any other event with no additional software or hardware needed!
If you’re already running Microsoft Teams, webcasting live is only a click away. In this article, we’ll walk through the basics of setting up your live event, and show you how Regroove can help customize to your location, audio technology, in-person and remote presenters, multiple camera angles, and more!
Welcome to the Main Event!
Microsoft Teams Live Events give you everything you need to run a livestream for up to 20,000 attendees. Live events can be public or private. A public event will allow attendees to join anonymously without needing a Microsoft Teams license. This is a great option for a livestream concert, public announcement, or webinar. Private events require all attendees to have a licensed and authenticated Teams account and are great for company town hall meetings or other events that are internal but require a large amount of staff to participate.
Designating Your Livestream Roles
Every Microsoft Teams Live event requires a few key roles:
- The Organizer schedules and sets up the live event, assigns roles to the group taking part , and creates the appropriate links to be given to attendees. The organizer does not have to attend the event. They are responsible only for scheduling and preparing the event. In our experience the organizer often takes on the producer role as well, but this is not always the case.
- The Producer is responsible for what attendees see when watching the livestream. They select what video the audience sees, and when camera switches happen. They also start and stop the event and can share their own video or camera any time.
- Presenters are part of the broadcast team but do not have control over what is shared on the livestream. They can present audio, video, or screen shares in the event for the producer to share live. Presenters can also moderate the Q&A.
- The moderator is not an official role, but one that we recommend. The moderator watches over the Q&A submissions and responds to, shares, or directs questions throughout the event. All presenters can interact with the Q&A, but depending on your event requirements and setup, it’s best practice to have one person designated as the moderator for questions and comments.
- Attendees are your viewers. Depending on your public or private settings, attendees can watch your livestream anonymously or as authenticated users through their Teams licenses. Attendees can participate in the Q&A chat by typing questions or comments for presenters to see.
Setting Up Your Livestream Event
To start your Microsoft Teams Live event, the organizer needs to schedule the event. You can schedule a livestream by following these steps:
- Open Calendar from the Teams taskbar.
- Select the dropdown arrow in the top right next to New Meeting.
- Select Live Event.
- Give the event a descriptive title like ‘City Council Meeting – August 13, 2020’.
- Add users as either producers or presenters. Both producers and presenters will receive an invitation to the event in their calendar or as a clickable link.
Note that an attendee link will be generated separately for viewers to join the event.
- Give an event location if relevant.
- Set the date and time of the event to start at least 30 minutes prior to your target ‘go live’ time. This allows for an early ‘tech check’ to ensure each presenter can be seen and heard clearly.
- Add specific details about the Live Event, including your target ‘go live’ time. Only the producers and presenters will see this information.
- Click Next.
- Change the Live Event permissions based on your audience (public or private) and scroll down in the window for more settings.
- You have the option to use external audio and visual equipment to produce your live event, or to simply use Teams. If you’re choosing to use external gear, change the settings under ‘How will you produce your live event?‘.
- Attendees can watch the recording of your livestream if this option is turned on.
- Live Captions can be added to your livestream and Teams can translate the event into up to six languages!
- Presenters and producers will be able to view a report of how many attendees viewed the event, when they joined and left, etc.
- The Q&A feature allows attendees to submit written questions or thoughts for the producers and presenters to see. This option is not required but recommended if you’re to engage with or receive input from your audience.
- Provide a custom support link for attendees to access if required.
- Click Schedule!
Connecting to Your Audience
When you schedule your livestream event in Microsoft Teams Live Events, you’ll see the option to get the attendee link.
Click ‘Get attendee link‘ to copy the link; this is how your audience will join the livestream. Share this link wherever applicable – via email or social media, through a link on your corporate intranet, etc. (Pro Tip: consider using a short link or a rebranded link, like from rebrand.ly so that you can provide one link but change it up (perhaps you made an error and decided to start with a new meeting) without having to distribute/communicate an entirely new link (and the confusion that can come from that). Producers and presenters can access this link at any time by clicking on the event in the calendar.
Everything is now set up for your Microsoft Teams Live Event! The next step is going live.
Once the invites have gone out, the presenters are connected, and the producer is ready, it’s time to livestream! Producers and presenters will join a ‘pre-live’ lobby where they can test their tech, discuss the event agenda, and prepare to go live. We recommend getting your producers and presenters connected at least 15-20 minutes before your start time to ensure video and sound is functioning. Attendees will not see or hear this ‘pre-live’; they will be shown a message that says “the live event hasn’t started” until the producer clicks start.
From the moment the producer makes the event live, they can select what the audience sees by putting content in the “live event” window. Keep in mind that all mics from presenters and producers will be heard by your attendees regardless of the content on the live event screen, so we recommend presenters mute themselves if they’re not speaking or presenting.
The producer will see two windows: the queue on the left and the live event on the right.
- The queue is the preview window for any content you are preparing to send to the live event stream
- The live event window shows what the attendees are currently seeing while you’re broadcasting
You can prepare your next source of content in the queue window to preview before sending live. You can choose any presenter’s video or screenshare from the bottom of the window. Note that if the presenter does not have their camera on, they will not appear at the bottom of the window.
When the event is finished, the producer clicks ‘End‘ to stop the livestream.
Engaging Your Audience
A bonus of using Microsoft Teams Live Events is that attendees can participate and engage with presenters through an optional Q&A chat. This is a great way to integrate public feedback into your next council meeting, webinar, town hall, or company meeting.
We’ve worked with local governments who are using Microsoft Teams Live Events with audio conferencing licenses to allow members of the public to call in and ask questions directly to city council during the live event. Either by providing a phone number on a slide during the live event, or by pre-arranging callers, this allows for voice interaction between the attendees and presenters.
That’s a Wrap!
Microsoft Teams is an amazing tool for meetings and broadcasts alike! While it can seem overwhelming at first, Regroove can provide training and coaching to your production and presentation teams, help to customize your experience for presenters and your audience based on your event requirements and provide documentation to help you produce a smooth livestream event every time!
Looking for help creating a professional and engaging livestream event? Get in touch!