I’ve been running the Glasgow Azure User Group for the best part of three years now. We have six in person events every two months. We’ve had the privilege of having a lot of local speakers as well as international speakers to our events, but unfortunately with the current situation around COVID-19 and the ban on gatherings we’ve had to turned our usual April event into a virtual event. To do that we chose Microsoft Teams to host our meeting.
As a user group we are lucky to have sponsorship and as such as have the funds to purchase Microsoft 365 licenses, so our user group has its own tenant. Which we use to host our email, file storage, and now our meetings.
Microsoft Teams is something that I’ve used since it was launched, and it’s come along way since then. There are still some features that we’d all like to see incorporated into it and there are also a lot of questions regarding “how do I do that within Teams”. I’m going to cover off some of those questions and hopefully help others run successful user group or community events via Microsoft Teams.
Should I use a Teams Meeting or a Teams Live event?
There are two types of meeting you could set up, a Teams meeting or a Teams Live event. A Teams Live event is very much like a streaming event, where as a meeting mimics an in person meeting you would have. To schedule a Teams Live event, you need to have an E1 Microsoft 365 license or above within your tenant.
Is it possible to add an open discussion via audio to a live event?
If you run a Teams Live event only the moderators, organisers and presenters can present audio or video/screen sharing to the attendees. The only way attendees can interact with the event team is via the Q&A section if that has been turned on.
If presenting using the Live Event, do you advise having a moderator who accept questions and transfers to the speakers?
If you choose to run your event as a Live Event, I’d highly recommend that you have a moderator who is a different person from your presenter. I have tried to run a Live event as presenter and moderator and while it can be done it adds an extra level of stress to the event.
Is it possible to live stream a meeting to YouTube or Facebook (or others)?
At the moment when you stream a Live event it is only available within Teams, however there is a UserVoice feature request asking for the team to look into adding the ability to stream to other platforms such as YouTube. If this is something you’d like to see added, please do cast your vote on UserVoice and provide some feedback as to why for the team to consider.
How do I set up a meeting so that only some people can present their screen? And stop them being able to mute others etc.
When you invite people to your Teams meeting, the default However this is not always appropriate for some meetings. You can configure the Teams meeting options to change these settings. Jeremy Chapman has a great demo that shows you the features and functionality to you can tweak to get the options of your meeting set up just right.
When do we get the option to show all participants video displayed?
Right now, within Teams meetings you can only see four people active within the window, however the team are in the process of rolling out an increase. Soon you will be able to see nine different attendees’ picture without the meeting interface.
How do we implement “Raise your Hand” for muted participants?
Within a meeting with a lot of attendees it can be useful if there is a way to get the attention of the moderator or meeting organiser if you want to ask a question or raise a point. At the moment you can either do that via the Meeting chat or turn on your audio and speak, however the team are currently working on and looking to roll out a “Raise your hand” button within Teams. That will allow you to activate to get their attention.
How to invite people, what has the host to do?
There are a couple of methods you can use to invite people to the meeting you create. You could invite them directly in the meeting invite, like you would do with any other meeting. However, for me I’m going to be take the meeting URL that Teams generates and sending that directly to everyone that is signed up to attend the meetup. It saves having to maintain a list of people that are invited and helps with privacy, no one else can see other attendees email address in the meeting invite etc.
What have participants, who are not member of my company (who do not have Office 365), to install before attending the meeting/webinar?
Microsoft Teams has a client that people can download and utilise however, it also works within a browser. I’ve found Microsoft Edge and Chrome work best with it. The Teams apps is also available for iOS or Android devices. So, attendees can use whichever method suits them.
Can you run a Kahoot Quiz trough a Live Event? I’m concerned about the delay in the stream. So, people can answer before they see the question on the screen.
At the Glasgow Azure User Group in person events I always finish off the event by running a quiz for a fun prize, and I would like to do the same for any virtual meetups I run. I use the quiz app Kahoot to run my quizzes, and in this quick video I show that you can still use it on a Teams meeting without giving away the answers to the attendees! 😉
Call to Action
I really enjoyed being able to host the Glasgow Azure User Group via Teams and keep the community running. It’s a different experience from having in person events but while the current COVID-19 situation remains it’s a great alternative.
If you are using Teams for your community, please reach out and let us know what your thoughts are. If you have any feature requests you’d like to submit or up vote, check out the Microsoft Teams UserVoice and the Microsoft Teams Roadmap is also a great resource.