A Meeting Workspace is a Web site for centralizing all the information and materials for one or more meetings. Before the meeting, use a workspace to publish the agenda, attendee list, and documents you plan to discuss. During or after the meeting, use the workspace to publish the meeting results and track tasks. Send a meeting request to invite people to the meeting. In the meeting request, include a hyperlink that goes to the workspace where invitees can learn the meeting details and see the materials.
Note If you are familiar with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Web sites, you will already be familiar with Meeting Workspace. A Meeting Workspace is a special type of SharePoint subsite under a parent SharePoint site. Help for the Meeting Workspace as well as general SharePoint Help is available from the workspace.
The meeting invitation and Meeting Workspace
In the past, you typed an agenda and attached documents to the meeting invitation in your calendar and e-mail program. Now you can put that information in a Meeting Workspace so invitees can access it anytime to view, edit, or add information (depending on their permissions).
Instead of typing the agenda in the meeting request...
... and instead of attaching documents to the request...
... add a link that goes to a Meeting Workspace.
When invitees click the link...
... the Meeting Workspace opens in their browser where they can see and work with the agenda, documents, and other meeting information.
Centralizing the information means people can work together on the content, they will always see the most current version, and you won't have to send large files through your e-mail system each time content changes.
You can create a Meeting Workspace from a variety of locations if Windows SharePoint Services is available from the intranet or Internet location you are working with and a parent SharePoint site exists under which you can create the Meeting Workspace. You can create workspaces from a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible calendar and scheduling program, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, from an existing Meeting Workspace (although you can't create the workspace as a subsite to an existing Meeting Workspace), from a Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server site on an intranet, or from an external site that hosts Windows SharePoint Services 2.0. For workspaces created within your company, you can invite anyone to the workspace that is in the same trusted domain as you and who has a valid e-mail address. For workspaces created on external sites, you can invite anyone who has a valid e-mail address.
The interaction between the e-mail invitation and the workspace varies depending on the e-mail program you use. If you use Office Outlook 2003 with a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account to set up the Meeting Workspace, a link to the workspace Web site is automatically added to the body of your meeting request. Microsoft Outlook also communicates with the workspace, automatically adding the subject, attendee names, date, time, and location from the meeting request to the workspace. If you later change attendee names, date, time, or location in Outlook, Outlook automatically updates the information in the Meeting Workspace.
Note If you update the attendees from the workspace, you'll need to switch back to Outlook to update that information in the request.
Outlook and Windows SharePoint Services also enables you to set up a workspace for more than one meeting, such as for a recurring meeting or for multiple related meetings linked to the same workspace. and to assign a delegate to set up the workspace for you.
If you use another e-mail program, see its documentation for more information, or contact your system administrator.
Parts of a Meeting Workspace
The workspace is made up of one or more pages that contain meeting details and lists of information that are common when planning, conducting, or following up on a meeting. Typical lists for a Meeting Workspace include Objectives, Agenda, Attendees, Decisions, and Tasks. In addition to lists, you can add a document library and a picture library where invitees can store materials related to the meeting. The lists and libraries that display by default on the home page depend on the template you choose when you create the workspace.
On the home page or any new pages you add, the information is divided into parts — called Web Parts. Web Parts exist for each type of list or library and for other types of information you can add to the workspace.
If the workspace doesn't contain all the information you need or you don't like the layout or look of the workspace you created, you can customize it.
Title, date, time, and location of meeting
Menu for customizing the workspace
Agenda list displayed in a Web Part
Document Library displayed in a Web Part
If you use an Instant Messaging program compatible with Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Skype, Microsoft Lync, or the Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging Service, you can use that program from within the Attendees list in the workspace to communicate with other attendees. If an attendee is online, you can ask him or her to go to the workspace so you can work together.
Attendees, users, and site groups in the Meeting Workspace
Although Outlook sends the attendee names to the Attendees list in the Meeting Workspace, that does not guarantee that attendees are granted access rights to the workspace. Whether rights are granted automatically depends on the Meeting Workspace you are using.
If you create a new Meeting Workspace, once you send the meeting request, attendees are automatically assigned to the Contributor site group and are added as users with rights on the workspace. As the meeting organizer, you are assigned to the Administrator site group. If there is a problem granting rights automatically, a message will instruct you on where to go in the workspace to add the attendee as a user.
If you link to an existing Meeting Workspace, once you send the meeting request, attendees will have rights automatically if either of the following is true:
- The workspace was originally created with permissions that are unique from the parent Web site.
- The workspace inherited its permission settings from the parent site and the attendees have access rights on the parent site.
For more information, see Help in the workspace.
Conducting the meeting
The meeting you created the workspace for does not take place in the Meeting Workspace. The meeting itself is conducted in person, over the telephone, or from a conferencing program, such as Microsoft Windows NetMeeting. However, you can view the workspace and update it during the meeting. For example, you can update the Attendees list to indicate who actually participated, list decisions, track tasks, and publish the meeting minutes. That way there is a complete record of the meeting for future reference.