Teams Channel Calendar App Makes Channel Meetings Easier to Access

Highlighting Channel Meetings

Office 365 Notification MC231108 posted on 21 December announces the introduction of the Teams channel calendar, a new first-party (Microsoft) app to highlight channel meetings. The idea is to make channel meetings more accessible to team members (Microsoft roadmap item 68911). Microsoft says that this adds a shared calendar to a channel. The calendar in question is the group calendar belonging to the team, which has always existed. Describing the feature in this manner is a little hyperbole. It’s more accurate to say that the new app enables easier access to channel events stored in the group calendar, but that’s not quite as nice in marketing terms.

According to MC231108, the channel calendar will roll out to commercial tenants in mid-January and to government tenants in early February. The app works for the Teams desktop and browser clients.

The Pain of Channel Meetings

Today, people schedule channel meetings through the Teams calendar app by adding the channel to a meeting. When this happens, the meeting details are created in the group calendar of the team which owns the channel instead of the meeting organizer’s personal calendar. However, the person who creates a channel meeting remains the organizer and retains the rights to modify the meeting details, such as adding invitees, updating the meeting information, or rescheduling or cancelling the meeting.

Posts announcing the creation of a channel meeting appear in the channel and any member of the team can join a channel meeting if they wish. However, a longstanding complaint about channel meetings is that users often miss the fact that these events are arranged. If people are used to Outlook, they expect to receive a notification about a meeting, and that doesn’t happen for channel meetings unless someone is explicitly invited to the meeting or the group settings are updated to publish notifications for calendar events to all members.

Channel Calendar App

The channel calendar allows team members to access channel meetings in a calendar grid, which looks like the Teams calendar app. The first thing to do is add the app to a tab in a channel, which then makes the calendar available to tenant members of the team. Because permissions aren’t available to control guest access to the group calendar, guest members can’t use the channel calendar app and don’t see the tab.

Meetings for all the channels in a team are kept in a single calendar folder in the group mailbox, so the app uses a filter to display only the meetings for the channel into which it is installed (Figure 1).

The Teams channel calendar app
Figure 1: The Teams channel calendar app

Apart from guests, any team member can schedule a channel meeting through the app. The process is like scheduling a meeting through the full Teams calendar app with the exception that the hosting channel is pre-populated. Individual attendees can be added. When a new channel meeting is scheduled, Teams posts a notice to the channel (Figure 2). Guest members can use the channel notification to join meetings after the event starts.

Posts annoying the scheduling of channel meetings
Figure 2: Posts announcing the scheduling of channel meetings

Changes and updates to channel meetings are not posted as replies to the topic , so team members do need to check the channel calendar (or be added as an individual attendee) to make sure that an event happens as originally planned.

Controlling the Channel Calendar App

By default, the channel calendar app is available to all users. Like any other app, administrators can block the channel calendar app if they wish. This doesn’t seem like a good idea.


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54 Replies to “Teams Channel Calendar App Makes Channel Meetings Easier to Access”

  1. Is there a way to switch off the notifications for calendar events in the channel feed? All members of the team need to be able to post their appointments so that others can see them but we don’t want to see each notification in the feed.

    1. Have users turn off notifications for the channel. That way they’ll only be notified when someone @mentions them.

      1. But as far as them getting alerts of the meetings in their mailbox, there’s nothing one can do to block those notifications? It is strange because I don’t include anybody in the meeting information and they still get notified.

    2. Hi Sue! Have you figured out a way to solve this? My team would also like to use this feature as a reminder of scheduled time off but would not like to notify the whole group. I don’t add anyone to the event but it still ends up on everyone’s calendar and they all get notified.

      1. The reason why everyone is notified is that the group settings are set up that way. I answer this question frequently. If you have a team where everyone receives notifications of channel meetings, you need to amend the settings of the group to:

        a) turn off AlwaysSubscribeMembersToCalendarEvents for the group: Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity MyGroup -AlwaysSubscribeMembersToCalendarEvents $False

        b) Remove any member listed in the group’s Subscribers list

        See https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams/new-teams-channel-calendar-app-makes-channel-meetings-easier-to/m-p/2047437#M81114 for more info.

  2. Any upcoming development to schedule Channel Meetings for a select set of team members WITHOUT emailing the event to the O365 Group? This is prohibiting us from finding Channel meetings helpful because the “Channel” subject is the primary focus of a small subset of team members.

    1. I can’t say. I don’t work for Microsoft. But if you only want a subset of people to attend, schedule a personal meeting and invite those people and then publish the results of the meeting in the channel afterwards (if you want to).

  3. I thought this was a good feature at first but, on testing, it seems like it’s going to be a problem in an education environment. We prevent students from creating scheduled meetings or Meet Now, however this channel calendar app allows them to schedule a meeting. It doesn’t seem to adhere to the Teams policies, unless there’s some way of getting around it.

    1. You can mark the Channel Calendar app as disabled in the Manage Apps section of the Teams admin center. That way, people won’t be able to load the channel calendar. Would that work?

  4. Is it possible to prevent a meeting created in a channel calendar from appearing in the users Outlook calendar? The team has an admin person that is responsible for adding new meetings to the calendar and her calendar is cluttered with all the team meetings and her own.

    1. Not really. She is the organizer of the channel meeting and is the only one who can change the settings of those meetings. If she removed the meetings from her calendar, no one could ever change/update the meetings.

  5. Does anyone know if I create a meeting in a teams calendar then leave the company does the meeting then disappear from the team calendar?

    1. If it’s a channel meeting, it will remain in the team calendar. If it’s a personal meeting, it will go away if your account (mailbox) is removed.

  6. Nice thread!
    I am planning to use the teams channel for scheduling and singing up for training and did some testing
    1) trainer set up meeting (training)
    2) associate looks at the ones of interest and add it to its outlook calendar
    3) trainer will not see a notification but when opening the meeting (in Teams of Outlook) will see the associate in the list of participants
    4) trainer can move the invitation to another day and associate is notified
    5) associate cannot participate and cancel this meeting in outlook –> trainer will not be informed. Not ideal (but so far the only limitation I found)
    Any recommendation on how to do it more efficiently?
    Thanks a lot in advance

    1. I believe that everything is working as designed.

      1) trainer set up meeting (training) [as a channel meeting]

      2) associate looks at the ones of interest and add it to its outlook calendar [Attendee opens the meeting and uses the Add to calendar option to add it to their calendar. In fact, they just add themselves as a meeting participant, which causes the event to be added to their calendar]

      3) trainer will not see a notification but when opening the meeting (in Teams of Outlook) will see the associate in the list of participants [works as designed. The owner of the meeting is the channel (team). The trainer created the meeting, but because it’s a channel meeting, the event is in the group calendar and not in the calendar of the trainer. The trainer can make changes because they are the organizer, but they don’t get updates.]

      4) trainer can move the invitation to another day and associate is notified [here the trainer is using their organizer permission to move the meeting]

      5) associate cannot participate and cancel this meeting in outlook –> trainer will not be informed. Not ideal (but so far the only limitation I found) [Again, this is because the channel owns the meeting. And the channel doesn’t care that the person can’t attend because the meeting is open to everyone in the team]

      Everything works as expected. You can accept the way things work and check meetings to ensure that people are lined up to attend or look for another solution like setting up a room mailbox and using it to host training courses. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/recipients/room-mailboxes?view=exchserver-2019

  7. “The calendar in question is the group calendar belonging to the team, which has always existed.”

    Events on the group calendar for my Team, new or old, do not appear in the Channel Calendar tab I created in that same Team. It seems as if the Channel Calendar is separate from the O365 Group Calendar associated with a given Team. This is my main concern/question. I want to create a seamless link in Teams to the O365 group calendar which is accessible via outlook or Sharepoint web parts.

    Am I missing something?

    1. The only events which appear in the channel calendar are channel meetings. All other events are filtered out. The events are in the one calendar folder in the group mailbox belonging to the team,.

  8. Can the Channel Calendar be accessed from the Teams mobile app? I don’t see it in the iOS Teams app.

  9. Great thread! Is there a way to show a month view of the Channel Calendar, instead of just Week or Workweek? Also, Is there a way to change the background color of an All Day meeting? One of the many uses I envision for the Channel Calendar is to note when a team member is away from the team on PTO. The dark purple background is just a bit hard to see in Teams Dark Mode.

    1. You’ll have to ask Microsoft if they plan to change the views available for the channel calendar. So far, they don’t support what you are looking for.

  10. Is there a way to modify the setting in calendar to show a Month view versus week? I’d like to view the horizon to review any upcoming dates with my team, and having to scroll is a pain.

  11. Hello, What are the prerequisites for this app ? Exchange Online / OnPrem 2016 minimals requirements ? Hybrid config ? Thanks

    1. The information comes from the calendar in the group mailbox belonging to the team. All group mailboxes are cloud-based. I have not tested with hybrid users accessing the app.

  12. Hello, How do I get in touch with my MS teams admin to request that they allow this channel function to be added to a pre-existing Team which is already created? As the channel calendar is currently not available. Many thanks.

  13. Hello all

    We started to use this feature on one general channel and all members receive an invitation (works as planned).
    But when these users accept the invitation, a NDR is generated from Exchange Server.
    Looks like the mailbox for the channel calendar is not available.

    Any idea / experience / advice?

    Best
    Stefan

    1. The mailbox involved is the group mailbox (a channel doesn’t have a mailbox). I’d report the issue to Microsoft and get them to have a look at what’s going on.

  14. Hello

    Do you know what may be wrong if I’m unable to schedule meeting using the channel calendar. Even when I try to edit recurring meeting, I get same error.
    Mind you I could do this before.

    Meeting policy applied to me is correct but still can’t schedule with the Channel Calendar. This only happens for Teams group I don’t own/create.

    @Tony Redmond

  15. Hello

    Do you know what may be wrong if I can’t schedule meeting or edit recurring meeting I created using Channel Calendar in a Teams group I don’t own/created.

    I can do this before now.

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