Diversity and the Meeting Planner

Many of us still get the feeling of walking into an event or conference like we're walking into the first day of high school all over again. Who am I going to sit next to? Is anyone else taking copious amounts of notes? Will they have big enough screens for my eyes to see? The feeling is mutual and event planners are stepping into their newer roles making sure each attendee feels welcome and has a seat at the table. Diversity and inclusivity are making their way to the top of the list for event needs. Now is the time to look outside the box when planning your next event. Now, more than ever is the time to introduce attendees to new people, new speakers, and new venues. As event planners and communicators, we have to reach people an all levels. It's important to understand your audience demographics and take note of your conference data. Do you need an interpreter, alternative meal options, vision or hearing impaired capabilities? Convene, a leading meetings industry magazine gives us an example of how one event learned the hard way how to include everyone. Read what happened (and learn more about event diversity) when the keynote speaker noticed something unusual in the audience. When you start planning, be sure to utilize the local CVB for advice and connecting to local groups.