Events such as street festivals and craft fairs are just some of the many that take place in communities across the country on a daily basis. A “sense of community” is celebrated and supported by events, which is why everyone should be encouraged to take part.
All attendees should be able to participate fully in an event, whether it is for pleasure, food, networking, or learning. The role of an event planner includes ensuring that attendees with disabilities have equal access and participation, which is mandated by law for public events.
For both personal and career development, attending events is a valuable experience. We can all agree that ensuring everyone has a great time is the most important aim when organizing an event.
The consideration of accessibility in event promotion is often an afterthought. It is our responsibility as event marketers to ensure that every aspect of our events is accessible to all attendees, regardless of ability.
So here we have few tips to organize events according to ADA guidelines.
8 best practices to plan more accessible events
1. Deciding Venue
Making events accessible and inclusive begins with anticipating and removing any obstacles for individuals with disabilities as early as possible in the planning process. The venue is the first step.
You should always pay a visit to the location of a prospective event venue. People with various impairments may attend your event, so think about what obstacles they may face when they arrive. Consider the following points and ask yourself the following questions:.
Does anybody know? What’s its location? These are points to keep in mind, and you need to tell your visitors. Whether the lights can be dimmed or brightened is an important consideration. For daylight events, make sure that you can control the quantity of natural light. People with poor vision may have difficulty seeing in situations with direct natural light because of the shadows and glare it causes.
As soon as you’ve learned about your venue’s accessible features, be sure to tell your visitors about them.
Make sure visitors with disabilities have your contact information so they can ask about the accessibility features you saw during your site tour or tell you what concessions you can make so they can participate.
Your visitors with disabilities should be able to communicate with you in a manner that works best for them, and you should be able to interact with your guests in a way that works best for you.
3. Food arrangements
When preparing to serve food or drinks, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Keep food, beverages, and utensils within easy reach for those in wheelchairs during buffet-style events.
- Provide some cups with handles as well as flexible straws.
- People who are unable to use their hands to grab or hold items, such as cups, have difficulties doing so.
- Guests with disabilities may benefit from the help of volunteers who can provide assistance or a place to sit.
4. Service animals.
Pets are not service animals. Those who assist those with impairments are welcome at restaurants and other public places where food is offered. Make sure these animals have a place to relieve themselves and that their owners are aware of it. It’s also important to remember that service animals, like humans, may become thirsty. The best approach to make a visitor with a service animal feel at home is to provide them with a water dish.
5. Presentations and speeches
Give the presenters or speakers the following pointers:
During a presentation, use a microphone, talk slowly, and narrate the pictures on the screen.
People who rely on specialized transportation may have to leave your event on time if presentations last longer than expected.
6. Prep your room accordingly.
You may remove several typical obstacles for visitors with disabilities by making simple changes to the layout of your accommodation. Take a look at this:
- Make signs simpler to interpret for certain persons with impairments by using common terms and brief phrases.
- Make sure there is ample room around tables for those with mobility aids like wheelchairs and walkers. The required aisle width is at least one meter wide.
- You can install interpreting booths that provide sound insulation so that people with hearing problems can use them and can focus on the main voice rather than on various noises.
- To make sure that everyone can pass securely, be sure to hide any electrical wires or cables that cross aisles or routes.
7. Prepare for accessibility issues in the event of an emergency.
There’s no time like an emergency to discover that you forgot someone. Make sure the accessible exits are properly marked and that you know where they are. In an emergency, the elevators may not function and the exits may be crowded. Attendees need to be evacuated in the event of an emergency.
8. New approach
In order to start a much-needed dialogue about accessible event marketing, you need to make your event accessible and inclusive. You’ll have to reevaluate how you normally host gatherings, which may take some time and thinking.
An additional aspect of this new approach may be to communicate with your guests during and after the event to see how they felt about the experience and whether or not it was one in which they could engage completely. Attendee input is critical to ensuring that your events are accessible.
Following several successful events in which you’ve put these accessibility suggestions to the test, share your knowledge with others in both the event marketing and business communities. A debate about accessibility must be started by all of us in order to share best practices and produce events that are more inclusive and, therefore, more exceptional.