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Who’s In? Creating Events in the ‘Intentional Inclusion’ Era

In an era when people are adamant about their identities, event planners must work harder to ensure inclusion

You probably know a fair amount about your event attendees—age, gender, food preferences, perhaps job title. But, says Tamela Blalock, senior director of membership services with the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors, you’d be foolish to ignore other aspects of identity, such as ethnicity, race and the matrix of identities dubbed “intersectionality.” Our sister publications group MeetingsNet looks at five essential areas that could meet or fail the “inclusion” test:

Marketers have been very comfortable using categories such as generation, traditional gender, and career status to direct their messaging. However, they have been less comfortable with using ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ, race, socioeconomics, and intersectional identities. Ignoring the existence of the latter does not negate their importance for how our stakeholders (whether individual attendee or chief executive of a major sponsor) choose to invest their time and fortune at our meetings, conferences, and exhibits. I predict that this new era will include a stronger affirmation of the intersection of identity, and of event executives’ ability to successfully navigate this frontier.--MeetingsNet

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