Helen Kronheim, chief operating officer at Live Group, said: “Inclusion is a core pillar of equality. If women do not have the same access to opportunities as men, then there cannot be equalityc
The recent proliferation of virtual and hybrid events has drawn attention to the gendered impacts of accessibility and how these can be navigated. Today, International Women’s Day should serve as a timely reminder of the importance of accessibility when planning events, and arguably overall communications strategies in the future.
Pre-pandemic events were often not inclusive for the majority, and little effort was made to address this in their planning stages. Live Group always encourages a more accessible format, knowing that different people and personalities need to be catered for and represented at events.
Our experience over the past two years has shown the existence of a ‘silent majority’ who previously felt under-represented at events. A large proportion of these were women. Now is our chance as an industry to change that for the better.
Events are now increasingly being designed with accessibility front of mind to ensure that audiences are as diverse and inclusive as possible. Delegates can attend whichever way suits them best, either virtually or in-person. Interactive features allow people to submit questions to speakers and network with other attendees in a way that feels most comfortable for them. All of this encourages a free, inclusive exchange of ideas that is accessible to all, and will drive creativity and progress within the sector.
Following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, the events industry must fight against going backwards. The past twenty-four months have provided invaluable insights that can be used to build diverse, accessible communications frameworks. These should be implemented from the very initial stages of event planning.
There are more opportunities than ever for events to be designed and delivered in a manner that is inclusive and accessible for women. The platforms on which events are hosted are primed to welcome and amplify the voices of women as we strive towards a future without bias. International Women’s Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the progress of the last few years and to recognise the further opportunities to drive positive change.”