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Online meeting etiquette

When you make the decision to go online

With the corona crisis hitting all of us very hard, businesses and organisations are looking for a way to continue to function as efficiently as possible during the lockdown period.

Obviously, everyone is thinking of online communications and meeting platforms, but it is important to think things through very well before you start using any type of solution.

You need to ask yourself some questions:

  • What do I want to achieve with this meeting or event?
  • Is my event interactive or not or just a presentation?
  • Do my people consent to making the switch to online?
  • Does everybody have the right equipment (connectivity, headsets, ...)

Presence advisers can help you to choose the right platform and to determine with you how your meeting can be best adapted to an online format.

 

Preparing for online events

Once the decision has been made and the type of online solution has been chosen, you are ready for the preparation phase. The first question concerns the security of the solutionObviously, you don’t want outsiders to listen in on your meeting and steal your information.

All the Presence online platforms are fully encrypted end-to-end and follow the strictest IT security protocols. However, protecting your data is also a legal matter. 

We guarantee the confidentiality of the information shared during your Presence online meeting in the following ways:

  • As an agency we sign an NDA with your organisation.
  • All our crew members (interpreters, technicians, moderators…) have signed individual NDAs.
  • We check that all your meeting participants have signed an NDA with your organisation.

When all security and confidentiality issues have been solved you need to take care of the practicalities of your online event:

  • Onboard your presenters and organise a speaker briefing
  • Inform presenters that they will be interpreted and assist them in presenting their information in a clear and coherent way
  • Translate the presentations into the different meeting languages
  • Prepare and send invitations to all participants in their own language
  • Send instructions to the participants (how to test their connection, how to join the event, ...)
  • Book the interpreters and send them all preparation materials
  • Make sure participants and interpreters know what to do if they encounter a problem during the event

... and many other things that we will happily explain to you during the intake briefing.

It is always a very good idea to set up a test event, especially if the system is new to most participants. If this proves impossible, the next best option is to have everybody connect 15 to 20 minutes before the start of the event so that people can get used to the functionalities of the system.

 

During online events

When you attend an online meeting, it is important to observe some basic etiquette, just like for a live meeting. There are a number of things to watch out for that are specific to the digital environment.

  • Check your appearance
    • Dress in neutral colors and avoid busy lines and squares etc...
    • Check in the control window in the application how you appear to others. 
    • (Some people show up with their face cut in half, some have their forehead or nose all over the screen, ...)
  • Check your background
    • Avoid a crowded background
    • Lock away dogs, children and anything that you don’t want to share with the world
    • Make sure that there is no noise from open windows, no music in the next room, ...
  • Be disciplined during the meeting
    • Don’t cut people short, weigh your words even more than in live meetings as there is a higher risk of being misunderstood online, ...
  • Be tolerant and forgiving
    • Nobody is to blame if there are connection problems or when the internet is down. This is the equivalent of the electricity being cut off during live events. In online environments also “Force Majeure” can happen and is unforeseeable, unavoidable and impossible to overcome.

A Presence adviser will assist you with setting up a contingency plan to minimise disruption in such cases.

 

Follow-up and continuous improvement

Online meetings and events are a pretty recent phenomenon and in these times of crisis, everyone wants to move their meeting to a digital platform. However, success can only be ensured through practice and the only way you can become experienced is to do real meetings and accept that there might be some glitches the first few times.

The good news is that Presence can take care of all these details (and more that arise after the briefing) for you. Our services aim to give you peace of mind so that you can fully enjoy your online meeting experience.

Presence helps you to learn as you go and to continuously improve from one meeting to the next. Talk to us and together we will make your multilingual events work!

 

 

 

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