How To Deal with Disruptive Virtual Attendees
By Hydee Mariazeta, Senior Customer Support Representative, Accelevents
We're all too familiar with the occasional disruptive attendee as event professionals. Whether it's someone who monopolizes the conversation or someone who won't stop talking during the session, there are always a few attendees who can make events less enjoyable for everyone else. So, what should you do if you have misbehaving attendees? We'll be sharing some tips on handling troublesome or overeager folks in your virtual audience.
Set the rules and expectations upfront
You can avoid inappropriate actions from your attendees by setting out expectations for appropriate conduct upfront. Setting a standard of behavior shows your attendees that you're serious in keeping order in your event and that you'll be watching for any inappropriate actions.So, how do you do this?
Communicate your event's guidelines for event behavior
Make your attendees aware of what's expected of them. Accelevents allows you to notify your virtual attendees in various ways, including push notifications, chat, and email blasts. Utilize these features to let everyone know what your regulations are. In addition, consider putting your policies in writing before the event begins. Putting them in writing makes it easier to reference when people ask questions or act out during the virtual event. You may utilize the Lobby feed and Info desk to post your reminders and policies. You can even have an announcement pop up (push notifications), so your virtual attendees will have no excuse for not being aware of the rules you've set.Here are examples of some policies that may be helpful:
- Chat conduct policy (this may include your policy on acceptable language and behavior expectations)
- Policy on recording and taking screenshots (if you don't want attendees to record or take screenshots inside the virtual event, set this rule in place)
- Promotion and advertisement (make it clear to your attendees whether or not you're allowing them to promote their products or services)
Utilize the security features of the platform
We understand that even though you've already communicated your rules and set your attendees' expectations, you might still find that some of them seem 'uncontrollable.' Well, the good news is, this is your event, so you are in control. How do you then keep things under control?
Control who can be seen and heard
If you find yourself in a situation where unruly attendees are causing chaos at your perfect event, you can quickly turn off their cameras and put them on mute.Is there anyone posting defamatory remarks on your lobby feed? Then go ahead and delete those posts or comments that contain inappropriate language, images, or links. Moreover, you can prevent attendees from posting in the feed at all!Is there an attendee abusing the chat? You have the power to disable chat if you find it's being misused. Now, let's say that disabling the whole chat is unnecessary. In this case, you can restore order in the session by quickly banning that attendee from posting messages.
Removing the attendee
Suppose you've done everything mentioned above and the attendee still finds a way to cause trouble. In that case, you can either remove the attendee from the session (applicable to workshops) or remove the attendee from the event. Don't worry about the latter because you still have the option to unblock them just in case.
What works for you?
When managing virtual attendees, no single solution works perfectly for every situation. So, while there are different ways to deal with disruptive virtual attendees like the ones we mentioned above, you must find out what works best for your specific situation as an event organizer.What do you think? Do you have any other tips or tricks for dealing with these types of attendees?