Events are fantastic ways to get your message to the world, but they are only as good as your accommodations. As any event planner knows, there's always a tough balance between getting as many people as possible into an event and delivering high quality, intimate experience. However, with a little bit of thought and planning, there are ways to be extremely accommodating for an event. Here are three such examples.
Individuals with mobility issues are more prevalent than you may think; available statistics from the National Service Inclusion Project show that nearly 49 million Americans have a disability of some sort, and 34 million Americans have a functional disability which inhibits their ability to function. Remember, having elevators and ramp access for people in wheelchairs will make your event friendlier to those with disabilities. Additionally, you should make sure that you have appropriate and easily accessible signage and clear any obstructions in the way of this access. Handicapped accessibility doesn't do any good if people cannot find or use it!
Offer Multiple Languages
English may be the most popular language in the United States, but tens of millions of Americans speak other languages, such as Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog or American Sign Language (ASL) to name a few. According to 5 Star Interpreting, not having a sign language interpreter at your event can exclude 12 percent of the population. If you are attempting to build a different kind of audience or have a segment of your audience that may be speaking another language, you should be sure to investigate translators or some sort of closed captioning which appears in a foreign language. Doing so will not only bring in speakers of that language, but it will show your event's commitment to building a diverse audience.
Give Virtual Access
Be it for size limitations, travel restrictions or busy schedules, some people simply cannot get to an event. If that's the case, you should determine if it’s worth it to live stream your event. According to Naylor, providing a virtual option for your event allows you to not only reach more people but can also help reduce the overall cost of the event. Thankfully, doing so now only requires a phone and an internet connection, thanks to the booming popularity of live streaming. Keep in mind, if you do live stream, you should arrange for an audio feed, as live streaming is not always audio friendly.
Packing your event with as many people as possible isn't something that happens on its own, and you have to make an active effort to ensure that you are accommodating as many people as possible. Following the three items above is an important first step towards ensuring that you do just that.
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