Best Practice on sharing Teams Live Event links (and other links as well)

Have you ever created a Teams Live Event, shared the link and find when already started the meeting that

By lumberjacks’ beard!! I forgot to add the Q&A to the event and we already started!!!

What usually happens next, is that you either

  • arrange Q&A some other way (external app)
  • go on without Q&A
  • recreate the event and send the URL again hoping it will reach out attendees in time

Best Practice on Live Event links

However, there is a recommended best practice that you could follow when sharing Live Event links: USE A VANITY / SHORTLINK to hide the real link.

  1. Create a Live Event meeting as your would normally do it
  2. Grab the attendee link from the Teams Meeting info as before
  3. Go to your shortlink provider service
  4. Create a shortlink for the event, and paste event link there
  5. Share the shortlink to attendees

Couple of thinks to note

  • make sure you can edit the shortlink destination later so that the shortlink remains the same (you can’t do this with free version of bit.ly for example)
  • Don’t delete the shortlink in your service
  • If you need to do changes to the meeting you can freely create a new event and update the shortlink destination
  • Other organizers (presenters / producers ) get the update hassle, but since their number is small you can explain the changes to them
  • Point out to other organizers that they don’t share the real link to attendees – only the shortlink

This way you can also use the same shortlink to future events as well, in case the event is recurring.

When looking for a bit.ly alternative I found out that Rebrandly seems to support editing of shortlink destinations for free. I will start to use their service for now and test how it works.

If you already have a paid subscription of bit.ly (or any other link shortening service) in use you should check that you can change the url destination before sending shortlink to your audience. Create a test event just to prove it.

Benefits of shortlink

As I wrote above: you can change the Live Event behind the shortlink without a need to send your audience the link again. Since most likely adding the Q&A is the most used scenario this is also useful other scenarios as well.

Note: you can do changes to the Live Event settings before the meeting is started. So you don’t need the shortlink if you are making changes in advance.

  • Forgot to enable Q&A and / or add languages / subtitles and noticing this when you have already started the meeting
  • Realize after starting that the Event is / is not public
  • You want to have the same meeting several times
  • In case you accidentally start the meeting while testing -> you can create a new one and just update the short link.
  • ..and just to make the join link easier to remember & share

And if there are already people in the meeting you can write a announcement to them asking them to rejoin the meeting using the shortlink URL.

Other links are good for this as well

This trick / best practice also applies to ordinary Teams meetings as well. For example a monthly meeting could have a different URL each time (or even a same one) but when you share the meeting you can always use the same shortlink – this is also a lot easier to attendees. Keep in mind that these links go through external service, so these are best suited when sharing something that is external anyway.

There are also other use cases for using short links:

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