Virtual Show Etiquette

Manners maketh gay men: nine etiquette rules you need to observe when attending virtual shows.

HomoCulture Simon Elstad

This article was published on May 13th, 2020

DJs, drag queens, and performers are all struggling to make ends meet. Since March, bars, clubs, and events have shut down to slow down the spread of Covid-19. Many artists have gone virtual, with some producing shows or working with promoters to keep the fanbase entertained. You’re encouraged to attend and support these shows. Before you do, learn the virtual show etiquette rules to observe before, during, and after an event.

1) Always mute your mic

With many of these events happening on virtual group platforms (such as Zoom), the last thing the audience wants to hear is the sound of your dog barking in the background. It’s annoying, distracting, and steals the limelight from the artists. Mute your mic before you join any virtual event.

2) Turn your camera on

Virtual events are social gatherings without physical contact. As such, you need to be seen. The performers enjoy your presence. It means much to them. Consider it your small way of expressing solidarity and support for fellow community members. Keep your camera on, participate where necessary with gestures, waves, claps, etc. And smile.

3) Dress up

If this was a live event at a local gay club, would you show up in your pajamas and crocs? Of course not. You put your best foot, and look, forward. Take virtual events the same way. Look the part, or at least make an effort. The last thing people want to see is your unshaven quarantine torso. Dressing up is also a sign of respect for the performers and fellow participants.

4) Show up with a cocktail

Where would the fun be without a little something to smooth things down? Shows like these are fun, lively events with all the pizzazz, glamour, and camaraderie present in live physical settings. Just virtual this time. Virtually drinking with other revelers, now that’s something.

If you have no idea what to prepare, check out HomoCulture’s Cocktail of the Week for inspiration.

5) Tip!

Don’t forget to tip. These performers, DJs, and drag queens rely on your tips, especially now, since the lockdown has decimated their livelihoods. With live shows and performances that form the bulk of their income, many artistes have a hard time making ends meet. While you can work from home, (you don’t need an audience), they can’t.

Tip generously and support these performers during this tough period. It goes a long way in sustaining them and expresses your solidarity and support.

6) Share the event on your socials

Get the word out on social media. You can tweet the highlights, or tag the performers with compliments, words of encouragement, etc. Sharing the event on social media brings in a bigger audience and livens up the event.

7) Invite friends to join the event with you

Cardinal virtual show etiquette rule: invite your friends to join! Virtual shows are more enjoyable with friends, either physically or virtually.

Similar to how you tag friends when going out, bring them to the virtual show and have fun as a group.

8) Engage in the comments section

Actively participate during the virtual show by commenting and engaging in the conversation. Leave compliments, talk about your experience attending the virtual show, such as announcing it’s your first time to a virtual event or your favorite thing about the performer, and offer words and emoticons of support and encouragement. Let the performers feel seen and appreciated.

9) After the show, leave a message of what you liked best about the show on the event page

Don’t just roll over and go to sleep after the show, leave a message on the events page. What did you like? What touched you specifically? What would you like to see more? Which performer won the day for you? Leave the performers and event organizers a comment, or kind word.

With more performances and events going online, virtual show etiquette is incredibly important. These guidelines will help you avoid the most common virtual event gaffes, and guarantee a fun, satisfying experience.

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