Meeting Mentor Magazine

May 2024

Check Out Google’s New Resource for Inclusive Events

Google has released its All In toolkit to help event organizers make their event content, design and operations more inclusive and equitable for all.

Google, in partnership with ADCOLORDisability:INGLAAD and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, has released its All In toolkit. The toolkit contains new insights whose aim is to support more inclusive and accessible event content, as well as in-person and virtual event design and operations. The idea behind the toolkit is to provide a set of evolving recommendations and best practices that Google, and all event organizers, can use to make events more inclusive and equitable for all.

“At Google, we’re committed to building resources that improve representation in the marketing industry. By ensuring event content, whether in-person or virtual, is created with accessibility and inclusivity in mind, we’re aiming to further de-stigmatize issues with accommodation by increasing awareness and understanding,” said Tara Back, VP of Events & Experiences and Talent Partnerships. “We’re proud to learn from and partner with these incredible experts within the industry to help bring this mission to life.”

Ross Murray, Vice President, GLAAD Media Institute, pointed out that “LGBTQ can easily feel ‘othered’ at conferences, gatherings and virtual events. Google has worked with GLAAD for two years to think through what the LGBTQ experience might be, and how to ensure that LGBTQ are feeling safe, welcome, and included. The intentional practice of welcome is one that should be carried out for every gathering, so that LGBTQ people can bring their authentic selves to the gathering and participate in the discussion, networking, and edification. That inclusion results in better collaboration, creativity and community.”

Among the key insights outlined in the resource:

Ensure physical spaces are accessible by confirming that the event meets all local and federal regulations for accessible design by referring to the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA), as well as any other local or federal laws.

Make registration practices more inclusive. One way to do this is to ask demographic questions during the registration process that will help event organizers better understand their attendees so they can tailor programming toward their attendees’ specific needs in the future.

Don’t forget to accommodate neurodiverse attendees. Support your event’s neurodiverse community with accommodations such as ensuring the smells in the event spaces are neutral, and provide conversation cards and real-time forums.

Make sure your speakers are representative of your audience. Don’t just rely on your tried-and-true speaker lineup; use your audience demographic data to ensure you highlight a diverse set of voices at your event. This will create richer conversations and contribute to a sense of belonging for all attendees.

Provide accommodations for those with special needs. This includes providing lactation and nursing spaces that are well-equipped and provide both attendees and event staff with a designated location, a sign-up process and amenities. Also consider providing a quiet space at your event that can be used for prayer, religious reflection, meditation and a resilience space for those who may experience sensory overload.

“We’re proud to continue partnering with Google, as we have a shared mission of improving inclusivity and representation in marketing, championing diversity, and helping individuals and organizations make their stamp on the world – and shine,” said Ana Leen, VP, Partnerships, ADCOLOR. “Together, we’re working to craft inclusive marketing strategies that incorporate our main belief in going beyond labels and creating a community of supportive, equal professionals. In this effort, we are further striving for event leaders and companies to recognize, respect and celebrate accessibility for everyone.”

The toolkit also can be used, at the very least, as a conversation starter, said Lauren Austin, Chief Creative Officer, MKG. “We’ve also used it as a tool to help guide the creation of our own internal inclusivity handbook to ensure employees are thinking about inclusivity when they approach their work.”

Added Leslie L. Wilson, M.S., Executive Vice President, Global Workplace Initiatives at Disability:IN,  “Assuring that individuals with disabilities can fully participate in events is one of the first steps to inclusion and belonging.” Cameron Smith, Assistant Director, Workplace Program at Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, agreed, saying, “We hope that more inclusive events will impart attendees with the necessary knowledge and skills to meaningfully respect difference, practice inclusive behaviors beyond such events, and learn about lived experiences outside of their own. Honest and authentic engagement around difference ultimately drives inclusion.”



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