When planning your next event, there is one very important aspect to keep at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you are creating an event for everyone. This ensures everyone feels welcomed and included, regardless of their background, ability, or identity.

What Is DEI?

What is DEI and why should we care about it in the Events Industry? According to McKinsey & Company, diversity, equity, and inclusion are three closely linked values that many organizations hold. These values support different groups of individuals including people of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. Simply put, diversity is about the way people are, equity is about ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity and inclusion is about creating a space where everyone feels valued and welcome.   

Welcoming and Inclusion For All

The event industry is all about human connection, so it is important that everyone feels welcome and included at our events. The Events Industry Council recently established an Equity Taskforce to look at four distinct areas. These include career pathways into our industry, leadership pathways, tools to support organization frameworks that support D&I, and the framework for events themselves so everyone has a strong sense of feeling welcome.  

Creating Diverse Events

Events are simply better when they are diverse events. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good business. Diverse events are better events because you gain different perspectives and have better conversations. Look beyond your organization’s compliance requirements. When it comes to looking at accessibility, look at making sure all events are accessible by design and apply universal design principles for learning.    DEI Diversity Equity Inclusion    

DEI Event Planning Checklist

Two important areas when designing your event for diversity equity and inclusion are speakers and event website/registration. To help event planners think ahead when designing their programs, Bizzabo has created a DE&I Event Planning Checklist.  


Speakers are used to connect, teach, and entertain listeners. It is important to remember that your attendees must feel like they see themselves represented in your agenda. Your speakers must be as diverse as your attendees. Consider the following:
  • Ensure your speaker lineup includes individuals from diverse genders, races, religions, abilities, cultural backgrounds, and more
  • Consider your audience’s demographics and consider how they will respond to each speaker and topic
  • Choose diverse speakers who can challenge your attendees’ attitudes, ideas, and beliefs
  • Choose speakers from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Choose a mix of established, well-known speakers and those building a name for themselves
  • Consider hiring a diversity consultant to help build a more comprehensive speaker diversity program

Event Website And Registration

This is where the experience starts for your attendees. There are steps you can take to make sure they have a good feeling from the beginning regarding the inclusivity of your event. These include:
  • Ensure your event website features inclusive imagery
  • Guarantee your event website is ADA-compliant and follows WCAG accessibility guidelines
  • Add options for name pronunciation and pronouns to your registration form
  • Include learning preferences on your registration form
  • Offer space for attendees to include any ability-related needs when registering (e.g., wheelchair accessibility, auditory or sensory impairments)
  • Ask questions about preferred communication style (e.g., email, text, automated phone call)
  • Include a community agreement to your form, such as: “I understand that this event space has a zero-tolerance policy for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, classism, and body shaming.”


Everyone in our network of events (suppliers, attendees, and organizers), should all be aware of DEI policies and practices so we can strengthen our industry through inclusion. By working together, we can ensure we are creating an event for everyone! Let’s Talk Events!