Marketers commonly drive leads by hosting conferences, round tables, and webinars. Just a few years ago, most of these marketing events were held in person, with webinars making up the bulk of the virtual events. Today, that ratio has shifted, as marketers host more virtual events and add hybrid options to in-person events.
By their nature, virtual or hybrid events are more inclusive and accessible. People can tune into portions of the program instead of having to commit to attending the entire event, or they can view recorded sessions on demand. Virtual events also enable individuals with hearing loss or processing issues to use closed captions, and those with disabilities can avoid facilities that might be challenging to physically navigate.
“People are drawn to experiences where they see themselves valued and represented, and when we embrace and honor diversity, inviting everyone to the table, we create events that resonate with a broader audience,” says Toogie Hampton, Director of Content and Event Production for the American Marketing Association. “DEI is synonymous with radical hospitality in the context of event-planning.”
The challenge for marketing professionals is to create inclusive events that will attract a wide audience and fulfill everyone’s expectations – whether they are attending in-person or virtually. The following best practices can help marketers plan and host inclusive, informative events.