person video conferencing

By now, many of you have seen and laughed at some video conference call fails which have circulated the internet. Our favorite remains Professor Robert Kelly’s BBC News Interview when his children interrupted his live feed interview and his wife comes frantically running in to pull them out of his home office. Now, we are all terrified of something similar happening to us! (Tip: Lock the door!)  

Just like many of the changes we are facing in the “COVID-19 new normal,” video conferencing has become essential in keeping information flowing and the conference industry alive. Infinity Conference Group would like you to know we are here to share the knowledge and skills we have in our toolbox to keep conferences and trainings moving forward.  

Here are some of our tips for how to minimize distractions and maximize the technology: 

  • Familiarize yourself with the platform(s). Many platforms have video tutorials and help center resources available. Test all features including the Q&A and chat options, virtual whiteboard, screen sharing, and polls prior to sharing with clients and participants. 
  • Customize your profile. Many platforms have a profile area to provide contact information, personal details, or a picture. Be mindful that, everything you share be professional.  
  • Be early to the meeting. Thirty minutes prior to the meeting start time, login, and complete tests to confirm everything is working properly. 
  • Use a headset. Headsets provide audio clarity and alleviates background noise. 
  • Muting microphones. Familiarize yourself with how to mute the microphone. A best practice is to keep your microphone muted unless you are speaking, and this practice should be shared with participants at the beginning of the event. This minimizes background noise and helps avoid embarrassing situations such as a dog barking. Some platforms have a press-to-talk button ( such as the spacebar) which is pressed while speaking. In addition, platforms allow for the host to mute the audience microphones allowing for a focused meeting or training, with questions allowed at a predetermined point on the agenda. 
  • Security features. Confirm you are using the latest business version of the platform to ensure the most up to date security systems. Enable the password protection option; using a random string of mixed numbers, letters and symbols for the password and use the virtual waiting room feature certifying that only the people who are supposed to be in the room are admitted. In addition, when practical, lock the meeting once the participants have joined, but note if a participant drops out, you will need to unlock the meeting so they may return.  
  • Background and filters. Would you rather not show your current working space? Many of the platforms provide virtual backgrounds or instructions on how to blur the background. If your lighting does not provide for your best on screen self, consider using a filter to polish your look.  
  • Record the meeting. As part of the planning process, predetermine if and how to record the event. If you do record, make sure all participants know they are being recorded and you have written permission from the speakers. Recording is very helpful for notetaking purposes and allows an on-demand playback of the information for attendees who wish to revisit the topic or those who were not available to attend during the live broadcast.  
  • And finally: Be ready. You may be called into an unscheduled virtual meeting at any time during your workday, so, each morning, get dressed and look your best. Studies have shown simple things such as setting a work schedule, dressing, and wearing shoes helps with productivity.  

Infinity Conference Group, Inc. (ICG), a woman-owned small business incorporated in 1991, has planned hundreds of successful events nationwide, ranging in size from 20 - 2,000 participants. Although Infinity has extensive experience supporting and managing projects for scientific societies, they also work with state and federal government, private sector, and international clients. For more information, contact Infinity Conference Group’s founder and CEO, Doreen Albertson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and 703.925.9455