As you may have seen or heard, Microsoft has released the ability to have webinars right in Teams. This is an amazing feature, but what does that mean for you? How do you set up a webinar? Can we customize our invites? How do we manage the chaos that could be 1000 people?
We are going to talk about what your webinar can do, how to get one set up, and how you can manage the people that have been invited. Note that you do require Enterprise licensing, and it must be enabled by your administrator to use.
What Can Webinars Do?
We all know what a webinar is, and how they work. Some of the main functionality that you get while hosting a webinar in Teams is:
- Large interactive meetings (1000 people)
- Overflow meetings, meaning that when more than 1000 attendees join, they will be automatically placed in a view-only space without any action (if enabled)
- PowerPoint Live
- Hard Mute
- Video and chat control
- Many more things
Creating Your Webinar, and Customizing your Registration Page
Making a webinar is a fast, easy process. Go to your Calendar page in your Teams desktop application, click on the new meeting drop-down, and select “Webinar”
From here, the first thing that you are going to want to do is set up your time zone (auto-detected) and set your scope for people to register. Your options are:
- For people in your organization (default): Will only allow people in your org to register.
- For everyone: Will allow everyone to register.
Now that we have our scope and time zone, let’s customize our registration form! To see our registration form, click on the “View registration form”.
This will open up a form in another Teams window. You can now enter the title of the event, select when you want to have it, add speakers, and speaker bios, and create a customized registration form, including a long list of premade fields, and customizable questions. You can also save the draft, and see what it will look like in your emails.
Note: This will not change the details in your actual webinar, so make sure that they match.
For you to be able to include this in an email (without Power Automate) make sure you are copying your registration link. This is what a completed event registration form looks like. You can also add different questions, such as Company name, address, industry, or create your own input or selection question. Note that you cannot change your fields after you have completed your process, so make sure you are thinking about it.
The final bit that we want to take care of is customizing the form, with a picture. To upload an image that will go with the invite, click your “Upload an image” at the top.
Note: Make sure your image is at least 918px X 120px, and you can check that in Microsoft Paint if needed.
Now that your registration form is complete, make sure you have filled out all your webinar details, and sent the invites off to your presenters, and your setup is complete! Now, create a pretty email, with your registration code that we copied earlier, and send them off.
Getting Ready for Your Webinar
Now that we have gotten everyone invited, let’s take a look at the options that we have for our webinar, and what we can set up before the webinar begins to see what we can control. To do so, click into your webinar, and select “Meeting options”.
You will then get a browser pop out that will let you see what you can do. It is very similar to the meeting options that we have discussed in our managing meeting attendees in Teams, but with a few more options.
The first thing you will see is who can bypass the lobby. You have the standard options, but the default that it sets you at is “People I invite” which may be an issue if you have a sign-up form, and that can easily be forwarded along. You also don’t want to spend time allowing people into the webinar while you or someone else is trying to present. I would suggest changing it to the “People in my organization, trusted organizations, and guests” meaning that you will get the majority of the people on your list. You will also see a few other bypass options, and depending on your option above, “Allowing callers to bypass” should be an option you consider. Everything else will be your discretion, but allowing mics and cameras can cause a little bit of chaos, so be sure that your sizes are small if you are going to head in that direction. Above you will see your default setup.
Now that your webinar is set up and ready to go, simply set up your emails, get your invites out, and get ready to present your amazing material. I would suggest having some polls and using your spotlights to make sure that your audience is engaged and enjoying it. If you have any other questions, Microsoft has provided a quick how-to guide on how to create a webinar, and you can verify that for more information.