Making events accessible
Choosing a venue: Reception and other venue staff
- Give people a role as ‘meeters and greeters’
- Brief venue staff
- on access issues, including letting them know not to alter any ‘reasonable adjustments’
- on disability etiquette
The first people you tend to see on entering a venue are the reception staff. The response you receive from these people is an important indication of how inclusive the event will be. To this end, it is always good to have your own ‘meeters and greeters’ on hand.
Dealing with lots of people can be difficult. Make sure registering is simple and you have a few people on hand to point participants in the right direction – feeling confused can cause panic.
A lot of the comments made by people who use services refer to the need for event organisers to inform and/or train the venue staff:
Event organisers should tell venue staff how they want the furniture laid out, and whether they want them to serve food or carry trays.
Make sure venue staff are prepared to deal with any problems and able to make further changes on the day.
Ask if staff have had training in equality and diversity or if workers have spent time working with different groups of people.
Check that venue staff are ‘equality friendly’ and used to working with a diverse range of people so they are not homophobic, ageist, sizeist etc. Ideally they should have had training in cultural equality.
Others saw the need to have people at the entrance to the venue to ‘meet and greet’ the people who use services on arrival:
People to meet you when you arrive is really good. It puts you at ease and sets the scene for the day.
People wearing clear and easily identifiable tabards or t-shirts who can help you find your way round is helpful.
As a minimum, staff should wear name badges so that participants can easily identify them.