It was my first “real” party in college, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I timidly made my way to the kitchen and took my time making a drink. Before I knew it, I was mixing my new lime-cranberry-iced tea recipe for everyone.
As fate would have it, the resident DJ’s iPhone got disconnected, so I started playing my music. Reggaeton hits filled the dance floor. As I looked at the crowd, people were dancing the night away, cheering me on for the next song. In that moment, I felt included.
Think back to a time you felt included. What did you feel? What was there? And what was not there? Inclusion is achieved when we can bring our individuality to a community. We feel part of something larger than ourselves. We feel psychologically safe and heard.
As event professionals in today’s new virtual normal, we must look to apply many of the same in-person principles to our virtual events: intentional event setup, building an inclusive environment, and enabling continuous interaction.
As an international event organizer and D&I professional, I’ve compiled a handful of tips on how to curate, navigate, and effectuate the creation of inclusive virtual events.