Each day at Convening Leaders 2019 in Pittsburgh, Convene magazine is asking attendees a question related to their work and the business events industry.
Tuesday: How do you ensure inclusivity at your events?
“We engage in a lot of diversity and inclusive discussions at our company and at sessions. We bring [the] director of inclusion and diversity at our company to speak at events. And then we share how we have accomplished it at our own company, how it attracts good talent, and encourage others to do it too.”
“We start from the registration process. There are no categories to define race, etc. You’re either a member or a nonmember. We try to make everyone, especially first-time attendees, feel equal. We also ensure that our speakers present a balance of men and women, etc. We represent 82 countries, so we are inherently diverse.”
“Our members are doctors and researchers and they are actively involved in inclusive markets on their own, so they look to us for inclusive events. This includes looking for accessible rooms and space during site selection and inclusive communication. We make sure our emails are tailored to all audiences.”
Monday: What’s the first thing you do to get the lay of the land when you go on a site visit?
“When I’m checking out a hotel site, I check out the lobby, the common areas, the front desk check-in, restaurants, lower-level meeting space, the cleanliness, and access to seating. Security is another thing I check out, as well as restrooms (sometimes they’re hidden), the fitness facility, and parking.”
Sunday: Is there anything specific you want to master in the coming year?
I want to totally shatter the experience in the general session and breakout sessions and go from traditional to unconference. My definition of unconference is to break the mold of your traditional theater or classroom seating to something else that encourages conversation and activities so that people aren’t always seated. Also, I’d like to migrate away from PowerPoints so that speakers are just talking and not speaking to attendings.”