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5 Diversity & Inclusion Considerations for Events


Professional events attract people from all walks of life, backgrounds and beliefs. Which is why it’s so important to understand, consider and cater for the unique demographics and needs of all attendees. Understanding your audience is not only important for the planning and delivery, but also the marketing and promotion of your event. Your registration process is an important tool and opportunity to collect information and get to know your audience’s needs and preferences.

Missing the mark on diversity and inclusion can have a detrimental effect on your event and overall brand. As event producers we aim to make everyone feel as welcomed, accepted and included as possible. Regardless of their differences, we want to deliver an experience that provides equal access and ensures everyone feels comfortable and safe at all times.

At JTPM, we have developed a comprehensive checklist of more than 50 things to consider for every event, including:

1. Accessibility:

Whether your event is in-person, hybrid or totally online, every attendee should be able to access and enjoy the event.

For in-person events, we look at things such as accessible parking and toilet facilities, the location and distance to entrances and exits, access to lifts, width of corridors and even the spaces between tables and aisles. We make sure there is sufficient and suitable signage throughout the venue, captions are included with any video content, and AUSLAN and language interpreters are provided where needed.

For online and hybrid events, we’re always on the lookout for platforms and programs that are intuitive and easy to use, and also provide interactive and engaging tools. We’ve even created our own Future Events Lab (FEL) fully customisable mobile event app and interactive map technology as there isn’t much out there that meets these needs! Find out more HERE.

2. Culture and gender:

Respecting and acknowledging someone’s cultural and gender identity allows them to feel seen, included and accepted. Working with specific cultural and gender requirements could mean providing a dedicated prayer room, gender neutral or specific toilets or facilities and including everyone’s pronouns on name tags or place settings.

The music and type of entertainment and even the dress code may also be something you need to consider. For example, you can encourage all guests to wear traditional costumes and you might choose to book a specific MC or performer that will resonate with the audience.

3. Programming:

Your event schedule or program should also demonstrate inclusivity and diversity. Provide sufficient break times to allow all attendees to navigate to their next location or the bathroom, incorporate times for prayer and meditation so people don’t miss out on essential and important parts of the event, and create quiet spaces or specialised breakout sessions including chill out zones or low stimulus viewing rooms.

Make sure the program itself is easy to access and understand. Printed and digital programs should be easy to find at registration and entrances, or places on tables or chairs. The design and layout should also be easy for everyone to read and refer to, as and when needed.

4. Catering and food allergies:

Sharing a meal is a powerful and wonderful way for event attendees to connect with one another and replenish their energy after a busy morning or day. Which is why it’s crucial to take any allergies, dietary and cultural food requirements into consideration when selecting your catering team and menu.

Food and beverages are often the highlight or lowlight of any event. Always do a taste test to make sure the alternative meals are of equal flavour and quality, including appetising non-alcoholic cocktails and drink options and of course, dessert!

5. Your event team:

Reflect the beautiful diversity of your audience with not only your event staff but in the speakers, MC’s, entertainment, photographer, suppliers and products you choose. The JT team is a highly experienced, diverse and vibrant bunch with a range of ages, backgrounds and experiences to draw on. We’re also committed to supporting First Nations businesses wherever we can and previously shared six ways to celebrate indigenous culture at your next event.

Making inclusion and diversity part of your business and event-DNA will help create an experience that everyone enjoys, remembers and wants to be a part of. Contact us to book an event design session to understand your unique event challenges and opportunities, and discover ways to improve and enhance the outcome and experience for everyone!