We recently partnered with Key Events, a woman-owned, full service meeting and event planning business with a commitment to diversity in events. QuickMobile is pleased to announce that our enterprise-grade mobile app and analytics platform will be taking part in fulfilling Key Events’ promise to deliver expertise and flawless results.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Tess Gonzalez, Senior Registration Manager and Stephen Lazar, Vice President, about how they keep their commitment to diversity throughout their 130+ annual events, meetings and sales incentives.
Inside + Out Commitment
Events are a physical manifestation of a company’s brand and they represent the company’s culture—something that Key Events understands very well.
“We look to partners that value diversity and inclusion like we do,” Stephen said. “We aim to reflect these shared values both inside and outside of our company.”
Key Events commits to diversity both philosophically and logistically. For each event, they accommodate every attendee, regardless of their cultural identity, often requiring some creativity from both partners and planners alike to ensure an inclusive environment.
“Recently, we partnered with a restaurant,” Tess recalled, “who didn’t typically allow outside catering. But for our clients, we brought in a halal caterer, and we were able to close the gap on the participants’ [dietary needs] that way.”
Diversity means all attendees can participate comfortably at their event, without being excluded by factors of their personal identity, including: gender, race, sexuality, religion. Key Events prides themselves on accommodating the needs of each attendee as a pillar of their planning services.
“It is our job to reflect the culture of an organization and mirror their own commitments to diversity and inclusion,” Tess said, “We value that process very much… as an event company, to be the partner in the background. It’s important for us to work smoothly, so that [the attendees] can focus on networking and on their content. If they have the opportunity to do that and build business, then we’ve done our job.”
Representing the Client
Undeniably, events are about delivering the client’s vision—and that’s especially important when it comes to multi-cultural events with an international guest list. Paying attention to a client’s vision and needs are a big part of successfully holding an inclusive event.
“Our job is to reflect the culture of [the company that we work with] and their goals,” said Stephen, “Because we’re a reflection of our client, we have to work closely with them to identify what their message is… to be best able to speak to those people who are attending.”
He mentioned an event that they designed and produced for a company from mainland China, where they were charged with creating a contemporary Western event that still honoured their traditional values. Key Events integrated cultural traditions through event elements like décor, music, food, and even table seating, in ways that felt comfortable to the attendees.
Tess noted that it’s important to “be very respectful around the type of design and décor… there were props that we might use in San Francisco, but they were incorporated in ways that honoured and aligned with [the client’s] objectives. We used them in ways that was authentic, rather than just trying to recreate a certain look and feel.”
During our conversation, Key Events stressed the importance of identifying clients’ needs. This means doing the research to ensure that the experience was optimal for all the attendees.
“Ultimately, we’re coming from the perspective of being able to ensure that the attendees of any event are going to be comfortable,” Stephen explained. “That their dietary needs will be met, that the way a message is being communicated… is compelling to those people. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a tech user conference or a financial CEO group or an internal event. We’re always ensuring the experiences are diverse so that they all walk away with some feeling that the event was for them.”
Creating great events for a diverse audience hinges on listening to the client. Accommodating for differences in culture, desires, and necessities allows the event planner to create a comfortable and meaningful experience for each attendee. This process is critical to Key Event’s commitment to diversity, and to their success.
“Diversity is critical to building extraordinary experiences,” Stephen concluded, “And recognizing the needs of the audiences is key to that.”
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