With the arrival of Covid-19 the ability to work from home is now a primary importance for many of us. Part of this is the need for our work life to continue as near to normal as possible. One of the biggest enablers of this for me is Office 365 and the resources it has for getting work done no matter where I am. For those in the Events industry involved in planning, hosting, delivering large-scale meetings and events we need to look at what our options are for online alternatives.
As part of Microsoft’s promotion of existing features in Office 365 the Microsoft blog has just published ways to help Office 365 users host online meetings and events. These features are already available in the Live platform in multiple Office applications.
Online meetings in Yammer
For internal company meetings such as Town Halls, or Ask Me Anything sessions you can user Yammer to host. Yammer will allow for ongoing discussion and engagement and you can share content by screen-sharing or webcams.
You can use webcams and screen-sharing, or for more studio-quality broadcasts, additional production tools can be used.
You can host internal meetings in Stream to deliver live or on-demand video for learning, training, or specialised topics.
Live broadcasts can be viewed in Stream or embedded on custom intranet pages or other hosting spots, and when the event ends employees can find them there later. These events also use additional production tools to enable studio-quality broadcasts.
Online meetings in Teams
Live events can also be hosted in Teams and this is where Live events may feel most familiar to Teams users. Attendees can join from the browser, or the Teams app. If required, to preserve bandwidth, they can join as audio only. Microsoft have increased the number of attendees enabled to attend standard Teams calls to 250 attendees. This week alone Microsoft have served almost 1 billion minutes of Teams calls every day this week, with 44 million users – an increase of 12 million this week alone.
In Team Live calls, enabled via the meeting type dropdown in the Teams Calendar, speakers and presenters can connect as normal in Teams and share via their camera and share screens with a few clicks. You can also use have a moderated Q&A session and the fantastic feature of live captions to for inclusivity and to improve enhance the experience for attendees.
Guidance and help getting started
Microsoft have shared some best practices and guidance on how improving employee engagement with live events to enable us to get started delivering live events today.
They’ve also launched a service to assist with Live events and to start using these new event capabilities to create professional, and impactful virtual events.
Coming soon – PowerPoint Live
On top of all of this, the most interesting one to me is the new PowerPoint Live feature that is to be released soon. This is a new way of hosting meetings and presentations using the Live platform directly within PowerPoint.
There is a great highlight video online here. To me, the key features of this new tool are:
- It’s a native part of PowerPoint
- QR code links to join the call
- Automated subtitles
- Automated translation
- Attendee Feedback
- Agency for attendees to recap on content
I’m going to be jumping in to use some of these new tools that are at my disposal. Also, I can’t wait to get my hands on PowerPoint Live. It’s an exciting time for technology and Office 365.