As a show manager, your primary goal is to create memorable and successful events that leave a lasting impact on attendees. To achieve this, it’s crucial to recognize and embrace the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your event planning. DEI isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental aspect of contemporary event management that can elevate your shows to new heights. Here’s why incorporating DEI into your events is not just a choice but a necessity:
Enhancing Engagement and Connection
Diverse events create a sense of belonging and connection. Attendees are more likely to engage with the content, speakers, and fellow participants when they feel represented and valued. This engagement can lead to deeper connections, networking opportunities, and overall satisfaction.
According to a study by EventMB in 2020, out of the 150 events examined, a concerning 35-40% lacked any Black speakers. What impact do you think this has on individuals from underrepresented communities?
Diverse perspectives foster innovation and creativity. When your event includes speakers, exhibitors, and participants from different backgrounds, industries, and viewpoints, it often leads to more profound and meaningful discussions. These conversations can spark innovative ideas and solutions that might not have emerged in a less diverse environment.
Expanding Your Audience
Incorporating DEI into your events can help you reach a wider audience. A diverse lineup of speakers and content can attract attendees from various demographics and industries who might not have considered your event otherwise. This expansion of your audience can lead to increased attendance and revenue.
By welcoming a diverse range of attendees, your event becomes a catalyst for positive change in your industry and beyond. It sets a precedent for inclusivity and encourages other organizations to follow suit. As your event’s reputation for diversity and equity grows, it can become a magnet for thought leaders, experts, and influencers who are passionate about advancing these principles. This, in turn, amplifies the reach and influence of your event, creating a ripple effect that contributes to a more inclusive and equitable landscape in your field. So, expanding your audience through DEI isn’t just about business growth; it’s about driving meaningful and lasting industry-wide transformation.
If you’re considering working with other companies to add depth or (in the case of sponsorships) financial support to your event, do your due diligence. When researching potential partners/sponsors, look for signs that they’re actively diverse and inclusive. Are women and minorities in leadership positions within the company? Do these companies support civil rights organizations and movements?
Add more diversity and inclusion to your event by using the products and services of companies certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). These companies are 51% owned and operated by someone who is an ethnic minority. Your partnership with MBEs can also help you reach marginalized communities.
Meeting Industry Expectations
The event industry is evolving, and DEI is becoming an industry standard. Many attendees and stakeholders expect event managers to prioritize diversity and inclusion. By embracing DEI principles, you align your events with the changing expectations of the industry and demonstrate your adaptability and responsiveness.
The 2022 Equity Benchmarking Study conducted by the Events Industry Council (EIC), featured a survey with the assistance of an AI-based chatbot. This survey engaged 1.404 event professionals from various sectors within the industry. The study yielded the following results:
- Employed event professionals (83% of all survey respondents) are significantly more dissatisfied with DEI in the industry than those who are self-employed or have alternative employment types.
- 61% of all surveyed event professionals identified as White and are predominant across all job grades, with minimal representation from other ethnicities, especially in senior management (15% Black) and board (6% Black) positions.
- Respondents who identify as Black (16%) rated their DEI experience 11% lower across all four dimensions than respondents who identified as White.
- More than 75% of respondents identified as female, and they are well-represented in managerial and senior roles. Six out of 10 (61%) female respondents are in ‘Senior Management’ and ‘Board’ job grades, yet they rated their DEI experience significantly lower than male respondents (21%).
Contributing to Positive Change
Events have the power to influence and shape society. By advocating diversity, equity, and inclusion, you contribute to a more inclusive and equitable world. Your events become platforms for dialogue, learning, and change, driving progress in areas such as social justice, equality, and sustainability.
Incorporating DEI into your events as a show manager isn’t just about checking boxes or meeting requirements; it’s about creating transformative experiences that leave a lasting impact on attendees and society as a whole. It’s a commitment to inclusivity, fairness, and empathy that can elevate your events to new heights of success and relevance in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
Once you’ve assembled your diverse lineup of speakers, let eShow help you manage the speakers and their sessions. Our Speaker & Session Management module allows you to schedule sessions with our robust conflict management tools. You can also monitor session capacity to avoid overscheduling.
This module isn’t just for your efficiency as the event manager but will also provide speakers and attendees with some pretty handy tools! Speakers can manage the details of their sessions by logging into their own personal accounts, and attendees can easily register for sessions by accessing your session schedule pages.
Using the Speaker & Session Management module, you can also create your post-event surveys, speaker evaluations, and session evaluations using the Speaker & Session Management module. If you want to see this module in action, contact us today for a no-obligation demo; we can show you how this module and our other web-based tools operate and will help you execute legendary events!