The Power of Inclusion: Transforming Events Through Accessibility

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Episode description

Accessibility plays a key role in ensuring an event can be enjoyed by everyone. Learning how to make your experience as inclusive as possible is important, but where should you start?

In this episode, Ryan Curtis-Johnson, Director of Communications at The Valuable 500, dives into why accessibility should be a priority. Making sure everyone can enjoy the same experience, regardless of whether their disability is visible, is simply the right thing to do. Being conscious of graphic readability, using venues that don’t hinder mobility, and starting internal dialogues are great starting places towards making sure everyone can be accommodated for. He also explains the importance behind making accessibility seamless. An event should strive to include everyone in the same experience, rather than segregate those who need accommodations.

Show notes

  • The importance of providing accessibility options for the right reasons
  • How to make sure people with non-visible disabilities are accounted for
  • How companies like Airbnb are implementing accessibility

Things to listen for:

[02:10] The importance of accessibility
[04:55] Asking the right questions about accessibility
[09:35] Achieving inclusivity for the right reasons
[11:56] How Airbnb is implementing accessibility
[14:55] Closing the gap in the customer experience
[20:09] Inclusivity for non-visual disabilities
[25:12] Ryan’s gold standard for accessibility

Meet your host

Rachel Andrews, Senior Director of Global Meetings & Events at Cvent
Paulina Giusti, Senior Manager of Meetings & Events at Cvent
Felicia Asiedu, Senior Marketing Manager at Cvent

Meet your guest speakers

Ryan Curtis-Johnson, Director of Communications at The Valuable 50

Episode Transcript

Intro: Great events create great brands, and it takes a village to put on an event that engages, excites and connects audiences to your brand. And we're that village. I'm Alyssa. I'm Paulina. And I'm Rachel. And you're listening to great  events, the podcast for all people interested in events and marketing.

Rachel: Hello everybody and what is going on in this wide wide world of events? My name is Rachel and welcome to this week's episode of Great Events. We have a stacked show today with my fellow co-host, Paulina Giusti and Felicia Asiedu, and a very special guest. This week I'm excited to announce our guest speaker Ryan Curtis Johnson, who is the Director of Communications with The Valuable 500. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan: Thank you, and thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. If you're happy, I'd like to just give a quick, audio description of myself. So I'm a white male. I'm wearing a cream top. I've got my gold glasses on. I've got brown eyes, and behind me is a green AstroTurf wall, and a sign that says All you need is love, which is not lit up at the moment.

Rachel: That's awesome. Thank you for that. That's really on topic for what we're just doing today and talking about accessibility. Ryan, why don't you just introduce yourself and what you do at The Valuable 500 and give our listeners a little bit of background about you.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. I'm obviously Director of Communications at The Valuable 500, but The Valuable 500 is a global collective of 500 CEOs and their companies who are innovating together for disability inclusion. Disability inclusion includes everything from representation, C-suite storytelling, inclusive reporting, and also part of that inclusive reporting is digital accessibility as well. So the full spectrum of looking at disability inclusion within the workplace.

Rachel: Okay, awesome. Actually, that's a great segue to our kind of first question here and opening up the conversation, so obviously accessibility is very important, but, a lot of times it's not discussed as broadly as it should be. Let's talk about the importance of that  and why our listeners should be concerned with that and be taking accessibility to the next level at their events, their marketing programs, you know, not just in person but digitally as well.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. It's so important. I think that the really simple way of looking at this is it's the right thing to do, you know, consciously it's the right thing to do. So often a lot of things will come through in the sense that it costs too much money. You know, there's no budget to be able to provide this.

And so just a caveat to how I think we drive change and support that. One of the things that The Valuable 500 does is we say no to any event, any speaking opportunity that is not fully accessible. And fully accessible for us means that if it is a live event, regardless of whether the delegate or the person who may attend, if they're registered or not, depending if it's a public or a closed event, If the person turns up and they do have a disability, they are able to be able to attend that event because it is fully accessible.

And that's really important to have that opportunity and those facilities and requirements and accommodations in place. And I think anyone that's sort of saying we don't have the budget is pretty much penalizing an individual because of the fact of they have a disability and it's the same as really looking at it in the fact of if you didn't provide tea and coffee, it's the same as if you didn't provide a description as to what your product is you're trying to sell from a marketing perspective.

If you decided to take all of those things away, that is pretty much what you are then doing if you're not making it fully accessible. And digital accessibility is everything. So it's making sure your website, making sure your content, texts, and its documentation is remediated. It's looking at the coloring, the font of texts.

The list goes on. There are checklists. You can see them all on different websites. If I named them all, I'm not going just name one, but there are plenty of places that you can check and there are websites that you can go and you can actually insert your website link if it is a registration or something like that.

That then allows you to tell you how accessible it is, and you know, in some cases if it isn't accessible, there are lawsuits against that because of the fact that it isn't fitting with data protection.

Felicia: Yeah. Ryan, you touched on when you are talking about how my mind was thinking as you were talking, you know, there will be lots of organizers and marketers that are kind of like,  but how do I do it? And they're so worried about falling foul that they just almost clam up and they say, okay, well I did this, and you know, what do you think about asking questions as to how can I do this?

Ryan: Yeah, I think the key to this is making sure that you ask the questions in the sense of if you do not understand or fully believe that you are doing everything accessible. There are experts out there that do this day in and day out, so it's really important to understand that these places are, or these individuals know this inside out. So actually don't be afraid. And that's where, again, costs will come into play, into that scenario regarding this in the sense of people would say, oh, well we don't have the budget to then go and pay for that professional to come in and support us with that.

Well, that's where you need to really be smart with your budgets because you know, as event managers or as creatives or as any good procurement person would be able to do, there are ways to find money or cut back on other things, and if that means, I don't know, being pedantic, one less brownie, one less croissant. But it means that actually your event is fully accessible or it means one less motion graphic that's probably not going to really do much on your website, but actually it means your website is fully accessible that all readers, you know, and website readers that people may be utilizing are able to use your website completely.

Why wouldn't you do that? Because, you know, morally, again, to go back to what I said, it's the right thing to do. So I don't know why we wouldn't do that. So it's, I think a lot, there's a lot of nervousness around it, but also there's a lot of nervousness for, you know, people with disabilities in being willing to come forward and talk about their disability because one, they see a lack of representation within their organization.

They don't see it in the materiality. So when they're looking at the promotions or when they're trying to apply for jobs or they just don't see them talking about it, but then they see it talk being talked about on Mental Awareness Week or you know, global Accessibility Day, or you know, IDPD, which is the International Day of People with Disabilities.

They might see all that activity, but that's only on one day. And we need to see this continuously. And I think the key to it, which is, which is another thing to kind of go again. So I know we are talking about people with disabilities here, but it's accessibility for all, you know. We never know at some point with an aging population and the amount, disability can affect anybody at any time, and it's visible and it's non-visible disability. So we can't just constantly think about the event and the sense of is access into the venue okay. And everything like that. Because a person with a non-visible disability that you wouldn't see on the offsite doesn't need those elements maybe, but needs other elements in making sure that the text and the communications has been fully accessible for them to see. And that's the key to it really.

Paulina: I love that. I have a quick question. Well, Follow up question to it. So I think there's something about this, and Felicia and Rachel and I have talked about this countless times as we look at our event design process for programs, whether they're internal or or customer facing. But there's this kind of approach of a universal event design process, right?

Including it into, you know, just that same checklist that you would approach for your food and beverage considerations or your content considerations or production experience. There is this sort of mentality. I'm sure many people who are listening are saying, gosh, I wish I just had a checklist to start so that I could create a foundation and then be able to iterate off of that and get better and better with each event or each year.

And I think a number of us are thinking, okay, I've started with the onsite experience and thinking about the ADA offerings. I've thought about the digital experience and having,  you know, alt text for images and, applicable fonts and color schemes. What else beyond that? And I think part of where I'm going with this is I'm thinking about all of these things.

I'm doing all of these things. How am I meant to communicate that this is being done without appearing, like I'm doing it to check a box? I think that's something that a lot of people who are listening may be thinking, I don't want it to look like I'm promoting that I'm doing it for the wrong reasons, but I want to be doing this.

Ryan: Yeah, and I think that's, you know, when we come back to, it's a really interesting point because it's that kind of tippy toe scenario again. But I think if we go back to, you know, something that I often give example to the Black Lives Matter movement in the sense of this process is very similar in the sense of, people communicated that they did support the Black Lives Matter movement.

And then actually when people were investigated or looked into their organization, they hadn't been. And so it was talking a talk, but actually the action was very different. And I think it's really hard because do you want to over communicate? Do you not want to over communicate? But if people don't know, they're not going to tell you whether you are overcommunicating or not.

And so I think it's one of those things where you need to test the water. Most organizations, I would hope, have different committees or groups within, if they're a large organization. So I think it's stepping out to those, to speak to those individuals and say, we're doing this. We're driving this.

How is the best ways to do this? It's also pulling on the professionals within the organization. Your internal comms people, if you've got them in your organization, should be able to tell you what's the best way to communicate. And sometimes one model does not fit all. So it might feel like you've gotta repeat it a couple of times before it finally sticks.

And does that mean we need to put it on our Yammer, which is our internal sort of intranet? Do we put it in an email? Do we also push out some video content as well? But again, thinking about it when you're pushing it out, do it by setting an example as well. So if you're putting your video out, put your live captions on the bottom, not auto human generated caption, so it's word for word, making sure that your text is correct and it's not too condensed together because you are trying to cram everything in.

Its good spacing within it, clear text, not lots of fussiness around it with coloring and everything like that. So in some ways it's about keeping it simple. Keeping it simple, but making sure it does. And I think it's like anything, you could have a checklist and you could have, we've got 500 companies, they're all going to do it really differently, but it's sort of setting the parameters of this is what good looks like. And so by learning from what good looks like, that helps to push it out. And there's so many organizations that are doing it that are really, really kind of excelling on it. You know, a really good example at the moment that I can tell you about is AirBnB. So AirBnB put together a new category on their website.

So on their website, it's all pretty much online. And the website that they have. Obviously, if anyone isn't aware, AirBnB is an online platform that allows you to find accommodation that you can stay in. They created their category, which was an adaptive accommodation, which supports for digital, for people with disabilities and these homes are homes that are basically where people live who have a disability. So it would meet the needs of many other people who would like to travel. And some of the biggest barriers for people with disabilities is travel and the travel industry and accommodation and what accessibility really looks like.

Cause let's be honest, for some places, accessibility can be one thing and then they'll have a room, but they've only got two of those rooms out of all of those other areas. And actually the wheelchair doesn't fit. Or actually it doesn't accommodate the needs of that individual when they're utilizing it.

So AirBnB have created this category and they have seen an influx of people that have been utilizing this skill. And bear with me while I just get the figure for you because it's too impressive not for me to get it wrong. So I need to make sure I get it right for you.  But it's really impressive in the sense of, in the space of, I think the first, they, they only launched it sort of at the end of last year.

And basically the way in which it's worked, they launched the adaptive category and now homes over 1,100 listings around the world. And it says, with hosts earning over 5.5 million since the launch. Now, for me, if that doesn't show as a business or a brand that if you tap into this demographic, in this market, there is financial benefits for you as a business.

So if you are not considering or even thinking about it and you are not even showing that representation or delivering within that internal element,  Paulina, what you were saying, then you're really missing a trick. Because there is an expenditure of this income that is out there where people are willing to pay and there are, you know, whisperings of where some brands are considering, luckily to say they're not part of The Valuable 500 where they're considering reducing the amount of people with disabilities they may have on any of their services because of the fines that they are gaining due to the fact that they're not meeting good requirements. That says a lot, but it says a lot really that the fact that people understand that they know what good looks like and why it is needed and that they are even fined on that basis, but to hear of these stories is quite, you know, is quite sad.

And I think the key ideology, or if I was going to say, what is the magic solution to this? I don't believe there is a magic solution, but sometimes it feels like it's really simple. It's a workflow and you know, I would probably say I'm not the most digital person in the world, but I understand that when you are building a digital platform or a website, you have workflows of the way in which you want that individual to go through and that sort of customer experience or delegate experience, if it's an event registration, and the same happens in real time. So in a face-to-face scenario, you understand the way in which you want this conversation or that journey for that customer experience.

And there is a huge gap in the way in which that customer experience happens for a person with a disability and that is what we need to close and it feels really sort of simple when I say this. I have many conversations with different brands where I've sort of said it feels really easy, like there's just a knowledge gap here.

Where staff and individuals, who may be delivering on whether it's front of house in an accommodation, a person turns out they don't tell you that they're disabled. Does that mean that that's the person's fault? No. They should be able to just turn up and gain the same experience as a person who doesn't possibly have a visible disability.

It's the shock factor that sometimes causes the individual to not deliver on the same customer experience as someone who turns up, who doesn't have a visible disability, would then experience something very differently. And I, it's understanding that workflow and really providing better training, better accommodation in the sense of how we then speak and deliver and communicate with individuals and having the assets, collateral, whatever it might be, guidebook, whatever you might need to, to deliver on this, to close that gap, and then that makes it accessible for all. That doesn't just make it accessible for people with disabilities. That just makes it accessible for all because someone could break their, their foot or their leg.

That means that you are disabled for that period of time when you cannot use your leg. During that period, and people with disabilities, they're just asking to be treated as everyone should be treated and have the privilege that everybody has the privileges and the opportunities to experience and why would we penalize anyone for that?

Felicia: Yeah, and I hear you mentioned knowledge gaps, communication, like Paulina and you were asking about, you know, do I over communicate because then I might be treated as a ah, typical saying you're doing it. Not really. I just happened to Google whilst we were, you know, chatting, accessible, what I put in was “accessible events checklist.”

Here's what's really funny. Obviously I'm based in the UK. I got University College London, University of Glasgow University and College Union. I got Cornell University. What's this about? It's like every single checklist that's come up as my first results are universities that are trying to educate people as to like, could you just consider this?

There's some pretty good checklists in there as well, but I was actually shocked to find it wasn't the Association of Event Organizers or event organizations themselves that were putting out knowledgeable information about what should we do about this. So sounds to me like there is a healthy gap, you know?

Ryan: But also as well, what's really interesting when you say that is,  we've all been there where we've seen everyone talk about sustainability, environmental, they're following the sustainability sustainable development goals, which is the union ones. I'm just going to break it down for you.

The SDG 10, which is one of the sustainable data, which most companies, most agencies are saying “We are affiliating. We are learning by this. We have this plastered on our website. We follow this as our guidelines to do good.” One of them is about inequalities, which is SDG 10. So if you are not thinking about accessibility, and I think that's where we get really kind of bogged down with the idea that sustainability is all about environmental.

It is, don't get me wrong, but it also is about inequalities, which means that if you are not delivering on the accessibility elements or showing clear representation or really supporting inequalities in anything you are doing, you are not actually following those goals that you've plastered all across your website to say that as a business, you align yourself to these.

Rachel: Or the goals are antiquated, right? Like they are only focused on people with wheelchairs, for example, and, and not the non-visible. I keep going back to your non-visible disabilities comment, because I think that that's where the gap is of the checklists that we have. You know, all event planners and event designers have this duty of care that we follow.

But we need to update it. We need to update it with these other non-visible disabilities. Like I've seen a lot of events lately, post signs outside of general session for epilepsy, and warnings of strobe lights and things like that, like more things like that on site. I think we need to think through.

Ryan: And also for neurodivergent people, quiet rooms, taking in, you know, time to reflect event. We’ll do a lot of that, which is great. Where they provide spaces, quiet spaces where people can come and they can go away just so that they can take some time. And in there, also in the quiet room is a live stream to the main room.

So, they're, they're still not missing out. They're still able to be part of it because what you don't want to do is you don't want to isolate and you don't want to segregate because what we're trying to do is we're trying to make it inclusive. We're not trying to sort of say, right, this is where you go and this is where everyone else goes.

Because that's where segregation comes into it. And if we really want it to be inclusive, which is what we're after here, then we need to make sure that it's, it's transparent. And that's where I think there was a lot of battle with virtual against live when we had the pandemic. And actually virtual is a really great opportunity, an option to make it fully accessible for those that have, you know, immune deficiencies, that being in a large space can cause huge implications, but they may completely appear to have a non-visible disability. So it would be like, well, why are you asking for that? I've seen you on calls. You, you look fine. And it's that pre-perception, that preconception.

And you know, we also have that preconception that people should tell us, you know, why? Why can't we just make it accessible like the lead by example? Rather than trying to sort of put the onus again on the person with a disability.

Felicia: I was going to say to that Ryan, though. I've been very grateful when people have offered information, and I wonder if there's a way that we can think about making it a safe space for people to offer information. So if there's a way that we can deliver, our planner side to kind of say, you know, and we can accommodate for a variety of, you know, disabilities or, you know, differences with people so that the person says, oh, fantastic. Glad to see you accommodating. I'm going to need this because some of the speakers that we've had, even at Connect last year, I had a speaker that asked us for the specs of the main stage, both from an audio perspective, a visual perspective, what would the lighting be like, how big would the screen be? Because she happened to have a neuro divergence,  we were more than happy to provide her with that information. But I'm happy that she was able to ask and I was really grateful that maybe she felt. That we were providing a space enough for her to say, can I just get those details? And we said, yeah, sure. Here you go. You know?

Ryan: You've got to create that culture. You've got to create that space where people feel like they are being valued and they're actually going to be, you know, accommodated and seen. I think it's really hard to get it right. I don't know, again, I don't know what the solution is to that, but if you create a culture, you know, and I would definitely say the younger generation, you know, they get very much given a bad rep for being, you know,  disruptors and being challenging towards certain, the status quo. Actually, they're the ones that are really kind of coming forward and owning the word disability because for a very long time it was a negative connotation. And actually what people, what we're seeing now with disability pride and the International Day of People With Disabilities and GAD is they're owning disability and they want to own disability and they are not afraid to own disability.

And that is where they will come forward and we'll see that. But I just don’t know whether the working, you know, corporate world is still playing catch up. And that could be legacy because of comments. It could be, I feel like I've not been seen within my organization in the sense of representation, but I've also not heard the language used.

So one of the things is like at The Valuable 500, we've just pushed the five KPIs, which is part of our white paper and it's important for us to, get businesses to look at that and look at workforce representation, goals, training employee resource groups, which is the ERGs, but also digital accessibilities, and include them in their AGMs, include them in their sustainability reports in their end of month, end of year financial reports so the wording is seen, and I believe that that then trickles to make it feel like it's a safer space for people to come and express that. But I get what you mean. It's really hard. How do you plan an event, but to a certain extent, to set a good example, just do it. Just have live captions that are human generated.

Make sure, yeah, just like do good, like do you not want to do good? You know, it's morally right, like, I can't say it anymore. It's a really hard one.

Rachel: What is the gold standard? What are your dream accessibility features like if in a perfect world at an event, I know we could talk at the business level, but for an event specifically, like what are your dream features?

Ryan: I think it's just that it's really been thought through. So like it's the translation and the live captioning or having sign language in there. It's the use of the fact that it's recorded. So then obviously people who may not be able to digest all that information all in one go, they can come.

It's the fact that they're not segregated. So it's the fact that it's mixed in as an inclusive event. So it doesn't feel like, well, we've just put them all over here, people with disabilities, because they need to be separate. It's the fact that it feels like it's just part of the event. What I like is I like going when I feel like I look at things and, I think I recently went to Rome and I've learned so much in this space since working in it, and I wouldn't have probably thought twice about, accessibility or digital accessibility because of the space that I've worked in. And to go into the Colosseum, which is a very old building, let's be honest, but look at it and then get around this corner as we went in to go into the center of the Colosseum and see a lift. And the lift allows you to, so it's fully accessible to get out to the main area on the ground, but the lift allows you to go up to the next tier level. That to me is what it's all about because it's about the fact that anybody can now come and experience this. And yes, it's, these buildings were not made to be accessible because they are so old. It's like the Great Wall of China. It's not something that really should be walked on because it's crumbling and it's up.

But at the moment, there isn't a way for you to get on there if you did have any physical or visible disabilities or like if you needed wheelchair access, but also as well, you could be, you know, it's easier for you to access through a lift. So that to me is what, where, where it, it warms my heart because I just think, well, this is fully inclusive, it's accessible for all and that's what it's looks like.

And that's what I love about an event. You know, the moments I love is like when you've seen sort of the larger concerts and they've considered it with having a sign language person, and that person is living their best life, the way in which they're providing that commentary to those individuals.

And yes, they are to an area so that they can see it, but it feels like they're part of the experience. And you also feel like it, because if you are a scene in that vicinity, that person is showing that. So it just is so, it seems streamlined and it doesn't feel like an afterthought or a consideration or that you've actually gone and asked.

It's like everything has been thought through to make this fully accessible and make everyone feel like they're part of it. And it's probably, I would also say back to the point that you made, that the questions were asked, you know, is there anything I can feel? So that individual that you had on your panel, they will go away feeling like the person you genuinely cared. You cared about me being there and me being there and bringing my whole self and making sure I felt comfortable. And that's so important.

Felicia: I saw the most amazing TikTok. I know. You've just, that thing of it warms my heart. I know it's different cause it's more commercial, but Louis Capaldi on stage, so Louis Capaldi, big singer from I think Glasgow, he's probably going to be like, no. And just discovered he's got Tourettes. Which is not helpful when you're a singer on stage and you have to be able to get through your lines.

And he was singing and suddenly his ticks started to kick in and the entire audience just went with it. They just started singing his song for him like nothing had happened. It was just seamless and then when, as soon as his ticks finished, he's like, oh, okay, fair enough. Let's crack on. You know, it wasn't like, oh, let's stop the show everybody, because this is not supposed to happen. It's uncomfortable. And what you were saying about young people and that seamless experience, I don't think anyone would bat an eyelid now. Cause it's like, yeah, it's fine. He's got Tourettes. Great. Whatever.

Ryan: And that's what we need to see more of. We need to see things and brands that are on this wider stage, like L'Oreal recently launched the accessible packaging, which has got a qr code, so it describes everything. They also released a device where it allows you to be able to apply makeup, if you suffer with hand tremors, so it allows you to have, and so you can apply makeup, why wouldn't we allow someone to have that opportunity to do that?

We've got things like Sony creating cameras where it's a new retinal projection camera kit that helps people with visual impairments to see and capture the world around them so that they can do it. So it works with them. I mean, the list goes on with the various different things and places where people and brands of what they're doing with innovation. And that's what it is. It's innovation. But what's also interesting is where we are seeing in partnership with the World Federation of Advertisers, media owners and TV sales houses and other key industry partners. So like Proctor and Gamble, are doing a reset bar in advertising and accessibility, which is basically hoping to progress where a hundred percent of advertising will be accessible with advertising accessibility across Europe, by 2025. I mean, that is huge and great, but we don't want to just see it in Europe. We want to see that across the globe. And I understand baby steps, baby steps, but you know, it's so important. It's a really important factor.

Paulina: I think something to this baby steps concept and for, you know, our respective audience listening, many of whom are event professionals, organizers, marketers right? Kind of going back to this, where do I start concept is,  events is where it can start for your organization, right? If you are not in perhaps a really progressive organization or association or company, you can lead the charge with how you design these experiences, which ultimately will reflect back to your corporate or company culture.

And so I think we're at a unique opportunity with our peers listening in to kind of take the reins, and take those steps to perhaps, you know, injecting some change at the company level. And I think a lot of it can, like I said, start with these events that we design and execute.

Felicia: Yeah. And Paulina, to that extent, I was going to say one thing. I absolutely love. I always say I love the fact that I work at Cvent because I get to use our tech. I'm very lucky other people have to pay for it. But I know that our developers are developing accessibility into the technology, which is so helpful, for me, for Paulina, for Rachel, and all of our customers because it means that there are certain things that we will have to, we will not stop thinking about. But you won't have to really think, okay, well, is that color on that color going to work? Because the tool will just tell you, this is not good, you know? And I think developing it into technology is a really great way to get a big change to happen quickly, because that way you're not relying on every single event planner to think about colors, which they don't necessarily know, you know?

Ryan: Or have the time. You know it, it's a lot to think about. But what I think is really interesting is that it's there, it's integrated from the offset. It's not an afterthought. The technology is there to support it and to help drive it. And that's what's really important. And that's what a lot of brands, I think are starting to wake up to now, to see that.

And I think going back to what you were saying, Paulina, in the sense of it's actually experience here. That's what events are all about. Events are about creating a great experience. Everyone should have and has the entitlement and should be allowed to experience it. So why would you not allow them to?

So it's about thinking again, the experience. That's what events are all about. But does everyone experience it? Because if not everyone is experiencing it, then really it's not. And I think that's where we're as an industry or where the events industry is so good because they're so good at creating those euphoria moments, that moment, that experience where it elevates, it makes people feel good.

And there's a great opportunity to sometimes send messages out as well. You get the world sometimes looking, you know, we've just had the coronation. We've had some big events happening here. The same happens over in the US. It happens across the globe at various different things. There is great opportunities to have woven that in without even thinking.

And yeah, it may feel like a tick process. Make sure that. Isn't that where we've had to come to with diversity to get that change? Isn't that where we've had to come to get women seen within various things? So when you go back to all of these different demographics, it's just a shame that it takes a crisis or an issue to get it sorted. So is there not an opportunity now where we can just go for it?

Rachel: Yeah. Well, wow, Ryan, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. We've learned a great deal. I think I even learned some stuff that we probably need to do for our events as well. I think you mentioned a lot of resources that people should educate themselves with. We'll make sure that any of those types of links will be available to our listeners. Where can our listeners find you if they want to learn more?

Ryan: Yeah, so, another great way to find us is through our website. So, it's www.thevaluable500.com, and on there you can see all our members. So I always like to say to the events industry, if anyone is pushing back and they're a member of The Valuable 500, it's always good to see that when they're asking for certain things not to occur.

So yeah, that's where there's lots of news, there's some resources on there, which allow you to also,  you know, find out bits and pieces that are going on.

Rachel: Very good. Well, I think we can all do a better job of making sure our events are accessible, and thinking through all aspects of the event design. We want to make sure we're considering all attendees. But thanks again, Ryan, for joining us today.  For our listeners, if you have any other topics or people you'd like us to add, throughout the rest of the season, please send us a note on LinkedIn or at greatevents@cvent.com.

Thanks for tuning in to great events