Have you considered diversity at your events?

Our aim for this video is to raise awareness of the ongoing issues that occur at business events with an emphasis on conferences, with the acknowledgement from trusted sources to promote possible solutions within the industry. As events are constantly evolving to become more inclusive, the recognition of problems is required to enable change and growth to transpire.

The video focuses on:

  • Hidden disabilities and individual needs that would require a broader understanding prior to the event.
  • The evolving demographic of the population and the changes this will make to the event attendee group profile.
  • The thought process of each aspect of the event to cover the attention to detail required to make the event inclusive for all.

Here are our recommendations for moving forward and enabling diverse events to take place.

Can everyone take away the same experience from your events no matter their background and any hidden impairments?

To summarise the video, all of the problems that arose enabled a possible solution, encouraging changes to the ways around problematic situations that occur regularly for attendees and the business events industry.

After speaking to one of the co-founders of the Women’s Utilities Network, it gave us an insight into what it is organisations are doing to make events feel more inclusive. They highlighted the importance of creating a safe environment and frequently communicating with attendees, to find out what it is they would like from the event.

Have you got a code of conduct for attendees to follow at your event?

What have you done to make women feel safe in a traditionally male dominated environment?

We’d also like to address that business events aren’t the only types of event that have inclusivity issues and that there are multiple steps to be taken to achieve diversity at events. However, we have produced this video to encourage and remind people some of the simple steps they could start to take and to share their thoughts and ideas in the discussion below.

Have you considered the individual needs of your attendees?

What do you do to encourage a variety of speakers from different backgrounds to speak at your events?

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization”.

Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you to the following authors and organisations for the statistical material enclosed in the video: Womens Utilities Network; Eventbrite; PCMA; Financial Times; Tech Republic; Darcy, S. (2012) Event Management, 16(3), pp. 259-265.


Helen says:

Great to see such thought put in to event planning especially when we know its so important to ensure there is a diverse mix of speakers & everyone’s needs are catered for.

Blog Authors says:

Thank you so much for your comment. We felt it was really important to highlight the level of detail in planning prior to the event to encourage a mix of speakers and to make everyone feel welcome.

Rabinder Samra says:

A very informative video, which leaves a lot of thought. I have witnessed and experienced business events due to my placement year at a local hotel. This has made me think that hidden impairments and disabilities were not discussed in depth by the Event Sales team, Events and Conference team and the clients themselves. So my question is, how would you work with and educate the in house Event Sales Teams and Events and Conference Team to ask the questions prior to the event?

Blog Authors says:

Thank you for your comment and we are so glad you found the video interesting and informative to watch. In terms of working with and educating the in-house Event and Conference Sales team, we believe that perhaps providing workshops and handbooks for the staff would be a really good starting point ensuring staff are well trained and knowledgeable. When planning an event is essential for the employees to have the knowledge to approach attendees in the correct manner and ask the appropriate questions to maximise the attendees experience.

Hayley Monks says:

Well done – great to see D&I explored in event planning

Blog Authors says:

Thankyou. We all felt that it was an important issue to address and one that would connect with audiences.

Samantha Cullinan says:

I found this video very interesting especially the statistics. It give me an insight into the Events Industry and what can be improved on and how simple steps can be taken to ensure improvements for diversity in the future of events!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Samantha,
Thankyou so much for your comment and we are so glad you loved the video! As a group, we all felt it really important to include the statistics within the video so as to support the issues raised and convey their importance.

Amber Pritchard says:

This is a really interesting read and is defiantly an issue that needs to be addressed. Events are such a key part of people’s lives, whether that be for leisure or work, and therefore it is important to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Is there a wider organisation or foundation that dedicates its work to making everyone feel equal on a wider platform?

Blog Authors says:

Thank you for your reply, during our research on the topic we looked into the United Nations Sustainability Goals as their work aims to to create a global partnership to make the world we live in a better place. These goals include an aim for gender equality and empower all women and girls. This links to our issue surrounding the lack of female speakers and women being overpowered. Its great to see the issue is being addressed, and we hope that by people watching our video, it will help achieve this goal, and will lead to more women attending conferences, and having a voice.

Samantha Cullinan says:

It’s nice to see goals that help solving these issues. Do you think this will be achieved?

Blog Authors says:

We certainly think there have been improvements made since the goals were first launched, for example in 2019, 28% more women are in leadership roles, which is a small increase by 3% from 2000. These stats suggest women are becoming more present in the industry and will encourage increased diversity.
This does however, show a lot of improvement is still required as United Nations (2021) has identified “despite improvements, full gender equality remains unreached” and have commented on the set back Covid-19 has caused. If you would like to explore this topic and the goals further please visit: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal5

Michael says:

It is great to see that diversity is being considered more when planning conferences. The use of a confidentiality form will also take away the potential awkwardness someone may face if they have to make a request or speak to an organiser face to face at the conference. Knowing that you could just turn up in the knowledge that you are being catered for discretely is a real plus.

Blog Authors says:

Thank you for your comment, and we completely agree. We felt it was important to highlight making attendees feel as comfortable as possible, as it will encourage attendance to future events. We discovered the best way to achieve this would be to ensure the attendee felt well cared for prior to attending the event as they wouldn’t have to worry about making someone aware of a requirement when they arrived, putting them in a possibly uncomfortable position.

Britt says:

Very interesting topic and educational on the statistics stated throughout the video. This is such an important topic and should absolutely be considered at every event. Everyone should be able to feel safe, be able to access easily and for everyone to be welcomed to attend, engage or present. I like the point on having an additional requirements form for any disability or needs attendees may have – this ensures that everyone’s needs can be met, the best experience can be made and event planners have time to plan this in advance.

Blog Authors says:

Thankyou for your comment and we are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the video.
After doing our research and learning about the statistics, we felt it necessary to list ways and possible solutions that could in a way solve the issues of diversity and inclusion discussed. Our suggestion on creating additional requirement forms for attendees is something that more event managers could begin to utilise and something that we are sure would improve an attendees event experience as a whole.

Helen says:

Issues surrounding diversity and inclusion have long been overlooked in the events industry until recent years.

This video really highlights how simple steps taken in order to be considerate of all event attendees can be well managed.

Asking questions is key – especially when ‘unknowns’ such as hidden disabilities or dietary requirements could cause a person unease and discomfort.

Blog Authors says:

Thank you for your comment Helen and for taking the time to interact with our blog.
As a group we do share the same opinion as you and all feel as though the events industry has perhaps ignored the issues raised.
We felt the video was a fun yet informative way to demonstrate just how taking small steps prior to an event taking place can make a huge difference to an attendees overall experience.
For us, we feel that for any event, all attendees should feel comfortable and welcome regardless of what may differentiate them from one another.

Rebecca says:

Excellent blog and eye catching video!
Diversity and inclusion is something that I have to think about in regards to event constantly and this video really has, in the most simplistic way provided informative information.
It has helped identify ways around resolving any issues which may be reoccurring.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for your comment and for engaging with our blog. Our key aim was to provide an insightful yet informative video that would not only get people thinking, but also get people talking. We hope that this video will raise useful points for the future and will help assist you in perhaps improving or making your event more diverse and inclusive. It seems to be an issue that is only attracting more attention so I’m sure it will become just as significant for others within the industry.

Darragh says:

This was a great and interesting video, very insightful!
The points identified were clear and and done well within a short time frame, I was intrigued learning about what the video had to offer in relation to this topic!

Blog Authors says:

Thank you so much for taking the time to interact with our blog and we are so pleased to hear you found it insightful.
We felt by creating the blog in a video format it would be a clear yet effective way of expressing the issues raised and would engage audiences more. It was important for us to design something creative that would entice audiences, pushing and instigating a conversation.

Dean Bennett says:

Great blog, such an important topic in event planning that is so often overlooked. A well put together piece and video.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Dean, thank you for your comment.
We are glad you enjoyed the blog and found the video interesting to watch. We hope that you were able to gain an understanding of just how important this issue is and how perhaps the issue can be discussed further amongst others within the industry.

Andrew Truscott says:

A really great piece on diversity and inclusion in the Events sector. Certainly stimulates thinking on how our venue can do better.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your comment and for engaging with our blog/video. It is great to hear that you are already thinking of ways you can make your venue better on the back of our blog.

Stan Stubbs says:

Great video and blog, very informative.
I have put on a few events in the past, and I have missed many of issues mentioned. I will certainly make sure that any future events I hold, I will refer back to this for help.
Thank you 😊.

Blog Authors says:

Thank you for engaging with our video and for your comment, we are so glad to hear that you found the video to be very informative. It is so rewarding for us to know that after watching our video you will take on board the issues raised surrounding inclusion and diversity and implement the possible solutions for your own future events.

Tracey Fuller says:

Good to know that there is advice about Diversity and Inclusion for Events. I’ve often wondered about whether events held in normal office hours 9- 5 don’t necessarily suit working Mums or Dads and whether events can be shorter and scheduled slightly later and finish earlier.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Tracey, thank you for your comment and thank you for raising such an interesting yet key point to us. We do feel that Event Managers need to consider external factors for event attendees more and this should be an essential thought in the planning stages of any event. In terms of inclusion, we feel that no attendee should lose out on the opportunity for an event that could potentially benefit them due to their personal life or circumstances. It almost needs to become essential for event managers to consider and to implement on future events.

Nicola Searle says:

Well done on raising awareness about these issues.

Hidden disabilities are something we need to think about carefully as they are often overlooked in venues (as in life).

Consistent and constant communication about it is key.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Nicola,
We definitely agree with you on this one. Hidden disabilities and perhaps less recognised disabilities are something we feel needs to be spoken about a lot more in terms of events and their venues. Ensuring all attendees feel comfortable and welcome should be of upmost importance to event managers and those within the industry, and so communication prior to, as well at the event itself, should become a key feature for the future.

Courtney says:

Really insightful post, absolutely needs to be brought to attention and something that definitely has to be spoken about!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Courtney, thankyou so much for your comment.
We are so happy to learn you found the blog to be insightful. It is quickly becoming a really important issue and one that we are sure is only going to grow further in the future. Hopefully if everyone gets talking, this issue will quickly diminish and the solutions will overtake.

Loretta says:

This was very informative and will give people some real food for thought when organising events and I’m glad you have raised awareness of some key issues. Great video overall ☺️

Blog Authors says:

Hi Loretta, thank you for taking the time to read our blog and watch the video we created. We do hope this video goes onto give people some key questions to ask when they next find themselves planning events!

Taylor says:

An amazing video that highlights a topic that is not too often discussed or considered. Great to see it is being thought of more and this video displayed it perfectly with supporting facts. Really enjoyed this video, thank you for highlighting these issues

Blog Authors says:

Hi Taylor, its great to hear you enjoyed the video!
We agree, I don’t think these issues are thought about or considered nearly enough as they should be when they really are important. If more awareness can be built around these issues and people can gain more understanding of how to perhaps cope or manage them, I think it will really make a difference to peoples overall perceptions of events 🙂

Nadya salway says:

This blog really brings open eyes to a lot of people with and without disabilities. I think it needs to be addressed more and spoken about for everyone to understand if they do or don’t understand the understanding of certain disabilities. Congrats, well done! Lovely to hear:)

Blog Authors says:

Hi Nadya, its lovely to hear your thoughts about our blog!
I think everyone would agree that these particular issues raised are very important and perhaps ones that would resonate with a lot of people for different reasons. Do you feel that the events you have attended have been diverse, and in your opinion what could have been done improve this?

Mattaeo Payne says:

Very informative video! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful video.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Mattaeo,
Thankyou for your comment and for taking the time to watch our video! We are so pleased to hear that you loved the video 🙂

Alannah says:

Very informative video – I love how it highlights the need for diversity at events. Especially with having more diversity for speakers at an event as it certainly encourages me as a woman to feel more confident about asking questions or voicing options should there be a female speaker present.

Really well thought out and sensitive video. Well done!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Alannah,
Thank you so much for engaging with our blog and taking the time to watch our video. After completing our research in preparation for creating this video, we were really surprised at what we found. Learning that nearly all speakers at events are primarily male, was quite a revelation and therefore something we felt we needed to highlight within the video. I think as a group of women ourselves, we also feel the same as you in that we would feel more confident in speaking and attending at a more diverse event.

Lauryn Lloyd-Bainbridge says:

Nice to see that diversity at events is considered. Very good video showing the importance of diversity.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Lauryn,
Thankyou for sharing your thoughts on our blog and taking the time to engage with us. We are so pleased to hear that you share the same opinion as us and that diversity really is such an important issue that needs to be thought about and discussed more!

Julia Milligan says:

A very thought provoking blog. Well done for highlighting the issues that are more often overlooked than included in planning. It is essential to think outside of the box and to remember that we are not all the same, with the same abilities. Good suggestion too to encourage more women speakers at events. Well done.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Julia, thankyou for sharing your thoughts with us! We definitely agree, I think sometimes, especially for event planners and organisers, its easy to forget about some peoples requirements and that they may require additional planning. I think its extremely important for more events to now encourage for a diverse in speakers, and to embrace more women speakers as much as possible

Rhiannon Taylor says:

Simple easy to follow video. Thank you for sharing and some interesting points to consider.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Rhiannon, it’s great to hear that you enjoyed the video and found some of the points we raised interesting! Thankyou for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Chloe TeaP says:

A very informative and well thought out video into the importance of D&I.

One piece of feedback –

In your presentation you sample the importance of making sure people with particular hidden disabilities such as a hearing impediment are included. However, I noticed that during the segment which featured the bullet points on the clip board there wasn’t audio description supporting this? This might help make your video more accessible to people with vision impediments and strengthen your intention of spreading the importance of accessibility and inclusion.

Other than that I thought this was a very interesting concept and look into the potential discrimination that people face that we might not even realise is going on in such settings.

Definitely food for thought in all aspects of life and not just the event arena. A very good job 🙂

s1702635 says:

Hi Chloe, thankyou so much for sharing your thoughts with us and providing some really useful feedback. I think in terms of audio description within the video, this is definitely something we could have perhaps considered more and potentially enabling us to reach a further audience. Should we do this again in the future, I think there are definitely some elements of the video that we could add onto or develop further that would support the issue of diversion and inclusion more.

So glad to know you enjoyed our blog and the concept that we chose to discuss, I think it leaves us all with some questions that we would like answers to 🙂

Donna Cohen says:

Very simple to follow video. It is an important subject that should have been discussed a while ago. It is good to see it is coming more to light now.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Donna,
We are so delighted to know that you found the video simple and easy to follow! It really is such an interesting and important subject that we feel should be continuously thought and talked about within the events industry. Yes we do agree that it is a very contemporary and current topic.

Gabriella W says:

This video is a huge eye opener within the business sector. I found it informative and easy to follow! If more videos were like this, then more people would be catered for in minority groups. Great video 👌🏻

Blog Authors says:

Hi Gabriella, thankyou so much for your comment. We are so pleased to hear that you loved the video and found it easy to follow – this was the one thing we wanted to ensure we executed successfully! I think videos are a great way to explain and discuss issues that perhaps some people find difficult to talk about and certainly if more videos are created, it will generate awareness amongst more and more people

Harold Mitchell says:

A very topical and thought provoking subject presented in an engaging format.
Inviting early discrete disclosure of any disabilities is an excellent idea whenever practical but in all cases the provision of basic aids and facilities should be a fundamental prerequisite on which to build additional measures.
Every venue must provide established, signed and clear exit routes and toilet facilities but where possible, additional designated assistants should be provided, easily identifiable and free of other responsibilities if required.
The organisers should ensure that sound and sight lines are carefully checked beforehand and during the presentation. A person should be assigned to ensure that speakers are advised immediately if their standard of presentation drops.
( On too many occasions there is an initial “ can you hear me?/ see the screen?” ..with a mixed reply which is frequently ignored anyway.)

Blog Authors says:

Thank you for your comment, we completely agree. We feel it is important to ensure that if action is required to improve someone’s experience and make it easier for them, then the organiser responds to the requirements.

Comments are closed.