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“Town Hall” in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft recently announced Town Hall, a new virtual event experience that will replace Live events in Teams and will be generally available to business customers from October 5, 2023. At the same time, Microsoft is also announcing the withdrawal of live events by September 30, 2024. Live events will continue to be supported for another 12 months, until the date of its withdrawal. Microsoft is doing this primarily to simplify the virtual event experience in Microsoft Teams, integrating live event functionality into your Teams meeting experience. This will create a unified experience for your users, whether they’re hosting a small meeting, a customer-facing webinar or a company-wide town hall.

👉 I can’t wait to see how Microsoft translates “Town Hall” into French, as the literal translation would be “rencontre municipale”, or “assemblĂ©es publiques” 😂

Town Hall in Microsoft Teams, will be a new experience for hosting and organizing large-scale internal events to create links within your organization. Town Hall meetings will offer a one-to-many format with advanced production capabilities and a structured approach to participant engagement.

With Town Hall meetings, your users will be able to organize various types of internal and external events, including company-wide town hall meetings, global team meetings, internal broadcasts, discussions, and much more. Town Hall meetings in Microsoft Teams will enable your users to extend their reach to evolve their message and connect with audiences around the world; create professionally produced, studio-quality events that offer a more dynamic and structured experience. You can also manage audience engagement to maximize participation and maintain focus on the event.

What you need to know

From October 5, 2023, Town Hall virtual meetings will replace live events and will be available in Office 365 and Microsoft 365 E1/E3/E5/A3/A5 packages, for basic functionality. For advanced Town Hall features, you’ll need a Teams Premium license. Below you’ll find a list of basic and premium features.

FonctionnalitésBasicPremium
Capacitéjusqu'à 10 000 participantsjusqu'à 20 000 participants
Chambre verte
OuiOui
Durée de l'événementJusqu'à 30hJusqu'à 30h
GĂ©rer ce que voient les participantsOuiOui
Masquer la liste des participantsOuiOui
RTMP-inOuiOui
RTMP-outOuiOui
Q&A structuréesOuiOui
Enregistrement sur demandeOuiOui
Rapports des participantsOuiOui
Communications par courrier Ă©lectronique et personnalisation
NonOui
Sous-titres traduits en directNonOui
Concurrence des événementsjusqu'à 15 concurrentesjusqu'à 50 concurrentes
Support eCDN (surveillance en temps réel)NonOui

While Microsoft Teams’ Town Hall-style meetings will eventually achieve full parity in terms of functionality with those of live events, there will be several differences in the experience at launch, including:

  • Event roles: Town halls include the roles of organizer, co-organizer, presenter and participant; while Live Events Teams include the roles of organizer, producer, presenter and participant. For town halls, there is no Producer role available at launch – it is now replaced by the Organizer, Co-organizer and Presenter roles, as these roles now have similar functionality to the Producer role, including: starting and stopping the event, sharing your own video, sharing an external video, sharing the desktop or active window, and selecting which presenters and content are displayed on screen with the Manage What Attendees See feature.
  • External presenter: Town halls can invite external participants (anyone outside the organization) to the event, however, the ability to invite external presenters to town halls will be available at the end of October. This will enable external presenters to receive unique login links to automatically bypass the lobby and ensure that the intended recipient as presenter participates in the event.
  • Digital Video Recorder (DVR): Town halls will have on-demand recordings available from launch, however, DVR, which allows attendees to rewind and pause during the event, will be available in the coming months.
  • Integration with Viva Engage: Town halls will be integrated with Viva Engage to enable participants to view the event in Viva Engage, whether the event is produced directly in Teams or with an external app or device, however, this functionality will be available in the coming months.

What’s new?

  • Event capacity and competition
    Now you can have up to 20,000 participants and host up to 50 events at the same time in your organization.
  • RTMP-out
    Organizers will be able to broadcast their events to a custom application or other endpoint outside Teams using the RTMP-out function. This will enable you to view your events on other third-party platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, X, Meta Workplace, etc. Please note that this feature will only be available next year!
  • Recording on demand
    You can now publish the recording of your meeting to your participants. This action will automatically send an e-mail to participants, with a link to view the recording. Participants will be able to visit a landing page dedicated to the event where the recording is hosted. See example below.
  • Email communication and personalization
    Your organizers will be able to send pre-configured email templates for event invitations and event registration emails instead of manually creating a separate email, copying the event link and sending a calendar invitation to attendees. Personalization of these emails will be available in Teams Premium.
  • Attendee report
    New attendee report tab or menu including the usual data: total number of attendees, arrival and departure times of individual attendees for the event, and overall attendance time of individual attendees.

Video presentation

Get ready!

For those of you who use live events on a daily basis, and to help you with Town Hall events, Microsoft offers technical advice and resources to assist you in this transition. They will be available when Town Hall is launched on October 05, 2023.

Source

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