I could not personally tell you how long I have been waiting for Microsoft to release their Webinar platform in Teams. I could tell you the anticipation grew with every email from Microsoft teasing the release.
Here at Crestwood we have been actively using GoToWebinar.com for all our webinar needs for as long as I have been with Crestwood (over 5 years!). GoToWebinar has suited our needs, with a large number of attendees able to attend, registration reports, analytics and so much more. So why the testing of webinars in Teams? The answer is, of course, because YOU may want to use it with your customers (maybe you can kick Zoom to the curb!) And hey, maybe we can save $1200 a year and work with what we already have free with our Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscription.
What is a webinar?
Webinar is actually a portmanteau of “web seminar.” In function, is a live digital workshop, lecture, or presentation hosted online using software that allows you to broadcast to an audience. Webinars can simply be used to share knowledge, ideas, and updates with people around the world. We use webinar software to conduct training sessions with clients. We also use webinars to demonstrate a new product or a feature of one of our partners’ products. Download our guide for tips on How to Run a Killer Webinar.
What Do We Need to Know About Webinars in Teams First?
Before I begin the walkthrough on how to create a webinar in Teams, I first must give you a little “FYI” on the features:
- Attendees can join a webinar on Teams even if they don’t have a Teams account. Simply go to the registration email and locate the option to either download the windows app, or join on the web instead. You can join the webinar on any device as well (iOS, Android mobile, tablet devices, or your computer)
- With Webinars in Teams, you can reach up to 1000 attendees with full interactivity, which means attendees can raise their hand during the presentation, chat with other attendees and use emojis to share reactions, plus answer poll questions. Presenters can also broadcast up to 10,000 attendees with a view-only experience.
Cool, huh! That is not all; along with the webinar platform rollout, Microsoft introduced PowerPoint Live (which I will teach you how to use in my next blog). So let’s get started with Webinars.
How to Set up a Webinar
Start by opening your Teams app then go to your Calendar. At the top right-hand side of your screen, click on the arrow button next to New Meeting and select Webinar.
Note: When joining the webinar, attendee settings will be defaulted to audio and video off. Settings can be managed with “Change options” after the webinar has been created. We will cover more of this later.
Next, enter the details of your Webinar:
- Select the Time Zone.
- Click who is required to register for event (“None” or “For People in your org”).
- Add a title.
- Add required or optional presenters.
- Select Date and Time.
- Add a location, if any.
- Enter a brief description.
Once all details are entered for your webinar, click the Scheduling Assistant tab at the top Menu Bar to see if there are any conflicts in a presenter’s schedule.
I have added my colleague, Amber to the required presenters list, and clicked on the Scheduling Assistant to make sure she was open on the date in question. The scheduling assistant shows she is open on Tuesday, June 8 at 10am. So, that answers my question whether she can present in the webinar.
Create a Registration Form
If you need to open access to the webinar to attendees outside your tenant, you can create a registration form to share. Click the link View registration form under the section that states: Want your attendees to register for this webinar?
When you click View registration form, another dialog box will appear that will enable you to create your registration form. Enter all the details that are pertinent to your webinar in the Event Details section, such as date, time, location, time zone and description. The registration page lets you add speaker information, so you can add a quick bio of that speaker.
Next, you will need to build your registration form. Teams has preloaded required fields to help you get started. You can add additional fields if need be. For example, you can ask for an address, city, state, Zip/Post Code, Country, Industry, etc.
You can also customize your fields with questions or multiple-choice options and make them required fields as well.
You may also customize your registration form by giving it a background image to maybe spice it up a little. Click on the Upload Image button to bring up another dialog box with the specifications of the images. To get the best result, choose an image that is at least 918x120px. You will see in the next screen shot I created a single background image that included the Crestwood logo. Feel free to be creative!
When all details of the event have been entered, the most important thing you can do is click Save.
After you click Save, a page will appear showing you the finished registration page. If you are satisfied with the results, click Copy registration link to prep for the next step.
If you need to make any changes to the registration page, simply click the Edit button, make your changes and click Save. Microsoft does not automatically save any changes.
Next, click the Copy registration link and prep to send your link via email or social media to your marketing lists/channels.
Note: The person who sets up the webinar will not be able to test the registration link even if you email it out to yourself. Teams recognizes you as the owner therefore does not allow you to test registration.
Final step, is to click Send to your presenters.
Once you have scheduled your webinar, informed your presenters, and shared the registration page with your audience you may now configure webinar settings to fit your needs.
First, go to your Calendar and then double-click on your event to open the details of the webinar.
Next, click on Meeting Options.
Clicking on Meeting Options will open a web browser to a variety of settings.
You can then determine who can bypass the lobby. Navigate to the drop-down menu “People I invite” and select:
- People in my organization, trusted organizations, and guest
- People in my organization and guests
- People in my organization
- People I invite (Turn off Allow Forwarding in the meeting invite)
- Only me
Click Yes or No to “Always let callers bypass the lobby.”
Select Yes to this option if you do not want to be interrupted during the session.
Click Yes or No to “Announce when callers join or leave.”
I would personally select No to this for larger attendee sessions so that there is no interruption or distraction during the session.
You can also Select “who can present” during your session. This gives you the opportunity to allow everyone or anyone in the session to present. Or you can designate:
- People in my organization and guests
- Specific People, or
- Only me
One of the cool things about Webinars in Teams is that if you are planning a meeting with multiple attendees, you can assign roles to each participant to determine who can do what during the meeting.
The two roles to choose from are: presenter or attendee. Presenters can do just about anything that needs doing in a meeting, while the role of an attendee is more controlled. Click here to see a listing of roles and their capacity.
During your meeting, you can change someone’s role in two ways:
- Go to Calendar, double-click the meeting, and select Meeting Options. Use the drop-down menu for “Who can present?” To select a new presenter.Note: If the meeting is recurring, any change you make in the Meeting Options will apply to all meeting occurrences.
- Select Show Participants in the meeting controls to see a list of all the people in the meeting. Hover over the name of the person whose role you want to change and select More Options. From there, select Make a Presenter or Make an Attendee.Note: If the meeting is recurring, role assignments made in this way will only apply to the current meeting. For future meetings, participants will keep the role assigned to them on the Meeting Options page.
If someone leaves the meeting and rejoins later, their role will be the last role they had when they were first assigned.
The last set of options in Meeting Options is to select whether you want the microphone, camera, chat, or reactions on during your session. It’s pretty self-explanatory, yes/no to camera or microphone; enable/disable or In-Meeting only for chat and yes/no to allow reactions.
Click Save and you are good to go! You created your first Webinar in Microsoft Teams, Congratulations!
Lastly, this is the cool part, all interactions during the session including recording are stored in one location. So if you need to go back and find a file, it is there under one of the event tabs (Chats, Files, Details, etc.). You’ll also find a downloadable attendee and registration list. Pretty cool, huh?
If you are new to webinars, I suggest you do a test run first and start your webinars early to get familiar with the different settings including how to share your screen and record the meeting. If you need help download our guide for Running a Killer Webinar.
I hope you found this blog of help getting started in Webinars for Teams. For more tips and tricks visit and subscribe to our blog.