Optional Attendees

Real easy question here.  Some of the users I support are having difficulties using the "optional attendee" feature when scheduleing meetings.  I beleive most, if not all, of their problems are from improper use or expectations of this feature.  Before plowing headlong into research I simply want to know what the "official" definition of optional attendee is.  I've tried searching Microsoft's websites and it appears they didn't think the public needed to know this little tidbit.

So what's the intended use or definition of "optional attendee"?  Where is supposed to be used and where not?

Who is Participating?
Optional Attendee should not be used to notify someone else that Joe Bloggs is attending a meeting, that's what the delegate system is for!

As meintsi said it should be used to let the recipient know that it is not essential that they attend and their attendance is at their own discretion.

Outlook will treat both of these the same much like it will treat the meeting organiser as a required attendee. Outlook has no way of knowing whether or not the "optional attendee" will attend the meeting other than their response. At this point they become the same as the required attendee.

In short the Required and Optional titles are for aesthetic only, their functionality is identical.

Optional is just that, someone who is invited, but not mandatory for the success of the meeting.
Outllook treates them both the same.

This may help:
djs120Author Commented:

The course provides a clear and easy to follow overview but skips over attendee disignation and why you'd want to distinguish optional and required.

Your definition, which is what I assumed was the purpose of optional attendees, sounds simple but I beleive my users have differing expectations of what optional is used for and why.  Some use it to notify managers one of their subordinates are attending a meeting (probably the right use).  Others will use it to notify a person's assistant that the person they support might be attending a meeting.  THis is where I beleive the problem occurs, because the assistant is setup as a delegate and receives copies of meeting requests.  Now the assistant sees two meeting requests one as a delegate and one directed to their own calendar.  See what I mean, I'm probably not dealing with an Outlook, or Exchange, error but a business process issue (or perhaps more aptly a flawed business process).  I wanted the exact definition and use of optional attendees, to become part of a "here's how you're supposed to do it, and why" document.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation.  
djs120Author Commented:

Both of your response were very helpful!

Thanks for your input!
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