Live events in Microsoft Teams are about to change (for the better)

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft is bringing a new experience to Teams called Town Halls.

  • The new experience is designed to host large-scale events inside organizations.

  • Town Halls is expected to ship to general availability for commercial customers on October 5, 2024.

  • Microsoft is set to replace Microsoft Teams Live Events with the new experience by September 30, 2024.

  • Both Office and Microsoft 365 customers will have access to the new experience, but only Team Premium customers will have exclusive access to its advanced features.

  • Microsoft Mesh is also expected to roll out to Teams users in public preview in October.

Microsoft recently announced its plans to bring a new experience to Teams dubbed Town Halls. It's a virtual event experience designed to "host and deliver large-scale, internal events to create connections across an organization."

Consequently, the company will retire Microsoft Teams Live Events, which is quite similar to Town Halls but built on "a different platform than the familiar Teams meeting experience" we're used to. The Town Halls feature will be broadly available for commercial customers later this week on October 5, while the Live Events experience is set to retire next year by September 30.

The company has affirmed its commitment to improving the experience of virtual events on Teams by integrating Live Events' capabilities into the platform's meetings, ultimately creating a unified experience for users.

Town Hall experience in Teams
Town Hall experience in Teams

As highlighted by Microsoft in the blog post:

"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. Town halls in Microsoft Teams enable customers to extend their reach to scale their message and connect with audiences around the world; create professionally produced, studio-quality events that deliver a more dynamic experience; and structure and manage audience engagement to maximize participation and maintain focus on the event."

The new experience will be available for Office and Microsoft 365 customers. However, only Teams Premium customers will have access to its advanced features. You can check out the new, advanced, and expanded Town Hall features in Microsoft's blog post.

Microsoft Mesh ships to public preview

Microsoft Mesh
Microsoft Mesh

Town Halls isn't the only feature on its way to Microsoft Teams. Last week, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Mesh will be rolling out to Teams users in public preview this month. While the company didn't indicate the exact date users should expect this feature to ship, it highlighted that it would be initially available on PC and Meta Quest VR devices. It added that the experience would be "richer and more immersive" when using the latter.

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