It is important during virtual events to make a good first impression, just like you want to at an in-person event. Sometimes we don't treat the virtual events the same since we are at home and things can feel a bit more relaxed. And even though it is good to be relaxed and comfortable it's also good to follow some proper etiquette. So, we have created 8 Etiquette Tips for Virtual Events.
1. Dress for Success
You don’t need to be dressed to the nines, but make sure you put yourself together if it is a professional event. If it is more of a social gathering you can be more casual, but always present yourself the way you want your colleagues to see you.
2. Keep Your Background in Mind
Again, if this a professional event than make sure what is behind you is clean and appropriate. Suggestions for a background are a bookshelf, blank wall, or nice photos on the wall. If you are struggling to find the right background, then make sure to clean the room behind you.
3. Check Your Technology
Before your meeting or event, test out your audio and video. Make sure you have decent lighting, and check your WiFi connection. WiFi connection is more important than a perfect background or lighting! So if you need to move closer to your router, then do so. You don’t want to cut out in the middle of the event.
4. Prepare Your Part Ahead of Time
If you are presenting or you are able to introduce yourself, be prepared! When preparing your introduction be informative, but brief. You want to keep their attention not bore them. Be personable and fun and don’t forget to have your camera on while you are speaking! Also think about what contact information you want to give out (if you are able to). Will you give your email, your phone number, or just your social media handles? Make all those decisions ahead of time.
5. Be On Time
Even though this is a virtual event the same rules as apply as if it were an in-person event. Always try to be on time. There of course can be technical issues (tip 3 will help with that), but just being fashionably late is never good for a professional event.
6. Be Attentive!
While others are speaking - listen! If your video is on, make sure you are reacting to what the speaker is saying. It is rude to be doing other things while others are presenting or giving their introductions. Remember, if you are networking then you are learning about the other attendees not just waiting for your turn to speak. You are there to make connections with people. If you need to do other things (answer a text, a call, help a family member, etc.) turn off your video feed and mute yourself. Speaking of muting, it is also a good idea to turn off your microphone if someone else is speaking so you don’t have to worry about unexpected loud noises on your end.
7. Sit Still and Don’t Disappear
Again if your video is on, don’t be distracting to the person speaking or the other attendees. If you need to step away for a second just like in the last tip - turn your video feed off. Things happen when you are at home and it is completely understandable that you get pulled away from the event. But it is very distracting when people get up and leave, so simply turn the video feed off and no one will notice you needed to step away. It can be a good idea to use the message feature to let everyone know you will ‘be right back’ if you need to step away for awhile.
8. Follow Up After the Event
Just because this is a virtual event doesn’t mean you don’t follow up with the connection that you have made! When others are giving their introductions, listen to what their business is and think if there is way you can collaborate and connect with that person. Make it a goal to connect with at least 5 other attendees after the event. Message them on social media (or whatever contact they give) and consider becoming friends on social media. One way to collaborate is after you start following each other’s businesses make plans to share each other’s content on social media. Supporting each other right now is SO important!
Even though it can be hard to find the motivation sometimes, it is important to treat virtual events as you would an in-person event. After all, this is the only way for us to network and learn right now, so we need to make the best of it.
And if you are looking for virtual events please visit WCE's Upcoming Events tab!! We have both Networking Events and Webinars coming up soon!!