Last year, I spoke at the Meeting Planners International wonderful event, World Education Congress. You can read an article about the event here. I spoke about the increasing gender diversity within workforces, and how that can significantly impact meetings and events — even non-LGBTQ events.
Every event will have some LGBTQ attendees and it’s important to proactively be aware of how this can impact your event, so you can create a space where everyone feels included.
Here are 5 best practices to create LGBTQ-inclusive meetings and events:
Train your front line employees to understand the fluidity of gender, remove gendered language from greetings, and serve guests whose presentation might not match their ID. For some specific tips, check out this blog post, A Person Walks into a Store…
Include pronoun identification as part of the event registration process and show pronouns on name badges, or offer as stickers at the registration desk. You can see an example here, from a recent Google event. . Singular pronouns are no longer just he or she. Many people are identifying with the pronoun, “they.” Read this post for more specific tips on using “they.”
Update your forms to include ‘Other’ as a third gender option, and gender neutral honorifics (such as Mx). Many companies are now understanding that great customer service starts with great policies that provide diverse gender options on forms. Check out this post for more specifics on how to do this and this one on gender neutral honorifics.
Allow guests to choose the restroom of their actual gender identity and create at least one gender- neutral restroom in the event space. This could mean re-branding multi-stall or single stall restrooms as gender neutral. Check out this post for some creative options.
Promote your destination, property, and/or event as an LGBTQ-welcoming space by including the community in marketing images, and using inclusive language. This means showing real life photos of real life LGBTQ folks in marketing, not just cheesy stock photos. This also means showing the diversity of the LGBTQ community in imagery, not just gay men or lesbians. Ft. Lauderdale is an excellent case study in attracting transgender travelers and events to the city.
The bottom line is to lead with inclusivity and brand loyalty and repeat attendees will follow!
For more information on any of these topics, contact us today!