5 Tips for More Inclusive Meetings

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Leslie Zeck, Director of Meetings, International Association for Dental Research, American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research and a member of Prevue’s Editorial Advisory Board, shares easy-to-implement practices for inclusive meetings.

Leslie Zeck, CMP, CMM, HMCC, a globally certified meeting professional responsible for managing international conventions and meetings for up to 6,500 delegates worldwide, was recently named to Prevue’s 2022 Editorial Advisory Board. An advocate for inclusive meetings, she’s a panelist on our October 26 Webinar: How To Design a Truly Diverse Meeting.

Zeck advises planners to consider the following easy-to-implement practices to help ensure meetings are inclusive, equitable and diverse.

  1. Avoid assigning a “Manel” of speakers, which is an all-male panel. For an inclusive meeting, use a diversity of experts to present important content and information.

2. Provide a nursing pod or nursing mothers’ room with a refrigerator in meeting and event venues and consider providing child care on site. This is easy to incorporate into meetings and events and will go a long way to be inclusive for all attendees who require these accommodations.

3. Designate an “All Gender” restroom if the venue does not already have it. Example signage can be easily printed and displayed and information should be included in your program book or meeting App.

4. Ensure event transportation, staging, podiums and special events are accessible and inclusive to all. It is important to ask all attendees about special accommodation that will ensure they can fully participate in the meeting. There is nothing more frustrating (or embarrassing) than having a shuttle bus pull up to transport attendees to a dinner and not be able to accommodate a wheel chair user.

5. Designate multi-faith meditation and prayer space for male and female attendees, and provide Halal or Kosher meals upon request. This is important for attendees, especially in large venues for meetings that last all day or take place during religious holidays and observances.

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