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How to set up inclusive events - 3 Plus International

How to set up inclusive events

by Nov 25, 2021

What to consider when you set up inclusive events

 Learn how to set up inclusive events  to avoid your holiday party becoming a thing of dread!  

 

We’re already in the run-up to the holiday season and many event organisers are already planning a function for their employees. You might be thinking of a small private party or a larger event. To make sure that everyone will feel welcome and included, it’s a good idea to pay attention to some of the factors that may be a concern to different groups which could make the event intimidating or simply less exciting and could put them off attending.

If you follow these basic suggestions, everyone will have a good time.

 

set up inclusive events

 

Survey your employees

The best way to kick off this initiative is to ask people for their input via an anonymous company poll. It’s also worthwhile to make a note of any resistance you observe so you can defuse a situation before it becomes an issue.

How to set up inclusive events

Here are some factors to consider:

1. Guestlist: The most important consideration is to be intentional about your invitees. In a corporate setting make sure that everyone is invited and intentionally include anyone who might feel marginalised. Seek them out and emphasise how much you hope they will join you. Any event should not be compulsory so that people feel compelled to attend.

2. Type of event: We all have preferences around what is fun and what isn’t. Generally, we think that everyone likes the same things as we do. Is that true should be your first question! Engage more marginalised groups in your inquiries to find out what people like to do. In many male-dominated organisations in Europe and North America, events can be centred on sport (golf, racing, polo, rugby, football) and alcohol.  It’s important to mix those up and offer alternatives.

Minimise the religous elements to keep your workplace function neutral in terms of religious themes. Not all groups celebrate Christmas although they are obliged to recognise the holiday in many cultures.

What accommodations do you make for the festivals of other religions?

3Plus offers professional unconscious bias training programmes. Find out more HERE.

3. Venue: This will include accessibility and the type of place you are proposing. Senior, white male executives could feel at ease in a 5-star hotel or a golf club. But not everyone will. Make sure that there are facilities for anyone who may be less physically able (ramps, wheelchair seating, elevators, disabled bathrooms etc.)  The location should be easily accessible by public transport or taxi service. Not everyone has a car or can drive. Better yet, arrange transport, especially for women travelling on their own from evening functions.

4. Dress code: You should also consider the dress code. Once again inclusive events should be accessible to all, and a black-tie dress code can make it difficult for many. Firstly they may not own a tux or evening dress and secondly they may not feel comfortable wearing one if they could afford one.

5. Timing: Some groups may have difficulties coming at certain times because of childcare or other caregiver responsibilities. Quite often for parties that run late, people report men being able to stay until the end and women choose or have to leave early. Part of this may be issues around getting home safely. See the point about transport. There may also be single parents who have to get up early in the morning or a late finish may incur additional babysitting costs.

If any woman who wants to, and can stay late and the issue is with a partner – that may be the time for them to have the “honey we need to talk” conversation with their nearest and dearest.

Tackle these issues head on with our Managing Unconscious Bias workshops. Contact 3Plus now!

6. Dietary requirements: It is always best to establish upfront any specific preferences or needs and cater accordingly. A simple note will be suffice;

7. Cost: Astonishingly some organisations do ask employees to pay for themselves. This should generally  be a no, but for small businesses perhaps this is the only way colleagues can get together. Offer affordable options, with maybe even a pot-luck arrangement.

set up inclusive events

8. Partners or not?: This is always tricky so it’s important to get precise feedback on this topic. Some people don’t want to go to events without their partners. Some prefer to keep their professional and personal lives separate. Others are single and some don’t want to declare a relationship. This is where a pulse survey can be really effective.

9. Alcohol or not? Increasing numbers do not drink alcohol, so always make sure that their needs are catered for. It is also important to create an atmosphere of moderation. Non-drinkers report being intimidated when they see people drinking excessively and becoming rowdy. Any holiday events serving alcohol should be balanced by other events at different times of the year which don’t. Above all make sure that everyone travels safely home.

Support women in your workplace who experience sexual harassment. Read: Bystander tips for male allies

10. Introverts: for many introverts or those who are neuro-diverse the idea of a big party full of boisterous crowds fills them with dread. Make sure you have a “meet and greet” team which can help those who may not be comfortable in a big party, settle in with smaller groups. The “meeters and greeters” should walk them to a group and wait until they see them appear to be at ease. If in doubt ask.

Have a quieter seating area where people can go to escape the hubbub – especially in a large party. Make any invitations and supporting directions as simple as possible so that this group doesn’t feel overwhelmed before the event has even started.

11. Watch the side lines: while it’s important to have quiet space, keep an eye on things. Get your meet and greet team to check that no one is left alone and is checked on discreetly and included in the festivities. Minority groups or women can often be side-lined in events that are dominated by an “in-group.” Whether High School or the office, there are still “cool” groups which unintentionally exclude others as like-minded colleagues drift together.

Being intentionally inclusive to appeal to a wide range of people with different preferences and needs is part of the rich tapestry of a diverse organisation. Make sure your event is both fun and inclusive. Have a great holiday season!

 

Does your workplace lack diversity? 3Plus can help you with our specialist services for Executive Search and Diversity Recruitment.

 

 

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Individual services

Only 50% of women create a career strategy. Make sure you are on the right side of that equation to reach your potential

Corporate services

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” — Jesse Jackson

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📢New program: How to create inclusive job postings

In today's rapidly evolving world, it's essential for organisations to embrace diversity and inclusion. Organisations unconsciously communicate their company cultures and values in everything they do including their job postings. These can either attract or repel talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

A crucial step in this process is ensuring that your job postings reflect these values. Our training program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to craft job descriptions that attract candidates from all backgrounds, eliminating bias and fostering an inclusive hiring process.

 

create inclusive job postings

Full programme details HERE

 

📢New Programme available with 3Plus International

“If you have a brain you have a bias” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our hiring processes.

The ‘How to Mitigate Bias in the Recruitment Process’ programme is designed to convey the serious nature of bias in the recruitment process with a focus on gender bias and the way it impacts both businesses and organisations, but in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging.

 

 

Full programme details HERE

Dates for the Diary

February 26th  Corporate Keynote -  Best Practices of a Sponsorship Programme for Women

March 4th Corporate Keynote  - The “I” in Inclusion.  How we can all make an impact on DE&I

March 20th Corporate Training Programme  - The Importance of Inclusivity in the Hiring Process

April 15th Corporate Training Programme  - How to Write Inclusive Job Postings

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