Microsoft announced Town Halls at the end of September 2023. Let's gather everything we know about it.
Town Hall is the name of a new virtual experience for big meetings. This is also the functionality that replaces Teams Live Events in 2024.
Below you can find the list of features available for Town Halls:
External presenters (planned for the end of October)
Rewind and pause during the event (planned for coming months)
Viewing the town hall in Viva Engage (planned for coming months)
PowerPoint Live (source)
To create a Town Hall, go to calendar in Teams and choose Town hall from the New meeting dropdown:
Choosing Town Hall from the New meeting dropdown
If you do not see Town hall option, that functionality is blocked for you (or the entire organization) by an admin policy.
The announcement post describes the retirement timeline for Live Events:
After September 30, 2024, Teams Live Events will no longer be supported, and access will be discontinued. Customers will not be able to schedule, start, or join any events on Teams Live Events after this date. Existing recordings will be available to access until December 31, 2024.
For government customers, the date is yet to be announced.
It is currently not clear what will be the limits for Live Events in 2024. Currently, limits are temporarily increased until December 31, 2023. That includes:
In the announcement post we have the green room experience screenshot:
Green room experience for Town Hall
We can see controls to start and end the meeting. We also have the red rectangle showing the content that will be presented to attendees when the meeting starts.
All the settings about Town Halls are held in the Teams events policy. They can be changed using Set-CsTeamsEventsPolicy cmdlet. The available settings are:
Chat experience setting controls whether the town hall organizer can enable Comment Stream chat experience.
Below you can find link to the resources about Town Hall:
Some support articles are already available:
So far, one Message Center entry was published about Town Hall: MC678002 Introducing Microsoft Teams Town hall (non-admin link). The other entry describes Live Events retirement: MC678003 Microsoft Teams Live Event Retirement (non-admin link).
Town Hall seems to be a promising feature, solving the main issue we had with Live Events - a different interface. Will it fulfill the expectations? We shall see in the upcoming weeks.