Sharing the Load of Meeting Organization
Updated February 28, 2022
According to MC292796 (last updated March 29, 2022, Microsoft 365 roadmap 81391), Teams will soon allow meeting organizers to assign a new co-organizer role to up to 10 meeting participants. Microsoft expects to roll out the capability to tenants in mid-May 2022 and complete the deployment worldwide by late March. There’s already been many slippages in these dates, so don’t depend on them.
The new co-organizer role joins the existing meeting roles:
- Organizer: The person who creates and owns the meeting.
- Presenter: Nominated meeting attendees who can present at the meeting and perform other actions such as admitting people waiting in the lobby or sharing content.
- Attendee: Other meeting participants whose actions during a meeting are controlled by meeting settings (for instance, is chat available).
The co-organizer role fits between organizer and presenter in terms of what they can do during the meeting. Like the presenter role, the co-organizer role is optional. It is intended to allow an organizer to share the workload involved in managing large or complex meetings like webinars. Compared to the presenter role, the most important capability gained by co-organizers is being able to access and modify meeting options. It’s likely that co-organizers will only be nominated in a small minority of Teams meetings.
Some of these meetings might be better run as Live events, especially when view-only attendees kick in after the attendance passes the 1,000 threshold. Microsoft makes this point in MC297608 (November 11), saying that “For larger meetings, and especially for any meeting over 1,000 attendees, Microsoft recommends using Teams Live Events.” In other words, spreading the load across a bunch of co-organizers might not make a large meeting as manageable as a live event would be.
Adding co-organizers to a meeting is simple and follows the same approach taken to nominate presenters. Edit the meeting options and select co-organizers from the set of people already invited to the meeting (Figure 1) and save the settings.
Note that the “Only me” option in the Who can present setting is now “Only me and co-presenters.” In passing, when I look at the meeting settings available in December 2019, the change in the number of settings now available to organizers is quite startling.
Only tenant accounts can be chosen as co-organizers. This is different to the presenter role, which can be assigned to guest accounts from other Teams tenants. The reason is likely to be because co-organizers can change the roles assigned to meeting participants.
Co-organizers are shown as meeting organizers when meetings start. Other people who have been assigned the co-organizer role but have not joined the meeting (like Chris Bishop in Figure 2) don’t receive this designation until they join the meeting.
During a meeting, a co-organizer can:
- Access and change meeting options.
- Bypass the lobby.
- Admit people from the lobby during a meeting.
- Lock the meeting.
- Present content.
- Update another participant’s meeting role.
- End the meeting.
- Create and manage breakout rooms.
- View and download attendance reports.
- Edit the meeting invitation.
- Manage the meeting recording.
- Remove or change the Organizer role.
People have pointed to the inability of holders of the co-organizer role to update the details of a meeting. Although Microsoft might allow co-organizers to update meeting details in the future, for now, a workaround is discussed here.
Managing Meeting Recordings
Microsoft says that a co-organizer cannot manage the meeting recording. Well, this is true if the organizer starts the recording because Teams then creates the video file in the Recordings folder of the organizer’s OneDrive for Business account. However, if a co-organizer starts the recording, they become the owner of the recording because Teams creates the file in their OneDrive for Business account. This is the same as what happens when a presenter starts a meeting recording.
A Feature for Some but Not All
I suspect the advent of the co-organizer role will pass by many people without being noticed. That isn’t to say that giving meeting organizers the chance to share work with co-organizers isn’t valuable: it is, but only in circumstances where the work involved in a meeting like a webinar merits more than a single organizer. In that context, this is a valuable feature.
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