In recent years, inclusive events have gained prominence in the events industry. For event organisers and venues, this means acknowledging the diversity of delegates to provide the same great event experience to all. We know a thing or two about inclusive events at Friends House. We won the ‘Best Venue for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ award at the last London Venue and Catering Awards. So, how can we create a truly inclusive event experience for all?
In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to ensure your event is inclusive, from accessibility considerations to diverse catering and alcohol-free drink options and more.
Inclusive events are events where delegates feel welcome, safe, respected in their identity, and have their specific requirements catered for. This could be accessibility needs, dietary requirements, or a prayer space for example.
It sounds obvious but location is everything! Choose a venue which is easily accessible for most of your delegates and well connected to public transports. This choice ensures better attendance, a streamlined schedule, and minimizes delays. For example, Friends House is right opposite Euston Station. Check out our Getting Here page to see how well we’re connected.
It’s probably the first term that comes to mind when thinking of inclusive events. Taking into consideration delegates accessibility needs and researching a venue accessibility is key to the success of your event. Look for wheelchair accessibility, ramps, elevators, and accessible restroom facilities. Websites such as Accessable can help you find out more information about the accessibility of a place. They offer detailed accessibility guides for venues, like the Friends House guide.
Acknowledging the neurodiversity of your delegates ensures you offer an inclusive event environment. Neurodiversity “refers to the different ways a person’s brain processes information. Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to describe a number of these variations.”1 For example, neurodiversity types include: Autism, or Autism Spectrum Conditions, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).2 Noise, large groups of people or light can be very challenging to neurodivergent people. You could allocate quiet spaces with low lights for neurodivergent individuals, and opt for visual elements over text-heavy presentations to enhance inclusivity.
Providing a varied catering offer is key to a successful event. All various dietary preferences and requirements should be catered for. This could be gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, or halal-certified meal options. Offering a varied food selection rather than imposing items is a winner. At Friends House, allergen charts are available to ensure attendees can make informed choices about their meals. Our diverse menu options encompass a wide range of cuisines and flavours to cater to different tastes and preferences.
As many people do not drink or just take a break from drinking, like this Dry January, offering a qualitative non-alcoholic offer is very important. As a teetotal venue, we don’t offer alcohol, however we have a seasonal mocktails and alcohol-free drinks menu. We think this is a great alternative and a more inclusive way to approach drinks. Mojito, Paloma, Moscow Mule, white wine, red wine, rosé, they are available in their 100% alcohol-free version at Friends House. Have a look at our selection today.
Delegates are very diverse and it’s important to acknowledge their specific needs and requirements when planning your event. Acknowledging diversity could be ensuring that there are gender neutral facilities or a prayer room in the venue for example. At Friends House, we also have mental health first aiders, who are staff trained to respond to mental health crisis. You could also ask about the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policy of the venue. You can find ours on our EDI page.
We hope you have found this guide helpful. Our team is always here to help tailor your events and think about every detail. Contact them via email: events@ quaker.org.uk. Your inclusive events are in safe hands with us, book now.