Scheduling a Communicator Conference with Communicator 2007 R2

There is a lot of functionality built into the Microsoft Office Live Meeting client, and frankly all that functionality can present a usability challenge for some users who are just trying to have a basic multi-party conference. For smaller meetings, and specifically where the primary need is an instant messaging, audio, or video conference, a Communicator conference is a better user experience. Ad-hoc Communicator conferences can be created easily by selecting multiple contacts (by holding down the CTRL key and selecting the participant contacts individually) and then right-clicking and selecting “Start a Conference Call” in Office Communicator 2007 R2.

But how can users schedule Communicator conferences directly from the Communicator 2007 R2 client?

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 introduced a Meet Now option that let the users create a Communicator conference and invite participants (internal or federated contacts) both in real time via or through email. When the Invite by Email option is used, an Outlook e-mail message is created with a link to join the conference.

If a user wants to schedule a Communicator conference as part of a regular Outlook meeting request, they can create an Outlook meeting and cut-and-paste the “join the conference” link provided in the email invitation.  This is a great way to leverage the power of Outlook meetings with the simplicity of Communicator conferences.

A description of the “Meet Now” feature in Office Communicator 2007 R2 can be found here: Meet Now Conferencing.

An easier way to schedule a Communicator Conference call if you have the Microsoft Conferencing Add-In for Outlook installed is to use the “Schedule a Conference Call” button on the Conferencing toolbar which the add-in installs into Outlook.  I remember situations where this button was not available, so make sure your users are running Communicator 2007 R2 and the latest version of the Conferencing Add-In for Outlook is installed (available here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/HA102368901033.aspx).

The following are two screen shots of where to find the “Meet Now” functionality and the associated invitation options in Office Communicator 2007 R2.

Communicator Meet Now

Communicator conference invite

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11 comments to How to Schedule a Communicator Conference with Communicator 2007 R2

  • Surya

    Hi Curtis,

    Thanks for the Reply, I tried connection thru 3 participants and I was not able to see the other 2 people in the video chat But when i connect only with myself and 1 participant then i am able to see the opponent person, I don’t get any errors, I just don’t see the oponents for multiple video chat

  • Surya, when you add more than one recipient (participant), the session is upgraded to an OCS conference. This is significant because the Web Conferencing service and infrastructure is uses.

    What error do you get in the Communicator client. Check that your OCS web conferencing service is running and also check the event log for errors. You can narrow the problem down by just trying a 3-party IM session.

    Hope that helps,
    Curtis

  • Surya

    When i try to add multiple recepients in a conference video call, I am not able to see anyone, but if i try connect only to a single recepient, then i am able to see the oponent. what should i do to see everyone on the conference call

  • Your problem is likely caused by installing OCS 2007 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2 – not initially a supported scenario. The good news is that Microsoft released a hotfix earlier this year to address this issue. See the Microsoft support article KB 982021 (Supportability is available for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 member server role on a Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982021.

    Follow the directions carefully; I hope that resolves it.

  • laminekaba

    When i click on meet me now on my communicator r2 to start a conference, this is what i get:
    An error occurred while trying to start the conference. More details (ID:504).
    1 to 1 chat works, i can resolve _sipinternaltls._tcp. but no conferencing can work while I’m having a very basic setup of OCS 2007 r2 on server 2008 r2.
    Please help, have spent days searching the possible problem but still…

  • Microsoft announced “support for 64-bit MAPI to connect to 64-bit Outlook” in the next release of Communicator today (i.e. Communicator “14″), so I am guessing the today’s 32-bit MOC 2007 R2 doesn’t support 64-bit MAPI.

  • Yes, those are missing from my MOC 64-bit install also (I didn’t even notice – these are not actions I regularly use from MOC). They are there on my 32-bit install. Let the investigation begin! I assumed the MAPI interaction was okay because MOC 64-bit is successfully updated my status based on my Outlook calendar (e.g. busy when I am in a meeting), but it is getting the calendar information from Exchange web services, not MAPI. I’ll let you know what I find.

  • Marc

    I have 3.5.6907.196 when I open MOC go to my contact list and right click on a contact these options are grayed out, this has changed since I installed Outlook 2010 64bit. Is there something I am missing or need to install?

    Schedule Meeting
    Add to Outlook
    Properties

  • Joseph

    I have the meet now, but I was referring to, from my contact list if I right click on a contact, the options for schedule meeting, add to outlook, and properties are grayed out. This was not the case when I was using Outlook 2007 SP2, I believe it only changed when I upgraded to Office 2010 64 bit. Do you have the same issues?

  • I am running 64-bit Office 2010 (Professional Plus) and the MOC 2007 R2 client and I have both the “Meet Now” option in MOC and the Schedule a Conference Call button in Outlook (via the Outlook Add-In). Which are you missing?

    Make sure you are running the latest Communicator 2007 R2 version (3.5.6907.196), or at a minimum the .83 update from January 2010 (which fixed this integration error “There was a problem connecting the Microsoft Office Outlook. Outlook is not installed correctly. Repair or reinstall Outlook, and then update the personal information manager setting on the Personal tab in the Options dialog box.” – see http://blog.insideocs.com/2009/12/10/office-2010-beta-integration-with-communicator-r2-the-live-meeting-add-in/).

  • Joseph

    If you have Office 2010 64 bit, and MOC 2007 R2 I do not have this option available, is it true that MOC 2007 R2 does not support 64bit mapi?

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