How to hold a successful Teams Live event
In these unprecedented times, virtual events have gone from being optional supplements to the main method that businesses network. As demand has soared, platforms like Zoom and Microsoft (MS) Teams have stepped forward, rapidly expanding their feature set.
Yet, even with dedicated tools, a lot goes into holding a successful virtual event. Organisers must carefully consider each stage of the process to make sure they are giving attendees an excellent experience. We have outlined the stages to consider when planning a Teams Live event so you can use the platform to continue networking and engaging with your customers.
Setting up a virtual event is not as complicated as a physical one, but it’s still important to get correct. Fortunately, Teams’ ease of use makes creating a live event relatively straightforward. Using the calendar app, simply press the drop-down menu next to ‘New Meeting’ and select ‘Live Event’. Enter the title, date and time, ready to share later when everything is ready.
It’s important to note, when scheduling a meeting in MS teams, you’re doing so from your time-zone. To ensure employees don’t log in too early or late, you can share your own calendar file, which will adjust to their time zone.
Every event has different requirements when it comes to people attending and hosting them. Before setting a time, it will be necessary to identify roles and liaise with the main participants to ensure they can make it. You will likely want an organiser, presenters, and a moderator, to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day.
It is also important to define the broader audience. Teams has three options: People & Groups, Org-wide, and Public. People and Groups is an essential option to pay attention to, as it allows only the people you choose from internal groups to attend. whereas the other two do what you would expect, with organisations opening it to the whole company and the public.
The administrator can allow or deny access to the public, which is typically a good for internal events. In the past year we’ve all seen ‘zoom bombing’ going viral on social media, so its vital the admin sets up the event properly to prevent this happening to your organisation.
In preparation, you should be asking yourself the questions below:
how will you produce and record your event?
Will presenters be using Teams for all aspects or need to use other apps?
If you record the event in Teams, how will you make recordings available to attendees?
How long will the event last?
What is the purpose of the event?
In advance, you may also want to firm up:
-A Q&A panel
-Engagement reports and other statistics
-Camera hardware and software for presenters
With production sorted and the relevant staff organised, you can move on to the promotion of your event. Unfortunately, Microsoft Teams live events do not support event registration, so this will need to be externally, perhaps with a registration form.
Promotional e-shots, social media campaigns, and reminders for attendees should all be considered. Ensure you begin promotion far enough in advance and test every step to ensure participants have a smooth experience from registration to follow-up.
The day of the event
On the day, everyone involved should know their role and have a clear picture of the entire scope of the event. Even so, it’s often worth holding a run through before the event to clear up any nerves and ensure there are no last-minute technical issues.
Do’s and Don’ts
Whilst the above are just the fundamental components of running a successful live event. There are many more detailed aspects that will be unique to your business, and awareness of some general tips and common pitfalls can go a long way:
•Remind attendees of the Q&A function
•Allow plenty of preparation time
•Manage your attendee link via a link shortener
•Share a calendar file in advance
•Test presenters’ connection quality
•Prioritise production quality over content
•Make last-minute hardware changes (unless necessary)
•Forget to mute your microphone
•Stress if things don’t go perfectly
•Forget post-event analysis
The right planning and preparation for your event will undoubtedly increase the chance that attendees will have an excellent experience. So relax, plan well, and remember that the underlying key to a successful event (both virtual and physical) is good content will do most of the heavy lifting.