How to create an inclusive event

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Anyone tasked with organising an event must understand the importance of creating platforms for ideas and voices that are often misrepresented or ignored. You want your event to be as inclusive as possible by bringing together speakers, performers and experts from a large variety of backgrounds and disciplines that might not usually be represented. You’ll want your event to speak for the whole community in your area and that is a diverse one. Here are some tips for planning an inclusion event:

Aspire to include

As hard as event planners may try, it’s very difficult to guarantee that everyone who attends your event feels included and appreciated. You cannot micromanage every single tiny aspect of your audience experience. It’s often easier to focus on identifying any potential barriers or challenges to accessing your event and devote your energy to breaking these down. The aspiration to be fully inclusive is the key as it’s a continuous learning curve that’s tough to fully achieve.

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More than box-ticking

An event will likely fail to make the grade if the element of inclusion is treated as a mere tick-box exercise. Inclusion should form the very heart and being of how an event is produced, right from the get-go. The element of box-ticking comes from funding for events where organisers feel pressured to provide quantitative targets for diversity. This normally results in an atmosphere that feels forced, uncomfortable with inclusion feeling like a token gesture. An essential quality is the ability to empathise and adopt the inclusive mindset from the inception of an event. For help with your event, contact an Events Agency Dublin like https://davisevents.ie/

Are you representing everyone?

Much of inclusion starts with representation. A person will only feel included in an event if they are represented. This could relate to a speaker, a performance or an exhibition. This provides people with the opportunity to engage in conversations about the event and feel they’ve had an input into the way the event was run and the choice of representation.

This can be achieved by ensuring that any speakers, line-ups, panels or experts fully represent a wide range of diverse backgrounds, opinions and personalities. Not sure which voices you need to include in your line-up? Why not consider creating a social media poll or creating a work group to help make these decisions.

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It’s ok to fail

You’re unlikely to get it right first time and many of the processes implemented come about through a series of trial and error or from experiments that have been refined over time. It is often said that we learn most from our failures, so don’t be disheartened by an early-stage idea that perhaps didn’t quite go to plan. It’s the aspiration and continued effort that is all-important.

Don’t ignore your audience

The best way to grasp the real needs of your audience is to ask them. It’s easy for organisers to make assumptions without really listening. Whilst you can’t realistically get feedback for every single aspect of your event, any feedback you do ask for will be highly beneficial for improving future initiatives and events.

Good communication

If you identify a barrier that you have no control over then be sure to communicate it clearly. People are very forgiving and accommodating but only when they are kept in the loop, well-informed and can plan for things, such as no wheelchair access in a certain part of a venue for example. Also remember to provide an easy way for your audience to contact you directly with any possible requirements.

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