Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion in Impactful Corporate Events

Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion in Impactful Corporate Events

Imagine walking into a corporate event and feeling like you truly belong. You see people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, all coming together to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. It feels good and you want to not only stick around but engage fully, in the event and in your role in the company.

This is the power of corporate events that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

As an event planner who has organized numerous DEI events, I have witnessed firsthand the impact these gatherings can have on individuals and organizations.

But if you (or your boss) isn’t convinced about how important events like this are, let me tell you why, and how you can start planning for success too.

The Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

A diverse and inclusive workplace is one where employees from all backgrounds, cultures, and experiences feel valued, respected, and supported. This type of environment offers numerous benefits, both for individual employees and the organization as a whole.

First, diversity brings a wealth of perspectives and ideas to the table. When you have people from different backgrounds and experiences working together, they can approach problems and challenges from unique angles, leading to more creative and innovative solutions. This is particularly important in industries like health care, where understanding and serving the needs of diverse patient populations is crucial.

Moreover, having diverse decision-makers at all levels of an organization ensures that a wide range of considerations and viewpoints are taken into account. If you don’t have diverse groups of people making decisions, you risk missing out on valuable insights and perspectives that could help your company better serve its customers and stakeholders.

Beyond the business benefits, a diverse and inclusive workplace also creates a sense of belonging and community for employees. When people feel like they can bring their whole selves to work and that their unique contributions are valued, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and loyal to their employer. This can lead to higher retention rates, lower turnover costs, and a more positive company culture overall.

Corporate Events that Celebrate Diversity

When planning corporate events that celebrate diversity, consider incorporating the following elements:

  1. Diverse speakers: Invite speakers from different races, backgrounds, genders and experiences to share their stories and perspectives. This could include inspirational keynote speakers, such as individuals with disabilities or those from underrepresented communities, who can share their triumphs and challenges.
  2. Cultural celebrations: Host events that showcase and celebrate the diverse cultures represented within your organization. This could include traditional food, music, dance, or art from different regions of the world. Encourage employees to share their cultural traditions and stories with their colleagues.
  3. Diversity and inclusion summits: Plan a multi-day summit that brings together employees, leaders, and experts to learn about and discuss various aspects of diversity and inclusion. Include keynote speakers from diverse backgrounds, panel discussions on relevant topics, and interactive workshops that promote cultural competence and understanding.
  4. Employee resource group (ERG) events: Support and empower your organization’s ERGs by providing them with resources and platforms to host their own events. These could include networking mixers, educational seminars, or community service projects that align with the group’s mission and values.
  5. Diversity and inclusion awards: Recognize and celebrate individuals or teams within your organization who have made significant contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion. This could include awards for mentorship, advocacy, or leadership in creating a more inclusive workplace culture.
  6. Inclusive team-building activities: Design team-building events that promote collaboration, communication, and understanding among employees from different backgrounds. This could include activities like diversity and inclusion-themed escape rooms, cultural scavenger hunts, or storytelling workshops.

Ensuring Accessibility and Inclusion

To create a truly inclusive event, it’s essential to consider accessibility and ensure that all attendees feel welcome and accommodated. Some key considerations include:

  1. Physical accessibility: Choose event venues that are fully accessible to individuals with mobility impairments, and ensure that there are adequate accommodations like ramps, elevators, and accessible seating. Follow ADA guidelines for stage access, and provide ample space for wheelchairs at tables.
  2. Communication access: Provide captions, sign language interpretation, and other assistive technologies to ensure that attendees with hearing impairments can engage with the content and participate in discussions.
  3. Inclusive language and content: Use language and materials that are respectful and inclusive of all attendees, avoiding assumptions or stereotypes based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other identities. Provide content warnings for potentially triggering topics.
  4. Dietary and religious considerations: Offer a variety of food options that accommodate different dietary needs and restrictions, such as vegan, halal, and kosher options. Provide a designated prayer or meditation space for attendees who require it.
  5. Inclusive scheduling: Be mindful of scheduling events on religious or cultural holidays or during non-traditional work hours like evenings and weekends. Provide childcare options to enable parents and caregivers to attend.
  6. Feedback and ongoing improvement: Solicit feedback from attendees after each event to understand what worked well and where there is room for improvement. Continuously iterate and refine your approach to ensure that your events are as inclusive and accessible as possible.

Hosting Corporate Events with Diversity and Inclusion

In a world that is becoming increasingly diverse, creating corporate events that celebrate and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion is not just a nice-to-have – it’s a business imperative. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, these events foster a sense of belonging, spark innovation, and drive organizational success.

As an event planner (by role or by necessity), you have the power to create meaningful, impactful experiences that promote diversity and inclusion in your organization. By incorporating diverse programming, ensuring accessibility, and prioritizing inclusivity at every stage of the planning process, you can design events that leave a lasting impression on attendees and contribute to a more equitable and just workplace culture.

So, as you start planning your next corporate event, I encourage you to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of your mind. Seek out diverse perspectives, create opportunities for authentic connection and learning, and strive to make every attendee feel valued, respected, and supported. Together, we can create a world where everyone has a seat at the table and every voice is heard.

Event Signage: How to Elevate Your Next Event

Event Signage: How to Elevate Your Next Event

Events have many moving parts, and getting your attendees to smoothly locate and move throughout your venue is vital. Swank Events can help your company create impactful signage that can offer more than just directional value!

This summer we were apart of IntelyCare’s Summer Outing at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Larger venues like this can be tricky to navigate and can lead to your participants getting lost. Signage is the most overlooked and forgotten ingredient in a successful event because of their plain nature. Corporate events especially, have the ability to form employee comradery and lose the formality of the work environment. An easy way to do this is with décor, and it is easy to include your signage in that vision.

Allegro Photography

Create a Welcome Sign to help the attendees know they have found the correct location and are not wandering around the property. The Welcome Sign is the first touch point that guests will interact with, and it is important to make a good impression. Include eye-catching colors and branded material to ensure that your guests can easily find it. At this event we added company colored balloons next to each sign, keeping the overall theme in contact.

 

Allegro Photography

 

Swank Events created the concept of using different sports quotes on each sign leading the guests to the main event. Using these signs as touch points rather than arrows was our way of promoting the company’s core values and also carrying through the theme of “We are the Champions.” Signage can look and represent anything you want!

 

Event Planning Tip: After determining the placement of your signs, be sure to walk through the venue as if you were a guest. You’ll want to ensure that the location of your signage provides the most benefit for your attendees and serves it’s purpose, whether that be wayfinding or decorative.

 

Six Sweet Swag Items to Show Your Employees Some Love

Six Sweet Swag Items to Show Your Employees Some Love

It’s cold out, we just made it through a nor’easter, and it’s time to show your employees some love! The smallest of gestures can make your team feel valued, appreciated, and special this Valentine’s Day. Couple that with a team lunch or coffee run on the boss and you’ll have the perkiest team in town. Here are six sweet swag items to gift your team this month. Everything below is sourced from the Print House. 

For the entire month of February, mention SWANK EVENTS and enjoy 10% off your first promotional product order. 

A pair of sleek, subtle branded bluetooth headphones to take calls on the go, listen to music or podcasts, or dial into a meeting from anywhere!

An insulated, vacuum sealed bottle with your logo in elegant silver to hold water or coffee hot or cold for up to 10 hours! You could even accompany it with a Dunkin’ gift card to fill up right away. 

Cozy joggers to rep their favorite place to work while feeling nice and toasty warm in their off-time. 

Have a team that’s extra on-the-go? Field sales representatives or employees who work outdoors? Why not gift them a warm and stylish way to wear your brand with an insulated packable puffer! 

With many teams coming back to the office after two years at home, their old work back may be shoved deep in the back of a closet, or long gone. This laptop backpack has room for much more than just a computer – including designated iPhone pockets, a water bottle holder, and lots of space for desk snacks and other necessities. 

And finally, if you’re feeling extra sweet, couple a branded tumbler with decadent Godiva gift box and you’re sure to be Manager of the Month! 

Any of these gifts are sure to be a hit, and don’t forget to mention Swank Events to score 10% off at Print House!

How to Elevate Your Event and Design with Intention

How to Elevate Your Event and Design with Intention

To design an event with intention means to break down the event into smaller elements: food and beverage, entertainment, venue and physical space, decor and ambiance, and use your creativity to view the event both from the perspective of a professional planner and an attendee. Ask questions like,

“How do I maximize this space so people can eat, dance, drink and socialize?”

“How do I make sure attendees know who is hosting this event without being overbearing?”

“How can I make everything flow naturally and look beautiful?”

Let’s begin with furniture elements – it’s easy to switch up the style and color from velvet to leather, sleek bar stools to wooden low and high tables, to add to the overall atmosphere and bring out the theme. With so many options, intention is key. The type of furniture you choose impacts how your room looks and feels to your attendees. One of our favorite secrets to making a room feel larger is bringing in clear chairs!

Mirrors can have a stunning impact on elevating your event space. It’s an amazing investment that reflects the lighting and enhances the theme especially coupled with conscious design elements like candles and warm lighting. 

Bring intentional design into your floor plan and showcase your exhibits and guide guests to take in the whole experience by placing the bar, photo moment, stage, or main attraction towards the back of the event. Are you worried your bar line will be too long? Consider passing wine, champagne or a signature cocktail at the entrance. Guests will feel extra special upon arrival and it’s a win-win to cut down on wait times!

Looking to warm up a space? Add area rugs, trees, greenery or plants to bring color into your space! Large, leafy plants can help absorb echoes and other ambient sound. Outdoors, live plants can help create a barrier to soften the sounds of traffic from outside or music from within.

Signature drinks are an automatic crowd pleaser! This blue cocktail was delicious and fit in perfectly with the blue, white and gold theme. Check out more seasonal cocktail ideas in our blog post HERE.

Are you looking to add an extra activity to your event? What about a cocktail tasting? Make it even more special with local distillers.

Having a DJ is lots of fun BUT a live band can really get the crowd going. Nothing quite beats the energy and production quality of live music!

swank-events-boston-corporate-event-music-band

And finally, bring your branding into everything – from straws in your company’s signature colors, to matching the flowers and balloons, or even your socks, the little details go a long way. Whenever you have an opportunity to customize something or add branding we highly recommend doing so! It may be a small detail, but in the overall experience it ties everything together.  

Creative Mocktails to Work into an Open Bar 

Creative Mocktails to Work into an Open Bar 

Some are drinkers and some are not, and hey, that’s okay! You want everyone to feel comfortable at your event and able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are some simple but fun and photo-worthy mocktails to add to your next open bar.