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How To Be Authentic and Inclusive at Your Events

Diversity is a buzzword lately, but what does it really mean in the context of your business?

 

It boils down to having perspective and being open to new thoughts and ideas. When we keep perspective, we keep our minds open and alive to what is happening in the world around us. It challenges the way we think and keeps us asking questions to bring us to higher ground.

Hosting a myriad of speakers and a variety of perspectives will only make your ventures a better place to be! If you look at the products or organizations that have diverse leaders you’ll find that because they’re able to bring in different points of view, they are stronger and wiser.

 

More diversity, more sales

Do you want to sell more? 

Then you want more people there! If you aren’t diversifying who you market to, you are going to eventually bore your audience.

To be honest, it’s simply more fun to bring in different points of view and perspectives. It keeps things zippy and lively! Branching out from what you normally do as a marketer helps you think outside of the box as a company. When you prioritize diversity, you are creating movement within your brand and you reach new people. You essentially say, “yes, this is for everyone” not just one select audience or group of people. 

Creating space for more kinds of diverse people at your event opens up opportunities for people to connect in authentic ways. Which is what it’s all about!

 

Opportunities for more diverse ideas

When you think about diversity and inclusion, don’t limit yourself to a single characteristic such as race or ethnicity. Consider the full breadth of diversity (beyond just how someone looks, but how they think, live, etc.)

 

First, reflect on your organization and event team. Is everyone the same, or are there diverse voices and perspectives within your company? Creating this diversity on your team is a must.  

Then take a look at your company’s values: is diversity and inclusion among them?

 

Assess the diversity of the speakers you bring in. As the most outward-facing aspect of your event, speakers are key to your commitment to diversity and inclusion. Remember: An audience that does not feel represented is not likely to come back to your events!

 

So, your speakers’ lineup should be as diverse as the audience your event is reaching. Chose topics that resonate and directly impact the communities you are talking to. If your event covers leadership in the advertising industry, consider including sessions discussing the barriers women or minority ethnic groups face to attain leadership positions. Think about how you can include a group or audience that isn’t being included yet. 

Another way to give opportunities for diversity in thought and experience is to host an open book Q&A where a variety of people can ask and answer questions about the brand and share their own ideas too. When your team members have the space to innovate, real progress and growth can happen in your company.

 

Tap into influencer and creator communities

Influencers and content creators tend to have diversity built into their pool of consumers, which is why more and more companies are tapping into that gold. Show how you can listen to all kinds of stories and be moved into action by those unique, human perspectives. You and your brand will grow and learn from these different interactions and exchanges of ideas.

Create a way to track and measure how diverse your event was after the fact. That helps you know where you can improve and expand your reach. How many different kinds of people attended your event? Who could you help feel more included in your next event? Asking these questions can lead you to find new partnerships with content creators who can fill in your diversity gaps!

 

Find those blind spots

If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s that traditional patterns for marketing events are not going to take you as far. Try to break free from what’s been done before and open it up to your employees to get new and fresh ideas. Really listen to all the ideas and you might be surprised what comes up in that brainstorming session!

Take this as a sign to discover the different blind spots within your own marketing, your event and execution, and within yourself.

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