How the Event Industry shows up is important – our reach is long, and our influence is wide. As global Goodwill Ambassadors, our footprint leaves big impressions. Each event we plan impacts hotel staff, transportation companies, caterers, bellmen and many more. From audience communications to the entertainment we choose to the language we use on signage…it all sets the tone for inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment. We bring value to our clients by staying on top of current design features that focus on belonging, because our clients know diversity matters.
Social and political change has leading companies taking necessary steps to increase and improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within their workspaces. Studies show great benefit to the practice – companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits.
As industry leaders, we should critique our own internal diversity initiatives, policies, and practices. As thought leaders and influencers, we must assess our output and how we’re influencing our vast audiences.
The topic is important and multifaceted. Below are just a few key areas to get that inclusive-thinking-cap in motion.
Inclusive Event Design (virtual, hybrid or live)
- Create and publicize an event code of conduct
- Encourage a diverse line-up of speakers across race/ethnicity, age, and gender
- Highlight a speaker/partner/employee from an underrepresented background
- Use underrepresented suppliers for as many event elements as possible
- Include captioning, sign language and make transcripts available post-event
- Establish gender neutral bathrooms
- Use gender inclusive pronouns (signage, badging, speaker PPT decks etc.)
- Remember to offer food options that consider religious/cultural diets (virtual gift deliveries included)
- Include experiences for neurodivergent attendees (quiet zones, hybrid attendance options, small discussion groups)
Communicate Early and Often
- Poll audiences to identify what’s most important to them
- Determine inclusivity KPIs and measure progress
- Monitor agendas and content to ensure inclusivity
- Encourage the debrief process and use feedback (live and through surveys) to improve future events