Plenty of Webinar features have rolled into Microsoft Teams recently! Earlier the support for “overflow” meetings (=view-only attendees) have been followed by large meetings (1K) and now also registration support. What is still on the waiting list is the attendee engagement information.

Some facts to get started

  • Included in E3, E5, Business Standard, Business Premium and A3 and A5 licensing. The webinar organizer (who creates the meeting) is needed to have one of these licenses.
  • E3/E5 and A3/A5 licensed users webinars can have up to 1000 interactive attendees scale out to include 10 000 view-only attendees. Business Standard & Premium webinars can have up to 300 interactive attendees.
    • Scaling out has been enhanced to 20 000 view-only attendees until end of 2021.
  • On default the meeting registration is on (enabled) and registration page is only accessible by members of the same organization. Microsoft Teams admins can change meeting policy: enable/disable meeting registration (AllowMeetingRegistration) and setting registration scope (WhoCanRegister) to everyone or in your organization.
  • Webinars in Teams are Scheduled Teams Meetings. Registration support enables to create meetings (or trainings or webinars) that only registered attendees can enter.

Webinar-support is actually the support for meeting registrations and related features that transform a Teams meeting to a webinar. Part of these features (but not limited to ) are

  • Large interactive meetings (1K)
  • Overflowing meetings, so when more than 1000 attendees join the meeting they are automatically overflowed to view-only attendees without any action from organizers or presenters (=this is automatic if enabled)
  • Polls
  • Registration support (this blog post)
  • Applications in meetings
  • Chat bubbles (not yet rolled out)
  • PowerPoint Live
  • Presenter Modes
  • Dynamic View
  • Multiple Spotlights (you can spotlight up to 7 people, in public preview)
  • Hard Mute
  • Video Control (disabling attendees from turning on their video cam, not yet rolled out)
  • Chat control
  • etc.. the list is long.

How to add registration page to Teams meeting

When you are choosing to create a new meeting in Teams you choose Webinar, instead of Schedule meeting or Live event. This allows you to add a registration page to your webinar

First you set the scope your webinar (Require registration)

  • For people in your org (defaul)
  • For everyone

Then you will be able to customize the registration form by clicking View registration form which will open in a new window in Teams Desktop

In this form you can define a picture for your Webinar, add Event details , Add Speakers and customize registering for the event.

You can also add multiple new fields to the form, marking them required or not

Note: think ahead what fields you will be adding, since you can not change the order afterwards!

For the header image, you should go with a image dimensions similar to Announcement message in Teams: “choose an image that’s at least 918×120 px“.

Note that the speaker-section does not support any formatting (nope, no markdown. I tested it) and not even line-breaks.

After Save you can view the result in a browser that has signed into the same organization where you are setting up the webinar.

Once you go back to the main meeting view and send it you can open the registration page in any browser to sign in to it! Note that you can invite presenters to the webinar directly using Teams normal meeting setup.

If you need to make changes to the registration form later, just open the meeting and look for Customize registration form.

This is also a exception to Teams meetings where you don’t have to invite others to the meeting to make it a Teams meeting.

Registering people to webinar

Use Copy registration link to get URL to the webinar registration page to share it. Shortlink service is recommended to make it a easy to share, remember & good looking link.

Registration is easy: Attendees just fill up at least required fields.

Registered people get an email that contains a calendar meeting (ics) and also very clear information how to Join the webinar.

Meeting organizer (who created the webinar) has access to Registration report to stay up to date who are attending. The reports is a csv file that can be downloaded from Teams.

Running the webinar

When meeting organizers join the webinar meeting they can see a few settings automatically done:

  • Meeting Options:
    • People I invite (turn off allow forwarding) is set to lobby. This allows other presenters to join in without issues.
    • Callers can not bypass the lobby and announcements of people joining or leaving are also off.
    • Only specific people can present and everyone else is attendee.
    • Microphone is turned off for attendees
    • Chat is set to exist only during the meeting (webinar).
    • Reactions are on

When presenters join the webinar they can set everything up and ready while letting attendees wait in the lobby. Once presenters are ready they can let people in – and meeting organizer can turn off the lobby if they so choose. That will allow of course everyone – even those to whom the link was shared to – join the show.

The actual webinar is just like running a normal scheduled meeting otherwise. I recommend adding at least Polls to keep the audience more active & engaged. Use of multiple Spotlights is also a great way to highlight presenters who are speaking at that moment – and especially when there is a panel discussion you can highlight up to 7 presenters or attendees.

Teams Webinars adds a registration page and meeting options automatically to make the webinar setup easier to enable everyone to start using them.

Microsoft has also created a quick-guide how to get started on Webinars. A few of this blog post’s pictures are from it.

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