Table Talk: Running Community Events in an Online World


Hi Everyone!

Are you ready to participate in Microsoft Ignite Table Talks? 

Our Talk is titled "Running Community Events in an Online World" and we welcome the discussion to begin! 

  • Share your experiences
  • What worked really well.. and what didnt'?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • How did you engage the audience? 
  • What is there you would want us to talk about with this subject?


Table Talk is very much like a Flipped Meeting concept: Let's have active conversation here before the actual session so the time we have with Teams Meeting (with video and voice) more a sharing of best of the best of the best ideas, experiences and practices we have discussed here - and perhaps evolve them even more. Attendees are also welcome to open mic and video! 


Let's have fun and make this a very active table! This is a totally new to create interaction with a event like Ignite. Perhaps this format would be a good one to be implemented on community events as well?


@adam deltinger 


Everyone: go ahead and RVSP to this session so you can attend the Teams meeting live on Wednesday! The space is limited.


Meet and share stories with fellow attendees in an open discussion using Teams Meetings about running online community events. Unmute yourself, turn your camera on - No presentations here! Your community peers will lead a discussion about topics such as running online events using Microsoft Teams, finding ways to interact with your virtual audience, best practices for accessible online events. Join the 'Community Best Practices & Leadership' Community Table on the Tech Community ahead of time to catch up on the conversation beforehand. Be prepared for chat and a fun interactive discussion!

13 Replies

@Kettukari - join in the discussion!

What is the biggest obstacle you see in community events that prevents participants to participate? 


@Tom Arbuthnot : Together mode in the events or not? It has been really fun in past couple of events where several participants have had their video on and seeing them in the together mode while presenting in the screen next to me. And raise hand was very nicely visible in it. 

"What is the biggest obstacle you see in community events that prevents participants to participate?"


A good question! One big obstacle is if you have to log in to something, especially if you need separate credentials for that. People like it easy - just a simple join link that works anywhere, with any device. But that limits the possibilities of how much control the organisers can have over the attendees.


@Amanda_Sterner do you have insights on this from the organiser point of view?

@Kettukari That is such a good question and I think there are many things to take in consideration when deciding how to online event. For example:


  • Do you need to be member of a team to get the full conference experience?
  • In that case is it ok that everyone will see your private email address or not? 
  • Is just a normal meeting enough where people open it however they want?

This will be super exciting to discuss next week at Ignite! 

@Amanda_Sterner @Kettukari 

Nice points! 


I have something others as well:

  • How do you make sure your audience is reached out?
  • Do you require registration to access the event?
  • How do you cope with different timezones?

It would be great to learn from your experiences.

One of things I really learned to appreciate (and demand) is marking the timezone to all schedules to make it clear when the event begins. In today's world we are attending and presenting in various timezones accross the globe. And knowing the right schedule in your own time matters huge time!


Bonus question? Should events send always calendar invites to speakers to cope with this timezone issue?  

Have you signed up to the session yet? Remember: space is limited!
Will be good to see all my friends in this session :D

Best, Chris

@Vesa Nopanen 


My organization likes to use polls and surveys to get feedback from live event topics. There are apps available for Teams meeting such as Form, Polly, etc.

Has anyone found a solution for conducting polls or surveys in a Teams Live Event?


Any suggestions are much appreciated!


- Nick

Hey folks, here are some useful resources about organizing online events. Feel free to share more. #SharingIsCaring


Have a look at the events and communities from around the world. Are you part of any community? Share the link here ⬇


For Live Event needs I just create a Forms form and ask questions there. The link is shared to attendees as well as the QR Code.
I used to do that in regular Teams Meetings also but soon (October) Meetings Extensibility should rollout and enable applications in Teams Meetings. Polly looks like it is going to be available for polling purposes!

@NSArtistGuy83 I'll go rogue and share the non-Microsoft tool I always use in presentation for Polls: Menti :hugging_face:


Love it for creating interactions during presentations, they have a great PowerPoint add-on to make it seamless in the presentations!

Here are some of the questions that were answered during the Table Talk.

Q: How do you reach out to your audience?

As: Engage speakers, create LinkedIn events, use social media, ask user groups to amplify your event


Q: Multiple presenters and only one person can control slide deck - how to do that?

As: Presenters should drive their own slides. Speaker can take control over the slides suing feature in Microsoft Teams. 

You can use a flashlight to indicate to switch the slide

"I once had a presenter who would touch his tie every time I was to press play on a music track. It worked out great because he had it timed it up perfectly - with a lot of practice."

The RIGHT way to share a PowerPoint in a Teams meeting


Q: What do you prefer Teams live or teams events?

As: Teams meeting is better for interactive event (see peoples faces, raise hand, ask questions directly)


Q: How do you cope with different time zones?

As: Send meeting request to speaker, Always show schedule with time zones


Q: What other platforms do you use for online event?

As: streamyard, webex, zoom, GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar


Q: Events done in different languages - how to do that?

As: Language is always an issue. You can have local language track.

Live Events and PowerPoint Live presenting can do more languages & translations - as long as source language is on the supported short list

Sign Language interpretation is also a big problemSign language is not universal, so that would be a major solution to have that into multiple languages...will be interesting to see if PowerPoint Live presentation can help making events more interactive


Q: Do you have tips for event organizers to help them groom and coach key attendees to become co-organizers and thereby spin off more smaller groups that they can run?

As: Feed them small portions for their key use-cases. After that, go ahead and enhance that knowledge on the things you feel are crucial. Also the way you teach is important. e.g. senior management needs a different training and material than a student.


Q: What are the different types of equipment you use when presenting?

As: Start with what you have (e,g. Logitech Brio 4K camera, Yeti microphone).

Good audio and ideally video for presenters is a must - wired headsets are the easy recommendation, good lighting, wired in internet if you can. 

Audio is more important than video

Have a second screen

Ideally have a Microsoft Teams certified device


Q: With most of our staff and community members around the world working from home, internet access can be less reliable and expensive. Any recommendations for reducing bandwidth challenges? (I'm in the U.S. but we operate in 80+ countries.)

As: Have a backup internet (phone or some other way) . Use Azure virtual machine to run videos etc instead of running them from locally from home

Tturn off incoming video for low internet bandwidth issues. Just leave the presenter video or go audio only.