Being mindful of Meeting Etiquette “don’t stink as a meeting participant”

» Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Virtual Conferences | Comments Off on Being mindful of Meeting Etiquette “don’t stink as a meeting participant”

Being mindful of Meeting Etiquette “don’t stink as a meeting participant”

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The future and (for me) sad reality of “face to face meetings” is here; no longer will we need to travel across country, town, street, or even the hallway to have a face to face meeting.  Virtual/web conferencing is the answer.

Do I hear a pouting tone?

As a Conference Coordinator for 13 years, I am not jumping for joy either, but due to bad publicity and lack of common sense and spending control the government conference planning industry is quickly diminishing.  However, the conferences and meetings can’t just stop!  The subject area experts need to continue to communicate and collaborate in order to keep our nation safe.

devices-3aVirtual/web conferencing solution is the next best thing then having a physical meeting and more productive than a conference call.  However, to enhance your and the other participants’ experience I would like to acknowledge “Participants’ Etiquette”.

The virtual/web conferences are more difficult to manage, because the planner errrhummm… I am sorry “now” web conferencing administrator, because we cannot be over your shoulder and holding your hand. Therefore, I am encouraging some friendly etiquette guidance to all current and future web conferencing participants.

1. Prepare for the virtual/web conference: as if you were traveling to a meeting you would make sure you knew where you were going, and how you were going to get there. The same is true with a web conferencing.

a. Read the invitation and gather the information

i. Date and Time (be sure of the time zone)
ii. Is there a URL link or do you need to register?
iii. Will you need a log-in and password?
iv. Will you need to call in to receive audio?

b. Educate yourself: all web conferencing providers provide a quick one-page or video tutorial (great source YouTube or the services help guide, example Adobe Connect). Do yourself a favor and watch it.

c. Pre-plan and check your connection and equipment before the meeting starts. You don’t want to take the first 5 minutes of the hour meeting fussing with your computer.

2. Conduct yourself professionally and properly. Recommend reading the 5 Tips For Webinar Attendees by Ken Molay President of Webinar Success, and Web Conferencing Etiquette: Top Tips by Jason Parker, Adobe Systems.

a. Attention: give your undivided attention; close distracting applications i.e. E-mail, don’t take phone calls or entertain guests. Place a do not disturb on your door.

b. Appearance: when using your webcam, remember we can see you. Don’t eat, touch your face, blow your noise, primp using the camera as a mirror, and walk away from the camera shot, etc… See your image allow the speaker to engage at another level.

c. Acknowledge: during Q&A wait to be called on or have audio privileges granted. When your audio is open, state your name and organization so the audience knows who is speaking. When you are done return your phone to mute. It is important not to speak over one another.

Just remember the virtual meetings require more patience and attention from all participants.  The current web conferencing tools are very powerful and offer many functions to create and be a part of dynamic meetings.  So get out there with a positive attitude and embrace the meeting future.

By Jennifer K. Howell Jennifer is a professional conference and event planner and webinar producer/host. She has over 14 years’ experience coordinating logistics for national and international conferences, meetings, and events along with database and facility management, and newly added capabilities include webinar production and hosting.  Her expertise is primarily within the Federal Government. She, and the NAVAR team, developed and launched a university outreach program with their current client, a Department of Defense entity. She and the NAVAR team can help you get your plans started today.