Are you organising, hosting, or planning an event? Whether it’s a conference, pop-up market, or exhibition, ensuring the accessibility of everyone involved is important.
Often people living with a disability are left out of the planning and setup process, which prevents them from taking part – not because of their disability but rather because others haven’t thought to take steps to make accessibility a priority.
It’s time to take a look at what you can do to make your upcoming event as accessible as possible. Here’s your very own accessibility checklist for events.
1. Know your attendees
If you’re holding a public event, never assume you know who is going to turn up or what kind of access requirements they will require. Everyone living with a disability has a different experience, so be aware of this when planning your setup and programme. If your attendees are registering online – make sure you actually ask them if they have any special access requirements. Once registrations are closed you can make a more educated decision on whether certain aids might need to be implemented, such as ramps, or visibility aids.
2. Know your event size
The number of people expected to attend your event will determine what kind of essential crowd control measures you will need to implement. Both large indoor and outdoor events will be subject to certain restrictions and will require certain licences to take place. Make sure you read up on your obligations under the local council laws before settling up. If you’re expecting a large crowd either indoors or outdoors, make sure disability access is clearly signed and ramps are included where necessary.
3. Choose your venue carefully
Much of the hassle in organising and planning an accessible event is finding or preparing your venue. If you plan on hosting a larger crowd, you will need to think about accessibility from the get-go. Even if it’s a private event, matching event venues to the type of occasion and the people who are attending is a good idea. Before signing off, make sure you consider the following:
- Does the venue accessibility meet the requirements?
- Are there lifts, ramps, and railings?
- Are there alternative way-finding modalities like Braille for visually impaired communities?
- Is there wheelchair access for basic facilities such as toilets, cloakroom, reception?
- Are there easy public transport links close by?
4. Think about Parking
Accessible parking is often one of the most difficult aspects to get right. If your event isn’t adjacent to or contains accessible parking for your attendees to easily access your event, this can get problematic. Ensuring a smooth traffic flow and easy accessibility from the point of arrival to the main event area is critical. Consider a mixture of crowd control barriers, flexible T-Top bollards, and reflective cones.
5. Ensure the attendees’ and the public’s safety
It’s important to ensure the safety of everyone attending your event and those who aren’t.
It’s also a good idea to be aware of the general public who may not attend your event but might be impacted by large crowds arriving or leaving. To ensure safety, erect barriers to protect sidewalks, demarcate entryways with high visibility bollards and ensure emergency access lanes and exit doors are kept clear. Traffic cones and airport barrier posts are essential tools in demarcating these vital thoroughfares.
6. Understand how your attendees will interact with the event
Whether it’s inside or outside, ensuring your event runs as smoothly as possible will be your main priority. A well-organised event will have been clearly thought out in terms of how the attendees or participants interact and move around the venue. Some things to consider are:
- Are you offering drinks and will that be self-service or at a bar?
- Do you have areas you want to keep cordoned off such as backstage, or a VIP area?
- Are you expecting lines at the entry gate?
- Will people all leave at once after your event has finished or will it be a slow exodus?
7. Manage queues and crowds
To facilitate the smooth flow of people, Queue Control Posts And Ropes are essential to demarcate certain areas – especially if there will be long queues. For protecting larger areas such as directly in front of a stage – you might want to consider crowd control barriers to ensure a safe distance between punters and the main event.
If you want any more information about how to manage large crowds with control barriers, make sure you get in contact with the team at Image Extra. We can run you through everything on our accessibility checklist for events and make sure yours is up to the relevant safety standards.
8. Ensure disability access
If you’re aware of accessibility issues with your venue it’s important to sort these out well in advance of your event. It’s also important to make sure your ramps and other accessibility requirements comply with Australian standards. Other considerations to remember are:
- Make sure the whole event venue from arrival to departure is fitted with access ramps and sufficient space is created between access ways.
- Ensure clear passageways to essential locations such as bathrooms, outside spaces, easy access to potential food/drinks areas.
- Ensure facilities for carers are properly budgeted for and supplied on the night. For example water and toileting facilities for service animals.
- Ensure relevant signage is the appropriate height and meets the accessible contrast requirements.
- Install railings wherever necessary to keep participants safe from potentially hazardous or unsafe materials or areas.
Tick off your accessibility requirements with Image Extra
Making your event as accessible as possible is not as hard as it may sound. Once you’re aware of the requirements you need to meet, either from those attending or as stipulated by local laws or venue requirements, your next step is sourcing the right equipment to make your event a success.
Make things easy for yourself and contact Image Extra. We take care of your accessibility requirements, leaving you to get on with the other important aspects of planning. Give us a call now on 1300 366999.