Access all areas - Inclusive event planning

What is Inclusive event planning about?


Events such as conferences, festivals, award ceremonies and seminars

are a big part of doing business today. As an organiser of these events,

no matter how big or small, provision needs to be made to ensure

accessibility and inclusion for all.


Not only is accessibility a requirement by law, but with millions of people

in Australia living with a disability - it should also be an important

commercial consideration.


Accessibility goes beyond physical considerations (although these are

essential) and all elements of the event and each guest touch point

needs to be considered.


National independent disability information service, IDEAS, is an

organisation committed to serving people living with a disability to

access the information, support and advocacy they need to live a full

life, and this includes how they navigate attendance to/at and from

events in their communities.


Event planning text with Yellow highlight


As a start, below are six areas where accessibility is extremely



1.     Venue choice


Venues should be fully accessible and a continuous accessible path of

travel to and around all areas, services and elements of the event

location needs to be provided. It is important to consider your guests

door-to-door experience in the venue choice, and when designing the



2.     Inviting guests


Ask guests what their needs and preferences are; for example, dietary

and specific access requirements. These questions can be included in the

ticketing process or an RSVP. Make the RSVP process easy - think about

alternative ways people can respond.


3.     Customer service


One of the key things people remember - and talk about after - is how

they were made to feel at the event. Welcoming, positive, can-do

attitudes of the staff go a long way in making people included.


Reception and customer service counters should include a lower section

for people using wheelchairs; a quiet room or chill out space can be a

valuable addition to any event for attendees sensitive to noise or



4.     Clear signage


 Use clear simple language, appropriate internationally recognised

symbols and place signs at points where directional decisions are made.



PossABLE signage



Think about alternative ways people communicate - use of braille or

tactile signage could be considered.


5.     AV aids


If your event features a live performance, film or presentation, consider

the different ways people hear and see things.


Think about including Auslan interpreters or live captioning. Use consistent

lighting in all areas of the venue and always avoid strobe/flashing lights.


6.     Good marketing


Use marketing campaigns that target accessibility and use inclusive

advertising portraying people with a disability. Promote all accessibility

features, facilities and services.


Accessible and inclusive events are not about offering special or separate

assistance. It is about creating an event that can be truly inclusive for




IDEAS is an organisation that serves people with disabilities to help them live full,

independent lives with information and education.

We can work in partnership with you and your business to ensure events are

accessible and inclusive for all.


For more information and other inclusive tourism advice,

visit or Freecall 1800 029 904. Or find

and follow us on:


Facebook at IDEAS Disability Information

LinkedIn at IDEAS Australia or

Twitter at @IDEASAU

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