Lots of people don’t create the meeting invites for the meetings they run. There are several scenarios as to why this is the case:
- Assistant creating meeting on behalf of a manager/executive
- Learning team member creating a training session to be delivered by an external trainer
- Centrally scheduled classroom sessions in a school/college/university
And many others. For ease lets call the person creating the meeting the scheduler and the person who needs to run the meeting the owner.
In this blog I will lay out what the issues are and then consider ways to avoid these when acting as a scheduler.
In Microsoft Teams there is only 1 meeting organiser, this is the scheduler. There is no functionality to assign an alternative meeting organiser. This presents some challenges when the scheduler isn’t attending the meeting. How much of an issue it presents depends on the meeting options and the features the meeting owner needs/wants to use.
Let’s start by considering the roles in a meeting. There are 3 roles, organiser, presenter and attendee. The following table summarises what you can do with each of the 3 roles.
|Speak and share video||Y||Y||Y|
|Participate in meeting chat||Y||Y||Y|
|Privately view a PowerPoint file shared by someone else||Y||Y||Y|
|Take control of someone else’s PowerPoint presentation||Y||Y||N|
|Mute other participants||Y||Y||N|
|Prevent attendees from unmuting themselves||Y||Y||N|
|Admit people from the lobby||Y||Y||N|
|Change the roles of other participants||Y||Y||N|
|Start or stop recording||Y||Y||N|
|Set Meeting Options||Y||N||N|
|View Attendance Report During Meeting||Y||N||N|
|Control Breakout Rooms||Y||N||N|
For more info see my blog on setting meeting options https://teamsqueen.com/2021/03/03/manage-teams-meeting-options/
Each organisation can determine what meeting options default to and which settings within meeting options are available to users. I’ve assumed all options are available to you in this blog, but your defaults may be different to mine. Only the meeting scheduler can change the meeting options.
Outlook uses the Teams client when creating a Teams meeting. This means that when a meeting is created on behalf of the other user from Outlook desktop app, the meeting organiser is determined to be the user who is signed in to the Teams desktop app when the meeting is created, regardless of which calendar is used. So if we create a meeting on behalf of another user from their calendar in Outlook but are signed into Teams as ourselves, we are the organiser.
To truly create a meeting on behalf of another you would need to be signed in to Teams as the person you are delegating for, in order for the meeting person you are delegating for to be the meeting organiser with this method.
All is not lost, it is possible to create a meeting on behalf of another user IF you have access to open their mailbox. The scheduler should open the meeting owners mailbox via outlook for web and then create the meeting from their calendar.
To open another mailbox go to https://outlook.office.com/mail/inbox and use the Open another mailbox option from your profile picture.
I can’t do that – what now, you ask, well two options for you to consider.
Alternative 1: If the scheduler does not have permission to open the meeting owners calendar then you may want to consider the actual owner creating the meeting and inviting the scheduler so that the scheduler can forward the meeting to the attendees. The owner will then have full control of the meeting incl breakout rooms, attendance records, meeting options etc. To use this scenario, do check that you have meeting forwarding enabled on the meeting.
Alternative 2: If the scheduler has access to the meeting owners calendar but cannot open it in Outlook for the web as described above, then the meeting owner can still create the event as a Teams meeting from Outlook but not invite anyone, then the scheduler can open the event and edit it, inviting others.
What about External Meeting Owners?
As a trainer I often work across organisations where the meeting attendees are in a different Teams tenant to me. This means I need to be the meeting owner but the scheduler works from a different organisation to me, so no calendar sharing exists. However if I don’t need to control break out rooms or change meeting settings then I am happy to be a presenter and ask the scheduler to ensure I am a presenter and to ensure that someone will be able to let me into the meeting at the start.
Should I need to be the meeting owner or the scheduler is not comfortable changing the meeting settings then alternative 1 works well for me in that setting and I have full control of the meeting.
Another option I use is to create the Teams meeting myself and send the scheduler inside the customer organisation the link for the meeting. They then create a meeting invite for their staff and include the link or add it to an existing meeting invite. It’s not as neat a solution as forwarding the invite, but does avoid many issues when forwarding invites is blocked or dates have been scheduled well in advance of Teams meeting creation.