Can I run a webinar from Microsoft Teams?

Dec 10, 2020 | Microsoft 365 Hints and Tips, Microsoft Teams Hints and Tips

Microsoft Teams meetings are great to get together a few people but for a larger scale online webinar the option of Live event is going to a much better bet.

The organisers can line up content for a more seamless experience, changing smoothly from one presenter to another.  They can communicate with each other behind the scenes before the event goes live to discuss any last minute changes to line up or updates in presentations being used.

With these larger scale events it is not going to work with individuals unmuting to communicate so attendees only communicate via Q&A.  Add this to the opportunity to have up to 20,000 attendees at each event and for it to last for up to 12 hours and you have got a brilliant webinar option in Microsoft Teams.

Creating a live event

Live events can only be setup from Microsoft Teams not from Outlook.

1. Choose calendar from the pane on the left

2. From the drop down beside New meeting select Live event

3. Add the information about the live event

4. Choose who to invite as presenters to the event. These are not the people attending but the people running and presenting the webinar. Each person invited can be set to be a presenter or a producer.  Their roles are different and are detailed at the end of this blog

5. Set the live event permissions to either People and groups, Org-wide or Public

Image of Live event permissions

6. Choose how the live event will be produced including whether a recording will be available after the event for the attendees, whether an attendee engagement report will be produced to monitor who attended and whether attendees will be able to pop their questions in a Q&A

7. Click on Schedule to schedule the meeting

8. Invite attendees by clicking on Get attendee link and sharing or sending it

Image of attendee link

9. Click on Close

Joining the webinar as a producer or presenter

Shortly before the webinar is due to take place the producers and presenters will join the live event to ensure everything is working correctly.  The people involved with running the live event are the producers and those that are presenting the content are presenters.  They can join the event from the calendar event in either Teams or Outlook.

1. Double click on the calendar event to open it

2. Click on Join live event or Join depending on whether you are in a Teams or Outlook meeting

3. Do not forward on the invite as it is only invites sent directly from the meeting orgainser that will work

4. Click on Join now

5. A producer will come straight into the meeting, a presenter may be required to wait in the lobby

6. The event is currently pre-live. This means that none of the attendees can see or hear what is happening. This gives the producers and presenters the time to organise the event


Image of pre live

7. All the producers and presenters will be listed at the bottom of the screen. One of these is added to the queue by clicking on it

8. Send live adds this to the right screen too. At this point the event is still not live

9. Click Start to start the live event

10. Click Continue when asked if you are sure you want to start the live event

Image of pre live

11. There is approx. 10 to 20 second delay between the presentation and what the attendees see. The pre-live text changes to Live event and you are up and running

12. While the presenter is presenting the producer can line up the next presenter ready to go live

13. Click End to end the live meeting for participants. Once this is clicked the event cannot be restarted

14. Click End live event to confirm the event is over

15. The producers and presenters are still in the meeting window at this time and can discuss the event that has just run

16. Click Leave to leave the event totally

NOTE: Some of these options will only be applicable to the producers.

Joining the webinar as an attendee

The attendee will have received a meeting invite from the meeting organiser.

1. Click on Join live event if opening the invite from Outlook or Join if joining from Teams

2. If the live event has not started then the holding screen below will appear

3. If it has started the attendee will be taken straight into the meeting

Attendees can only communicate via the Q&A window if this has been enabled.  No verbal communication can be made with the producers or presenters.

Attendees can access the recording of the live event later by returning to the original invite if this has been enabled.

People involved with a live event

There are 4 different types of people involved in a live event and each has their own distinct roles.

  • The organiser does not need to be in the event unless they are also a producer or presenter. They do all the event setup, invite attendees, configure event options and generate any reports after the event.
  • The producer facilitates the event, lining people up to go live, starting and stopping the event and may also keep an eye on the Q&A and relay questions back to the presenter.  They can also present part of the webinar.
  • Presenters present to the attendees.
  • Attendees are viewers. They watch the event either live or on demand.

If you are planning on running an event like this I would suggest a dry run, making sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are, particularly while the event is live.  There are lots of benefits for larger events using this rather than a standard team meeting.  It’s all about using the right tools for the job.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about how you can run a webinar in Microsoft Teams, you might find the following blog useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Teams? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Teams Course I run.