Inclusive Meetings: One Perspective From the Hotel Side

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
inclusive meetings
Kate De Master, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville

Hosting inclusive meetings and events is essential. By doing so, we create a safe space where all individuals—regardless of their backgrounds, abilities, or identities—can actively participate in the meeting experience.

Collaboration between planners and venues is essential for inclusive meetings. Pre-convention meetings are instrumental; this will allow all parties to ensure that every detail is well planned and expectations are met. During this time, the venue staff can present how they will be advocates for every attendee. It will also allow everyone to talk through all of the possibilities and outcomes.

Some of the trends I’ve noticed include:

• Multilingual Signage—Events are increasingly incorporating signage and materials printed in different languages to cater to diverse attendees, while also making everyone feel welcome.

• Dedicated Spaces—Renewed emphasis on inclusivity has also encouraged venues to offer designated “Mother’s Rooms” for lactating mothers and quiet spaces, often serving as “prayer rooms” or meditation spaces and sensory rooms.

• Accessibility—Planners are allowing ample time between sessions and breaks to facilitate smooth transitions for guests with limited mobility.

• Inclusive Service—Sign language interpreters are also becoming available for event sessions, and receptions are expanding their beverage options to include little to no alcohol cocktails and non-alcoholic beer options to ensure there’s something for everyone.

• Venue Accessibility—Venues are offering ramp access for the stage and risers; setups adaptable to accommodate people with mobility aids; accessible transportation routes to and from; the ability to accommodate dietary restrictions and faith-based dietary needs (e.g. Kosher foods), if required.

Kate De Master oversees sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, which offers 951 guest rooms and well-appointed suites overlooking the St. Johns River. Prior to her current role, Kate held similar titles at Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor and Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. As an experienced hospitality professional, Kate enjoys traveling with her husband Nick and exploring new destinations around the world.

You May Also Be Interested In…

The Collective Experience: Making Progress in DEI

Create Connections With Diverse Local Suppliers

Speaker Diversity: The Meetings Industry Still Falls Short

Print Friendly, PDF & Email