If you use Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007 with a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account to set up the Meeting Workspace site, a link to the Meeting Workspace site is automatically added to the body of your meeting request. When invitees click the link in the body of the meeting invitation, the Meeting Workspace site opens in their browser. In their browser, the invitees can see and work with the agenda, the documents, and other meeting information. Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 also communicate with the Meeting Workspace site and automatically adds the subject, the attendee names, the date, the time, and the location from the meeting request to the Meeting Workspace site. If you later change the attendee names, the date, the time, or the location in Outlook 2003 or in Outlook 2007, Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007 automatically updates the information in the Meeting Workspace site.
The meeting that you created the Meeting Workspace site for does not occur in the Meeting Workspace site. 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 site 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. These features result in a complete record of the meeting for future reference.
A Meeting Workspace is a special type of Microsoft Windows SharePoint sub site under a parent Microsoft Windows SharePoint site. If your company uses Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, you can create shared workspaces with the documents, the photos, the presentations, the discussions, and all the other related information for an upcoming meeting or critical event.
In earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook, when you created a meeting, you would type an agenda and attach documents to the meeting invitation in your calendar and e-mail program. Now you can put that information in a Meeting Workspace site so that invitees can access it anytime to view, to edit, or to add information (depending on their permissions).
Your Meeting Workspace site is a sub Web. This means that it is a Web site in a Windows SharePoint Services site. Because it is a sub Web, you can gather important information and prepare for an upcoming meeting.
Windows SharePoint Services, SharePoint Portal Server 2003, SharePoint Server 2007, Outlook 2003, and Outlook 2007 all make it possible for you to set up a Meeting Workspace site for more than one meeting, such as for a recurring meeting or for multiple related meetings that are linked to the same Meeting Workspace site. Also, you can assign a delegate to set up the Meeting Workspace site for you.
For Meeting Workspace sites that are created in your company, you can invite anyone to the Meeting Workspace site that is in the same trusted domain as you and who has a valid e-mail address. For Meeting Workspace sites that are created on external sites, you can invite anyone who has a valid e-mail address.
To create a Meeting Workspace in Outlook 2003, click Meeting Workspace on the appointment screen.
To create a Meeting Workspace in Outlook 2007, follow these steps:
- On the File menu, click New, and then click Appointment.
- In the Appointment window, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Meeting Request.
- In the Attendees area, click Meeting Workspace, and then click Create.
- Select a location and a workspace for the new Meeting Workspace, and then click OK.
Additionally, you can add a document library and a picture library where users can store materials related to the meeting. By default, the lists and libraries that appear on the home page depend on the template that you select when you create the Meeting Workspace site.
On the home page (or on any new pages that you add), the information is divided into parts named Web Parts. Web Parts exist for each type of list or library and for all the other types of information that you can add to the Meeting Workspace site. If the Meeting Workspace site does not contain all the information that you require, or if you do not like the layout or the look of the Meeting Workspace site that you created, you can customize it. Help for the Meeting Workspace, in addition to general Windows SharePoint Help, is available from the Meeting Workspace site.
If you use an Instant Messaging program that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Windows Messenger, Microsoft MSN Messenger, or the Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging Service, you can use that program from the Attendees list in the Meeting Workspace site to communicate with other attendees. If an attendee is online, you can ask him or her to visit the Meeting Workspace site so that you can work together.