The School of Geography and the Environment is committed to enhancing diversity and promoting equality of opportunity amongst all our staff and students. As part of this commitment, one of our priorities is to promote greater inclusivity at the conferences and events we organise. We want to ensure that our events showcase the diversity of researchers working in our field as well as allowing people of all backgrounds and career stages to participate and feel included, in both the more formal panel sessions and the socialising and networking opportunities.
We have put together a practical guide for event organisers, drawing on examples of best practice from across the university sector and beyond, and responses to our own online survey of more than 230 people working in higher education and the wider public, private and third sectors in 2018/19.
The guide is wide-ranging in its coverage, incorporating sections on pre-event logistics; programme development and speaker selection; encouraging inclusive participation in Q&A sessions and networking events; representing diversity in conference communications; as well as how to prevent and deal with harassment and discrimination during the event and how to support the needs of those with caring responsibilities.
We hope that this guide will serve as an accessible step-by-step tool to assist organisers of other events, large and small, in promoting diversity of attendance and inclusivity of participation.