As virtual events take center stage with hosting conferences and meetings, gone are the days of showing up feeling lost and confused about what to wear and how to act when you’re online. Believe it or not, there is a certain etiquette that comes with attending virtual events and that’s only because of how far we have come with designing these events to be special and unique for attendees. While you must be wondering how can there be rules to attending something from your house, things like wearing pajamas to a conference or having a messy background doesn't cut it anymore.
As the new norm of working remotely helped us understand the value of the mute button, there are many other aspects of being a virtual attendee that one must consider.
You've probably become a pro at networking and being a part of virtual events. As we continue to expand and design beautiful virtual events, there are guidelines that come with being a virtual attendee. Here are the top 10 rules of etiquette for virtual attendees.
Reviewing the agenda before the event goes live will be extremely beneficial for you. Take the time to learn about who the guest speakers are and what topics are going to be covered. Being prepared will help you stay on top of the event like having your questions ready for the speakers. Staying informed will only elevate your experience as you will have an idea of what’s going on and give you a leg up when trying to network with your peers and the guests.
It might be a good idea to change out of your sweats and put on a nice outfit. Better yet, if there’s a theme, participate! If it’s more of a business event, put on a nice shirt or a dress to impress. Additionally, you should brush your hair and look presentable if you're going to be on camera. When you know you look good, you will feel good. Getting dressed for the event will only help keep you productive and motivate you to stay engaged.
Mute yourself when you’re not speaking. With so many people tuning in, there is bound to be tons of feedback and other background noises that could come up during the event. This will definitely help make the sound clearer and help everyone understand what’s going on. Plus, you might be saved from any accidental chatter that might happen if you're not muted.
We're sure everyone can relate to this. As much as we love technology, a lot of issues can come up when you least expect it. Make sure to test your audio, video and especially your internet connection before you log on. This will help to ensure that everything is working and will keep you connected during the event. By doing these tests, you can fix any tech related issues that you catch.
You want to make sure that your background is clear of any clutter or distractions. If your company has a branded template, use it. This will be especially helpful if you know people will be walking around or if your surroundings are a little messy. Additionally, try to make sure your area is well lit so your coworkers and other members can see you clearly when you’re speaking.
Unless the event or meeting is specifically a lunch or dinner, try not to snack when you’re on camera. Not only is this distracting but if you’re about to present it could get awkward if you're caught off guard. However, if you really need to eat, try to be mindful of your chewing and avoid speaking with food in your mouth.
A lot of time and energy has gone into hosting this event, therefore, be understanding and kind to all your hosts and speakers. Keep in mind that things can go wrong and technical difficulties could happen. It’s important that you are empathetic and staying positive when talking to the organizers and speakers.
This event was put on for you! Try to be as present and engaged as possible to show the hosts and speakers that you are enjoying the event. Give feedback when you can and ask questions whenever possible. Take part in chat rooms and break-out sessions as this will only help you network better and get you involved with your peers. The hosts and guest speakers have taken a lot of time to put on this event, so be mindful of that when you are logged on.
Sessions will usually be timed so it’s important that you show up on time to avoid missing anything. This is especially important to make sure you ask the right questions at the end. You don't want the speakers to have to repeat themselves and waste time. The speakers have taken time out of their day to be a part of this. Additionally, If you are running late, make sure you inform the hosts so they are aware in case they need to fill in on your behalf until you are able to log on.
If you’re living with roommates, let them know that you’re going to be at a virtual event beforehand. This can be extremely helpful in keeping your surroundings noise-free and they will know that you’re busy at that particular time. Not to mention, you will be able to avoid any unintentional cameos that could happen.
While a virtual event may feel completely different from meeting and networking in person, it’s still important to be mindful of the hosts, the guests and speakers that have taken the time to put on this event. It might feel new and odd to be dressed up or completely engaged in the event in your living room, but if you try to truly be immersed in your virtual event experience, it’ll all be worth it in the long run.