We at ZiaBia, like most people, have been powerfully impacted by the changes taking place in the world over recent few years and are delighted to see diversity and inclusion rightly starting to take centre stage (no event pun intended!).
As an agency with a collective work experience of 120 years, we have been really lucky to work with a rich and varied range of clients. As a consequence, we have also hosted speakers and attendees from all walks of life in sectors as varied as finance to health to IT and cyber security.
For face-to-face events we always discussed a venue’s adherence to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) for step-free access, hearing loops and accessible toilets etc. We have considered whether BSL or translation has been needed. We talk about colours and fonts with clients for ease of reading.
So far so good we thought!
However, when we started to really think about the attendee profile and diversity at the events we organised, we quickly realised that any considerations had been passive rather than active. For example we had good speaker representation on our client programmes and any known attendee additional needs were supported.
A chance introduction to someone working in accessible events really opened our eyes as to all the facets that diversity and inclusion encompasses.
During the pandemic, we researched this specifically in relation to event management and attendee experience. Fairly quickly we came across the DICE (Diversity and Inclusion at Conferences and Events) Charter. This sets out, simply and effectively, what you need to think about to make your event open to all.
We started to ask ourselves
“What do we need to change to support ALL people who are considering attending the events that we are organising – speaker or delegate?”
This question was key!
The thinking behind the Charter has now been embedded into our event planning processes, into conversations with clients and translating into the events themselves.
For your next event, why not ask yourself these questions? They might just help make your next event accessible to so many more attendees:
There are so many ways to increase the diversity at your event, make it accessible to all and increase the reach of your messaging and attendee profile. What are you waiting for?
If you would like to explore options on what other steps you can take for your next event, we’d be happy to talk things over with you. Contact us
There is a huge amount of planning that goes into a corporate event. As well as planning everything you have envisaged for the event also consider what could happen in the event of X, Y or Z. You have to consider the weather for example. Even at in indoor event, extreme weather can affect people’s travel to your destination, location and venue. If you are organising an event in central London for example, public transport can be an issue for those travelling to the event with Tube strikes.
We mentioned in our last article when you do your venue site visits to check for the WIFI. You could find on the day that there is an issue with the WIFI signal. Be prepared with a back-up solution should your expected plan fail. As a corporate event planner/co-ordinator/manager you need to think out the plan from start to finish and consider all the variables, so you can be prepared and one step ahead.
Your client will be relying on you to think for them. You are the expert and you must be sure that you keep focused on the details. There is an incredible amount of information that is gathered during the planning of a corporate event. EVERY detail counts. Even the smallest thing that gets missed can have a huge impact on the day and cause a lot of stress and look very bad to your client and their customers or internal team.
You get to work with so many different people, join their teams and invest yourself in these projects. You form wonderful bonds during the planning process that can last well beyond the lifetime of an event, and the sense of achievement once you have successfully delivered the project is fantastic.
You have the pleasure of seeing projects from start to finish on a regular basis and have the opportunity to work on a vast array of different events. Who knows what the next event will be!
If you are good at creative problem solving, that’s great. You’ve got a head start and this might be the role for you! Add a stop watch to that problem solving and you are in training for working in corporate events. Especially when you are onsite! You will need to able to think fast and resolve any manner of issues that come up calmly, quickly and effectively. A swan gliding across the water in the eyes of the client with your legs madly peddling under the surface. You begin to trust your instincts and make quick decisions to ensure successful delivery.
Always assume that the delegates know nothing, so be sure to provide full and clear information. Some delegates won’t read everything (or anything) properly, so plan how to manage that. You need to consider all the questions they may have and all the mistakes they may make. Then move on to the ones who don’t want to do it quite the same as everyone else and ‘could you just make an exception for me’.
Have clear processes and rules about registration and payment. Make it as simple as possible to understand. When onsite, make sure signage is clear, so they know what to do and where to go. Provide all the information you can to assist them along the way. Remember you know the event inside out they know only what you tell them.
The thing you least expected to happen will inevitably crop up, big or small. If you are ready to think on your feet as we mentioned above, then you have an advantage. However sometimes you just have to accept you can’t control everything. Good humour and flexibility with get you a long way in the industry.
You may have some opportunities to travel to amazing locations and you may even get a chance to look around those places but be mindful that you will be entirely focused on the event and the client, so you may find that it isn’t as glamorous as you’d imagined. Be as time efficient as you can be - on a flight or a train journey use the time wisely and work or take the opportunity to rest while you can!
You will have some incredible experiences but travelling can also be tiring and living out of a suitcase can be hard after a time. Make sure you have realistic expectations and always enjoy the ride!