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Pride & Equality: Can the Events Industry Do More?

The events industry is a powerful platform that brings people together, celebrates milestones and fosters community spirit. As professionals in this field, we have a unique opportunity to champion inclusivity and equality. With increasing awareness and commitment to diversity, the question arises: Can the events industry do more to promote pride and equality?

The Current Landscape

Over the past decade, the events industry has made significant strides in supporting LGBTQ+ communities. Pride parades, inclusive conferences, and workshops have become more prevalent, creating safe spaces for everyone. However, despite these advancements, there is always room for improvement. According to a report by Eventbrite, 73% of event professionals believe that diversity and inclusion should be a key focus for the industry, and many feel that more actionable steps are needed​ (Eventbrite)​.

Inclusivity Beyond Pride Month

While June is globally recognised as Pride Month, the commitment to equality should extend beyond these 30 days. Many events and organisations display rainbow logos and supportive messages during this period, but it’s crucial to ask: what happens once July begins? To truly support the LGBTQ+ community, event planners and organisations must integrate inclusivity into their year-round operations and culture. Implementing diversity training programs for staff and creating policies that promote inclusivity throughout the year can make a lasting impact​ all year long. To find out more about making events more inclusive, head to our blog collaboration with Issac Harvey here.

Creating Safe Spaces

Safety and acceptance are paramount for any event. Ensuring that all attendees feel welcome and safe should be a priority. This involves comprehensive staff training on inclusivity and diversity, clear anti-discrimination policies, and the provision of gender-neutral facilities. An inclusive event is one where every participant feels seen and respected, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Representation Matters

Representation is a powerful tool for promoting equality. Diverse lineups, speakers, and panellists not only reflect the society we live in but also inspire and empower marginalised communities. Events should strive to feature LGBTQ+ voices prominently and ensure that these voices are heard and valued.

Partnership with LGBTQ+ Organisations

Collaborating with LGBTQ+ organisations can provide valuable insights and support. These partnerships can help in planning more inclusive events, understanding the specific needs of the community, and fostering genuine connections. Working together with advocacy groups ensures that the events are not only inclusive but also contribute positively to the ongoing fight for equality. Examples of charities include Stonewall, which runs campaigns against homophobia and provides diversity training for workplaces and MindOut, which offers mental health support and counselling to LGBTQ+ people.

Marketing and Communication

The language and imagery used in marketing materials play a crucial role in shaping perceptions. It’s essential to use inclusive language and visuals that reflect diversity. Avoid tokenism by authentically representing LGBTQ+ in your marketing efforts. This approach helps in creating an environment where everyone feels represented and welcome.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Inclusivity is not a one-time achievement but an ongoing commitment. Gathering feedback from attendees can provide valuable insights into areas of improvement. Regularly reviewing and updating policies and practices ensures that the event remains inclusive and welcoming to all. Tools like post-event surveys and feedback forms can be instrumental in this process​.

The Road Ahead

The events industry has the potential to be a catalyst for change, promoting pride and equality on a global scale. By committing to inclusivity beyond Pride Month, creating safe spaces, ensuring representation, partnering with LGBTQ+ organisations, using inclusive marketing, and continuously seeking improvement, the industry can indeed do more.

The journey towards complete equality is ongoing, and every step taken by the events industry brings us closer to a more inclusive and accepting world. It’s not just about celebrating Pride; it’s about living it every day and in every event. The events industry holds the power to make a difference – let’s use it wisely.

As event professionals, we have a significant role to play in promoting pride and equality. By embracing inclusivity as a core value, we can create events that not only celebrate diversity but also drive meaningful change. It’s time for the events industry to step up and do more – for the LGBTQ+ community and for a better, more inclusive world.

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