How are event marketers reimagining accessibility and inclusivity for 2024?
Our recent survey revealed that 59.6% of event marketers are prioritizing these aspects.
This change is not just about compliance; it's a deep-seated commitment to inclusivity, reflecting a genuine concern for every attendee's experience.
Today, we’ll look into some of the strategies shared by event marketers.
Comprehensive accessibility planning
Event marketers are adopting a multifaceted approach to understand and cater to diverse attendee needs. This involves recognizing a spectrum of disabilities and tailoring events to accommodate various needs, such as mobility, visual, hearing, cognitive, and neurodivergent conditions. Strategies extend beyond physical accommodations to include virtual and hybrid event formats, closed captioning, sign language interpreters, and mindful gifting. Marketers are also focusing on multiple language offerings, increased website accessibility, and promoting women in leadership and sustainable businesses to cater to a broader audience.
Registration and on-site experience
The registration process has evolved into a critical touchpoint for inclusivity. Detailed questions about attendees' needs are now standard, setting an inclusive tone from the start. Onsite, ensuring wheelchair accessibility, providing quiet rooms, and accommodating service animals are essential. Event marketers are also adopting flexible scheduling and hosting events at times ideal for various time zones, ensuring diverse speaker lineups, and choosing venues accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Diverse and inclusive attendee representation
Diversity in attendee lists is now a deliberate strategy. Ensuring representation across various demographics is becoming a norm. Engaging with diverse communities, checking for unintended bias in invites, speakers, and hosts, and intentional speaker selection are part of this inclusive approach. Event marketers are utilizing diverse networks and promoting small customer businesses and sustainable businesses as key strategies.
Welcoming environment and communication
Creating a welcoming environment goes beyond logistics. It's about fostering a sense of belonging through networking opportunities for underrepresented groups and implementing clear Codes of Conduct. Simple, clear language in signage and materials, along with staff training on respectful interaction, are vital. Many marketers are working with advocates to ensure accommodations for mental and physical needs and conducting training sessions on inclusivity for organizers and staff.
Venue and technology considerations
Choosing the right venue is critical for accessibility. Venues with accessible features and navigable spaces for all attendees are preferred. Utilizing assistive technology like screen readers and ensuring compatibility with various tools is essential. Designing event websites and materials on platforms that meet accessibility guidelines supports attendees with visual impairments or color vision deficiency.
The integration of inclusivity and accessibility into B2B events is a response to a growing demand for empathetic and responsive events. This approach enriches the event experience for everyone and contributes to a more inclusive and accessible business world.