When taking on the role of corporate event organizer, always make it part of your mission to implement elements, practices, and activities that promote inclusion.
Whether it’s food restrictions, gender identities, accessibility sustainability, racial inclusion, inclusive language, religion, etc., your corporate event should welcome everyone. Here are five things you can do to make your corporate conference, party, or other event more inclusive.
1. Get to Know Your Attendees
How will you know what accommodations to make if you don’t make the time to get to know your audience? Researching your audience in the planning phase is a great place to start for implementing inclusion. Consider their faiths and cultures. Find out if any of your attendees have disabilities or if translation services would be helpful at your corporate event. Accommodate everyone.
A great way to get familiar with the needs of your attendees is to send out a survey for them to fill out before the event. Keep their information confidential. Then, send another survey to the attendees after the event to find out how they felt about the experience and if it met their needs.
2. Focus on an Accessible Event Layout
Accessibility basics are essential at any workplace or event. Think ramps, elevator access, handicap-accessible bathrooms, service dog accommodations, and plenty of open space.
Consider minor details such as shadows and glares, which could create challenges for those with vision impairments. Adequate lighting may make or break the experience for someone who reads lips or needs to watch an ASL translator. Consider the sound system as well. Those with hearing impairments may struggle if there are any echoes.
Consider having quiet spaces for those who get overwhelmed easily in crowds and need a little escape now and again. The noise and simulation of significant events can cause sensory overload for those who are neurodiverse.
3. Use Inclusive Communication and Language
Incorporating accessible technology and meeting tools will help ensure that diverse attendees can genuinely enjoy and participate in your event. Some of these elements may include:
- Sign language interpreters
- Second screens
- Closed Captioning
- Hearing aids
Consider using large print, Braille, captions, and translations for onsite materials. In addition, make sure to use inclusive language so everyone at your event feels valued and seen.
When selecting speakers, choose those who foster an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and use inclusive language.
4. Use Gender Inclusive Language
Someone at your corporate event may identify as non-binary. Someone may be transgender. To promote inclusion, consider removing gendered language, photography, illustrations, and graphics. You could also print pronouns on attendees’ name badges to show sensitivity to all gender diverse identities. You can even go a step further and ensure gender-neutral bathrooms are available.
5. Cater to Everyone
Since food matters when it comes to inclusivity, make sure to cater to different dietary restrictions and choices This may include offering vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, halal, and kosher options. In addition, consider offering non-alcoholic drink options for those who don’t or can’t drink.
6. Plan with Sustainability in Mind
Those who are passionate about the environment may be turned off or offended if your event is not environmentally friendly or sustainable. Think about sustainability when choosing your venue. Many venues now have wind, solar, and geothermal energy to heat, cool, and power them. Keep this in mind when you’re venue shopping.
You may also weave sustainability into event menus. Where will your event food be coming from? Extra brownie points from the environmentalists if your food is farm-to-table and the menus are recyclable or digital.
7. Choose a City that Prides Itself on Inclusivity
Every city has a different culture. Your attendees will likely be booking hotel rooms, sightseeing, and exploring the town where your corporate event is. Ensure it’s in a safe and comfortable place for them and is well-equipped to host diverse groups of all backgrounds and abilities.
Incorporating inclusive activities is a great way to help promote DE&I at your event and get other people to be passionate about it. Some ideas for your event or workplace include:
- Black History and Culture Trivia (Great for Black History Month)
- Women in Cacao Chocolate Tasting (Great for Women’s History Month)
- Thai Cooking Class (Great for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month)
- Bollywood Workout (Great for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month)
- Terrarium Workshop (Great for Mental Health Awareness Month)
- Pride Pub (Great for Pride Month)
- MLK Trivia (Great for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
- Ojo de Dios Crafting Class (Great for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month)
- Taco and Pinata Making Class (Great for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month)
- Dream Catcher Making Workshop (Great for Native American Heritage Month)
Your event will be far better thanks to your efforts to make everyone feel welcome. Make a point to celebrate cultural diversity and the different heritages, genders, and sexual orientations that make up your industry, workplace, or corporate conference.
As a black-owned event planning company, we work with vendors who share our passion for inclusion, and we prioritize inclusivity at our events. Contact us if you need a corporate event planner to help you plan an extraordinary event built on inclusivity.