What is Zoom Fatigue?
Social distancing has taken its toll on everyone, especially when it comes to adapting to new forms of social interactions. All of a sudden, interactions that have previously been separated into different locations and contexts are all clumped into one giant setting—video calls. Whether you are talking to your colleagues in virtual meetings, video-calling family members and friends, or professional virtual conferences, each of these very different areas of life now all feel the same.
Having to switch between the roles of being a friend, a colleague, a boss, or a client was already exhausting before having to manage all of these roles all in one place. Fatigue starts to set in when people realize that their old ideas of social interactions are not plausible right now and that they are stuck behind a screen for these “breaks” they would typically be getting from work.
Majority of interactions as we knew them before heavily relied on non-verbal cues that helped move a conversation in one direction or another. Now that these non-verbal cues are different or cease to exist in a virtual setting, it becomes more emotionally draining to try to listen to the tone of voice or pay attention to what is actually being said by the people on the other ends of the calls.
How does zoom fatigue impact virtual conferencing?
What do you picture when you hear the word conference? Probably something along the lines of many people gathered in some venue listening to speakers in the front of the room. The speaker is usually centralized and the audience feeds the speaker with applause or laughter or any reactions to help the speaker see where they should go next.
When pivoting to an online venue, it is important to help train the speakers and provide tools to avoid zoom fatigue in not only the speaker themselves, but the attendees as well. While virtual conferencing and social interactions are not the same as in-person interactions, there are strengths to a virtual venue that can be built up to make sure you still achieve the amazing conference you had planned before!
Ways to combat zoom fatigue
- Suggest to attendees in breakout sessions to turn on their camera if they feel comfortable for introductions. This is not saying that the attendees should be encouraged to have their camera on for the whole session, as that can also cause zoom fatigue. But for short periods of time or while they are speaking it encourages the others listening and the speaker that others are interacting and engaging in conversation.
- Build time into your conference for breaks, and encourage them! If you think about it, even a walk from one conference room to another within the same venue was an unnoticed break. It is a time to break down and take in all of the information that the attendees have just listened to.
- Consider giving attendees a chance to build their own “hallway” groups through forums which provide a free-flow of thoughts from different backgrounds than their own personal background.
- Give your attendees and speakers resources on the conference website to help them maximize their online presence. Make sure the expectations are clear for your speakers and help them come up with different ways to encourage interaction and engagement from their audiences through moderators in sessions.
Ready to find out more?
Eris Unleashed has all of these tools and more to help maximize your audience engagement and minimize zoom fatigue within your conference. Contact us today to set up a free demo and see how we can help you unleash your conference potential.