new DEI group sets-up at the bnc

event professionals come together to improve the industry one event at a time

Seventeen event professionals got together recently for an online campfire to discuss DEI best practices.

Leading managers from a mixture of industries, compared past experiences and shared tips and expert advice on how to improve standards going forward.  

In an informal but highly educational and open discussion the event professionals had different questions to ask and scenarios to present but together they had one aim:  to ensure that everyone is welcome to their events - and that everyone is entitled to an equal experience.

The knowledgeable group discussed everything from how to negotiate for additional small rooms at venues (for nursing mothers or for religious reasons, for example) to considering alcohol-free events.

Helen Moon from Eventwell joined in the conversation as a disability, equality and inclusion expert, sharing her learnings from decades in the industry and from the perspective of a neurodivergent delegate and organiser herself.

She had powerful words to deliver to the group.

“We are all human beings in the true meaning of diversity. We’re all attending events for different reasons so event design is about equitable events, moving away from that ‘same experience for all’ and allowing your attendees to attend your events and create their own experience rather than the experience we want them to have.

When looking at venues when designing events, take your blinkers off.

Don’t think about the kind of event that you want, instead think:

-         ‘how is this going to be received?’

-        ‘is this equitable?’

-        ‘does this allow people choice?’

-        ‘does this allow people to build their own experience and takeaway their own experience from the event?’

because that’s what we want: that’s the power of it.”

Key takeaways from the discussion were lessons like:

Don’t ‘other’ people – make everyone feeling included

Improve the language you use when speaking to people at registration point to ensure inclusivity

Create speaker diversity in your programmes

Healthy discussion points were considered such as topics like ‘women-only events. is it time to ditch them?’

There was also a really good discussion on event AV and event design and how to create the right wow factor at events at the same time as not alienating anyone with light or noise sensitivities.

Moving forward the event managers have created a BNC DEI LinkedIn group to continue the advice and support further and there are plans to get together in person.

To join The BNC’s DEI discussion group on LinkedIn please contact Nathan Paulden on: 

Eventwell are exhibiting at The BNC Show on stand 144