Diversity isn’t a question when it comes to hosting a virtual summit, it is a necessity.
In this episode, we are going to cover why diversity is important, what diversity means to us (*hint* it is larger than just race), and different ways to ensure your summit is diverse.
Why diversity is so important to your online event
Diversity is not just a buzz word.
It has been very important to us ever since we started hosting summits (and even before).
We make sure there is a BIG focus on diversity for each and every one of our events.
It is important to make sure that a variety of people have a voice. It not only helps those people, but it also helps the attendees because then you are just keeping them in a vacuum of information.
You do your attendees and audience a disservice if you stick to your one box and not expand.
Diversity among the speakers in terms of exposure
You want to avoid creating a summit that is just filled with the same speakers you see over and over and over again on other stages.
Try to get people on stage who aren’t typically seen on summits.
Diversity among the presentation topics
Try to think of topics that you see on every single summit. You want to avoid those or see how you can go further or make them different.
A few ways to ensure diversity among speakers and topics
It is important to create a sheet to track your potential speakers and your outreach efforts.
Here are a few ways we build our list:
- We get out of our normal communities and we go on the hunt!
- Search Facebook groups, Instagram, etc. to see what people are out there and what they have to offer
- Post an application in a variety of places where you know the people seeing application is a diverse crowd (THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP!)
Diversity in speakers when it comes to race
To us, diversity doesn’t just mean including people of color at our events.
We do put a focus on the BIPOC community, which stands for black, Indigenous and people of color. And people of color actually includes people from India, Asia, the Philippines, Mexico, etc. It is a wide range of people.
We strive to put on an event that is 25% Latina Community, 25% Asian/Pacific Islander Community, 25% Black Community, and 25% White Community.
Make sure you do the legwork upfront and build a really diverse outreach list.
The responsibility falls upon you!
Diversity in speakers when it comes to LGBTQIA+ community
In our past summits, we have always had a least one member of this community, but it wasn’t intentional.
Now we are putting effort and being intentional when it comes to including members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Because EVERYONE’S voice is important and deserves to be heard.
We will admit that this is a harder group to find simply because it isn’t as obvious as someone’s race.
So make note when you do see an entrepreneur who identifies and openly shares this side of themselves.
Start following them and expanding your community and network.
Have people on your stage regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, etc.
How we review our applications to ensure for a diverse line up
When you start going through our applications, we always start with the topic first. We don’t pay attention to name, website, social media, etc. first. We judge based on the merit of the topic.
We don’t care who speaks on a topic as long as they are super knowledgeable and have value to add.
However, once we narrow our list, we do take a look at the speakers to make sure that it is diverse. If it isn’t, we start to make adjustments and changes.
Look at your list with the lens of what groups are not being represented with this lineup.
Diversity in your attendees matter too!
Make sure you are attracting a diverse audience.
We do this by not only having a diverse line up of speakers, but by including diverse imagery on our website and in social media.
We want to present an environment that is welcoming to all.
Don’t forget to think about and include accessibility as well!
Accessibility usually isn’t lumped in when it comes to diversity but we want to make sure that it is a consideration as well.
A few ways to make your summit accessible is by providing transcripts and/or having captions.
But there are so many other ways to make your summit accessible and we are committed to improving ours year after year and you should to!
So tell us, how do you ensure your summit is a diverse event?
- Take our fun quiz “Is hosting a virtual summit right for you?” to discover is a summit should be in your future!
- Download our free Summit Planning Blueprint to learn more about our signature 5P Summit Planning Framework™ today.
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