Using Skype for Business (Lync) for large onsite meetings allows remote users to participate even if not physically present. For example, you might have a regularly scheduled meeting of 50 participants. By scheduling the meeting as a Skype meeting you could potentially allow more people to participate. This article discusses some of the unique issues in scheduling and administering a large meeting.
Skype for Business Consideration
By default, everyone from the University that is invited to a Skype meeting is considered a “presenter” and has full control over the meeting. These defaults might not be appropriate for a large meeting. More control over the audio and video environment might be desired in order to provide a better environment for participants. Following are some suggestions.
Modifying Skype for Business Meeting Options
Open Outlook, Select Calendar and then select “New Skype Meeting” button on the toolbar. Once you do, a new button titled “Meeting Options” will appear on the toolbar.
Skype Meeting Options Dialog Box
Select the Meeting Options button. The Skype Meeting Options dialog box below will open (see below). The options you need to consider are highlighted and suggested options are recommended.
Where do you want to meet online?
- Select “a new meeting space”. This setting is required if you wish to change any of the default meeting settings.
These people don’t have to wait in the lobby:
- You will want to change this setting unless you want to manually let each person in and have an announcement as each person enters and exits.
- Suggested options are to allow “People I invite from my company” and “Callers get in directly”.
Who’s a presenter?
- By default everyone from our organization is a “presenter”, which means they can control audio, video and screen sharing options.
- Change this setting to “Only me, the meeting organizer”. This ensures that only the meeting organizer is a presenter. You can choose additional presenters as required. For example, the person that schedules the meeting is automatically a presenter. You can also “promote” the individual presiding at the meeting to a presenter to give them full capabilities.
Do you want to limit participation?
- Presenters always have the ability to chat and share audio and video as well as presentations.
- In a large meeting it might be beneficial to mute participants audio and block video in order to provide better control over the environment and ensure a better experience for participants.
- As a presenter you can un-mute participant’s audio on a case-by-case basis as needed.
- Participants can also be elevated to presenters at any time to provide full access.
Once you are done making the changes you require, select the “ok” button.
Meeting Invitation Text (and example)
It is suggested that you use the body of your Skype for Business meeting invitation to inform the participants of the meeting settings and give them guidelines for participation. An example is below:
You are being invited to participate in a large Skype Meeting. In order to facilitate the successful participation of all attendees some of the default meeting options have been changed and are summarized below:
- Your video and audio will be blocked from sharing with others, however, you will still be able to hear the Presenter.
- If you are physically in the meeting room and also joining the meeting via Skype for Business, please make sure to mute your audio so that feedback loops are avoided.
- Chat will be enabled and will be monitored. The conversation thread will be saved and shared afterwards with the meeting participants.
- Questions can be submitted via chat and relayed by the meeting monitor to the presenter at the appropriate time.
- If audio is required, the presenter or meeting monitor can enable audio on a case-by-case basis for specific attendees.
Large Meeting Management:
It is recommended that you assign someone to monitor the Skype meeting electronically
Here are some of the responsibilities of the Skype for Business Meeting Monitor:
- Evaluating presenter’s audio quality
- Responding to remote questions
- Relating IM questions submitted by remote users to the presenter
Considerations and Best Practices:
The following links contain best practices for conducting a Skype meeting:
Following these guidelines will help to minimize problems that might occur and ensure a successful large-scale Skype for Business online meeting.