Which to schedule: Microsoft Teams Meeting or Microsoft Teams Live Event?

By Ryan Klund - Business Development Associate

Microsoft’s collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, is the office for millions of Americans and workers around the world. The numbers have been booming since Coronavirus forced organizations to begin telecommuting on a large scale. Recently Microsoft reported that more than 75 million people use Teams every single day, inching closer to Zoom as the preferred platform for video conferencing.

For the widening pools of Teams users, Microsoft has two distinct options for engaging and connecting within the app: Meetings and Live Events.

Microsoft Teams Meetings:

Most users in Microsoft Teams are usually more familiar with a meeting than a live event. Microsoft designed meetings as a conversation and collaboration tool within the app, where everyone in attendance can participate. Meetings can be scheduled within Teams or Outlook, just like an in-person meeting is scheduled. Attendees can communicate with audio and video, share their screen, and collaborate on documents or notes. You can even draw on a virtual whiteboard together and use apps/bots to do things like polls!

Microsoft Teams Live Events:

Live Events are designed to be much different than meetings. This feature is better suited for presentations where attendees can listen but not participate. Attendees to a live event are not invited through the app but given a link to attend. As an attendee, nothing can be shared other than a Q&A window in the presentation.

Things to Consider when deciding on a Microsoft Teams Meeting or Microsoft Teams Live Event

Size of the audience

There are limitations for a Microsoft Teams Meeting. As of right now (5/14/2020), only 250 people can participate in a Teams meeting while up to 10,000 people can attend a Live Event. Another thing to consider is the ability to interrupt a presentation. Because Teams Meetings are set up to be collaborative, any meeting can easily be interrupted by a participant. In fact, there’s even an option to “raise your hand”. In a Live Event only presenters can speak and be shown, so the chances of being interrupted by an attendee are slim to none. However, viewers of a live event can post questions that the moderator can admit into a Q&A part for the presenters to see and respond to.

Content of the Presentation

As we mentioned earlier, a Live Event is a platform better suited for a presentation to a large group without audience participation. An assigned “Presenter” (or presenters) in a Live Event can participate but only if that person is designated to do so before the Live Event begins (at least for now). A Live Event can have up to 250 presenters assigned, but only the last 10 that spoke up will be seen by a producer to show for audience members in the output screen. If the session you’re planning needs to be seen and heard, a meeting is the better option.  

Who is Helping You Pull Off the Presentation

Although it is possible to produce and present your own Live Event, it’s much easier if a person is assigned as a “Producer” for the event. The Live Event Producer is selecting shots of the speakers and presentations that are shown to the audience in the output screen, as well as allowing or answering questions that come through from the audience.

Another feature of Microsoft Teams Live Events is the ability to use professional video equipment to broadcast the presentation within Teams. One downside when this ability is enabled is that the presenters all need to be in the same room as the video crew when this feature is in use.

SWICKtech’s Milwaukee Microsoft Teams for Business trainers are available to answer any questions you might have about the functionality of Teams or other Microsoft 365 collaboration tools. Contact us if you have any questions. Also, SWICKtech can set up everything needed within Microsoft Teams to make it a custom solution for your organization.

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