In an ideal world, inclusivity would be woven into every aspect of event management. The more you include ideas about diversity, inclusion and equity into the fibre of your event, the more of a welcoming and thought-provoking place it will be. In order to attract and welcome a diverse audience and line-up for your event, your intention also needs to cover event marketing. In this blog, you’ll find some ideas about how to start creating an inclusive events marketing strategy. Let’s go!
Understanding Inclusive Event Marketing
Inclusive event marketing means communicating your messaging in such a way that both displays and encourages diversity and inclusion. It should make people from all different kinds of backgrounds want to attend your event, and feel like it will be welcoming and interesting to them.
Knowing (and Crafting!) Your Audience
Why is audience research important for inclusivity?
There’s a direct link between understanding your audience and crafting an inclusive marketing strategy. To increase the diversity in your future audiences and line-ups, you can start by looking back to the make up of previous events.
How can I conduct effective audience research for inclusivity?
Any personal or sensitive data collected from your audience members should be obtained with the upmost care; any questions you ask should be tasteful, relevant (explain why they are being asked!), confidential and optional
Work out what you need to know about your attendees before the event (e.g different needs, dietary restrictions etc.) and which can be left until afterwards.
Crafting Inclusive Messaging and Content
Choosing inclusive language and imagery
There’s strong evidence to suggest that people pay attention to marketing emails for mere seconds, so choosing your headers and imagery carefully are absolutely key.
Try to use real images from previous events, rather than stock images
Avoiding stereotypes and biases
Check through your copy for any stereotypes, cliches or assumptions. For example, “We know you’ll want to end the evening with a glass of bubbly!” could be seen to exclude people who choose not to drink alcohol for their own or religious reasons.
Make your marketing materials accessible
Remember, you don’t know the individual differences in the people you’re communicating with, so cast your accessibility net as wide as possible. Check your webpages and emails work with screen readers and are optimised for colourblind readers. Make communications direct and clear, avoiding excessively academic language and sentence lengths.
Inclusive Promotion and Outreach
Diversify your marketing channels
Consider whether there are any opportunities to target previously overlooked communities for whom your event might be useful. This might mean collaborating with some business inclusion groups or with particular speakers or influencers to get your message out.
Measuring and Adapting
How to measure the success of your inclusive marketing efforts
From the outset, you should try to identify what your KPIs for inclusion in events will be, so that you can measure success, and adapt and refine your strategy in the future.
For more helpful tips and advice about running events inclusively, check out our Mastermind Clinics for events professionals. Our Masterclass Clinics for Events Professionals are curated by experts in the business. As one of the first Inclusion focussed suppliers and consultancy to the events industry in the UK, the Spectrum team are uniquely placed to advise, inform and spark discussion about how to weave inclusion into all aspects of event management.