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Truth Time: Poor Event Accessibility Costs Attendance

Still not sure if event accessibility is all it’s cracked up to be, or more well-intentioned virtue signalling? At The Venue Hunters, I know an event isn’t a real gathering unless everyone’s invited. And you’re at risk of missing out on potential attendees if your events aren’t accessible.

So, let’s break it down and ensure you’re being as inclusive as possible, because who wants to leave anyone out?

A suited businessman on a mobility scooter sat in a conference theatre taking notes.

Get to Know Event Accessibility

Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes, and everyone’s needs are unique. Even people with the same disability might need different adjustments.

Then there’s the issues of some disabilities being obvious. But others, like mental health conditions or neurodivergent traits, are less visible.

The golden rule? Don’t guess. Ask. It encourages an open narrative about event accessibility. Plus, it also equips you to supply the adjustments most typically required and expected at today’s events.

A pair of hands doing sign language.

Understand Event Accessibility Must-Haves


Some adjustments have been around for a long time. Others are relatively new and as recent as post-Covid. Either way, they usually fall into the following categories and needs:


  • Cognitive Disabilities - Keep signage and materials simple and clear. Plus, adding visual cues and creating sensory-friendly spaces helps everyone feel at ease.


·       Hearing Impairments - Think sign language interpreters, captioning services, and audio amplifiers, so everyone can catch the on-stage action.


·       Mental Health Conditions - Offer resources and allow emotional support animals, equipping everyone to enjoy your event without undue stress.


·       Mobility Impairments - For folks on wheels—whether it’s a wheelchair or a scooter—make sure your venue has ramps, lifts, wide aisles, and dedicated parking.


·       Neurodivergent Conditions - Help those with autism, ADHD, or dyslexia feel comfortable by providing quiet zones and giving a heads-up about any schedule changes.


·       Visual Impairments - Braille signage, audio descriptions, and large print materials are your new best friends. And ditch the colour-coding, because not everyone sees the world the same way.


Now you’ve got a clearer idea of different kinds of event accessibility, it’s time to translate theory into practice.

A pair of female hangs holding a white stock for the visually impaired.

Discover the Steps to Rocking Event Accessibility

Creating a good, solid framework for event accessibility means event planning through a different lens. You can achieve this by considering every touchpoint from the perspective of delegates and visitors with different types of disabilities. For example:


·       Registration - Start off right by asking attendees about their needs during registration. Do they need captions, sign language interpreters, or wheelchair access? The more you know upfront, the better you can plan.


·       Onsite Experience - Think like a guest with disabilities about things such as –


Ø  Care Assistants: Let them in for free and provide them with relevant ID, so it’s not an interrogation when they arrive.

Ø  Service Animals: Reserve space for them and provide water and toilet facilities.

Ø  Stage Sets and Lighting: Avoid strobe lights to prevent triggering fits and seizures.

Ø  Wellness Spaces: Quiet rooms are a welcome breather from event overwhelm.

Ø  Wheelchair Accessibility: Widen those aisles and lower some tables.


·       Virtual and Hybrid Events - Accessibility isn’t just for in-person events. Online presentations should have good colour contrast, clear visuals, and a visible sign language interpreter.


·       Communication and Information - Use high contrast and large print messaging to spread the word. Furthermore, having an "accessibility desk" at the entrance can be a lifesaver for attendees needing extra help.


·       Staff Training and Awareness - Train your crew to be disability savvy. They should know how to assist all guests and handle service animals appropriately.

A suited businessman in a wheelchair with a white service dog for the visually impaired on a lead.


Finding the Perfect Accessible Venue

This should be a fun part of event planning. But truthfully, it can often be time-consuming and rife with ‘death by email’ and endless telephone calls. All the same, the right venue can make or break accessibility.

So, it’s a good idea to check the following criteria (as minimum) from the onset to avoid any issues later on:

  • Reserved parking for those who need it

  • Spacious areas for mobility aids

  • Step-free access

  • Hearing aid loops

  • Adapted toilets

Don’t shy away from these important questions. In the modern era of ESG and corporate social responsibility, hotels and venues are increasingly used to supporting and promoting event accessibility as a selling point. 

A young female in a wheelchair going along the walkway to a venue, behind a couple of suited businessmen.

At The Venue Hunters, I’m more than aware planning accessible events can be a handful. But you don’t have to go it alone. I’ll help you find the perfect venue, making your event accessible and boosting your brand hassle-free. Get in touch today and let’s make your next event a corker for everyone.


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