Teams Town Hall meetings – overview

Teams Town Hall meetings - overview

Microsoft released a brand new meeting type – Town hall. It’s a replacement for the well-known Live event, which was designed to host large events. In this post, I’m describing the main features and how to start a Town hall meeting.


The town hall is a brand new type of meeting in Microsoft Teams. It’s a direct replacement of Teams Live Events with similar features (+ a lot more). It’s dedicated to hosting large meetings, with one-to-many communication (presenter -> attendees), recording support, green room, Q&A panel, etc.

From the end user perspective – the experience is much better, there are more features, and all are available in one window. Many options are exactly the same as in other meeting types (for instance, Q&A panel, green room, meeting settings).

Microsoft also announced that Teams Live Events are going to be retired on September 30, 2024. It means that next year we will be able to use both features at the same time. Fortunately, you can disable Live Events in the Live Events settings page and enable Town Hall in the Events Policies section.

Town hall features

Town hall meetings have many more features and options than Live Events. The UX and layouts are quite similar to the webinar experience.

What’s inside:

  • Capacity – up to 10,000 attendees (20,000 with Teams Premium)
  • Concurrency – 15 events hosted simultaneously (50! In Teams Premium)
  • Duration – up to 30 hours per meeting
  • eCDN support – third-party eCDN providers supported (Microsoft eCDN first-party with Teams Premium2)
  • Green room – a dedicated space separated from attendees where presenters and admins can connect and talk, test stage content, and do a test run. There is also a dedicated chat window available only for presenters.
  • Monitoring – real-time usage analytics
  • Manage what attendees see – presenters can decide to show camera stream together with content or only shared content
  • Sharing content – presenters can share a screen or a window to show a presentation or other content. Presenter mode, Whiteboard, PowerPoint Live, and Excel Live are not supported.
  • Hide participants lists – option to hide attendee’s view
  • RTMP-in – you can enable content created in external tools
  • RTMP-out – streaming event to an external endpoint is not yet available. It will be available next year.
  • Q&A panel – a dedicated panel with moderated questions
  • Recording – you can record a Town hall meeting. This time it’s saved in an organizer’s OneDrive. By default, it’s not shared with attendees, but you can do this using a dedicated function inside the Town hall panel.
  • E-mail notifications – you can send 2 types of e-mail messages. One for inviting users to the meeting, and the second for sending information about published recordings. Those emails can be customized with your body message, logo, and banners.
  • Attendee reports – a detailed report with attendees lists and information about their actions (joins, disconnects)
  • Captions – organizers can select one language for captions. There are 6 languages for standard Teams, and 10 languages in Teams Premium).
  • Viva Engage – Town halls will be integrated with Viva Engage. These features will be available in the upcoming months.

Create a town hall meeting

How to create and manage a town hall meeting:

1. Open the Teams Calendar, click the drop-down arrow on the New meeting button, and select Town hall

2. You must provide a tile for your meeting (1), select data and time (2), invite presenters (3), and invite attendees (4). Click the Save button when you provide that information. The event will be saved as a draft, and Meeting options (5) and left-hand navigation pane will be available (6).

3. Meeting options give you universal controls for the meeting. Options are exactly the same as in a standard meeting.

4. In the Theming section, you can customize the event logo, theme color, and banner image.

5. The Emails section displays 2 emails that are sent to attendees. You can change the time or add/remove notifications from here.

6. Reports and Recordings are available after the meeting. When you are ready, click the Publish button. E-mail notifications will be sent to attendees.

When you join a meeting as an organizer, you have similar options to a standard meeting.

1. The meeting window looks and works like a standard one. There are a set of options in the top bar (1), a sharing content window (2), a right-hand pane with additional information (3), and Start meeting/Leave buttons.

If you’re ready to start click the Start meeting button – attendees will be able to join the meeting.

2. After the meeting reports will appear in the Reports window.

3. All recordings are stored in the Recordings section. By default, recordings are available only for organizers. If you want to share them with attendees, click the Publish button (attendees will get an email message with a link).


The new meeting type gives you the same idea as in Live Events and many modern features from other Teams meetings.  You can prepare for a meeting, share content, answer questions using a Q&A panel, record events, and much more. There are some limitations (no Viva Engage integration, only basic sharing, no RTMP-out) but Microsoft should implement missing features next year.

Live Events are limited (and caused a lot of problems) and it’s good that there is a new feature that addresses large events. You can test it right now and prepare to disable the old events. You have 1 year to make a transition between Live events and Town hall meetings. After September 30, 2024, you won’t be able to use Live events, and all recordings will be deleted.

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