Ensuring your next event is inclusive to all communities is vital. If you’re planning, organising, or hosting, the responsibility is on your shoulders to make sure everyone can easily access and enjoy whatever fantastic event you have planned.
Making sure your event is inclusive to all people, means getting a few things right from the start.
1. Get the invitation right
Create easy-to-understand invitations. This may sound like really basic stuff, but it’s often overlooked. It’s about the simple things – like ensuring straightforward language and not using pt.9 font and ensuring easy communication with the event organisers or registration focal point. If your invitation is inclusive – the more likely your event will be a raging success!
2. Understand the needs of your attendees
Getting to know who is attending your event is crucial to understand what (if any) extra services or supports you might need to provide. A good way to gauge this is by asking attendees to outline any special requirements they might need to participate. When asking, be sure to use welcoming and inclusive language.
3. Make accessible promo material
Not everyone can read the fine print and follow along with crafty arthouse videos or fleeting Instagram stories. It’s important to hit your demographic but also make sure everyone can engage with your promo content. Here are some creative ways to do just that:
- Disseminate a written transcript of your videos
- Ensure a legible text size and avoid crazy fonts
- Increase the contrast of text and other design elements for better visibility
- Make sure to provide accessibility information about your event in advance
- If your event tickets are available online – ensure longer purchase timeouts to allow those using audio aids to complete the purchase without it timing out on them before they’ve paid.
4. Ensure accessible way-finding
Let’s be honest. Navigating large events is hard, even at the best of times. Making sure your signage and way-finding is carefully thought out and accessible is therefore even more important.
Check that all signs are visible from wheelchair height, and your overall plan works coherently. Providing paper or digital maps can help if your event takes place over multiple venues or rooms. If you can, try to use a venue that has signage in Braille or other accessible navigation assists.
5. Check your venue has wheelchair ramp access
If your event is public, you must consider the necessary Australian disability access codes. You want your attendees not only to be able to access your venue but also to feel safe when navigating throughout the event. If you’re not sure where to start, contact your local security bollards supplier to understand more about how to implement the right disability access ramps and support railings.
6. Provide accessible parking
Accessible parking is critical to ensuring your guests arrive and depart safely. Most venues these days provide suitable disabled parking, however it’s always good to double check. If you’re supplying outdoor parking for a pop up market for example, make sure you prepare all the right equipment in advance. Use flexible and removable bollards to protect disabled bays, and keep important access ways and exits free from obstructions. Ensuring a smooth parking flow also depends on your organisation and layout. Include the necessary parking signage and traffic cones to demarcate parking bays.
7. Ensure your digital material is accessible
These days conferences and meetings often include a digital element. Ensuring everyone can participate and engage with written and multimedia content is important. Here are some quick tips on how to create a more inclusive digital environment during your event:
- Provide QR codes that link information in alternative formats (for example, sound recordings or images).
- Include captions on your videos with audio content.
- Provide supplementary video screens for viewers unable to see the main screen from the back.
- Make sure pre-prepared video and written content is distributed ahead of the event to all participants.
8. Ensure proper sound quality and accompanying visual information
Do the necessary sound checks and ensure all microphones and lapels are working effectively before your event starts. You may want to check with your venue to make sure their sound systems are working in line with minimum Australian standards.
9. Hire an Auslan interpreter
Including a qualified sign language interpreter for keynote speakers and other live presentations is an excellent idea to include the deaf community. Having sign language interpreters available for networking segments, and other audio-centric parts of your event will also go a long way in boosting your event’s accessibility. Auslan interpreters are in high demand, so make sure to book early.
10. Think about carers and service animals
If you are aware of attendees who are supported by service animals, it’s a good idea to prepare the right food and water facilities for these animals. Reserving seats for carers is also important for those who need constant assistance throughout your event.
Get your event off the ground with more accessibility features
Think you’ve got your bases covered? If you’ve still got questions about how to make your event accessible, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts. Get in contact with your local security bollards supplier and make sure your event is inclusive, compliant, and safe.