A Hands-on Guide to Set Up Webinars in Teams

May 12, 2023
15 min read

Microsoft came out with the capability to use Microsoft Teams for webinars some time ago, but along with the release of Teams Premium in January, webinars for all versions of Teams have gotten a huge facelift and fixed some of the previously reported issues. This article will walk you through how to use Teams’ new webinar function.

Creating Your Webinar

To create a new webinar, go to your calendar in Teams, then select the New meeting button and choose Webinar from the menu.

The form shows the calendar in Microsoft Teams. From the New meeting button located in the top right of the screen, a menu appears where you can choose Webinar.
Figure 1: You can schedule a webinar in Teams from the calendar. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

The next screen is where you will configure:

  • Webinar title
  • Start and end date
  • Webinar description
  • Presenters, who will be added to the presenter screen
  • Co-Organizers, who will not be added to the presenter screen, and don’t have permission to edit the webinar
  • Event Access, where you can choose between Private, limiting it only to your organization, or Public, where anyone can register and attend.
Detail screen for your webinar where you see basic info about your webinar like title, date, description, and presenters; you can input the values in the fields as you want.
Figure 2: Detail screen for your webinar, where you see basic info, title, date, description, and presenters. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Once you select Save, you will then have access to the options for presenter bios, meeting options, and managing apps that you want to add to your webinar. Event members will get a meeting invitation when you save the webinar.

Presenter Bios

Under Presenter bios, you can add and modify information about your presenters by selecting Edit beside the appropriate presenter. You can also, at any time, preview how the webinar page will look by selecting View draft.

Window that shows the presenters, and that allows the user to select edit to modify the presenters.
Figure 3: You can edit the information for each presenter under the Presenter bios menu. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

On the Edit bio screen, you can modify all the information about the presenter besides the email: name, company, job title, LinkedIn profile, etc. The information you are adding here is stored in a SharePoint List. It would be ideal if Azure AD would auto-populate as much of this information as possible when it’s an internal user, but this will probably be added in the future.

Add your information and select Save.

Edit bio screen, that allows the user to input the information about the speaker, like Name, Company, Job Title, LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, Personal website, and a bio. Fill in the screen with the needed information.
Figure 4: Selecting Edit beside a presenter allows you to modify their bio. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

External users have to be invited in order to have a presenter role, and are added as Guest Speaker. With external guest speakers, regardless of whether or not Microsoft updates the app to auto-populate speaker information with Azure AD, you will always need to go in and modify the guest speaker information.

Add all the information as needed for your speakers.

This window shows how the speaker information looks after you have added all the wanted information, like name, company, job title, and links to the LinkedIn, Twitter and Personal homepage, and with a bio about the speaker.
Figure 5: Guest speaker bio, with name, company and other relevant fields added. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Once you are finished editing the information about the speakers, it’s time to view the draft. So, select View draft in the upper right corner.

Presenter bios page showing the speakers that have been added to the webinar. Highlighted on the screen is the view draft button on the top right corner.
Figure 6: Presenter bios page showing the different speakers. Because the webinar has been saved, the View draft button is now selectable. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size
Window showing preview of what the webinar page will look like. It shows the title, date, description, and speaker information
Figure 7: Preview window of the webinar registration page, showing the event information and the speaker information. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

 

Theming

The next thing to configure is theming.

Figure 8: Theming screen from the modify webinar page screen, showing alert text that the organization’s privacy statement is not yet configured in Azure Active Directory settings. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Here, you can change the banner image, the logo and the theme color. If you get the error message that you don’t have a privacy statement configured, you can find more information about how to do that here:

Add your organization's privacy info - Microsoft Entra | Microsoft Learn

Note: Because webinars retrieve their privacy statement from Azure Active Directory, this means that the privacy currently must be the same for all webinars.

Image showing how to change the logo of the webinar page.
Figure 9: The logo upload popup window. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

The Logo needs to be at least 280 x 280 pixels; to change it, select Choose another image in the right corner of the popup window. Select your image and select save.

To change the theme color, select the Theme color button.

Image showing the different theme colors available to select from for the webinar.
Figure 10: Selecting a theme screen for the webinar page. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Select the theme color of your choice, then select Save. Currently, standard webinars don’t support custom theme colors. If you want to replace the header banner, select Choose another image.

Image showing the banner image with highlighted button in the upper right corner where the user can choose to upload another image.
Figure 11: Screen for uploading a banner image that allows you to replace the default banner. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Select the image of your choice and then select save to replace the banner image. The best proportions for the banner image are at least 920 x 230 pixels. If you upload an image that is different from the banner proportions, you will get the option to choose the focal point of the image, as is the case with SharePoint.

Image showing the webinar page banner after it’s been uploaded, with option to change the focal point of the image.
Figure 12: The adjustable focal point within a bigger image. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Meeting options

Image showing the details screen for the webinar where the button Meeting options is highlighted.
Figure 13: The Meeting options button gives access to many options for participants. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

It’s a good idea to configure what the attendees see when they get into the webinar, and what they are able to do when it comes to interactions. To configure these options, select the Meeting options button on the upper bar.

Image showing the meeting option screen where the user can configure all the options for the meeting, for instance if the attendees will be given the opportunity to turn on/off microphone and camera.
Figure 14: Most options on the Meeting options screen are either yes/no, but a few have multiple settings. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

From this screen you will configure if you should have the Q&A added as a default to the webinar, whether the attendees should be allowed to turn the microphone or camera on or off, and other options about attendee interaction during the webinar. Configure all the options accordingly to your preferences.

Registration

Let’s continue with your webinar setup and configure the registration experience for your attendees.

If you want to require registrants to include more information than first name, last name, email, and the Microsoft consent fields, then you can select Add field. You can also modify the capacity of your webinar, to a current maximum capacity of 1000.

Image showing the configuration page for the registration page for the webinar, where you can input the capacity of the webinar, and add your custom fields. First name, last name, and email is already added and can’t be removed. The capacity and add field is highlighted.
Figure 15: The registration configuration page for the webinar. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Let’s add organization and job title to the form by selecting Add field.

Image showing different default fields that can be added to the form registration page, like Address, City, State, Industry etc ,and also the possibility to add custom questions.
Figure 16: Different options for new fields for the registration page. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Select Job Title, then add another field and select Organization.

Image showing the form builder of the webinar page, showing Job Title, Organization, Required button, and delete button. There is also an Add Field button.
Figure 17: The form builder of the webinar registration page. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

The only options here are to make the field required or to delete the field. Currently, there are no options to modify the sort order of the different forms. When you are happy with your form, it’s time to select Publish site.

Image showing the attendee status page, where there is no registrations yet, and also user is notified that the site is not published yet.
Figure 18: The Attendee status page for the webinar setup. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

After that, the user will see the following screen:

Image showing popup screen to confirm the publishing of your webinar.
Figure 19: Popup screen to confirm or cancel the publishing of the webinar. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Confirm the publishing of your webinar by selecting Publish on the pop-up screen. That will bring up a screen with a URL that you can share in all your different channels for people to join your webinar.

Image showing the pop-up window with the link to the webinar, that can be copied and shared
Figure 20: The webinar is ready to be shared with the webinar URL link. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

This is how the finished webinar signup page looks:

Image showing the webinar page, with a banner, title, date and description. There is also information about the speakers, and a button to register for the event.
Figure 21: The finished webinar signup page, with information about the webinar and a Register button. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

And the Registration form:

Image showing the registration page, with input information like First name, Last name, email, job title, and organization, and button to confirm the terms of registration and registration button
Figure 22: The registration page showing the registrant’s input information, a button to confirm the terms of registration, and a registration button. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

And finally, this is what the confirmation email looks like:

Image showing the confirmation email with information about what the user registered to, with title, date, and description.
Figure 23: An email showing the registration confirmation for a Teams webinar. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Let’s go back to the of the webinar administration page, where there is one more submenu under Registration in the left navigation: Attendee status. Here, you can see all the registrants to your webinar. You will also see who has cancelled their registration.

Image showing the attendee status page. Where the user sees a list of Registered users.
Figure 24: Attendee status page, where you see registered users and cancelled registrations. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

The last thing to look at on the left navigation bar is the Reports section.

Image showing the report screen. Here the user will see the Attendance with total amount of registrations, views, and cancelled registrations. You can also copy the event link and download the report to an excel file.
Figure 25: The Reports screen where the admins see an overview of the webinar, and can also download a report in an Excel file. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

This section is pretty self-explanatory: As you can see, you can download a report of participants here if you need it.

Configure Discussion Options

Image showing the details screen for the webinar where the button Manage Apps is highlighted.
Figure 26: Details screen for the webinar, where you can add apps through the Manage apps button. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

Selecting Manage apps on the top bar allows you to configure the built-in participation apps as well as the option to add third-party apps. Let’s look at those in more detail.

Image showing the navigation bar for the webinar, with items like Chat, Files, Details, Attendance, Meeting Whiteboard and Q&A.
Figure 27: Options in the top navigation bar from the webinar. View Full Size

One of the great things with webinars in Teams is that you can also preconfigure Q&A and add other apps to the webinar. To preconfigure Q&A, select Q&A in the top navigation menu.

Image that shows the Q&A page with options to start a discussion or creating questions. On the right side you see the Q&A settings where you can configure the permissions for the attendees.
Figure 28: The Q&A page from the webinar with options to start discussion or create questions. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

If you select inside the Start a discussion field you will get a bigger textbox.

Image showing the Q&A window for the Teams webinar, with an input field where you can start to write your post. You can also select in the left corner to change from a discussion to a question.
Figure 29: Start a discussion window for the webinar. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

If you select the question button that is marked with a red square in the left corner, you can switch between starting a discussion and writing a question. If you select a question, it looks like this:

Image showing the window for asking a question with input fields.
Figure 30: The Ask a question window for the webinar. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Having a pre-written question is a great way to get webinar attendees to be active participants right from the time they join the webinar.

I highly recommend that you also adjust the permissions for the Q&A section.

Image showing the options to modify the permissions for the attendees with on/off switch for questions, answers, anonymous post and moderate questions.
Figure 31: The Q&A settings where the organizer can modify the attendee permissions for the Q&A section. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Here the organizers can configure the permissions to allow questions or replies from the attendees, and also allow anonymous posts or not. And last but not least, there is the option to allow organizers to moderate questions from the attendees. Be aware that if you switch on moderation of questions, you can’t switch it off again.

Add Other Apps to Your Webinar

Image showing the navigation line with the button to add other apps to the webinar selected
Figure: 32: Navigation bar for the webinar with the + button to add apps. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

If you want to add other apps to your webinar, you need to select the big + button in the upper right corner that will brings this screen forward.

Image showing window with all the different apps that can be added as a tab to your webinar.
Figure 33: App screen to add apps into your webinar. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Here you can select the apps that you want to add to your webinar.

Modify or Cancel a Webinar

To modify or cancel a webinar, you need to find your event inside of Teams calendar view and open it.

Image showing the calendar view inside of Microsoft Teams with highlight of the webinar
Figure 34: Overview of the calendar inside Microsoft Teams. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

When you open up the webinar, you will be presented with a standard meeting screen.

Image showing the selected webinar from inside of Microsoft Teams, where the user can modify and cancel.
Figure 35: View of the webinar from inside of Microsoft Teams. | Used with permission from Microsoft. View Full Size

To cancel the event, just select the Cancel event button on the top of the page; to modify the event, select the Manage event button. From here you can also get the event link via the Copy event link button. These options are also available by right-selecting the webinar directly in the Teams calendar.

Image showing the cancel event button where the user has to confirm the deletion of the webinar.
Figure 36: The Cancel event popup screen. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

When you cancel the event, attendees and organizers will be notified by email.

Questions

1. Is it possible to turn off the Teams webinar experience?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible to turn this off with PowerShell:

Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity <policy name> -AllowMeetingRegistration $False
Set-CSTeamsEventsPolicy -Identity <policy name> -AllowWebinars Disabled

2. I still have the old webinar experience, what can I do?

Answer: You have to enable the new experience with PowerShell.

Turn on meeting registration:

Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity <policy name> -AllowMeetingRegistration $True

Activate the new webinar experience:

Set-CsTeamsEventsPolicy -Identity <policy name> -AllowWebinars Enabled

3. Can I use PowerShell to configure who can register for webinars?

Answer: Yes, you can, but keep in mind that this will also be the policy for meetings.

Allow only users in your organization to register:

Set-CsTeamsEventsPolicy -Identity <policy name> -EventAccessType EveryoneInCompanyExcludingGuests

Allow everyone, including anonymous users, to register:

Set-CsTeamsEventsPolicy -Identity <policy name> -EventAccessType Everyone

Conclusion

With the new changes Microsoft have made to the webinar experience, a lot of the issues we were complaining about before have been addressed. Hopefully this hands-on guide has given you a sense of what you can do, and how you can do it, with the new webinars for Teams.

Knut Relbe-Moe

Knut Relbe-Moe

Knut Relbe-Moe works as a technical evangelist and has been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). He has worked with SharePoint and Teams for many years and has worked on both big and small projects. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with the community and has been a mentor to many other people.

Knut has also helped to establish and grow commercial business models, sales strategies, successful partner ecosystems, partner experience and partner success functions in various roles.

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