Hybrid events blend the best qualities of virtual event platforms with traditional venue-based events — literally offering the best of both worlds. They’re increasingly popular, and work well when you’re programming topics and activities that can be communicated to both physical and online audiences.
One of the greatest benefits of hybrid events is how much easier it is for organisers to ensure their event is inclusive and accessible. Here’s why you can no longer afford to ignore event inclusivity, and how you can lower barriers to access with your next hybrid event.
What Inclusivity Means At Your Event
Inclusivity can’t be reduced to a checkbox exercise — it is based on a universal principle, but implementation is contextual. If you intend to be inclusive, you’re making a commitment to host an event that doesn’t exclude anyone based on disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and so on. Inclusive events also commit to actively lowering traditional barriers to access. Practically, this may look like:
- Accommodating people with hearing, physical and vision impairments
- Designing a mix of activities and interfaces that cater to both neurotypical and neurodivergent people
- Securing diverse speakers and panels that represent a range of perspectives
- Programming inclusive event content that speaks to a diverse audience
- Ensuring your team use inclusive language, both on the floor and in all promotional materials
We’re diverse in more ways than just race or ethnicity — while these are important to consider, humans also embrace and embody a range of genders, languages, classes, sexual orientations, and abilities. Consider the full breadth of diversity, and then make sure everyone feels safe, included, heard and welcome.
Why Inclusive Events Are No Longer Optional
According to McKinsey, businesses that invest in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives continuously financially outperform competitors who maintain the status quo. While this data speaks to internal structural changes within an organisation, it reflects the opportunities available to brands who embrace Diversity and Inclusion actively, and through public commitments like hosting events that are inclusive by design. Bold action on inclusion by brands makes good business sense and builds goodwill among audiences and employees — cornerstones to your organisation’s sustainability.
Ensuring everyone feels welcome at your event, regardless of their identity and status, gives all attendees access to the wealth of valuable insights, perspectives, and experiences that a diverse audience can offer. Diversity of thought and perspective generates higher-quality event content that makes it more worthwhile for people to attend.
Finally, by programming diverse content and ensuring accessibility, you can expect increased event attendance — as more people are able to access your event, and engage with content they find relevant, in a safe and welcoming space. This maximises exposure to your brand.
Simple Ways To Make Your Next Hybrid Event More Inclusive
Thankfully, there are actionable steps you can take to make your next event more inclusive.
- Planning a hybrid event lays a strong foundation towards inclusion. Because it’s accessible both on-location and online, a hybrid event immediately makes your content easier to engage with by anyone who may find venue-based events more stressful or prohibitive.
- Embrace inclusivity by design. Make inclusivity a core principle that’s applied from inception and planning, through to the event and beyond. If it’s tacked on as an afterthought, attendees will notice and it may prove counterproductive.
- Scrutinise your programming. Ensure your speaker list and associated content, including promotional materials, is suitable and engaging for a diverse audience. To do this, gather input from a variety of stakeholders and consider as many different perspectives as you can expose yourself to.
- Use technology to your advantage. Ensure you have the right tools and technology in place to help you keep remote viewers engaged throughout. Scrutinise potential vendors, and favour those with a demonstrated history of reliability, innovation and quality of service.
- Leverage interpreting tools. Including remote simultaneous interpretation can make your event significantly more accessible. Not only will attendees from around the world be able to understand your content, sign language interpreters can also open up the opportunity for people with hearing impairments to follow along.
Partner With A Leader In Multilingual And Hybrid Events
To host a successful hybrid event, you’ll be relying on a number of vendors and service providers. These partners will directly affect your attendees’ experience. Having an experienced technology partner by your side from planning through to implementation, will add immense value to your event and secure your peace of mind.
Inteprefy has delivered remote simultaneous interpretation to global brands — including Google, J.P. Morgan, and Facebook — wanting to deliver truly immersive, inclusive events to their audience. And we can do the same for you.
Whether you need an interpreting platform or an entire event platform with interpreting capabilities — we’ve got the team and technology. From assistance with project management, to support, sourcing interpreters, training speakers, event recording, and more — we’d love to help.
Reach out to the Interprefy team and let’s discuss how we can create your next inclusive, hybrid event together.