Microsoft Innovates Virtual Connectivity with the Introduction of Town Halls in Teams and the Phasing Out of Teams Live Events

Microsoft Teams evolves to offer a unified, dynamic, and enriched virtual event experience with the introduction of Town Halls, aiming to replace Teams Live Events by September 2024.

In a world where teams are more globally dispersed than ever, Microsoft is advancing to enhance virtual connectivity by introducing Town Halls in Microsoft Teams. This innovative feature is set to replace Teams Live Events, offering a more unified and enriched experience for hosting large-scale, internal events, enabling organizations to create meaningful connections across the globe.

 Town halls will provide a one-to-many format with advanced production capabilities and a structured approach for attendee engagement. With town halls, customers can host various types of internal as well as external events including company-wide town halls, all hands, global team meetings, internal broadcasts, fireside chats, and more.

Unified Virtual Experience:
Microsoft aims to simplify the virtual event experience on Teams by integrating live event capabilities into the Teams meeting experience. This integration will offer users a seamless experience whether they are hosting small meetings, customer-facing webinars, or company-wide town halls. Town Halls will be generally available for commercial customers starting October 5, 2023, with Teams Live Events set to retire fully by September 30, 2024.

Advanced Features and Enhanced Engagement:
Town Halls will provide advanced production capabilities and a structured approach for attendee engagement in a one-to-many format. It will support various types of internal and external events, including company-wide town halls, all hands, global team meetings, internal broadcasts, and fireside chats. The new feature will allow organizers to manage what attendees see, keeping them focused and more deeply engaged, and will support live translated captions in multiple languages.

To keep attendees focused and more deeply engaged, organizers and presenters can manage their view so they only see shared content and participants brought on-screen. This enables organizers and presenters to bring other presenters both on and off the screen into an off-screen area and share relevant content for a more polished presentation. This also addresses one of our most highly requested features – to show more presenters on-screen with content. This new functionality enables up to seven presenters to be shown with content on the screen at any time.

Increased Capacity and Concurrent Events:
With Town Halls, Microsoft is offering increased attendee capacity, hosting up to 10,000 attendees in Office and Microsoft 365 offerings and up to 20,000 attendees in Teams Premium. It will also support up to 15 events hosted simultaneously across a tenant in Office and Microsoft 365 offerings and up to 50 concurrent events in Teams Premium.

Transition and Support:
Microsoft is offering technical guidance, support resources, LEAP support, free instructor-led training, and FastTrack onboarding assistance to help users transition smoothly to Town Halls. The company is committed to delivering new innovations and reaching feature parity on Town Halls, sharing progress with customers every step of the way.

Microsoft’s introduction of Town Halls in Teams is a significant leap towards creating a more dynamic, professional, and engaging virtual event experience. It reflects the company’s commitment to innovation and its focus on meeting the evolving needs of organizations in the modern, globally dispersed work environment. As Teams Live Events retire, Town Halls are poised to become the go-to solution for hosting large-scale events, driving deeper connections within and outside organizations.

Microsoft Tech Community

Images from Microsoft

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