Even if you are miles away, that doesn’t mean that a party doesn’t have rules to
follow. Read our must- know virtual dinner party etiquette tips.
In this day and age, socializing can be a challenge. That doesn’t mean it’s
impossible, though, and many creative folks are finding smart ways to celebrate
together while apart. Virtual dinner parties are all the rage right now and likely will be
for some time. To prepare yourself for such an event, make sure you’re familiar
with must-know virtual dinner party etiquette to avoid a faux pas.
Always Respect the Host
The real must-know virtual dinner party etiquette tip is to focus on the host’s needs.
Just because the party is online doesn’t mean a lot of care didn’t go into it. Just
because your host doesn’t have to ready their house, cook for you, and clean up
after you doesn’t mean they don’t have a say with their event.
Respect the host and make sure you follow any expectations they laid out. Virtual
chats can easily turn into a chaotic frenzy of texting and yelling over each other.
Don’t make this mistake or you may miss out on the special things the host had
planned. Keep an eye on the host’s video panel and watch for clues that they may
wish to speak or are prepared to guide the party through activities or a new conversation topic.
Take Expectations Seriously
Just because we’re all used to using platforms such as Skype and Teams informally
does not mean they can only be used informally. Anytime you present yourself—via
voice, text, or video—always put your best foot forward. This goes for party
expectations, too. You might feel strange getting dressed up to sit in your living
room—but if that’s what the host expects, respect them and do it! Once the event
gets going, it’ll be fun to see everyone dressed appropriately and lined up in the grid
view of party-goers. You would hate to be the only person lounging in pajamas amidst a wall of smiling,
beautiful faces in dresses and tuxes. What could be more embarrassing? If you
suspect the party may be more formal than a T-shirt, follow up with the host for
details. For men, formal dress is simple—a blazer and tie, or a similar form of a suit
is always appropriate. Ladies get to be a little more creative and can explore options
of woman’s suits, various cocktail dresses, as well as many types of evening gowns.
Observe All Offline Etiquette Rules
It’s really easy to forget people still can hear and see us even over the distance of
the internet. Etiquette, the common sort, should be observed with care. Watch
people's faces and listen carefully to make sure what you say is on-point and doesn’t
cut anyone off. Stepping on toes in conversation is much easier to do accidentally in
a voice chat, so always apologize and defer your turn to speak to whomever you
Remain polite and courteous and be aware that people still can hear you, see you,
and read your tone. Most important of all, mute your microphone when you take a
bite of food. Chewing noises are not at all polite and can be extra gross online. Since
our mics tend to be so close, chewing with them turned on is equivalent to chewing
right in everyone’s ear at once. Mute yourself for a moment!