Event with borders opening and in-person events returning, there’s no doubt about it, virtual events are here to stay and they open your event us to an international audience like never before, reaching communities everywhere and giving people who may not be able to attend in-person events the chance to connect, learn, and share their experiences. It’s no wonder so many event planners say they’ll continue using virtual events in the future.
So with this in mind, how do you make an online event more inclusive?
Keeping these few things in mind, all event attendees can make the most of your event regardless of their background or needs.
1. Say goodbye to geographic restrictions.
Geography can be a huge barrier to inclusion, especially when most major conferences and events are held in larger cities. Online events expand your reach and to those who might live in areas that lack a diverse range of quality events benefit those who have concerns about travelling or accessibility due to disability or even those with young families where travelling long distance overnight might be difficult.
2. Remove other obstacles.
Holding your event in-person has some physical considerations such as ensuring the venue is accessible, whether or not you might need Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreters, closed captions, or access to disabled bathroom facilities and ramps.
Additionally, making people feel more comfortable in general by allowing them to turn off their camera and microphones if they choose and keep the chat box open for questions. Providing recordings for those who can’t make the event for whatever reason means that ticketholders can access it anytime later.
3. Use what you know.
Another way to make your event more inclusive is to use platforms most people are already familiar with, such as Facebook Live, Instagram, or YouTube. This means that people with a lack of technical expertise don’t have to worry about downloading new software. If you do choose to use a less familiar platform, send step-by-step instructions well in advance of the event, so attendees know how to access the stream on the day.
4. Give extra support to in-need communities.
Having a variety of ticket prices is a great way to support marginalised communities. Pensioner tickets or options such as half day tickets or tickets per session. But by offering tickets at a reduced price, the events become accessible to people on lower incomes.
Creating more inclusive events is an ongoing effort but well worth it when you consider the broader community who now have access to your event and your delegates will thank you for it.