Minding Your Manners
Virtual happy hour breakdown
For months now, many of us have either hosted – or – attended a Zoom or virtual happy hour. We didn’t know we would be on lockdown this long, so we had to get creative with staying connected to the cocktail world and socializing with our friends and family. It’s the best we can do in the COVID-19 world and it has proven to be fun. But did you know there’s an etiquette that goes along with streaming happy hours? We are here to break down the do’s and don’ts of online cocktail conferencing.
People all over are spending Friday nights stuck at home, embracing the new platform, drink in hand. If you haven’t been on one, here is basically how it works. You get a drink, set up your digital device and clink a common link, which takes you to the virtual meeting from the comfort of your favorite comfy couch. Common links are Zoom, Houseparty, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp.
Like most happy hours and social gatherings, good manners are a must to keep the experience fun and light. You want to make sure everyone has a good time. Think of what distractions bother you in real life and apply necessary measures here. Etiquette experts share some suggestions on how to keep the party going without any unnecessary headaches.
If you’re the host/hostess, remember your duties. Be sure to send out the link in enough time for everyone to plan for the time and date. Also remember to be on time – you want to welcome everyone as they join. It’s your job to keep the conversation flowing. Ask fun questions and keep things light during this difficult time. If possible, try not to let one person monopolize the conversation. Additionally, some of the sites may have time limits before everyone gets cut off, so check the app’s detailing before getting the party started.
If for some reason you are going to be late, let the host know. There’s nothing worse than showing up late for the party. Keep in mind people will be waiting for everyone to log on and you don’t want to be the reason for a delay.
Are you thinking of inviting someone else to the party? An easy solution is to let the host know and make sure its okay. No one likes a party crasher. Remember, not all groups mix well, especially on an intimate platform.
Mute, mute and mute. During the party noise can happen in your setting, like a barking dog, a beeping garbage truck or loud children. Get familiar with the mute button and if necessary excuse yourself to deal with unforeseen issues. You can alway in-mute yourself later when you’re ready to jump back in.
We know it’s tempting to do other things while on the call. But, looking at your phone, filing your nails or watching television might be perceived as disinterest. Simple manners are in order during a virtual happy hour, just like a real cocktail party. Consider keeping distraction to a minimum and make it quick. As a host, if you see short attention spans, you can steer the conversation or announce a last call.
Our friendships are so important nowadays and keeping connected is a critical lifeline. You can do it with cocktails, in a fun way, while keeping everyone’s feelings and fragile emotions in mind. Have fun, take pictures to post later and watch out for that DUI checkpoint around the corner from the kitchen, near the corner of the living room.
Hopefully we are seeing the light at the end of the COVID tunnel as some establishments begin to safely open. Until then, raise a glass and toast to the ones you love. Cheers Y’all.