Hello Readers,

Hope you’re well.

There have been a few great little features landing in Teams this past week.  This one stands out for me as one I have really been looking forward to.  “Meet Now”.


I think Meet Now has been available in Microsoft UC forever.  I definitely remember it being there in OCS.  And it has stayed there since then, appearing in the Lync and Skype for Business desktop and mobile clients.

In fact, in Skype for Business there were Meet Now buttons everywhere.

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Teams channel based Meet Now

Teams also had a way to Meet Now, but only from a Channel.  You’d be surprised how many didn’t know it was there.

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You could start a meeting in the channel and add a subject.

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Once you were in the meeting you’d see suggestions of who to invite down the right. And you could add external people by email address or dial a number (if you have the Audio Conferencing license).

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The real point of an ad-hoc meeting in a channel is for meeting with the members of the team or channel. You see, when one person starts a Meet Now meeting in a channel, it alerts members that a meeting has started.  First by adding a meeting in progress icon to the channel.

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When the member goes in to the channel they will see that a meeting has started and it gives them a join button.

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You don’t have to join the meeting if you don’t want to or have time.  But the option is there.

If you really want someone from to join you can click on the menu ellipses next to their name and then “Ask to join”. This sends an invite to the person.

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Again, they don’t have to join.  You the organizer will be notified that they declined the invitation.

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And once the meeting is finished, you will see the record of the meeting in the conversation flow.

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And if you go to your chat tab, the meeting will be listed in recent chats and you can get at conversations, meeting notes, files and whiteboards, as well as recordings if you have any.

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Pretty good I think you’ll agree.

Calendar based Meet Now in Teams

Calendar Meet Now in Teams is Meet Now, from the calendar app (obviously).  You use the New Meet Now to start meetings outside of a channel.  Similar to when you schedule a meeting in Outlook.

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You can tap Join now to join from your Teams Desktop client.  Or, if you have a Microsoft Teams Room nearby, you can tap Join and Add this room to send an invite to the MTR and join in presenter only mode.

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If you want, you can change the subject of your meeting before you join.

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Once you’re in the meeting, you’re the only one there.  You can simply start sending invitations or dialing people in as needed.

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And you get access to all the normal meeting controls including recording.

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If you want someone outside to join from the Join link or dial-in, you can also copy the join info and send out as an email.  You can also do this in Channel based meetings.

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You can also do that simply by pressing the link icon next to the invite box.

Then pasting it into a new email

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One last thing.  If you join in presenter mode with audio off, you can use the call me button to dial yourself in to the meeting. Again, you can do this in Channel based meetings.

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What’s the difference?

As far as I can tell there are only really three differences between a channel Meet Now and a Calendar Meet Now.

  1. When you start a Channel Meet Now you don’t get the option to join and add a room.  You only get this in the Calendar Meet Now.
  2. When you start a Channel Meet Now it alerts the members of the channel that a meeting has started in the channel.  Since a Calendar Meet Now exists outside of a channel, it won’t alert the channel.  Only the people you explicitly ask to join.
  3. Since a Calendar Meet Now exists outside of a channel, you will only see the history of the meeting in your recent chat history.

Once you’re in the meeting, its just a meeting, so all the features are there.

Different use cases

I would say there are very different use cases for Channel and Calendar Meet Now.

Use Channel Meet Now to meet with your team.

Teams is all about context.  If you meet in a channel, you can bet that the meeting is pertinent to the channel.  If you have a team called Clients and you start a Meet Now in the general channel, the context is probably about clients in general.  If you also have a channel called Acme in the Clients team.  And you start a Meet Now in the Acme channel, the meetings is probably about Acme specifically.

Use Calendar Meet Now to meet outside the team.

Maybe you just want to have an ad-hoc meeting with a new prospect or a business partner.  Maybe you started with a call but you want to show them something.  You can hang up and start a Calendar Meet Now and send them the join info.

Wrap up

Is the New Meet Now in Teams a new feature or a new take on an existing feature?   I think its a new feature.  It means that you can start a meeting from a blank slate and not involve or alert anyone you don’t want to alert.  You start the meeting and invite or call who you want.

Whatever you want to call it, I think it is a great addition to Teams.

Would love to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment or ping me on Social Media.

That’s all folks!