Microsoft Teams – Live Events

Microsoft Teams Live Events

Teams Live Event Image

Teams Live Events extend Teams meetings to large online audiences where meeting organizers require additional control over video, reporting, and audience interaction.

Teams Live Events have a maximum audience size of 10,000, and can be recorded for later viewing by attendees and other invitees. Producers and presenters can share video, screens, or other content in Live Events. Additionally, attendees can join the event anonymously and ask questions to which both presenters and producers of the Live Event can respond.

Non-UWM tools: Due to FERPA and other data privacy considerations, do not use other, non-sanctioned web conferencing software such as Zoom or Skype for any University business purposes.

Preparing for the Live Event

Below is the information needed before a Teams Live Event can be created:

  • Title – A short one-line descriptive title for the event
  • Location – Most live events are virtual and take place within Microsoft Teams
  • Event Date – The date the event will take place
  • Time – What is the start time and duration of the event?
  • Event Description – A few sentences, up to a couple of paragraphs, describing the event.
  • Record the Event – Determine if a recording of the event is needed so it can be watched after the event has ended or as a record/archive of the event. If you choose to record the event, make sure all presenters have been informed that the event will be recorded, and agreed if necessary.
  • Question and Answer (Q&A) – Decide whether or not you want to enable the Q&A option for the event that allows attendees to submit written questions during the event. How the questions can be dealt with during the event is explained under the Manage Q&A responsibility within the Participant Information section of this document.

Live Event Roles

Information below is broken up by the four main roles for a live event. The first role is that of the Event Organizer who creates the event in Teams, adds event details, adds the others group members, and adds attendees or link to the event. The next role is that of the Producer who manages/moderates the event once live. Presenter(s) within an event are those who present content during the event and usually answer questions from the attendees. Finally there are the event Attendees who have a need or interest in the event.

Event Organizer

The Live Event organizer invites other event group members to the event and grants them one of two roles: Producer or Presenter. Both roles have different access and responsibilities for the Live Event explained in each section. It is recommended that you have one main producer and a backup in case the main producer loses their connection to the event. Often times the organizer also plays the role of the main producer. The number of presenters will vary from event to event. Keep it to a manageable number. But Microsoft does allow up to 250.

The organizer schedules 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, responsibilities include:

  • Create the live event
  • Set attendee permissions
  • Select production method
  • Configure event options (for example, the moderated Q&A)
  • Invite attendees or gets event link
  • Add event group members (e.g. producer, presenters)
  • Manage reports generated after the event is over

The information contained in ‘Create Live Event‘ below will guide you through creating a live event in Microsoft Teams.

Create Live Event
To schedule a Live event, simply go to your calendar in Microsoft Teams. In the top right corner of the screen, click on the drop-down arrow and select ‘Live event’.
Teams Calendar Image

You’ll now be presented with the live event set-up screen. Here you can add the following details:

  • Title: Give the live event a short name (one line)
  • Location: Add a physical location to the event, such as the conference room from which you’ll be presenting – if you wish
  • Start and end: Set the date and time of the event
  • Details: Provide details of the event for attendees
  • Organizer: you can choose if you’ll also be the producer or a presenter
  • Presenters: Add those that will be presenting content by typing their name or email address

Click next.
Teams Live Event Setup Image

Then you will be given the choice of attendee access permissions for your Teams live event.
Teams Live Event Permissions Image

  • People and groups: If you select this, you will see a box where you can add a person by name or email address – or you can add an Office 365 group.
  • Org-wide: This will enable anyone within UWM to join the event simply by signing in.
  • Public: This means anyone can join the live event – as long as they have a link to the event.

The options are split into ‘Teams’ and ‘An external app or device’.
The focus here is on the Teams option (default), as the external device option is for situations where you might use professionals in a professional setting for the event production – which is beyond the scope of most Live Events at UWM.

  • Recording available to producers and presenters: this is greyed out as this is automatically enabled
  • Recording available to attendees: this means a recording of the event will be created for anyone that missed the event or for those who want to watch the event again later.
  • Captions: text captions will be created based on the audio – and you have the option to translate this to up to six languages.
  • Attendee engagement report: this report gives you the option of accessing an engagement report which gives you information on the attendees.
  • Q&A: this is toggled off, but you can toggle it on if you want event attendees to be able to ask questions to the presenters to inform a Q&A session during the live event.

Once you’ve selected the options you want, click the ‘schedule’ button and you’ll see the following screen.

The ‘Get attendee link’ button will copy a URL link to your clipboard, which you can then paste into anything from an email to a website – enabling you to share your link with potential attendees.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Following the event, attendees will be able to watch the event again with the same link — but only if you ticked the ‘Recording available to attendees’ option during the event set up.

At this point the live event is set up and ready to go. You may go back in and edit the event at any point. Please note that any time you make a change, all producers, presenters, and attendees you added directly to the live event will receive an email notification.

Live Event Tips

Live events are best suited to high-profile events with keynote speakers and presentations to large audiences. These types of events are best when hiring audiovisual professionals. But, if you plan on running your own Teams Live Event, you should reference the Microsoft documentation Get started with Microsoft Teams live events. While it is possible to run a Teams live event using only a laptop with a webcam, Teams live events are best suited to high-profile events, the following is recommended:

  • Professional-grade A/V equipment (e.g. a mixer, cameras, microphones, projectors, etc.)
  • An “event group”—i.e. people who work behind the scenes to make the event successful

Keep the following in mind when choosing a Teams live event:


The links here go to the official Microsoft documents on Live Events that to organizers of Live Events.

You may also start at the beginning by going to Teams Live Events which contains links to the information above and more.

Producer(s)

The Producer controls the live event, taking responsibility for ensuring the correct content (e.g. presenter, PowerPoint, etc.) and format is being presented at the right times to the audience. The producer can share their own video or screen share, as well as video and content from the presenters.

  • Select video feeds or other content shared by presenters or producers and send them to the event
  • Mute presenters or producers individually or collectively
  • Chat with other producers and presenters
  • Start and end the Live Event
  • Moderate Q&A
  • Manage the event recording and reports

The Producer should schedule a rehearsal of the live event to work out the details with any other producers and presenters. Make sure to create a new event for this purpose as once a scheduled event is made live, it cannot be stopped and started again.

The Producer should join the live event approximately 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to begin. This will take them to the producer’s user interface where they can get your content ready before going live.

The producer’s screen is split into two separate windows with ‘Queue’ and ‘Live Event’. Also notice a yellow button stating ‘pre-live’ towards the top of the screen, which means the event isn’t live yet.

The Presenters for the event should join the event at this point and no less than 15 minutes before the event is scheduled to begin. This will give the producer and the event moderator time to go through any last-minute details, mute everyone, queue up the moderator, and remind presenters to use the chat feature to engage with the other presenters as any conversations taking place over a mic can be heard by the attendees.

If any of the event attendees were to join the via the link, they would see the following screen.

When the time comes for the event to go live, the producer will start the event, the event moderator will be seen by the attendees, must unmute their mic, and should begin speaking.

The links that follow provide good information on producing live events:

You may also start at the beginning by going to Teams Live Events which contains links to the information above and more.

Important Information
As the live event producer, be aware of the following and make sure that others within the event group understand what is required before the event goes live.

  • All members of the live event group must use the Microsoft Teams Desktop Client in order to participate in the live event. The web app and mobile app will not work.
  • All members of the event group must make sure they have sufficient internet speed to participate in the event. It is also recommended that a wired connection is used, not wireless.
  • All members of the event group should have a quality microphone and camera to use for the event.
  • All event group members need to mute their microphones when/if they are not the live presenter. Attendees can hear anyone whose microphone is not muted.
  • Presenters should leave their cameras on. Only the presenter who is live, in the red box, can be seen by the attendees.
  • All members of the event group should use the chat feature within Teams to converse with each other. The chat can only be seen by the event group, not the attendees.
  • The presenter who is live will have a red box around them. When they see the red box, they must unmute their microphone and begin speaking.
  • Issues – It is likely that at some point either the presenters or someone will experience an issue with their Internet, camera, microphone, or content being presented. Expect issues and handle them if they arise. Chances are they will seem bigger to you than to the attendees of the event. And often times attendees are more impressed with how you recover from an issue than the issue itself.

Presenter(s)

The Presenter role is one given to individuals who are part of the Live Event to talk, present content, and respond to attendee questions.

Important Information

  • Use a desktop or laptop computer to participate in a live event as a producer. Using a phone, tablet or other mobile device can easily affect your connection or the quality of your presentation.
  • You must use the Microsoft Teams desktop client in order to participate in the live event. The web app and mobile app will not work.
  • All members of the event group must make sure they have sufficient internet speed to participate in the event. It is also recommended that a wired connection is used, not wireless.
  • All members of the event group should have a quality microphone and camera to use for the event.
  • Mute your microphone when not presenting.
  • Leave your camera on. Only the presenter in the red box can be seen by the attendees.
  • Use the chat feature within Teams to converse with the producer and other presenters. The chat can only be seen by the event group, not the attendees.
  • The presenter who is live will have a red box around them. When you see the red box, unmute your microphone and begin speaking.
  • Issues – It is likely that at some point either the presenters or someone will experience an issue with their Internet, camera, microphone, or content being presented. Expect issues and handle them if they arise. Chances are they will seem bigger to you than to the attendees of the event. And often times attendees are more impressed with how you recover from an issue than the issue itself.

Presenter View
This is what presenters see when logging in to a Teams Live Event as a Presenter. The presenter with the red box around them is the presenter who is live and being viewed by the attendees of the event.
Live EventPresenter View
Types of Presenters
Larger events might require that you get more specific with responsibilities for each presenter. This assures that the event runs smoothly and that people are not tripping over each other trying to do the same things. The most common breakdown in roles for presenters are:
Moderator
The moderator is the lead presenter with the responsibility to:

  • Introduce the event topic
  • Introduce the presenters
  • Transition from presenter to presenter
  • Often this person will also be a presenter of content
  • Facilitate the question and answer period by working with the Q&A moderator
  • End the event

Content Presenters
These are the people who present content to the attendees of the event.

  • Chat with the producer and other presenters
  • Share system video with attendees
  • Share screen into the live event
  • Share system audio with attendees
  • Participate in the Q&A with attendees

Content Presenters need to have any content they wish to present to the attendees ready to go before the event. Let the producer know if you plan on having content like video, slides, or plan on sharing content on your monitor. This needs to be planned out before the event in order to transition to that content.

Q&A Moderator
If Q&A is enabled, the attendees will have the option to ask questions in the right-hand Q&A window. They can either post anonymously or add a name above their question.

When an attendee asks a question, the event team group will see a small notification above the ‘Q&A’ icon in the menu bar in the top right of the screen. The Q&A Monitor should click on the icon.

The Live Event Q&A window on the right of screen and the submitted questions can be seen.

There are three tabs at the top of the Live event Q&A window:

  • New – Any question coming in to the event starts in the New tab. At this point, the person moderating Q&A may publish, dismiss, or reply only (Private reply) to the attendee who submitted the question.
  • Published – Questions that are published are moved into this tab. These are the questions that should be answered by the presenters. The attendees can also see these questions if they choose the ‘Featured’ tab within their Q&A window.
  • Dismissed – If the option to ‘dismiss’ is selected, the question will be parked into the ‘dismissed’ tab. This is done with questions that won’t be answered within the live event or any questions that seem to be inappropriate to the live event.

The moderator chooses to either publish, dismiss, or respond privately to the attendee who submitted a question. Any questions that are published can be viewed by all attendees.

More information can be found at Microsoft at Participate in a Q&A in a live event in Teams.

Attendees

Attendees of a live event can only watch the event and participate in the moderated Q&A. They are not allowed to share audio or video. Before watching a live event, attendees should:

Note: Attendees are not required to install or use the Microsoft Teams desktop client. They can use the Microsoft Teams Web Client by first making sure their browser is supported.

If the live event has not started yet, attendees will see the following when they join the event.
Live Event Not Started Image

Once the event starts, the above message will disappear and the attendee will either see the event content or presenter.

For more information on attending a live event, see Microsoft’s Attend a live event in Teams.

Hardware/Internet

Bandwidth Requirements

Teams is designed to provide the best video and audio experience regardless it can, regardless of network/Internet conditions. But, if the network/Internet quality is highly variable or latency is high you might notice lag, or other video/audio issues that will impact the user experience. When bandwidth is not sufficient, Teams prioritizes audio quality over video quality.

Where bandwidth is optimal, Teams optimizes media quality, including up to 1080p video resolution, up to 30fps for video and 15fps for content, and high-fidelity audio.

The table here describes how Teams uses bandwidth. Teams is always conservative on bandwidth utilization and can deliver HD video quality in under 1.2Mbps. Bandwidth consumption in a meeting or live event will vary based on factors such as video layout, video resolution, and video frames per second. When more bandwidth is available, quality and usage will increase to deliver the best experience.

Bandwidth (up/down)Scenarios
30 kbpsPeer-to-peer audio calling
130 kbpsPeer-to-peer audio calling and screen sharing
500 kbpsPeer-to-peer quality video calling 360p at 30fps
1.2 MbpsPeer-to-peer HD quality video calling with resolution of HD 720p at 30fps
1.5 MbpsPeer-to-peer HD quality video calling with resolution of HD 1080p at 30fps
500kbps/1MbpsGroup Video calling
1Mbps/2MbpsHD Group video calling (540p videos on 1080p screen)

To provide the best experience in all scenarios you want a consistent 2Mbps up and down. Ideally, a speed test would be averaging above this to allow for some variance.

You can check your performance with various online tools, https://www.speedtest.net/ being a popular one. To get the best possible performance, you generally want download speeds at least as fast as the following:
Internet Speed Recommendations Image

Often a wired connection will give a more consistent experience than wireless.

Hardware Recommendations

In order to provide the best user experience during a Teams Live Event, the information here will help guide you toward those key items that will greatly affect the user experience within a live event. People producing and presenting live events on a regular basis should make sure they have the best equipment possible to avoid issues.

Computer

See the Microsoft recommendations for computer hardware. Microsoft says “If you are producing a Teams live event, we recommend using a computer that has a Core i5 processor, 4.0 GB RAM (or higher)”. If you are using a work laptop/computer, you should already exceed the recommendations from Microsoft.

Camera

See the list of Microsoft recommended webcams for a home office setting. Most of these would be great additions to your work computer if you are doing live events from your office. An external webcam is generally better than one that is built in to the computer.

Headset

Ideally a Microsoft certified headset for Teams would provide you with better quality than the microphone/speakers built into your computer. Consider a wired headset if you really want to avoid any Bluetooth interference. Headsets are usually easier to use at home than a professional grade microphone.

Lighting

Make sure you are presenting within a room with good lighting. There are inexpensive lighting options available. Take a look at this article on 6 tips for proper webcam lighting for virtual meetings for some helpful information.