When selecting a venue for your next event, it is important to consider accessibility for all attendees and there are multiple elements that you need to look for. Below are some tips on making your next event accessible – use these during your site inspection. We also recommend asking attendees during the registration process if they have any special requirements. By adding this small step to your registration process, you can increase the value of your event significantly for your attendees.
Entrances – not just to the venue but to the event room
When assessing a venue for its accessibility you need to look at the access to the venue as well as the journey the attendee will take while attending the event. This includes ensuring that all entrances, lifts, corridors and ramps comply with the Australian Standards. The automatic entrance doors and the entry to the venue need to be functioning.
You need to ensure that disabled bathrooms are provided (particularly important to remember if you are hiring in port-a-loos!). They need to be functioning, clear of clutter and easily accessible during the event.
Access to the venue
Does your venue have suitable disabled parking spaces? Is there easy access from public transport to the venue? These elements need to be considered as they will affect your attendee’s ability to attend the event. Signage and wayfinding need to be considered – it can be helpful to provide your attendees with a map of the venue including how to get to the event room.
Checking the venue’s acoustics is important to ensure that any outside noise does not affect the ability of your attendees to hear the message being conveyed. Ensure a hearing loop is provided if possible as this will assist.
Ensure that there are adequate wheelchair spaces within the venue and that the access to these spaces is not impeded by equipment. It can be a good idea to ask the venue to walk you through how a wheelchair would enter and exit the room and the stage if your speaker requires a wheelchair. Some of the wheelchair lifts can be quite noisy so this will need to be considered in your program if you need to use one to get your speaker on and off stage.
The aim is to ensure that your events are easily accessible to all of your attendees and enjoyed by all. Often this just takes a few small tweaks on your end but makes a world of difference to your attendees. If you are looking for some further ideas on how to make your event accessible please visit the Australian Network on Disability’s website for some tips.