Meg Strahle is sustainability manager at The Bulb; a sustainable consultancy for event organisers, brands and NGOs. Here she offers advice on how to successfully incorporate accessibility measures at events.

With accessibility and inclusion discussions becoming ever more prevalent, some people are taking the steps to integrate accessibility at their events, but others are still figuring out the necessary steps to take; starting may feel daunting for fear of making mistakes.

Deciding to include accessibility at your events takes careful consideration and a long-term approach. Avoid planning at the last minute as it will be rushed, possibly expensive, and mistakes will more likely be made. I find that when people pause and break accessibility down into manageable steps, it’s easier to ensure everything is efficient and deliberate.


 Take a look at what people are speaking about online and at industry events, particularly the ones who have a lived experience. This will help you temperature check what is being shared and highlight areas for improvement in your own events.

Think about where the event will be and who will be attending, in order to consider what their needs might be before deciding what measures should be taken. It’s worth talking to all the stakeholders involved in the event too as they might have processes in place already.

Plan ahead

Great accessibility at events is not something that just happens. It takes careful planning behind the scenes with all stakeholders involved, from the organising team to the on-site team and more.

Organisations such as Attitude is Everything can audit your CAD rendering, review plans for an event and then produce reports that outline areas for improvement. This gives you an opportunity to see where there are gaps, in terms of accessibility, so you can improve for the future.

Design accessibility into the experience

 Here are some top tips to make an event accessible:

  • Have accessible transport to bring people to the event site from parking areas and public transport drop-off points. You could even go one step further and make it into an ‘experience’ rather than moving from point A to point B.
  • Have comfortable quiet spaces available (such as the ones offered by Event Well).
  • Have sign language interpreters on stage, and captioning for any screens around the venue.
  • Have a section cordoned off near the stage for people with accessibility requirements and allow a ‘plus one’ to be able to see and hear the stage comfortably. This can include people who have wheelchairs, need seating, d/Deaf and visually impaired attendees and more. By allowing a ‘plus one’, they will be able to sit with their support system.

Share what you’ve learned

Avoid gate-keeping your lessons learned and share the best practices with your peers, as this will allow fellow industry professionals to learn and place best practices at their events too.

It’s important to remember that accessibility is not a one size fits all – every person has a different lived reality and needs. Take time to listen, plan ahead, design it in, and share your experiences to help others do better.

This feature was published in the Summer edition of Access All Areas, which is available to read for free HERE