Creating Breakout Meetings in Teams

Have a larger meeting or class session? Break out your attendees into smaller groups for discussion and collaboration in Microsoft Teams.

Using Teams Channels for Breakout Sessions

  • Use or create a Team that includes all members that will participate in the main meeting session and the smaller group breakout sessions.
  • The Team's General channel may be used for the main meeting session. Or you can create a Main Session channel, as shown in the video above.
  • Create channels for each group's breakout session. For example, you could create Group A and Group B as channels. But you may want to give clear, meaningful names to the channels.
  • If attendees shouldn't self-select their group breakout session, use private channels.
  • You will need to add specific attendees as members of each private channel. 
  • For private channels, you cannot schedule or record meetings.

Setting up Channel Meetings for Group Breakout Sessions

  • From a breakout session channel, select either the Schedule channel meeting icon or the Meet Now meeting icon.

    Schedule or Meet now

  • The video above shows using the Meet Now icon to create instant online meetings.
  • If you use the Schedule channel meeting icon, you can set up meetings ahead of time.
  • For standard, non-private channels, all members in the Team can join, but the meetings are specific to the channel.

During the Meetings

  • Once the meetings start, do not hang up to switch to a different meeting.
  • Instead, just select join and the first meeting will be placed on hold.
  • When the breakout meetings have started, attendees may join via the channel.

    Join in-progress meeting from channel

Switching Among Meetings

  • As you switch meetings, the original meeting will be placed on hold.
  • You can join up to four meetings as once.
  • Note that when you join the Group B breakout meeting, the Group A breakout meeting is placed on hold. You can quickly switch from meeting to meeting by selecting resume.

    On hold

Alternative Methods

  • You may schedule simultaneous meetings via Microsoft Outlook.
  • You may also use the Meet Now function and start each meeting in real time.