Run Your Events the Right Way With Dynamics 365 Marketing — Part 1

June 9, 2023
7 min read

Having spoken to a lot of customers who need event management capabilities, it never ceases to amaze me how often those who have already purchased Dynamics 365 Marketing — usually for its B2B marketing emails and customer journeys functionality — are surprised to hear event management is included in the product as well. It has been part of Dynamics 365 Marketing from the very beginning but it is often overlooked and not spoken about enough. Let’s have a look at what is available and how it can help make your event planning a success.

Dynamics 365 Marketing’s out-of-the-box functionality includes support for all event stages: pre-event planning, event execution​ and post event.​ You can host both in-person events and webinars. Here, I’m going to focus on the pre-event planning stage, which includes functionality for:

  • Event definition and event flow
  • Logistics, vendors, and sponsorship
  • Approvals management
  • Invitees and segmentation

Event Definition and Logistics

Each event you create can either be just a single unit, like a webinar or a training session, or can be composed of multiple separate sessions. For example, you might have an event providing information about pension changes, and within that event, you might have separate sessions about people over a certain age, people in different regions, or people with higher risk tolerance. So once you start creating the event record in Dynamics 365 Marketing, you need to decide on how you would like the attendees to interact with it; will they sign up for the event itself, or will they sign up for sessions individually (event-level registration vs session-level registration)?

The picture shows an example of a session-level registration event in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Available tabs are Sessions and Speakers. The Sessions tab is selected, showing a list of sessions the user can add.
Figure 1: Session-level registration. View Full Size

With a session-level registration, attendees can mix and match different sessions set up within the event with a shopping cart-like experience when they register.

The picture shows an example of an event-level registration event in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Available tabs are Sessions, Session tracks, Speakers, and Pass information. The Pass information tab is selected, showing which sessions are included in the pass.
Figure 2: Event-level registration. View Full Size

With event-level registration, attendees are presented with the passes set up for the event. Each pass is linked to a session track which has the pre-determined sessions that a participant will attend.

The session-level registration versus event-level registration setting is controlled by the Allow registrants to create their own agenda flag, which is shown above the calendar and only available for events that don’t have any passes set up. If you have passes set up, it is hidden.

You can choose the sponsors for your event, categorize them, and specify what their contribution is. From a technical point of view, sponsorship is a linking table between an account and an event record.

The picture shows sponsors’ sub-grid in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Available tabs are General, Agenda, Website and form, Registration and attendance, Additional information, Room reservations, Recovery items and Related. The Agenda tab is selected, showing speakers and sponsors.
Figure 3: Sponsors’ grid in Dynamics 365 Marketing. View Full Size

Dynamics 365 Marketing has support for both in-person or online events. If you choose to stream your event, you have two streaming providers integrated natively — Microsoft Teams and On24. With Microsoft Teams, not only do you have the Teams meeting automatically created for you, but you get multiple streaming options, like lobby bypassing, allowing attendees to unmute themselves, allowing reactions, and others.

The picture shows an example of streaming configuration in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Available tabs are General, Agenda, Website and form, Registration and attendance, Additional information, Room reservations, Recovery items and Related. The General tab is selected, showing different streaming settings like whether to stream the event, the streaming provider, change meeting options, and who can bypass the lobby.
Figure 4 : Event streaming options. View Full Size

Location, Venue and Speakers

For onsite events, Dynamics 365 Marketing allows you to plan and record logistical information like location and venue constraints. You can associate a building and the rooms in the building, and also define the layout for each room. For example, some events might be better suited to cabaret-style seating and others might be better suited to a U-shaped room. Having that information recorded makes it easy for the event planner to map the right session to the right venue. You can also define venue capacity and have the app manage waitlists for you.

The picture shows an example configuration of the event location settings in Dynamics 365 Marketing. There are three sections: location, venue constraints and waitlist.
Figure 5: Location and venue constraints. View Full Size

Having the right speakers for each session or event is imperative to its success. You can manage your speaker list in the product, as well as record additional information like speaker cost and speaker engagement start and end time.

The picture shows a speaker engagement example configuration in Dynamics 365 Marketing. There are two tabs: General and Related. General is selected and it displays rows of information like start time, end time, speaker, speaker cost, event, session and description.
Figure 6: Speaker engagement. View Full Size

From a technical point of view, speaker data is stored on a speaker’s engagement record, which is the linking table between a speaker and an event.

Financial Information

You can record financial information, like event venue cost, currency, budget allocated and target revenue, but these fields are for informational purposes only. It is not best practice, nor recommended to use them to run the financials of the event.

Speaking of financial information, Dynamics 365 Marketing has the hook points to be integrated with third-party payment providers if payment is required for any of the events. That way people can pay as part of their event registration directly on the event portal.


Sometimes event planners need to get permission from management at different stages in the event planning. Not only can you define what these stages look like (see figure 7), but integration with Power Automate allows you to build approvals into the business process flow defined for the event. You can make some columns mandatory or locked, and only certain management personnel can be granted access to update them. The relevant people can be automatically notified through a Power Automate flow at predefined gates, which act like a trigger to the notification.

The picture shows an example of an event management business process flow. The business process flow shows 6 stages: preliminaries, agenda, organize, promote, launch, and post event. The current active stage is agenda and it displays action items like define sessions, identify speakers, sponsor identification and sponsorship requests.
Figure 7: Business process flow example. View Full Size

A Word on Templates

Some planners will run events that are very similar multiple times. You can easily define event templates within the product Once you have created the base version of the event, you can save it as a template and use that next time so that you never have to start from scratch. You can do so by selecting the dropdown beside Save and choosing to save as a template.

Final Words

As you can see, Dynamics 365 Marketing has some extensive functionality in terms of planning events. I have covered most of the fundamentals here, so hopefully you have found it useful.

If you have more specific questions about using the event planning functionality within Dynamics 365 Marketing, here are some useful links:

Dilyana Radulova

Dilyana Radulova

Dilyana Radulova is a Microsoft MVP (most valuable professional) award holder, speaker, blogger, community contributor and accomplished technical consultant with 10 years of experience. 

She currently works for Microsoft UK as technical specialist in the Bizz Apps Healthcare vertical. 

Before Microsoft, Dilyana worked in the partner space as part of the Professional Services deployment teams for a number of different Microsoft Gold partners based in Glasgow, Scotland. As Dilyana likes to put it, getting stuck in projects and getting your hands dirty with customers, is her favorite part of the job. 

After work, Dilyana likes to spend time in the Taekwondo gym. She has had a black belt for over 16 years.