Restarting a Teams Live Event

I’ve previously talked about some differences running Teams Webinars (Teams meetings) and Teams Live Events (TLE’s).

There’s several differences and both have their use cases, but when it comes to Live Events there’s been a big caveat. Once you start it, you can’t end it and start it again!

Some background

Imagine a normal Teams meeting. As soon as you create a meeting, you and others can join it and participate . There’s really no hard end to a Teams meeting in that sense. Teams Live Events works differently. When producers and presenters are ready they start the Live Event. A stream will play to all attendees connected via an attendee only link . Once this stream is started, attendees can watch the content shared with a 20-30 second delay.

To end the Live Event, the producer clicks “End”.

Up until now this was it. If the producer accidentally clicked the end button or something went wrong with the event, they couldn’t start it again. Imagine running a webinar and this happened. Since you would have to create a new Live Event, the attendee link would also change.

Below image is the old warning prompt shown when clicking “End”:

After ending the Live Event, the following disclamer was shown:

(I recommend using dynamic short links for all larger meetings/webinars, whether they are TLE’s or Teams meetings)

Good news

Rolling out now (August 2021) is the possibility to restart a Live Event. In the case of failure, sausage fingers or any other needs of starting up the same Live Event again, you can now do this!

By clicking “End” as a producer, you will get prompted with a different window:

After clicking “Continue” the Live Event ends, and the stream going out to attendees stops. To then restart the Live Event, you have to go to the ellipsis (…) at the top and click “Restart Event”

After that you will have to click “Continue” to restart it.

Make notice of the information in the prompt! Restarting a Live Event will delete the previous recording, transcription and captions. On-demand viewing of the previous stream won’t be possible either. So make sure not to use the “restart” feature to conduct several Live Events. The QnA history will remain intact according to testing.

Experience and summary

This feature is rolling out this month and my experience of testing it is somewhat mixed. When restarting a Live Event, the Live Event windows closes, which means you have to join the Live Event again. From there the organizer can start it after content has been re-shared and “sent live”.

So clicking “Restart Event” will close the event for you. From there you have to open it again and start the event for a second time. Not really inuiative.

Also, the experience as an attendee is somewhat budgy. I had to reload the link for the Live Event a few times in order to view the restarted stream. It didn’t start automatically for me.

These are things that Microsoft hopefully fixes. Hopefully you won’t need to use the “restart” feature, but it’s great that it’s there when you really need it!

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