15 Steps to Creating Inclusive Events

Inclusivity is one of the hottest topics of 2024, but before any event organiser can create truly inclusive events, they need to understand what it means and why it’s important.

What does inclusivity mean?

In simple terms, inclusivity means ‘including all types of people, things or ideas and treating them all fairly and equally’. It’s worth noting that inclusivity is an active term. It’s not enough to simply, not discriminate, but to be considered an inclusive event, an organiser needs to take measures to pro-actively encourage inclusivity.

To give some context, the opposite of inclusivity is exclusivity. A term which applies to something which is only accessible to a specific group of people and refuses engagement to others. This group of ‘others’ might be a small number of individuals, but the existence of any group – regardless of its size – means an event could be described as exclusive.

The importance and benefits of inclusivity at events

Every event you hold is a reflection of your company culture and values. Hopefully, your employees, clients and potential guests at your events already understand your stance on inclusivity, but it needs to be evident in everything you do. An inclusive event will mean that every one of your delegates will feel welcomed and valued and ready to engage in your sessions, breakouts, and networking opportunities.

Inclusivity doesn’t just benefit you and your attendees for the duration of your event. A truly inclusive event will generate sustained engagement as your delegates will know they and their ideas are appreciated.

The nitty gritty – how to create inclusive elements in your events


1. Accessible Language

Words matter, and quite often language will be your attendees’ first interaction with your company, through your invitations or the marketing around your event. Inclusive language can mean avoiding gendered terms (so people or attendees rather than ladies and gentlemen), it can also mean avoiding words that could cause offence to specific groups of people. Consider language accessibility with utmost importance and incorporate translators, induction loops, video captions and braille to ensure delegates can actively engage without barriers.


2. Cultural and Religious Holidays

At the beginning of the planning stages for your inclusive events, it’s worth checking the calendar for any religious or cultural holidays or celebrations which may clash with your proposed event dates. This could create problems for some of your invitees or may even stop them attending altogether.

For example, if you’re planning on holding your event in Ramadan, how would your Muslim guests feel about abstaining
from food while fellow guests are eating?


3. Registration Process

Recognise the diverse needs of your invitees and ensure your event registration isn’t solely online. Have a contact phone number and email available and be proactive with sending reassuring messaging and content to your guests ahead of time, such as a venue map, journey options, event schedule, disability accommodations and catering options.


4. Safe Spaces

Events can be overwhelming places – there’s often lots of people, noise, bright lights… Your guests may appreciate somewhere quiet where they can retreat and re-energise. These considerations will foster environments that benefit all your delegates and improve your future inclusive events.


5. Venue Accessibility

Ensuring guests with mobility impairments can access all elements of your event should be a given for inclusive events. You should also clarify your venue’s accessibility standards are flawless with accessible toilets, lifts, and parking facilities.


6. Inclusive Bathrooms

Introducing gender-neutral bathrooms at events is a crucial step towards dismantling barriers. These spaces provide a welcoming environment for individuals of all gender identities, acknowledging the diversity within the attendee community.


7. Accessible Event Pricing

Consider the financial impact attending your event might have on your guests. Is it possible the venue you have chosen requires an expensive taxi ride which might prohibit some of your guests from attending? Or maybe your ticket pricing needs to consider some concessions? Consider your guest experience from start to finish when creating inclusive events.


8. Inclusive Event Catering

As well as vegan and vegetarian guests, organisers also need to know whether any of their attendees adhere to any dietary restrictions for cultural or religious purposes. Asking these questions up front makes it clear that your caterers are competent to manage everyone’s needs and will, in turn, help all your invitees feel comfortable about stating their preferences. Once you have gathered this information you can work with your caterers to create a delicious and nutritious menu suitable for all.


9. Mixed Event Content

The main reason people are going to attend your event is because of your content. Have you done everything you can to ensure all of your delegates can, and feel comfortable contributing? Consider areas including gender, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability and sexual orientation when you are sense-checking your content to ensure nothing you are saying or doing will alienate any of your audience.


10. Speaker Diversity

Guarantee a richness of content with diversity amongst your speakers to include all perspectives and experiences. Curating a lineup that reflects a spectrum of backgrounds, identities, and viewpoints will offer a more inclusive exploration of the chosen topics. This will, in turn, foster an atmosphere where your guests feel more seen and comfortable to engage.


11. Accessible Signage

You may have attendees with more hidden disabilities such as visual impairments. This can be addressed by providing helpful elements such as braille, verbal descriptions of visual aids and high contrast colours for text displays to help with reading.


12. Venue Directions

Provide venue maps and directions highlighting features such as entries, exits, staff, toilets, quiet spaces, and other facilities. This will help the flow of your event and put guests at ease when moving around.


13. Seating Arrangements

Creating a truly inclusive event involves consideration of a guest’s entire journey within the space. From the entrance to the designated area, attention to detail is crucial. Conduct a careful assessment of the area and ensure adequate width for wheelchair navigation, ramp access and spacing amongst seating. These considerations not only facilitate access but also promote independence and comfort for your guests.


14. Event Feedback

By offering online and in-person feedback channels with anonymity options, you can showcase your commitment to positive change and make your attendees feel empowered to contribute their thoughts and opinions candidly.


15. Start With You

Event planning is a complicated business with an awful lot of elements. If you are unsure of how best to proceed with any sticking points, just ask! Our team at Congress Centre are event planning experts and are here to guide you through every step of the process. There’s no shame in admitting you haven’t got all the answers yet, and asking people who know their stuff is a great way to improve your efforts. You can also be proactive in asking your audience to share ways in which they would feel more included at your event!


Your next inclusive event at Congress Centre

Here at Congress Centre, we take our inclusivity responsibilities seriously. Our core values include equality, fairness, respect and dignity and we always put guest experience at the top of our priority list to create inclusive events.

Our central London conference venue facilitates many accessibility needs including raised step threads outside, lifts with low buttons, ramps, wide doors, accessible toilets and hearing loop systems. We also have numerous breakout rooms which can be used as safe, quiet spaces and our caterers are experts in delivering amazing food for all dietary requirements.

If you’re looking for a venue partner with inclusivity values that match your own, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the events team on 020 7467 1318 or via email at