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 a virtual event and that’s only because of how far we have come with designing these events to be special and unique for attendees.
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.
Reviewing the agenda before the event goes live will be extremely beneficial for you. You will be able to get to know who the speakers are, what important topics are going to be covered and help you prepare any relevant questions you may have 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 PJs 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 can brush your hair and look presentable. When you know you look good, you will feel good and being dressed for the event will help keep you productive and motivated 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 if you forget you’re not on mute.
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 your internet connection before you log on to ensure that it’s all working and will keep you connected during the event.
You want to make sure that your background is clear of any clutter or distractions. If your company has a branded template, use it, especially 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 up for speaking it could get awkward. 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. Things can go wrong and you might face some technical difficulties but it’s important that you are empathetic and staying positive when talking to the organizers and speakers.
This event was put on for you! So 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.
Sessions will usually be timed so it’s important that you show up on time to avoid missing anything and are able to ask the right questions at the end. The speakers have taken their time to be a part of this. 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 meeting or 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 or appearances that could happen.
While a virtual event may feel completely different from actually 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.
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