Virtual Events and Accessibility

Rachel Keller Best Practices, Events, Tips N Tricks Leave a Comment

We can all agree that¬†2020 was the year of the¬†‚Äúpivot‚ÄĚ within the event industry.¬†We had to focus on shifting previously planned in-person events to the virtual space. Now, almost a year later, we continue to focus on elevating the virtual experience for¬†attendees. Accessibility may not have been top of mind as people scrambled¬†to¬†deliver¬†their¬†events in¬†2020. But,¬†moving into 2021¬†the bar has been raised¬†and accessibility is a must. Thinking about accessibility in a¬†digital¬†space may not be intuitive, so here are¬†some¬†key elements¬†to keep in mind as you plan your¬†future¬†events.¬†

1. Your Audience 

If your event is membership based, you may already have data on your audience to pull from. But if not, do not be afraid to ask questions during the registration process to ensure you are accommodating attendees.  You may find that a large portion of the audience will be listening to the event in their second language, or there may be visual and hearing considerations to be addressed when planning your content delivery. It is not impolite to ask! It will encourage those with accessibility needs to attend the event as they see you are prioritizing inclusivity.  

2. Accessibility Tools

Now that you know who your audience is and what their needs are, you can shift focus on how to accommodate these needs. If you have not yet selected your virtual platform, focus on platforms that meet AODA (or other, similar legislation) compliance requirements. Some platforms offer even more  accessibility options for your audience. For example, PheedLoop, allows you to select tailored profiles such as a seizure safe profile that reduces flash or the choice to change your font size or contrast on your screen. You can also investigate what other tools you can leverage, such as providing live simultaneous translationclosed captioning,  and/or an American Sign Language translator.  

3. Budget Considerations

As accessibility tools come at a cost, it is important to include these items in your initial event budget. This ensures you have funds set aside to accommodate. It is important to ensure you are ready to adapt to the needs of your audience so they can fully engage and enjoy the event!  

Looking to learn more? Reach out to hello@redstoneagency.ca so we can help you elevate your virtual meeting or transition to a hybrid format without compromising accessibility or inclusivity!  

The following two tabs change content below.

Rachel Keller

Rachel is a dedicated event planner with experience managing a wide range of events including cocktail parties, internal town halls, Annual General Meetings and multi-day conferences. Her passion lies with creating strong relationships with her clients and delivering events that surpass expectations. Rachel prides herself on ensuring the event planning process is enjoyable for her clients and navigates any unexpected changes calmly and efficiently. She is driven to deliver the best results and won’t stop until every last detail has been covered. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Wilfried Laurier University, as well as a post-graduate certificate in Event Management from Humber College.

Latest posts by Rachel Keller (see all)

Leave a Reply