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The Welcome Guide: Tools and Ideas for Inclusive Meetings

How to design events that make everyone feel included

You know how many hotel rooms your attendees need, and which educational sessions they are looking for. But how much time do you spend thinking about what they need to really feel welcome and cared for? For some, finding almond milk at the coffee station is enough; for others, a great deal more planning is needed to make them feel fully welcome and able to participate at your events. 

Inclusivity is a broad topic, encompassing physical accessibility; absence of bias around gender, race, or sexuality; food allergies and preferences; and a range of other sensitivities and issues. We spoke to meetings experts with experience accommodating specific groups, and found that seeing your event from a different perspective is less about compliance with the law and more about taking an approach that helps everyone fully participate. Creating inclusive events is a tangible way to make all your attendees feel welcome, and that makes good business sense.

*TipsThumbnail.jpg The Top 20 Tips for
 Inclusive Events

 Even small changes to your venue selection, contracts, and event design can make a significant difference in how welcoming your event feels to attendees.

*NalanThumbnail.jpg Talking Inclusivity: A Q&A with
 IMEX’s Nalan Emre

 Nalan Emre, chief operating officer of the IMEX Group, on inclusive event design at IMEX America and IMEX Frankfurt.

*SarahThumbnail.jpg Ask the Welcoming Expert:
 Sarah Galbraith Laucks

 Consultant Sarah Galbraith Laucks, CMP, has 25 years of expertise running meetings for people with disabilities, inclusive events, and educational  programming.

*DavidJeffreys.jpg An Unwelcoming City? Support
 Your Attendees and Save Your Reputation

 And other advice from David Jefferys, CEO and executive director at the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association.

*TahiraThumbnail.jpg Intentional Inclusivity: A Conversation
 with Tahira Endean

 Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED, is head of events at the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence and the author of Intentional Event Design.

*Questionnaire.jpg 5 Need-to-Know Questions for
 Your Registration Site

 Customize this inclusivity questionnaire to get a true picture of what your attendees need to fully participate.

Does Your Meeting Have an Inclusivity Statement?

Read how and why IMEX group put its philosophy into words.

Seeing in a Different Light: Outsmarting Unconscious Bias
to Create Inclusive Events

Unique event experiences focus on human potential, helping the attendees see more clearly even when they are in the dark.

Sensory-Inclusive Meetings: Attendees with
Invisible Challenges

KultureCity, a nonprofit organization based in Alabama, offers certification and practical help to accommodate all your attendees.

Helpful Links

Americans with Disabilities Facilities Checklist


Professional Convention Management Association Education Page


ASAE Policy on Diversity and Inclusion


KultureCity Sensory Initiative


Meetings Professionals International Inclusive Event Design


Event Service Professionals Association Accessibility Toolkit


LGBT Meeting Professionals Association



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