Who attends events?
The answer is everybody. If you want your next event to be a success you need to make it easy for everyone to be there and participate.
From music festivals to techy conferences you need to be inclusive of the diversity of your attendees if you want to maximise attendance and value gained by attendees.
How can I be more inclusive?
Take time to think about who might attend your event. Although you might not actually have attendees who are in a wheelchair come along, you need to have accessible facilities that you know will be easy for people with limited mobility. You need to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, the elderly, the hearing and vision impaired, people with short attention spans, everybody.
Although the list of groups to consider is long, it’s actually pretty simple to make sure this stuff is sorted.
Write up a list of challenges your attendees may have, and do a quick bullet list of things people may struggle with. Once you have this list you can go about putting workarounds in place. After the first time you do this it becomes much easier, often you can recycle your thoughts and simply add new things as you think of them.
The next step is to communicate what you’ve done, tell your audience that your venue is wheelchair accessible, that bathrooms will have a functional label rather than male/female, and that written notes will be made available for someone who wants them afterwards. You may be surprised how many guests make use of additional resources, and those who need them will truly appreciate that they were considered when so often they aren’t.
Finally, having a code of conduct for your event is a great idea. It sets the tone for your event and helps minority groups feel protected. Let everyone know that there are reasons for your code and that their understanding is appreciated.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility, providing a safe environment during an event is yours.