Microsoft Teams was released as part of the Office 365 productivity suite in November 2016. Teams is defined as a communication network that brings together chat, audio, video, and file-sharing in one place. It’s intended for use by local, remote, and dispersed work groups.
Microsoft has been constantly updating Teams. As demand for communication tools has increased in pandemic, additional features have been introduced across 2020 and into 2021.
Beginning in mid-May Microsoft began rolling out Webinars and PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams. Additionally, Presenter mode will begin to roll out later in May. With these capabilities, users have new ways to deliver polished, professional presentations in meetings of all sizes, from small internal meetings to large customer-facing webinars and events—all from a single application.
These new features will not require purchase of a new license or product; the new capabilities are included in many of the Office and Microsoft 365 plans organizations use today. Microsoft says there are no hidden costs or charges for overage fees with plans that include these capabilities.
Users can organize and hold interactive meetings and webinars for up to 1,000 attendees with Teams. Microsoft says that end-to-end webinar support is as simple as setting up a Teams meeting—including custom registration pages and attendee emails, rich presentation options, host controls, such as the ability to disable attendee chat and video, and post-event reporting to understand participation and to follow up with attendees.
For users who need to reach more than 1,000 attendees, Teams meetings can scale to accommodate a 10,000-person view-only broadcast experience. During this time of increased remote work, Microsoft expanded the attendee limit to 20,000 through the end of 2021.
With PowerPoint Live and Presenter mode in Microsoft Teams, anyone can deliver more impactful and engaging presentations to show up in a more polished and professional way.
By bringing together Microsoft’s rich history with presenter experiences in PowerPoint and the collaboration power of Teams, presenters can feel more confident and capable during online presentations. Users can view upcoming slides, notes, meeting chat, and the audience in a single view while presenting.
Meanwhile, attendees can personalize their experience by privately navigating the content at their own pace or using high contrast mode and screen readers to make content accessible. Coming soon, slide translation capabilities allow attendees to select their native language and automatically have slides translated for them—without changing the view for other attendees.
Presenter mode empowers presenters to customize how their video feed and content appear to the audience. The first of three options, Standout mode, shows the speaker’s video feed as a silhouette in front of the shared content; Reporter mode shows content as a visual aid above the speaker’s shoulder, similar to a news broadcast; and Side-by-side mode shows presenter’s video feed alongside their content as they present. Standout mode will be available later in May, and Reporter and Side-byside will roll out shortly after.
A webinar is just one touchpoint in customer engagement efforts. After the event ends, metrics are available to easily access reporting and bring attendee information into your customer relationship management (CRM) applications for lead management and follow-up.
Beginning in May, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing customers can export attendee data directly from Teams to automatically create campaigns and customer journeys for ongoing nurture streams. The Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing integration gives webinar hosts more ways to drive engagement, increase conversion, and build loyalty with your attendees.
Customers including Junior Achievement, Coldwell Banker, and the Consumer Technology Association are using Teams for virtual events—from community building townhalls, to state-of-the-market webinars, to the world’s largest tradeshow.
We know that technology is just one piece of the solution. Microsoft services like the Live Events Assistance Program help customers set up, manage, and deliver events spanning from townhalls to webinars and everything in between. Microsoft Consulting Services for Virtual Events provide strategy and delivery support for organizations that want to move their large conferences and custom events online. Learn more about how to use these new capabilities in Microsoft Teams with this Webinars quick start guide and PowerPoint Live overview.