Ensure these planning items have been handled in advance so your day of is successful.
Define production and support communication paths
Validate from rehearsals who is managing visual content
Start early ensuring final tests for Presenters and Producers
Establish sign-off and post event procedures to provide a crisp ending
Breathe, hydrate, and enjoy.
Best practices for managing live events
Have more than one person in the event team; ideally one person joining from a different location
If you lose internet, the remote person can still control the meeting
Know who is responsible for each step such as producing, presenting, moderating Q&A
Consider using a redirection URL service in attendee invites
Allows you to share shorter, more readable URLs
Allows you to change the URL of the meeting without having to update the invites
Join your event 30 minutes ahead of time for final equipment check
Have a slide ready with a nice intro (“Event will start soon”) and start broadcasting 10 minutes ahead of time
Have audio source muted during those first 10 minutes
Example event support tiers
Fill this table in with the key Points of Contact (POC) in your organization
All roles should be identified for large scale events but can be simplified for simple webinars
Review in coordination with existing IT Support Desk processes in your organization
Tools and notes
Owner: Event organizer/(POC)
Responsible: Support team
Contributor: Technical production and IT teams
Provide self-help tools in Teams, in-event communications and/or via event website
Example: self-help attendee and speaker guides and FAQ documentation
Event support email queue, e.g., “EventSupport@yourdomain.com”
Owner: Support team (POC)
Contributor: Technical teams
Reactive engagement via event experience (channels, email, chat)
Ticketing system of choice that receives emails, e.g., SharePoint, HubSpot.com, or other tool
Owner: Event producer/(POC) Contributor: IT Administrator
Reactive support to escalations from Tier 1
Identify if further service escalation to IT is needed
Staff requires intermediate/advanced level Teams and live event knowledge to triage issues
Access to attendee ticket system not required but recommended
Owner: Event platform service owner (technical) (POC)
Contributor: Microsoft support
Reactive support to escalation from Tier 2
Identified service health issue or bug
Owns initiating support tickets
Common issues and troubleshooting paths during an event
These questions represent most of the reported issues experienced during a meeting or live event. Though they may seem basic they create dissatisfaction on the part of your audience and speakers. Provide fast and easy ways to resolve these issues quickly by monitoring published support channels and having moderators and/or a dedicated attendee support channel (if using Teams as your event experience).
Question / User Statement
“I can’t schedule a live event.”
Tenant policy: Speak to your IT Admin to have live event capabilities enabled for your user identity. Often you will need to be added to a group that is being used to manage how many people can schedule them. It will take 24-48 hours for this to be active after a policy change.
“I can’t join the meeting/live event.”
Identity: Do they need to be or are they logged into the experience? Are they joining as an attendee instead of Producer or vice versa? Information: Do they have the right link for the right session at the proper time? Device/client: What browser or client are they using? Are they on mobile?
“I can’t hear the presenter audio.”
Client settings: Check their audio speaker settings. Are they to the correct device? If yes, test from outside of the meeting experience to ensure they are working for other apps. Is the volume adjusted properly?
“I can’t turn on my video.”
Client settings: Check their audio speaker settings. Are they to the correct device? If yes, test from outside of the meeting experience to ensure they are working for other apps. Device: Have the video drives been recently updated? Does the device need a restart?
“I can’t see any slides.” aka “I can’t see the presenter's content.”
Speaker sharing: Ensure the speaker is sharing their screen or the correct window into the meeting. Have the speaker re-share the content into the meeting.
“I can’t access chat.”
Tenant policy: Is chat enabled for this type of user? (Guest, federated?) Client settings: Is the user a member of the team where the channel meeting is being held?
Producing your live event
Joining as a Producer – from Teams or Outlook
Join the live event as a Producer or Presenter from your Teams Calendar or from your Outlook Calendar.
Joining as a Producer or Presenter
Event Team members will join as their assigned roles (Producer or Presenter).
Producer’s view overview
Monitor the number of Attendees connected to the live event. View the attendee indicator throughout the session.
See the live production screen. Send content to the Production screen and select Start when you’re ready to start the live event.
Decide what content you’re sharing at the event. Select the content that you want to share. It can be a document or an app to perform a live demo.
Enable your camera and/or microphone to comment with the team of Presenters and Moderators and with Attendees. Share with the team of Presenters and Moderators before launching the event live, and with Attendees once the event is live.
Share your screen with the team of Presenters and Moderators and with the Attendees. View people who have connected to the Moderator or Producer role to the event. If they turn on their camera, you can see their video.
Manage the content before sending to the live event. Manage the content to be presented in the live event before sending the content to the live event screen when you’re ready.
Producer’s controls – Q&A, chat, devices, etc.
Meeting notes (event team only)
Chat with event team members during the event (not visible to the Attendees)
List of event team members
Meeting information for event team only
Producer’s view – pre-live screen
The Queue and Live event windows allow you to prepare the Video (Camera) and Content that you wish to Send live to the Live event.
Note that you can see when the invited Presenters have joined.
As the Producer, you can mute your Presenters’ audio. They must unmute themselves.
Producer’s view – managing Presenters
Access your Producers and Presenters list here.
Need to add a Presenter ad-hoc? You can do that here before you go live if they are an external or federated member of the tenant.
Is one of your invited Presenters late? Ask them to join the meeting by clicking the menu next to their name and select “Ask to Join”.
Producer’s view – preparing speakers and content
Ask your Presenter to turn on their Video (Camera) and then select them to add them to the Queue window.
Your Presenter’s Video (Camera) will then appear in the Queue window.
Producer’s view – preparing speakers and content
To present both Content (PowerPoint, etc.) and a Presenter’s Video, change to this layout.
To present Content, for example a PowerPoint presentation, ask your Presenter to share their screen. Their shared screen will then appear in the Content tray at the bottom.
Use the Producer/Presenter chat to coordinate with your content team.
Once both the Presenter and the Content are selected, both will appear in the Queue window.
Important Note – Any of the event Presenters can share their screen during the live event and their screen will override the active Presenter. It is therefore important to coordinate any change of Content Presenters during preparation for the live event.
Producer’s view – sending Presenter and Content to the live event
Now that you have your Presenter’s Video and Content in the Queue window, you can press the Send live button to send to the Live event window.
The contents of the Queue window have now been transferred to the Live event window. You are now ready to start the event. By clicking the Start button, the event will begin broadcasting your Presenter’s Audio, Video, and Content to all Attendees.
Producer’s view – starting your live event
Your live event is now running, evident by the Live label at the top and red boxes around your Live event, Presenter, and Content windows.
Attendee count is displayed as well.
Producer’s view – switching to a new Presenter’s Camera
If you wish to switch to a different Presenter’s Camera, you can easily do that in the Queue window by selecting your desired Presenter’s Camera. In this example, we also changed the layout to just the Camera feed and not the Shared Screen (Content). By clicking Send live, we would replace the current feed with the items from the Queue window.
Producer’s view – chatting with Presenters during the event
If you need to Chat with your fellow Producers or Presenters, you can do that via the Chat window. Note – these chats are not visible to your Attendees.
Producer’s view – moderating Attendee Q&A
If you enabled Q&A when setting up your live event, your Attendees will be able to post questions. The Producers and Presenters can then review those questions in the Q&A Manager. New questions will appear in the New area. You can reply privately to those and Publish them, or Publish and then reply to them in the Published area. You can also Dismiss messages which will move them to the Dismissed area.
Producer’s view – ending your live event
When you are ready to end your event, mute everyone’s Audio, wait about 20-30 seconds, and then select End. This will allow your final closing remarks to reach your Attendees.
Moderator best practices
Moderators – the secret to success
A Moderator is an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands managing the virtual logistics and audience, so the Presenter can focus on content, ensuring a smooth session. Presenters should not have to think about anything else other than showing up, good audio/video quality, and delivering their content. Moderators improve attendee engagement, minimize load on technical support staff, and provide event polish with pre-designed introductions and closing messages in larger scale events. Share our Moderator Checklist with your staff to get started.
Support for presenters
Resolve basic technical issues
Manage audience mute/unmute in Teams meetings
Moderate panel sessions
Take session notes
Download/transfer recordings and transcripts
Gather session data
Support for attendees
Triage and aggregate similar questions
Answer basic technical issues
Provide links/pointers to content
Provide follow up to specific attendees
Open/close session and Q&A segments
Live event Presenter experience
Hardwire your internet connection if possible
Clean desktop by hiding extra icons
Remove date and time from the system tray
Set resolution to 1920×1080
Set zoom level to 125%
Turn off Windows updates
Close any apps you are not using (Outlook, browsers, etc.)
Clear browser history or use separate demonstration profile
Preload necessary webpages
Turn off notifications
Remove date and time from the system task bar
Log in to the meeting using the appropriate credentials. They may be different from your day-to-day account depending on the event design.
Test audio, video, sharing, and any background (Teams meeting)
Put yourself on mute until you begin
Teams meeting Presenter experience
Screen prior to joining a Teams meeting
Next you will see the following screen, in which you will have the following selections prior to joining the meeting.
Camera – If you turn on your camera you may notice the icon to the right. This is to enable background effects. This will not be available if you are using the Teams web client.
Microphone – If three (3) or more people have already joined the meeting, you will be joining the meeting on mute. Select the slider to activate your microphone.
Device settings – Select audio device and camera settings to make adjustments to your audio or camera source.
Join now – Join and connect to audio using your computer speaker and microphone or a headset connected to your computer (wired/Bluetooth).
Audio off – Select this option when there’s already an active mic and speaker in the same room as you. This will ensure there is no echo.
Phone audio – Join and connect to audio using your desk phone or mobile phone. Video will only be displayed on screen. This includes: “Call me” option and Information to dial in manually
Add a room – Join and connect audio to a conference room. Your devicewill connect without audio to prevent echoing.
Options available in meeting
Turn camera on/off
Show meeting chat
Raise your hand or show a reaction through an emoji
Share screen: options include desktop, window, specific application
Hang up/leave meeting
For more details on Share screen and More actions, continue reading.
Share screen menu options
Select the Share screen icon
Select what you want to share:
Desktop lets you show everything on your screen.
Window lets you show a specific app.
PowerPoint* lets you show a presentation.
Browse lets you find the file you want to show.
Whiteboard allows you draw/write on the screen.
After you select what you want to show, a purple border surrounds what you’re sharing. Double click the item selected to start sharing.
Note that the Include system audio box is unchecked by default. Check this box if you want to play a video or audio clip as part of your presentation.
*When sharing directly from PowerPoint, Word, etc., the audience may scroll through the pages independently of the Presenter (without impacting the presentation). If you don’t want people to be able to independently navigate through the file you are sharing, press the “Private view” icon (it’s next to Stop presenting) to disable it.
More actions menu options
Device settings: Select audio device and camera settings. Set restrictions to allow parties to move through shared presentations on their own.
Show meeting notes: Notes you take are shared with others and are accessible before, during, and after the meeting.
Meeting details: Join meeting link info or dial-in info.
Call me: Transfer call to another device.
Apply background effects: Apply blur background or apply a custom background so participants in the meeting are not distracted by what’s going on behind you when your camera is turned on.
Turn on live captions: Live captions can make your meeting more inclusive to participants who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with different levels of language proficiency, and participants in a loud place.
Start recording: When you record a meeting, a banner will appear letting attendees know that the recording has begun. You can access the recording after the meeting ends in the meeting chat or in Stream.
Keypad: Dial out from the Teams meeting using the Teams audio conferencing services.
Turn off incoming video: Help the quality of the audio on incoming video by turning off video.
Attendee experience in Teams meetings and live events
Live event Attendee experience
The Attendee experience includes controls for Pause and Play, as well as Fast Forward through the event. You can also turn on Closed Captioning if it has been enabled for your event, and the Q&A appears on the right.
NOTE: The link to your live event can be provided to Attendees in a variety of ways. You may put it in the body of a placeholder appointment, share it via a formatted invitation email, or place on an internal event webpage. You cannot simply forward the Producer/Presenter appointment.
Teams meetings – join from Outlook
Option A: Click Join Online Now link in the meeting request.*
Option B: In the meeting reminder click Join Online.
*If a conference number appears in the invite, you should only be leveraging the number and ID if you are unable to access the Teams app or Teams through the web.
Live event Presenter’s view
The Presenter role participates in the event with the ability to speak, present content, and moderate the chat. It is a best practice to join in advance of the event to complete your final technical readiness check.
Select Join Microsoft Teams meeting in your meeting invite to be taken to a page where you can choose to either join on the web or download the desktop app. Please join via the full Teams application.
Make a note of the phone number and conference ID in the meeting invite, so you can dial the number to join in the case of connection loss.
Once you are on the Teams call, turn on your microphone and camera, and share your desktop.
Make sure that the Teams panel is hidden out of the way on a second monitor or minimized.
Keep an eye on the Teams meeting chat on another monitor or another device. Moderators, Producers, and switching operators will use this chat to communicate with you during your session.
NOTE: You can only present in a live event from your Windows or Mac desktop device. There is no support for mobile presenting in live events at this time.
Live event Presenter’s view while speaking and presenting
The red border indicates to the Presenter whose Camera is enabled and being shared.
Live event Presenter’s view – additional details
The Presenter role participates in the event with the ability to speak and present content and moderate Q&A (there will likely be multiple Presenters invited to the event). Presenters have access to a private chat during the event with the other Presenters and the Producer. This chat is not visible to the Attendees of the event.
Enable Chat Private to interact with the team of Moderators/Producers – Keep this chat open throughout the event to coordinate with the team of Producers and Presenters privately. This chat will not be visible to Attendees.
Enable your Microphone and/or Camera to interact with the other Presenters and Producer – View people who have connected to the Presenter or Producer role for the event. If they turn on their Camera, you can see your image.
Share your screen with the Producer – Share your screen with the Producer to finalize the event details. The Producer may present their screen at the live event if they wish.
See the Producer and other Presenters – View people who have connected to the Producer or Presenter role for the event. If they turn on their Camera, you can see their image.
Moderate the Attendees’ Q&A window – This window will display questions from Attendees during the event. Remember that Attendees do not have access to the microphone. Their questions will be deployed in the New tab. You can then publish it to the entire event, which will move it to the Published tab, or keep your answer private. You can also dismiss any redundant or out-of-context questions, which will move them to the Discarded tab.
Guest Attendee join experience in Teams meetings
External users joining a Teams meeting
The following section provides examples on what an external user will experience when joining a Teams meeting. Anyone can join a Teams meeting as long as they have an email address. Teams can be accessed through Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
As Teams evolves, please continue to refer to the following links below for new feature updates to the application.
Teams lets you invite people outside your organization, including those who don’t have a Teams license. The only thing that is needed to join a Teams meeting is an email address. To the right is a snapshot of what an end user will see in their inbox once a Teams meeting invite has been sent out.
To accept the meeting invite, the participant will need to select Yes.
If the participant selects the Join online now link, they will see the screen to the right if they don’t have the Teams app installed.
The user will have two options if they don’t have the Teams app:
If the participant selects Join on the web instead, they will then see this screen. This is requesting access to the microphone and the camera.
Next, the participant will see the following screen. They will need to input their Name and select the Join now button. They will also have the option to turn off the camera and/or mute themselves prior to joining the meeting.
To leave the meeting, select the red phone icon listed in the user bar.
Joining from mobile as an external user
Teams lets you invite people outside your organization, including those who don’t have a Teams license. The only thing that is needed to join a Teams meeting is an email address. To the right is a snapshot of what an end user will see in their mobile email inbox once a Teams meeting invite has been sent out.
To accept the meeting invite the participant will need to select Yes.
If the participant selects the Join Online Now link, they will see the screen to the right if they don’t have the Teams app installed.
To join the meeting the participant can select:
Join online now link listed in the email, or
Join button listed in their calendar.
If the participant does not have the Teams mobile app, they will be directed to a screen to download the app.
Next the participant will see the following screen. To join the meeting, select the Join now icon. The participant has the following selection options prior to joining the meeting.
Join now – Select to join the meeting with current meeting options.
Blurred background – Select this option to blur the background of your video call.
Camera – Select this to turn your camera on or off.
Microphone – Select this button to turn your microphone on or off. If it’s off, others will not be able to hear you.
Speaker – Turn your speakers on in order to hear the conversation.
To leave the meeting, select the Red Phone icon listed in the user bar.
Continue to phase 3: After the event
View guidance on the last phase of your event for post-event best practices.