Thursday, September 7, 2017

How to use Microsoft Teams for Microsoft Ignite 2017

As soon as I found out I was headed to Microsoft Ignite, I went into prep mode. I started my usual blog post on tips and tricks. Then I started to think about how I could coordinate two other engineers, while at the conference and share information with others back at Time2Market. Then it dawned on me that Microsoft Teams is the perfect tool for the job.

This blog post is a combination of all the things I thought would be useful. As I find more things to do with Teams, I'll try to update the blog. Some of it is pulling together lots of different resources into one interface, but I also thought of some ways that it could be used that will be really beneficial for covering the conference and sharing of information. All of it, I have tested with the mobile client and it works well.

To get started, I highly recommend creating a dedicated Team for Microsoft Ignite. This way you can control who has access and who doesn't have access just for this tasks. If your team goes to conferences on a regular basis, you might consider making the name more generic.

Down in the lower left of the Teams client, Click "Add team"

You'll see an option to "Create a team" appear. Click "Create a team"

Give your team a name, I used "Microsoft Ignite" and set the Privacy appropriately. Then Click "Next"

 If you want you can add members to the Team immediately. But if you want to take some time to setup the area before inviting people, Click "Skip"

 That's it... You've created your Team! Now on to how to make it really work for you...

The Easy Stuff

You'll notice that when you create your team there will be a Conversation, Files and Wiki area already created for you. I suggest deleting the Wiki area, because it doesn't work well with Mobile clients and Mobile clients are crucial for Microsoft Ignite. 

For the files area, I decided to use it to organize whatever files we needed for reference. The other Engineers and I are all staying at the same Airbnb. So, I put all the reservation info in PDF form and placed in the Airbnb directory. I also downloaded the floor plans document from Orange County Convention Center and placed those in the Convention Center info directory. Lastly, any interesting Ignite photos any of us take, they can be uploaded into the photo directory. You can of course create any directories that make sense for you and your team.

Next, I suggest you add a OneNote tab. To do so, click the "+" at the end of the tabs area. An add tab dialog will appear. Select OneNote,

Give the OneNote a name and then Click "Save"

You can see in my example below, I've created several pages in the OneNote. The page displayed is something I dreamed up because I always get requests to ask vendors certain questions and track down information while at the conference. I thought this would be a great way to capture that and have it handy when I'm talking to someone from that vendor. The next page is a general To Do page. Teams does have a separate To Do tab you can add, but alas it doesn't work well in Mobile clients.Finally, the last page, is an example of a page that can be created to take notes for a specific session.

The Website Tabs

Twitter PowerBI

Next, we are going to add a really awesome PowerBI app created by tyGraph for viewing the twitter-verse through the #MSIgnite hashtag. I plan to use this to keep track of how much more I need to do to catch Matt Landis on sharing info on Twitter:-) . Anyway... Click on the "+" at the end again to create a tab and this time select "Website"

Give the tab a name, I suggest "Ignite Twitter PowerBI". Next you'll need to provide this URL and then Click "Save"

When created this is what the tab will look like. Take special note that the bottom there are several pages that display twitter information in different ways.

#MSIgnite Twitter Search

Now, let's add a tab that does a Twitter search for the #MSIgnite  hashtag. Click on the "+" again and click "Website"

Again, you'll need to name the tab. I suggest "#msignite Twitter". Then provide this URL and then Click "Save"

When the tab is created it will look like this. The URL will default to "Latest" tweets. But as you can see there are other options for how to view the #msignite hashtag from the twitter search.

Session Browser PowerBI

Again, tyGraph really outdid themselves and they created a PowerBI app that makes browsing sessions so much easier. There are so many different ways to slice and dice the sessions it isn't funny. To add this tab, once again click the "+" at the end of the tab area and Select Website.

I think you are a pro at this by now, but give it a cool name like "Session Browser PowerBI". Next use this URL and click Save

When the tab is created it should look like this. Again please note the multiple pages at the bottom.

Convention Center Floor Plans

I'm not sure if we will get great maps of the Convention Center in the Microsoft Ignite mobile app, so I decided to add a tab that points to the Orange County Concvention Center Floor plans in PDF format. This is the same file that I put into the "Files" area, but the website has a nice web viewer for the PDF that works well in Microsoft Teams and as an added benefit I can reference a specific page. To add this tab, once again click the "+" at the end of the tab area and Select Website.

Give the tab a name like "Convention Center Floor Plans". Then provide this URL and Click "Save"

When the tab is created it should look like this. Please note the navigation arrows to the side to change pages.

The Advanced Stuff

I've been playing with Microsoft Flow and how to use it with Microsoft Teams while at Ignite. I've done a couple other blog posts that cover how to put the Weather into the Conversation tab every morning and another one that searches for new news stories that match the terms "Microsoft Ignite 2017" or "Skype for Business" or "Microsoft Teams".


  1. The # search is not displaying, but everything else works great!

    1. Is it the twitter hashtag search you are referring to?

    2. as long as the URL is what I have... the only thing I can think of is maybe twitter is needing some sort of authentication

  2. Awesome to see the #tyGraph for Twitter stats! You may also want to add a tab for as I'll be hosting a tweetjam each day on various topics, as well as live streaming a related discussion from the Community Hub

  3. Thanks Jonathan GVreat stuff here. I did most of this. Only difference was that I added a Twitter web page with a search for multiple hashtags.

  4. Thanks Jonathan for the mention on your blog. We also built this session browser for Ignite 2017. See you in Orlando Twitter @edsenez

    1. Already in there towards the bottom... it's awesome!