YBC: Virtual Networking

The Etiquette Of Virtual Networking

With the deepening issues Coronavirus is causing around the world, more people are turning to working via video links and at YBC we have created our own channel to host virtual networking groups.

With, what it seems is, the world going into isolation it is now probably more important than ever before to communicate and network with colleagues, communities, local businesses and like-minded people.

Starting and running your own business can be a very lonely thing but you need to remember that in the UK there are circa 5 million other people like you. The pressures on us are unprecedented and the effects of not being able to share stories, discuss issues and, primarily, just chat to people who understand what we go through can have a negative psychological effect on us. During our trials, we have had so much positive feedback about how being in a group with other people, who you can have live 2-way conversations with, reduces the feeling of isolation and loneliness. We have been bringing people from across the country together who otherwise might not ever meet!

So, when you find your ideal video networking group, please remember that, just like live networking, there are some simple steps you should take to ensure that you and your fellow participants get the most out of the meeting.

Before You Get Going

  • Read and understand the instructions sent when you book – you may need to use a login or download and app.
  • Remember, you could be using a lot of data, so, even in these days of 5G, a good wired or Wi-Fi connection may be faster and more stable.
  • The larger the screen, the more enjoyable the experience (even though you can have a great time using your mobile phone!)
  • Arrive a few minutes early (at least the first time you use a new system) to sort out any connection, audio and video issues you may have
  • If your microphone and speakers are too close together, you may create audio feedback (an echo or squealing noise). Keep them as far apart as possible or use a headset/headphone.
  • Remove/reduce as much ambient noise as possible, as it will be amplified to other attendees.
  • Get the lighting right:
  • Ideally, do not sit with your back to a window or bright light source.
  • Ensure that you have good lighting in front of you and your face is well lit

In The Meeting

  • Mute your microphone until you need to speak – you may not notice any background noise where you are, but your fellow attendees probably will!
  • If you have a ‘raise your hand’ indicator, use that if you want to ask a question.
  • Would you leave your phone on if you were at a physical networking event? Switch your ringer off (and unplug your home/office phone as well!).
  • Try not to interrupt – your platform may have a chat or message feature, where you can ask a question in writing, without disturbing the whole group.
  • At live networking, having separate conversations whilst someone else is talking is rude – online it just won’t work, as everyone will hear what you are saying and the speaker will be drowned out!

The bottom line – enjoy the networking, learn about the others, help each other where possible, and, most important, stay healthy.

If you want to join in on the YBC Virtual Networking, click here for more information: https://yourbusinesscommunity.co.uk/events/categories/virtual-networking