Virtual Chair
Attendee Guide

Attending an event with Virtual Chair soon?

This guide will provide you with all the technical and general information you will need.
This page is not optimized for mobile viewing.

+ Technical Information

For the best user experience use a Chrome browser on a computer.
While Firefox is also supported by the platform, Chrome is recommended.
Mobile access is still a beta version and limits functionality.

Best use without a VPN.

Make sure to give your browser video and audio access to the platform.

Before arriving in the online venue, you will be able to learn the basics by watching Virtual Chair’s Instructional Welcome Video. This is how you will discover the most important tips for navigating the site.

+ Navigating the Space

Shortly before your event starts, your organizer will provide you with a Virtual Chair landing page. This page includes name and dates of the event you are attending, entrance to the virtual venue, link to a Virtual Chair information video and a unique help email to contact for technical issues during your event.

To enter the Virtual Chair venue, at the time of your event, click ‘join’.

+ Getting Started

  •  After arriving in the virtual venue, you'll want to select a character to represent

      you. To change your character, click on the avatar on the far left of your menu

      bar(located in the bottom center of your screen) and scroll through options.

  • Practice walking around the virtual space with your avatar by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard or letter keys WASD.

  • Click “View” then “Zoom” in your internet browser’s menu to see more at once (or use ctrl/command +/- )

  • Don’t stand in doorways; it blocks others. And if you get stuck in traffic, hold down “G” on your keyboard to turn into a ghost and walk through the avatars who block your way.

  • Bring your virtual dance shoes and try dancing by holding down “Z” on your keyboard. No one has two left feet in Gather!

+ Interacting with Objects
  • Objects (for example: Signs, TVs, Posters)
    If an object in Virtual Chair is interactable it will start glowing when you walk close to it. A message will appear on the bottom of your browser window that will say something like ‘press x to interact'. Pressing the X key will open up different kinds of media depending on the content.


  • Rooms
    Some rooms will be connected to synchronized videos or Zoom sessions. In these cases you will receive the center bottom message to press x to join zoom or to watch video the moment you enter the connected room with your avatar. You will be able to interact with the content anywhere in said room.

    For more information on how Zoom works in Virtual Chair click here.

    For more information on how synchronized Videos, aka ‘Watch Parties’, work in Virtual Chair click here.

Navigation and Calendar
  • To quickly locate upcoming programs click the calendar icon in your left menu bar.

  • Times of the events are shown in your local timezone.

  • Click on the location in the calendar to locate the room. Follow the line with your avatar. Click ‘stop locating’ after you have arrived at the location.


+ Interacting with Others

At Virtual Chair you can interact with other attendees similar to real life: you will only see someone else's video and hear their audio when you are in close proximity or are in a private space with them.

+ Video and Audio
  • Turn off your audio or video by clicking on the microphone or camera symbol in your own video (located in the bottom right corner of your screen).

  • Ignore another participant’s microphone by clicking on it (this does not change what other participants hear and only applies to your own sound).


  • If you want to enlarge the videos of all those you’re interacting with, click on the white circle underneath their video thumbnails. Click on an individual's video to see it full size.  

  • By stepping onto a “conversation carpet” together or sitting around the same table, you and other attendees will be entering an isolated conversation area; you will not hear anyone else who is close by unless they too step onto your rug or join your table. Don’t fall off your chair-you’ll no longer see or hear the other participants at the table!

+ Participants list and Chat
  • Check out people’s name badges. Click on their name in the video chat or in the participants list and a badge will pop up with their affiliation.

  • Click ‘locate’ on a person’s badge to see a locator line that will bring you right to them.

  • You can send messages to various participants by using the Chat function (find the Chat icon above the People icon on the bottom left). Choose your audience by selecting one of the following:

    • Everyone: All participants see the message

    • Room: Everyone in your current room sees the message

    • Nearby: Only those you are currently interacting with see the message

  • You can also send individual chat messages by clicking the name of another participant and sending a private chat message; they will appear in your chat list thereafter.

+ Presenting

Our platform offers a variety of options for presentation. Some events choose to connect Zoom sessions, while others host poster sessions or address rooms from a microphone, broadcasting their audio and video to everyone in the room.


+ Posters

Many conferences like to do poster sessions on Virtual Chair.
here to learn about how poster sessions with us work in detail.

+ Screenshare
  • Screenshare by clicking the computer icon in the grey menu bar; you will need to authorize your browser access to share another application or your entire screen.


  • Exit out of Screenshare by clicking the computer symbol again, now highlighted green


  • Stand on the rug behind a podium to speak and/or share your screen with everyone in the same room; Moderators or Q&A participants may stand at another microphone in order for the entire room to hear your interaction.


  • We HIGHLY recommend that presenters test their own personal screen share settings prior to their presentation time, as these vary widely depending on the computer and software being used. 

  • Practice ahead of time in a private conversation to be sure you’re comfortable turning screen share on and off. 

  • It is possible for one person to screen share while another person speaks, as long as both are standing at microphones in the same room. Feel free to share responsibilities as you are getting to know this new tool.

  • Computer audio is NOT sharable in; screenshare will only project an image and sounds entering via a computer’s microphone.

+ Asking for Help

During the event, a member of Virtual Chair’s staff will also be available to assist participants who have any questions about navigating the site. Please feel free to contact them in one of the following ways:

+ In (virtual) person
  • Walk to a virtual Helpdesk to discuss your question directly. Helpdesks will be located in the lobby


  • Chat one-on-one with a Helpdesk staff member by scrolling through the participant list and clicking on their name, then “message”. You can also search for the Helpdesk staff member using the search bar, found above the list of participants.


+ Via email

• Email the Virtual Chair staff to alert them if you have trouble navigating the event

   space on; they are available at the unique help email found on your

   event's landing page.

• Or email and put the name of the event you're attending in the

   subject line.

In order for Virtual Chair’s Helpdesk team to best assist you, it is recommended that you confirm which browser you are using, and provide either a screenshot or a description of the specific webpage where you encountered an issue. Specific information on troubleshooting audiovisual connection issues is available by clicking here.