Since the world shifted to virtual events, we have been attending meetings from bed while wearing pajamas, and the courageous have not combed their hair even once!
While this has given us a lot of freedom, online meetings have also come with their fair share of challenges and awkward moments. We wanted to share some reasons why we miss live events!
Virtual Events Have No Real Breaks
One of the main challenges that event planners have been facing is keeping attendees glued to their screens for long periods of time. As a result, a large amount of information is packed into a limited amount of time. But how do we even manage to hold all-day meetings, trainings and conferences for four to eight hours without having the flexibility to take breaks?
We assume that everyone is at their own computer and does not need breaks to network and interact with others, due to the nature of virtual events; but we forget to realize we all need coffee breaks and bathroom breaks to name a few. It is not fun feeling torn between not wanting to miss a cool presentation and needing a change of clothes if you don’t make it to the bathroom in time!
Virtual Backgrounds Show Professionalism
After virtual events started replacing in-person meetings, people began to create virtual backgrounds to help them appear more professional on video calls. This helped maintain a level of business standards and the office feel despite working from home. However, a virtual background may not always invoke professionalism. For instance, some people sign on to a virtual meeting with a superman poster in the background!
Poor Audio Quality
Poor audio during virtual events is truly troublesome. Audio delays, microphone mishaps, broken sound, and echo can break up your event experience rather quickly. If you get too close to your microphone, your ‘p’ may come out as an ‘f’ and we all want to avoid certain mix-ups. On the other hand, if you put your microphone far away, other attendees will be forced to switch the volume every time it’s your turn and you may as well send an email in all CAPS LOCK!
Smoking During A Lecture
With limited breaks for virtual events, we see attendees smoking on virtual calls. They are in the comfort of their home, but it appears unprofessional as their webcam gets fogged up with smoke. We are not in a theatre production with special effects, and there has to be a line between acceptable and overboard. So how do we decide which things are allowed at live events but unprofessional during a virtual event?
Getting Up In The Middle
It is unprofessional to get up in the middle of a virtual presentation much like a live event. You may feel that your virtual background will save face until you return, but would you ever do that in person? You would probably find it rude or embarrassing. Even in a virtual meeting, it is still disruptive to the other speakers and participants and the lack of in-person embarrassment is not a reason to disrespect your co-worker’s time.
Picking Up A Dog
Even when your boss is presenting, the pet you just gave a treat to before the meeting believes you are totally ignoring them. They have no idea what business you are doing on your computer and all they want is to sit on your lap. So, do you pick them up? Picking them up is inappropriate and will disrupt the flow of your meeting.
As an event planner, you can host physical events and stream online simultaneously. Adopting a blend of the two is the surest way to quench the thirst for live events, get everyone sorted, and bring in the fun we deserve every day, without awkward moments! Stay tuned for more humor next week.