9 July 2023
Why Accessibility & Inclusion Are Everything In Events
Each year, the events world has buzzwords connected with it, and two of these are very much accessibility and inclusion. However, they are far from just buzzwords – they are absolute essential considerations for all events, no excuses.
I am still flabbergasted when I visit venues who are not equipped accessibility-wise, especially when 16% of people worldwide experience significant disability. Luckily, it is now few and far between but there are some that have not updated their spaces to accommodate access needs and, for me, this is a huge red flag. It shows they are not in tune with their clients’ requirements and have a big lack of awareness in this area and, therefore, are not good partners for Lucy Claire Events.
I understand that older buildings in particular might be challenged in terms of adding elements due to the structure of the space, but there are many options to get around these now, such as installing ramps, lifts etc, that a lot of the good venues have implemented successfully. So, if you are not using someone like me when planning your event, do be mindful of accessibility options when looking at venues.
And for corporate events, accessibility can often mean allowing the event to be live streamed and accessed by people who can’t physically be there, and for people who are neurodivergent who would prefer to access the event virtually. The now commonplace hybrid events are here to stay as it allows people to gain a wider audience without having to have a physical presence and allows people to take part in the best way for them. Many venues now are equipped for live streaming and offer that service as part of their package which is a wonderful addition.
The word inclusion can mean several things, but for me, it means allowing events to be open to everybody and anybody and ensuring that events themselves, when possible, have a broad representation.
I have experienced events where I am the only woman for example, or the youngest by a country mile, and it feels uncomfortable and like I don’t belong. It is up to us events professionals to lead from the front and ensure diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our planning, and always putting ourselves in the audience’s shoes and asking if there are any gaps.
My role alongside organising events is as an educator and talking to my clients about these key necessities that have to be front and centre of their organising. There is no excuse these days to not be in tune with all these factors and offer a well-represented, inclusive and accessible event for all. And for those that aren’t thinking like this, it will some become apparent in their bottom line.