Reflecting an industry-wide desire to create an inclusive community, our Event Trends Report found 55% of event organisers in the UK and Ireland identified diversity as a key area of focus for 2020. Here are some steps you can take to make sure everyone feels welcome at your next event.
Be the change you want to see
Event creators have their sights set on inclusivity. During the past year, we have spoken to people who have been inspired to run an event because of a gap in the current offering. These include Saoirse Connolly and Jen Stallard, who created Deep House Yoga Practice because they wanted to blend their three favourite things – underground music, mindful movement, and deep connection.
As Saoirse explains, “Creating a sense of community makes us feel like we belong. Belonging to a tribe of like-minded people who are committed to growth and living intentionally can bring a whole new purpose and meaning to our lives.”
Create a code of conduct
Talking of leading by example, other forward-thinking event professionals are taking extra steps – such as proactively looking for diverse speakers and writing a code of conduct that promotes diversity.
It’s this kind of all-encompassing approach that prompted survey respondents to comment on the measures they are currently taking, such as “asking if materials need to be in large print or braille, and making sure that there are hearing loops and that venues are fully accessible.”
This is in addition to adding wellness elements to events “such as quiet rooms and meditation classes” and tapping into consumers’ desires for “non-alcoholic drinks and health-conscious food options.”
Pursue positive partnerships
Working with like-minded people and finding partners and sponsors who are committed to similar causes can really give your event a boost and strengthen your message. As the organiser of Mother Club, the first official post-parade party of the annual LGBTQ+ Pride Festival in Dublin City, Cormac Cashman spoke to us about his desire to work with partners who are committed to the same cause. He said “It’s important to work with sponsors who want to build a tangible connection to the LGBTQ+ community. We like to see our sponsors engaging with the LGBTQ+ community outside our events as well as at them”.
Share your efforts on social
With 69% of respondents looking for new ways to promote events to a more diverse audience, it’s worth thinking about how you can shake up your social media marketing strategy in 2020.
By sharing the steps that you are taking to promote diversity and inclusivity, not only will you start to build a loyal following, you will also have the opportunity to connect with a bigger pool of potential attendees.
Remember, supporting inclusivity and diversity is more than a box-ticking exercise, and there are lots of ways you can ensure everyone is represented at your next event.