Microsoft Teams is supported by the College and staff should consider using this software for any virtual events. There are two types of virtual event that can be run through Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams Meetings can host up to 300 attendees including external attendees. Teams Meetings are participatory in nature and allow more interaction between attendees and any presenters. An example of a physical equivalent would be a panel discussion or seminar.
- Panel discussions
- Training sessions
Microsoft Teams Live Events can have up to 20,000 attendees. Live Events is an extension of Microsoft Teams Meetings allowing a broadcast style event led by presenters/organisers. The audience views content shared by these organisers. An example of a physical equivalent would be a public lecture.
- Video streaming followed by Q&A
- Conferences/seminars with large audiences
For more information on how to run a Live Event please get in touch with the Institutional Events team.
For guidance on running a successful public event at Imperial please visit our Running an event page.
How to run a virtual event
Below are some helpful pointers for Event Organisers to help you create a professional and smooth running virtual event.
How to run a virtual event
To run any event on Microsoft Teams you will need:
- The desktop app for Microsoft Teams installed on your computer. Visit the ICT webpage for how to download Microsoft Teams.
- A desktop PC, Mac or laptop with a microphone and video camera.
- A wired broadband connection or otherwise a fast and reliable wifi connection.
- Ideally a headset or earphones.
- Some branded slides have been created and are available on the asset library.
A set of Imperial backdrops have been created for use with Microsoft Teams. For more information please visit our guidance on how to download and install Microsoft Teams backdrops.
Preparing for your event
- Allow yourself plenty of time to organise the event and for rehearsals for organisers and speakers.
- For Microsoft Teams Live Events, Campus Services can provide technical support if required and will arrange at least one technical rehearsal with you ahead of the event.
- For Microsoft Teams Live Events, Producer and Presenter roles must be assigned when the appointment is created in the calendar on MS Teams.
To achieve the best possible guest experience for your virtual audience consider the following points:
- Time zone: hold your event when guests in other time zones will be able to attend.
- Turn off joining and leaving announcements: this can be done under meeting options when setting up your Teams Meeting
- Subtitles can be turned on for both Teams Meetings and Live Events. For Live Events organisers can select up to 6 languages in which attendees can view the subtitles. Attendees are able to turn subtitles on themselves and a transcript is available afterwards.
- Take a break: if the event is over 90 minutes a break is recommended. A slide is available in the template deck for this purpose.
- Coming soon: 7x7 video view enabling you to see up to 49 attendees on your screen at once (rolled out by the end of the summer).
At the start of the event
Please ask the person chairing your event to begin with a practical introduction for your audience including the following points:
- Ask your guests to turn off their cameras if they don't wish to be in the event recording
- Run through the programme and outline, including if and when there will be any breaks.
- Let your audience know how your Q&A will be run and request questions be submitted.
- If using a Microsoft Teams Meeting remind your guests to remain muted throughout the event unless they wish to participate in any verbal Q&A session.
During your event
- Anyone sharing their screen with the audience should close any other documents or programmes they don’t need.
- Remember to remind people to utilise the chat and Q&A functions for any questions they would like to raise.
- Unless speaking, all guests and other speakers should mute their microphones throughout.
Closing your event
- To end a virtual event on Teams Meetings, the chairperson should close the event and thank everyone for attending and then click the End Meeting button in the more settings/controls elipsis on the meeting control bar. This will end any recordng taking place any 'force' any remaining attendees out.
- On Live Events, the ‘End Event’ button should be used but only at the very end of your event. Once pressed, it is not possible to restart your event.
Frequently asked questions
Who will run my event for me?
If you are considering running a Teams meeting or public Live Event, we recommend that you get in touch with the Institutional Events team to discuss your requirements.
It’s up to you to arrange for a team and support to help run the event. For Live Events you will, at minimum, require four people and chairperson and to ensure that things run smoothly.
Your elected chairperson should be asked to make a couple of housekeeping announcements at the beginning of the event. They will also be in charge of closing the event and may be responsible for chairing the Q&A.
Do I need to use Campus Services to run a public live event?
The support of a Campus Services technician to run a public live event is optional. You are welcome to run your event on your own without paying for support from Campus Services.
If you would like to stream to social media or YouTube or would like video content created for your event you will need support from Campus Services. Please note that support from Campus Services should be booked will in advance of your event.
How many Producers do I need for a Live Event?
We recommend at least three people are assigned the role of Producer for a Live Event. Anyone acting as a Producer must be assigned as such when you first set up the event and cannot be Presenters and vice versa:
- Technical support – managing and cueing up the stream
- Q&A moderator – manage Q&A and flag questions to speakers
- Moving through the slide deck where using an amalgamated deck (recommended) or sharing any content.
- Monitoring the live stream(s) for quality control purposes
How do I make my event look good?
- Use an Imperial background: A set of Imperial backdrops have been created for use with Microsoft Teams. For more information please visit our guidance on how to download and install Microsoft Teams backdrops.
- Use Imperial holding and title slides: Some branded slides have been created for use during virtual events and are available on the asset library. These slides are for use before and during your event, as a deck of holding slides and a set of title slides which can be updated with details of your event.
- Have your presentation set up at one deck: this will allow you to simply switch control between presenters rather than desktops. To create one deck of slides including an introduction which will loop before the event begins you can get in touch with the Institutional Events team.
How do guests attend my virtual event?
- You will need to share the Meeting or Live Event link with your attendees in order for them to join, this can be included as part of the joining instructions for your event.
- For Teams Meetings all attendees enter the event through a virtual lobby. Imperial attendees will be automatically admitted but the event organiser will need to let in external attendees, you will receive a notification to prompt you to do this.
How do I register my guests?
We would advise you to use Eventbrite or similar to register your guests in advance of your event. The link for your live event can then be sent to your guests by email in your joining instructions a few days ahead of your event.
Registering your guests in advance will enable you to see who has registered and give you an idea of expected attendance. You can also use the registration process to enable registrants to submit questions in advance.
If your event is open to the public we would also suggest that you add the live event link to the event listing on the College website and to the registration page on the day of your event.
Can external guests attend my virtual event?
External guests can attend all MS Teams Meetings and Public Live Events. Organisers need to share the link to the Meeting or Live Event with them beforehand.
Do my guests need to have the Microsoft Teams app?
Attendees do not need to download the Microsoft Teams app to attend virtual events, they can view and participate using a browser. On Windows it is advised to use either Chrome or Microsoft Edge, from an IOS device it is suggested you also use Chrome.
Can my guests dial in?
Attendees can call into Teams Meetings or Live Events via telephone. To enable this function the event organiser will need to complete a short form to request a licence (Form to request Audio Conferencing Add On Licence). Once an organiser has filled in this form they will automatically have this option for future events they organise.
- Please note that call in participants will be able to hear but not see anything happening in the event, including other speakers or shared content.
- The number to dial in will appear in the calendar appointment along with a local numbers link for the rest of the World (note that MENA and Africa are currently not well covered)
How do I run a Q&A on Microsoft Teams?
- Teams Meetings have a chat function which can be used for the Q&A. There is also the option of inviting guests to ask questions verbally.
- Microsoft are currently rolling out a ‘raise hand’ function for attendees to use in a Teams Meeting to indicate they would like to ask a question.
- Organisers should consider giving guests the option of submitting questions beforehand as part of registration, or posting an email address in the event that attendees can email questions to if they prefer to remain anonymous.
- For Live Events there is a Q&A function that can be selected when creating the event. This needs to be moderated by a Producer (see How many Producers do I need for a Live Event?). The moderator is able to publish, dismiss or reply privately to questions submitted by the audience. Questions are only visible to other audience members once they have been published by the moderator.
- The Live Event Q&A gives the audience the option to post their question(s) anonymously if they wish to.
- In a Live Event the audience are able to give a thumbs up to published questions to indicate that they would also like to ask the same question.
Can I run breakout sessions?
Yes. Currently this needs to be set up in advance and there is a helpful tutorial available on YouTube. Link to watch YouTube tutorial.
Breakout rooms within a Microsoft Teams event are currently in development and are expected to be available in the Autumn.
The Insitutional Events team can also advise. Contact the Institutional Events team for advice.
Breakout sessions are not possible in Live Events.
Can non-Imperial people present during my event?
- Many external attendees will be able to present at your virtual event with no issues, particularly those from other academic institutions that already use Teams.
If you do discover an issue with external presenters during your practice sessions, please try the following solutions:
- Create a Team for your presenters in advance and invite your audience to join this team to participate in the event. This will establish your external presenter as a valid guest.
- Request a guest account from ICT for your external presenter to use (exceptional use only if the first solution does not work) Request a guest account from ICT.
Can I show pre-recorded content?
Yes. Campus Services will be able to assist you with this, please contact email@example.com in the first instance.
Can I live stream the event onto YouTube or another social media platform?
- It is possible to do this in Live Events and Campus Services can assist with this.
- You can also post a recording of your event on YouTube after it has taken place.
Do I need to request permission for each public event I want to run?
No, you only need to request permission to host public live events once. Your permission, once granted, will not expire.
If you would like to discuss any of the points above, or require further support and guidance with planning and designing your event for an online audience please contact the Institutional Events team in the first instance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Institutional Events team run Virtual Events guidance sessions every Thursday between 3pm-4pm. If you would like to join this session please email email@example.com.