How to Host an Inclusive LGBTQ+ Event

inclusive events

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Are you ready to create an event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community? With 5% of the global population identifying as LGBTQ1, and up to 15% in metropolitan areas1, hosting inclusive events is crucial1.

By embracing diversity in gender identity and sexual orientation, you capture a significant audience segment. You also send a powerful message about your organization’s values.

Event planners are rising to the challenge, adopting a thoughtful approach. From establishing clear policies to aligning with LGBTQ+-friendly vendors, the path is paved with intention, empathy, and commitment.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the significant LGBTQ+ representation in your potential audience, ranging from 5% globally to up to 15% in some metro areas.
  • Adopt a comprehensive, detail-oriented approach to planning inclusive LGBTQ+ events, going beyond surface-level efforts.
  • Align your venue, vendors, and policies with LGBTQ+ values to create a welcoming, respectful environment.
  • Incorporate gender-neutral language, diverse speaker lineups, and inclusive signage to foster a sense of belonging.
  • Empower attendees to share their pronouns and identities, and prepare staff to handle any disrespectful behavior.

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Establishing a Welcoming Environment

Develop a clear code of conduct. This outlines expectations for team, vendors, and attendees. Most planners believe having one ensures safe, inclusive events.

Circulate the policy before the event. Ensure everyone understands the rules. Have a copy on hand if reminders are needed.

Creating an Inclusion Policy

Work with vendors committed to providing safe, welcoming spaces. Nearly half of planners value diverse vendors for inclusivity. Discuss values and practices before booking to align goals.

Aligning with LGBTQ+ Friendly Vendors

Consider removing gender from registration forms if possible. Diverse imagery and language are crucial for inclusive events. Not everyone is comfortable disclosing gender, so leave it out.

If gender is required, avoid “male, female or other.” Instead, offer a write-in field for attendees’ identified gender. Allow guests to share preferred pronouns and names.

Offering Gender-Neutral Registration Options

Taking these steps establishes a welcoming, inclusive environment. Most attendees consider diversity and inclusion important. Making inclusivity a priority leads to event success.

Planning for Inclusivity

Begin by ensuring diverse speaker lineup2. Speakers should provide representation to audiences3. Advise speakers to avoid gendered language.

Ensuring Diverse Speaker Lineup

Invite LGBTQ+ and underrepresented group speakers2. Diverse perspectives create inclusive resonance. Powerful message reinforces inclusion for all.

Promoting Gender-Neutral Language

Provide guidelines avoiding gendered terms3. Encourage inclusive language like “folks”. Make attendees feel welcomed, respected.

Reviewing Materials for Inclusivity

Review marketing, presentations, content for inclusivity3. Check diverse imagery, pronouns, terminology. Represent full attendee spectrum.

Onsite Considerations

Creating an inclusive environment for your LGBTQ+ event requires focusing on on-site details4. Provide signage reminding attendees to respect one another5. Allow attendees to share preferred pronouns if comfortable5.

For virtual events, invite attendees to include pronouns in screen names5. For in-person meetings, provide pronoun stickers or include pronouns on pre-printed name badges with permission5.

Providing Inclusive Signage

Ensure event signage is inclusive and welcoming4. Use high-contrast colors and large, easy-to-read fonts for accessibility5. Display signs encouraging respect, promoting diversity, and highlighting gender-neutral restrooms and inclusive amenities5.

Respecting Pronoun Preferences

Allowing attendees to share pronouns creates an inclusive environment4. Respecting preferred pronouns demonstrates commitment to fostering acceptance5.

Before the Event: Laying the Groundwork

Create a comprehensive inclusion policy. Outline behavioral expectations for a welcoming environment6. Ensure your team understands using inclusive language.

Partner with LGBTQ+-friendly vendors and venues. Support businesses sharing inclusivity values7. Offer gender-neutral registration respecting attendees’ identities8.

Review event materials and marketing content. Ensure they are gender-neutral and inclusive. Avoid alienating or offending LGBTQ+ attendees6. Lay the groundwork for a diverse celebration.

Proactive Pronoun Usage

Create an inclusive environment by respecting attendees’ gender identities. Allow sharing preferred pronouns if comfortable, but don’t require it9.

Errors in pronoun usage can happen. Apologize and move forward without fuss9.

Using correct pronouns is fundamental, not an optional courtesy9.

For virtual events, invite attendees to include pronouns in screen names10.

For in-person meetings, provide pronoun stickers or include on name tags with permission10.

Pronoun awareness is crucial for creating an inclusive LGBTQ+ environment9.

Incorporating proactive pronoun usage welcomes and celebrates diversity9.

Inclusive events

Gender-Neutral Restroom Facilities

Transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals often face discomfort or danger when choosing between male and female restrooms11. An inclusive solution is requesting gender-neutral restrooms at events11. Many venues already offer gender-neutral restrooms or convert binary ones temporarily11.

Use clear signage indicating gender-neutral restrooms12. Ensure all restrooms are stocked with personal care supplies.

Transgender individuals frequently experience exclusion from bathrooms due to gender identity, leading to challenges and discomfort12. Gender inclusive bathrooms alleviate anxiety, allowing transgender and non-binary individuals to be more productive12. Reports show harassment or attacks against transgender individuals in gendered bathrooms12.

Transitioning in the workplace often brings emotional stress12. Gender inclusive bathrooms provide a safer alternative for transgender individuals12. Limited access to bathrooms at events due to discrimination hinders attendees’ experiences12.

Gender inclusive bathrooms benefit more than just trans and gender non-conforming communities12. They offer enhanced privacy for parents, caregivers, and others12. In STEM spaces, they improve facility access in buildings with limited women’s restrooms12.

Advocating for gender inclusive bathrooms may require collaboration with stakeholders like administration, student organizations, and diversity centers12. Knowledge of local building codes is essential for decision-making regarding installation12. Surveying the campus population helps identify existing support and provide valuable data12.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Businesses

As an event planner, you can support LGBTQ+ inclusion by hiring their businesses. Seek out LGBTQ+-owned vendors for supplies, goodies, and more. For event sponsors, reach out to local LGBTQ+ businesses.

Offer them a platform to share their work and resources. This demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and amplifies LGBTQ+ voices.

LGBTQ+ small businesses play a vital role in the community. Your event can showcase their contributions and economic empowerment.

Inclusive strategies for LGBTQ+ businesses include creating inclusive environments, adopting gender-neutral mentalities, cross-promotions with other LGBTQ+ businesses, educating on LGBTQ+ issues, hosting/participating in LGBTQ+ events, and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights through donations or community events1314.

LGBTQ+ businesses

inclusive events

Hosting inclusive events for the LGBTQ+ community sends a powerful message. The event organizer shows commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion15. By paying close attention, event planners ensure everyone feels belonging. This is regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity15.

The TTS Inclusive Event Pillars guideline provides a comprehensive framework. Speakers from underrepresented groups discuss subject matter expertise, not identities15. Events have a code of conduct with an incident response plan. This addresses issues as they arise15.

Accessibility is key, with virtual and physical spaces made accessible. Features like closed captioning and ASL interpretation are used15. For paid events, support is provided for those who cannot afford costs15. Travel, meals, and lodging are covered for non-TTS speakers. This avoids “Pay to Speak” situations15.

By incorporating these best practices, event planners create an inclusive experience. The diversity of the LGBTQ+ community is celebrated.

Amplifying LGBTQ+ Voices

Hosting inclusive events benefits the LGBTQ+ community tremendously. It creates a welcoming atmosphere while amplifying their voices16. Marginalized groups deserve equal opportunities for sharing ideas. If seeking a motivational speaker, engage an LGBTQ+ professional16. Their diverse perspectives provide insights for empathy and support.

Featuring LGBTQ+ voices sends a powerful message. Your event genuinely values diversity, equity, and inclusion. This approach attracts more LGBTQ+ attendees, making them feel represented16. When given platforms, their stories foster greater understanding.

LGBTQ+ voices

Amplifying LGBTQ+ voices is ethical and smart. The LGBTQ+ travel market spends over $218 billion globally. In the US, they allocate 10% for travel16. Embracing this community taps into a vast, lucrative demographic. They eagerly support inclusive events and brands.

Choosing Inclusive Vendors and Locations

The vendors and locations you choose reflect your company’s values and commitment to inclusivity. Be sure to research all third-party organizations you hire. It can hurt attendees and damage your reputation if you hire a catering company that openly opposes LGBTQ+ organizations or a speaker with homophobic comments.

Consider the geographical location of the event venue and whether it aligns with your company’s values. Choosing inclusive event partners is crucial for creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ attendees. Prioritize working with vendors and venues that actively demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

By aligning your event with inclusive vendors and locations, you send a powerful message that your organization values inclusive events, event planning, and the LGBTQ+ community. This commitment to inclusivity will be reflected in the overall experience and atmosphere, making all attendees feel welcomed and celebrated.

Inclusive Event Planning Metrics Percentage
Event attendees consider diversity and inclusion when choosing events 287%
Event organizers believe diversity and inclusion are crucial for event success 272%
Attendees are more likely to attend events celebrating diversity and cultural differences 274%
Event planners find diverse imagery and language important for inclusive events 271%
Attendees view networking as a primary reason to attend events 278%

Staff and Facilitator Training

Hosting an inclusive LGBTQ+ event requires training your staff and facilitators. They must be well-versed in gender fluidity. They should be able to appropriately address and engage with guests.

Provide comprehensive training covering LGBTQ+ identities, pronouns, and etiquette. Empower your team to use gender-neutral language. Help them navigate conversations around gender and sexuality17.

  • Educate staff on using correct pronouns and names.
  • Encourage them to share their own pronouns.
  • Equip them with strategies for correcting mistakes.

Ensure facilitators create a welcoming space for open dialogue. They should guide discussions skillfully. Help them manage sensitive topics and prevent biases.

“More than 94% of participants feel more equipped to practice allyship after completing the training.”17

Training staff and facilitators is crucial for an inclusive event. Empower your team to foster an environment where guests feel respected and celebrated.

Marketing and Promoting Inclusivity

Staging an LGBTQ+ inclusive event requires strategic marketing. Diverse communities broaden perspectives, enriching the event experience3. Plan ahead for sensitive issues like restroom policies. Create welcoming messages promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and support.

Prominently feature this messaging on your website, social media, and marketing materials. Have materials peer-reviewed before publication to convey the intended message through words and visuals.

Overcome diversity and inclusion barriers like unconscious biases, limited awareness, and insufficient representation. Engage community leaders and advocates to tailor your event for specific groups. Proactively seek underrepresented communities to enhance inclusivity.

Offer materials in different languages to attract diverse attendees. Provide accessibility accommodations like wheelchair ramps and gender-neutral bathrooms, demonstrating your commitment to inclusivity.

Inclusive Marketing Tactics Benefits
Multilingual marketing materials Attracts a more diverse attendee base3
Accessible venue features Improves inclusivity for attendees with disabilities3
Diverse food options Caters to attendees with dietary restrictions and different backgrounds3
Inclusive staff training Helps avoid unconscious biases and create a welcoming environment3
Cross-cultural activities Enrich the attendee experience through collaboration3
Post-event feedback Identifies areas for improvement in future events3

Implementing these inclusive marketing strategies ensures your LGBTQ+ event resonates with diverse audiences. It demonstrates your commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all.

inclusive events

Implementing a Zero-Tolerance Policy

For inclusive LGBTQ+ events, implementing a zero-tolerance policy against homophobic or transphobic behavior is crucial1. This policy sends a clear message: your event welcomes all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity18. Fostering an environment of mutual respect and inclusivity is the goal.

Be prepared to address inappropriate behavior or derogatory language directly18. If necessary, remove individuals from the event18. Your actions must match your commitment to an inclusive environment1.

Clearly communicate your zero-tolerance policy to staff, vendors, and attendees18. Provide training on identifying and responding to violations1. Consider offering gender fluidity education for appropriate LGBTQ+ engagement.

Taking a strong stance against intolerance creates a safe, welcoming space1. This commitment to inclusivity enhances your reputation as an event organizer prioritizing diversity and equality.


Following inclusive practices allows event planners to create genuinely welcoming events. This fosters respect, belonging for LGBTQ+ participants. Inclusive events see 40% more engagement. Diverse planning teams increase event success 30%19.

While unforeseen issues may arise, these tips promote belonging as core. Inclusive training improves cultural diversity awareness 50%. Involving stakeholders, gathering community feedback increases attendance 25%19.

Virtual accessibility like closed captioning led to 35% higher virtual participation. Diverse marketing channels witnessed 30% growth from underrepresented communities19.

Prioritizing inclusivity, accessibility creates events celebrating LGBTQ+ diversity. All attendees feel welcomed, respected, empowered19.


What is the importance of hosting inclusive events for the LGBTQ+ community?

Hosting inclusive LGBTQ+ events delivers a powerful message. The organizer promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. Small details create a sense of belonging for everyone.

How can event planners create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ attendees?

Planners can establish inclusion policies, align with LGBTQ+-friendly vendors/venues. They should offer gender-neutral registration options and diverse speakers. Using inclusive language in materials is crucial.

What onsite considerations should event planners keep in mind?

Onsite, provide inclusive signage and gender-neutral restrooms. Respect attendees’ pronoun preferences. Allow sharing preferred pronouns.

How can event planners support LGBTQ+ businesses?

Hire LGBTQ+ businesses as vendors, suppliers, or sponsors. This provides opportunities and shows allyship.

What is the importance of amplifying LGBTQ+ voices at events?

Amplifying LGBTQ+ voices prevents marginalization. Invite LGBTQ+ professionals to share diverse perspectives.

How can event planners ensure they are choosing inclusive vendors and locations?

Research vendors and locations thoroughly. Avoid those with anti-LGBTQ+ history or donations.

Why is staff and facilitator training important for LGBTQ+ inclusive events?

Properly train staff and facilitators on gender fluidity. Ensure they create a welcoming environment for all.

How should event planners market and promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity?

Proactively market the event as LGBTQ+ inclusive. Highlight restroom policy and inclusion mission statement. Promote inclusivity across platforms.

What is the importance of implementing a zero-tolerance policy for homophobic or transphobic behavior?

Implement zero-tolerance for homophobic/transphobic behavior. Be prepared to address incidents, including removal. Actions must match inclusive environment claims.

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