Case Study – MS Teams for Events
Case Study – Implementation of Microsoft Teams as the collaboration and event management platform for an Events Agency
Hybrid Event Solution’s parent company, Smartec Business Solutions, was tasked with implementing Microsoft 365 and in particular, Teams, into an events agency that managed multiple ongoing events.
- An Events Agency in Birmingham, UK
- The agency worked very inefficiently, relying on emails and spreadsheets while managing multiple events. It moved from G Suite to Microsoft Office 365 and wanted advice on how best to use Office 365 and Teams
- Analysis of the company’s business, followed by the design and implementation of new processes to incorporate Microsoft Teams into the event management lifecycle. Existing processes were preserved where appropriate, while new procedures for onsite event delivery using Teams were introduced
What is Microsoft Teams?
Teams is an integral part of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications and includes chat, video meetings, document management and has close integration with Outlook, Word, Excel and other Office 365 applications. It forms a central collaboration and communications ‘hub’ allowing internal and external staff members to work on the same platform.
Who hasn’t attended a Teams video meeting over the past two years of the pandemic? Similar to Zoom, it now supports a host of features, including screen sharing, breakout rooms and virtual backgrounds. But Teams is so much more than video meetings – it allows you to carry out most of your daily working schedule from within the app.
A Team can be a group of people working in the same department or on the same project – Teams allows them to work collaboratively and efficiently. Within the department or project, you can create your own ‘Channels’ to keep related work and communications together, such as files, emails and SOPs.
An example of how Teams and Channels can be set up for an events agency is shown in the image – the Team name could be the name of the event, while Channels could be all the different phases or services that make up the event.
Alternately, the Team name could be the name of a client (for an agency), and the channels could be all the events being undertaken for that client.
Teams makes it easy to schedule meetings with your colleagues or external clients/ suppliers. And the appointment will appear on your Outlook Calendar, so there is no need for double entry. And with a single click, ongoing meetings can become video meetings, or allow attendees to share their screens… so no need for third party online meeting tools.
Chat is a key part of Teams – you can chat with colleagues one-to-one, or with team members within a specific channel on a particular subject. The integrated mobile app means you can chat on the go – no more sending emails or using 3rd party communications tools.
Integration – Internal
Teams integrates seamlessly with Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations, allowing you to both view and edit them from within Teams. In the image, it is with a supplier contact database. Since it is accessible to all team members on Teams, there is no need to manage a separate spreadsheet on a shared drive which may quickly be forgotten.
Integration – External
You can open websites and web applications within Teams, and, with single sign-on, you can work seamlessly on them within Teams. The image below shows how your client login page to Cvent, Eventsforce or any other system can easily be accessed within Teams.
Teams supports a project management ‘app’ called Planner, which allows you to create and assign tasks with deadlines and checklists. It also supports third-party tools such as Trello, Asana and Wrike. The image shows an example of how the event management process could be set up on Planner.
The real power of Teams comes from both its close integration with the standard Office 365 applications, but also from its ability to integrate with third-party apps.
This means, for example, you can continue to use OneNote or Evernote for all your note-taking and these notes will automatically appear within the channel to which they are connected. No double entry required!
For the events agency:
- Manage multiple events on the same platform in a consistent way, driving compliance
- Create templated Teams / Channel structure which can be used for each new event
- Integrate collaboration and communications with event documentation during the events lifecycle
- Manage all documentation from one location
- Allow onsite communications with internal and external members to relay any changes to schedules
- Team members can work seamlessly from any device and from any location, as Teams and Office 365 are available both online and offline
- Team members can work on the same document at the same time – for example, a tender response
No further investment in technology or systems was required.
Free Training on MS Teams for Events
Watch this brief introduction to how easily and quickly Teams can be setup to be used to manage multiple events. The session was organised by MeetingsClub for its audience of event planners and venues – it was carried out by Arvi Virdee of Smartec Business Solutions, the parent company of Hybrid Event Solutions.
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