Webex Events, Microsoft Teams and the New Normal for Live Events
Events are a huge part of our year at Arraya. Our technical teams are always well represented at leading conferences like Microsoft Ignite, Cisco Live and Dell Technologies World. We’re not just attendees, but hosts as well. Last year, Arraya presented more than 30 events, featuring content largely generated and informed by the experiences of our engineers. In fact, right now, we’d normally be putting the finishing touches on our largest annual event, the Arraya Tech Summit. Our team would be hard at work finalizing dozens of deep dives into the industry’s hottest topics and technologies. Of course, this year has been anything but normal and our Tech Summit, just like so many other live events, has been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean our calendar is clear.
Arraya’s events have gone digital this spring. Our team has begun holding a series of webinars covering a variety of topics, including identifying threats to data within your organization, managing a cloud-based remote workforce, and investigating your security environment and incidents. This list will likely only grow as more events are in the works.
At the heart of these events is expertise drawn from both Arraya’s internal technology team and representatives from our industry-respected partners. While covering these events, we’d be remiss not to mention the technological foundations upon which they are being built and conducted. Each webinar either has been on one of two platforms: Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex. It’s just one more way in which these tools are helping recreate a sense of operational normalcy during these unprecedented times.
Let’s take a closer look at the event capabilities of each platform.
Cisco Webex Events
Cisco’s virtual event platform offers end-to-end services, helping organizations to plan, execute and follow up on large gatherings. In terms of how large, Webex Events can support groups of up to 3000 attendees, with up to 1000 on video.
Much like in Webex’s standard Meeting solution, Events allows for real time presentation and application sharing plus the ability to pass control back and forth among multiple presenters. The presenter role ends up managing much of the content during events, including tasks like managing presentations and whiteboards, sharing applications and multimedia files, saving documents and poll results, etc. Another possible role, panelist, handles much of the discussion taking place, including responding to public and private chats, starting polls, etc.
As mentioned above, Webex Events can also help with the run-up to an event and what can come after. Events can generate and send automated email invitations as well as confirmations and reminders prior to the big day. It can also provide presenters and panelists with a private meeting space to get ready before start time. Once an event wraps, Events can help hosts sift through valuable attendee metrics and funnel that into the appropriate sales and/or marketing database.
It’s also possible to live stream your events from Webex to any streaming platform compatible with RTMP or RTMPS streams. This includes YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Streams and more. Doing so can help an event reach an even broader audience.
These are just a few of the upsides of using Webex Teams, upsides that the Arraya team has already begun seeing for ourselves during our new event normal.
Microsoft Teams Live Events
What about Microsoft Teams? Microsoft Teams live events can be presented by anyone with an Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, or E5 license or an Office 365 A3 or A5 license. Teams live events work in one of two ways. The first is a plug and play option that will likely see more usage given our current environment. Essentially, a meeting host just needs to power up his or her laptop, invite the necessary panelists, presenters, audience members, etc. and go. Teams also supports a more professional set up in which third party audio and video hardware is used to capture a live event and make it available via Microsoft Stream. By using Stream, users also gain access to Microsoft’s automatic transcription feature. This fully documents the conversations and discussions that unfold during an event, allowing them to be revisited after the fact.
Just like with Webex Events, Teams supports a variety of different roles, in this case: organizer, producer, presenter and attendee. Organizers are responsible for logistics, such as scheduling, setting attendee permissions, inviting attendees, etc. Producers manage the live stream, performing tasks like starting and stopping the event and sharing video, desktops and more. Presenters handle the audio and onscreen content that defines the event while also moderating Q&As, etc.
Teams events are accessible to attendees across multiple devices and operating systems. Attendees can access an event on their desktop application, mobile device, or through a web application. Some core requirements for doing so include: having Windows 7 or later, macOS X 10.10 or later, Android 4.4 and up, iOS 10 and up, Chrome (three most recent versions), Edge RS2 and so on. It’s important to note that presenters and producers will only be able to do their jobs via a desktop application.
Next Steps: Using Teams and Webex to connect your brand to the widest audience
Here at Arraya, we’re still counting down the days until we can safely return to our brand new corporate HQ, and, eventually, live events with our customers and partners. Until those things can happen safely, however, we’re fortunate that – thanks to tools like Webex and Teams – we’ve been able to continue finding ways to do what we love.
If you’d like to learn more about Webex Events or Teams Live Events (or share your thoughts on this post) you can do so in a couple of ways:
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
Attend one of our upcoming digital events – Full Schedule.