How to Make Your Team Event More Inclusive

Companies all around the world are hiring experts to helm diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts in the workplace. Often, DEI programs initially focus on recruiting. However, employee retention is equally important. One great way to create an environment that makes employees want to stick around is by hosting inclusive team events. Here are a few tips for making your next team event more inclusive.

Build a Roster of Diverse Vendors

Before you begin planning an event, start building a network of diverse vendors. Create your list of desired attributes, and use Google & social media to find vendors who match them. 

For example, if you and your company are committed to supporting small businesses, check out your local farmer’s markets or arts fairs to meet local business owners. Follow #smallbusiness on Instagram or other social platforms to discover creators. Make sure to choose vendors who feel authentic to your values, and represent a diversity of backgrounds & experiences. It may take some research, but your diverse team will thank you for it!

Consider Accessibility-Friendly Venues

Whether your event is in-person or virtual, make sure it’s accessible to all attendees. For virtual events, confirm that your video streaming platform offers accessibility features. We love the features that Zoom offers. If your event is in-person, make sure you choose a location that all your team members can access. Visit the venue in advance to check for stairs, walking required, brightness and other accessibility factors. 

Offer Activities for All Participants

Have you ever noticed how team events often revolve around drinking? For non-drinkers, this can make team bonding awkward & uncomfortable. So, consider offering activities that everyone will enjoy. Survey your team to get recommendations. And when you do select the activities, think through ways to offer alternative options. For example, include mocktail pairings or non-alcoholic beverages like Aplos alongside wine, beer & cocktails.

Consider Introvert-Friendly Networking Options

Team bonding can be exhausting for introverts! Long-winded speeches and icebreakers can quickly turn fun into a chore. Make sure that your event isn’t too long – we think 45-60 minutes for a virtual event, and no more than 1.5 hours for an in-peron event works well. Consider incorporating short breaks into the program, or creating physical spaces for rest, such as couches or lounge areas. 

Use Inclusive Images & Graphics in Marketing

Representation matters. So when you are promoting your event, remember to choose images that reflect the diversity of your workforce. Make people feel included even before the event begins!

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