Even though virtual events have become exceedingly popular in the past two years and organizations are hosting them on a regular basis, there is still one common problem faced among the attendees and the organizers. Even though virtual events and conferences have successfully taken over a few physical events, and they have become a part of our daily lives, there is a common tendency among organizers and attendees across the world.
It has been noticed that organizers and attendees still have a bit of laid backness when it comes to attending and hosting virtual conferences. There is still a prevalent perception that virtual events aren’t that professional.
However, there’s a dire need of getting the attitude fixed that people have for virtual meetings and conferences. They need to understand that even if virtual meetings give us the privilege of attending formal meetings in our pajamas, they are still formal. The attendees and the organizers need to follow some protocols, guidelines, and rules.
Considering the need to address this concern, we have come up with a guide that consists of etiquette the virtual organizers need to consider.
Here, have a look.
Etiquettes to Follow While Preparing for the Virtual Conference:
- While you are preparing for the virtual conference, make sure you create the agenda you want to discuss with the attendees. Not only this, the agenda ideally consists of everything that helps the attendees get a clear idea about the virtual conference. Include the objectives, name, and number of speakers, date, time, etc. Share it with the attendees while you will share the meeting invite.
- If you want the attendees to go through the agenda and show up prepared, inform them beforehand and specify your requirements. Do this a few days before the meeting.
- To avoid even the slightest mistakes, do everything technically, right from scheduling the meeting to reminding the attendees about it. It will minimize the chances of things going wrong.
- Before going live, ensure you check the DIY virtual event platform twice or thrice. Do check your audio and video equipment as well. It will help you save a lot of time in case things go wrong during the meeting.
- Distribute roles and responsibilities among your team members a few days before the virtual conference. It will give them enough time to prepare.
Tips Organizers Should Keep in Mind:
# Be On Time:
If you are hosting a virtual conference, the first thing you need to do is respect your attendees’ time. No one would like to sit idle in the conference, and hence, you need to ensure that things go with time. Start on time, and request your attendees to show up on time.
Also, if someone shows up late, don’t repeat what you have covered; instead, catch up with them later. Also, try to finish the conference in the said time. Therefore, go as you had planned without wasting any time. Also, if your attendees see that you are sticking to the pre-decided timetable, they will even coordinate with you.
# Avoid Distractions:
To keep your virtual conference going at a smooth pace, you need to ensure that there are minimum distractions. The reason we are saying this is virtual conferences already come with several distractions. Hence, here are a few tips you should follow:
- Keep your phone in silent mode.
- Close all the distracting apps and tabs.
- Avoid making distracting noises in the virtual conference; like rustling papers, moving objects, eating, etc.
- Don’t interrupt others while speaking. If you have to say something, use the raise your hand functionality.
- Keep your microphone on mute while not speaking.
# Start the Virtual Conference With an Icebreaker:
When you start the virtual conference, do it on the right note. No matter how urgent it might be, always start by introducing yourself, the objective, and the guests. Also, try to start the meeting with an icebreaker. Crack a joke or casually ask people to introduce themselves. It will help you and your attendees get into the conference and eliminate the awkwardness among the attendees. Remind your attendees to put their phones on silent mode and prepare; you are about to start.
# Keep the Professionalism Intact:
As we said earlier, people have this misconception that virtual meetings are less stressful. However, it depends on the attendees and the organizers. Hence, even if it might get tempting for you and your attendees to relax a bit, use your phone, and not pay attention to the virtual conference, avoid doing so. One way to keep the tone right during the virtual conference is to dress up appropriately.
You should also mention specifically in the agenda that the attendees need to show up well-dressed and fully prepared for the meeting. Also, don’t assume that your shorts or pajamas will do as your attendees won’t be able to see you below the waist. What if you need to stand up?
# Wrap-Up the Meeting Effectively:
As tempting as it might get, don’t just end your meeting abruptly and move. Finish it as you would have finished a physical conference. Summarize the learnings and the agenda that you have discussed in the meeting. Also, ask if there is anything that the attendees want to add. You can ask them to drop their suggestions, questions, and doubts in the live chat box that comes with the Customizable Event Platform. Also, inform them of a few things; such as:
- The attendees will receive a summary of the meeting along with the recording, if possible.
- The attendees can reach out to the organizers after the meeting in case of any doubts and questions.
- The attendees will receive a follow-up mail with a feedback form that the attendees need to fill out.
Wrap up the virtual conference with a promise that you all will meet again soon and that your organization will come with a different conference in the future.
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Online conferences are an effective way for organizations to expand their audience reach and popularity in the market. However, along with proper planning, one thing that needs to be considered is that the attendees and organizers follow the meeting etiquette. Follow these rules, ask your attendees to do the same, and elevate the level of your conference.