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7 Ways to Champion Diversity at Your Next Event

Posted on 25 April 2023

Event Planning


As the world becomes ever more interconnected, events with a diverse mix of representatives are becoming increasingly important. They provide attendees with fresh perspectives, unique insights, and invaluable experiences that aren't available in everyday life.


If you're looking for ways to champion diversity at your next event, we've got some ideas for you. Read on to learn seven steps you can take to create an event that celebrates everyone's backgrounds and contributions.


1. Identify opportunities for involvement & inclusivity


According to Bizzabo survey results, 74% of event marketers believe increasing diversity and inclusion is important for the success of events. To champion diversity at your event, you need to ensure your event is inclusive and representative of the community it serves.

To do this, you need to :

  • Identify the demographics of your attendees: Start by gathering data on the demographics of your attendees, including age and gender identification. You can use tools like registration forms or surveys to collect this information.

  • Analyse the diversity of your committee: If you notice a lack of diversity among members of the organising committee,  consider reaching out to personally invite speakers who represent different groups. This will also elevate the quality of your program.

  • Evaluate the diversity of your sponsors: This includes organisation size, industry, and ownership structure, as well as commitments and actions towards greater diversity and inclusion. 

Once you have this information, you can identify any gaps in representation and address them accordingly.


2. Ensure event speakers & presentations are reflective of your audience


Icons-100In findings by Speaker Diversity, 58% of attendees are more likely to attend an event with a diverse speaker lineup, and 70% of event attendees say that diversity and inclusion are important factors in deciding which events to attend.

To create an inclusive program, it’s important to ensure that selected speakers are reflective of your audience. A broad range of perspectives and experiences will help in creating a well-rounded and informative program. Throughout the selection process, keep referring back to your criteria and consider whether your chosen topics are diverse enough to appeal to your range of attendees. 

In addition to your speaker selection, consider different learning styles and communication preferences. Diversify your event program by including presentations, videos, hands-on learning activities, open discussions, posters, and workshops.

3. Make sure your venues are accessible to everybody

Accessible event and accommodation venues are essential for ensuring that your event is inclusive. This means providing accommodations for attendees who are differently abled, including sign language interpreters, captioning services, and accessible seating. Ensure your venue is equipped with ramps, elevators or escalators, and accessible facilities.

Additional accessibility factors to consider for your event include:

  • Assistive listening devices
  • Closed captioning
  • Large print for collateral
  • Dietary restrictions

4. Create a code of conduct


iVvy_Icon-43Inclusive and respectful events don't happen by chance; they require explicit, well-thought-out codes of conduct that make attendees feel safe. With a clear set of expectations for behaviour and an easy way to report violations, these guidelines create a welcoming atmosphere in which everyone can participate without fear or doubt.

Set expectations for behaviour at your event and communicates that you are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment. Make sure to communicate your code of conduct to all attendees and enforce it consistently. 

Your code of conduct should include guidelines for respectful communication, prohibitions against harassment and discrimination, and clear reporting procedures, An on-site counsellor should be available if your event contains potentially triggering themes.


5. Diversify your event marketing


When planning an event, one of the essential factors to consider is how to attract a diverse audience. A diverse audience not only enhances the event experience but also helps to foster a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, it's essential to use a variety of marketing channels that reach different communities.


iVvy_Icon-27To start, consider partnering with community groups and influencers to promote your event. This can involve outreach through social media, email campaigns, and even word-of-mouth marketing. By partnering with these groups and influencers, you can tap into their network and reach individuals who may not have heard about your event through other channels.

In addition to reaching out to specific communities, it's important to use imagery and language that is inclusive. This can include showcasing diversity in promotional materials, such as using photos and videos that feature people of different ages, races, genders, and abilities. It's also important to use language that is inclusive, such as avoiding gender-specific language and using pronouns that are gender-neutral.

Overall, taking a multi-faceted approach to marketing and messaging can help to attract a diverse audience and create an inclusive event experience for everyone.

6. Consider cultural traditions and practices


iVvy_Icon-39Event planners have an important role to play in creating a warm and welcoming environment for all attendees - no matter their background or culture. A few ways of accomplishing this include:

  • Conducting research on the cultural backgrounds represented
  • Ensuring requests honouring specific practices are met
  • Including a Welcome to Country
  • Designing decor with thoughtful details that incorporate cultures present at the event
  • Taking into account any religious holidays or key dates while scheduling events and providing translation services as needed

7. Foster a culture of inclusion


Creating a culture of inclusion at your event is not only important for attracting a diverse audience but also for ensuring that everyone feels welcome and valued. One way to foster such a culture is by providing opportunities for attendees to connect with each other, regardless of their background or identity.

iVvy_Icon-01Networking events are one way to create such opportunities. These events can be designed to facilitate conversations and interactions among attendees, providing a platform for people to exchange ideas and experiences. To ensure that these events are inclusive, consider implementing icebreaker activities that allow attendees to get to know each other in a non-threatening and non-judgmental way.

Social media groups can also be an effective way to foster a culture of inclusion. By creating groups for attendees to join, you can provide a virtual space for people to connect before, during, and after the event. This can also be a platform for attendees to share information, resources, and experiences related to the event, further enhancing their sense of community and belonging.

Other activities that encourage interaction and engagement can include group discussions, breakout sessions, and team-building exercises. By providing a range of activities that cater to different interests and preferences, you can create an inclusive event that meets the needs of all attendees.



Make Your Events Enjoyable for Everybody

Championing diversity at your next event requires a deliberate effort to create an inclusive environment. By identifying opportunities, prioritising diversity, and providing greater accessibility and inclusion measures, you can create a truly diverse and inclusive event that celebrates the diversity of your community.


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