Tips and Thoughts on Inclusivity and Diversity in Experiential Event Marketing and Production

September 6, 2023

Charity Hill

Charity Hill is the co-founder and managing partner of EPIC Entertainment Group, a collective of innovative producers, experiential marketers and creative designers whose sole mission is to produce unrivaled immersive experiences while having a kick-ass time doing it. Launched in 2016, the group’s team of fine-tuned, experienced architects execute every facet of development, production, operation and integration with flawless precision for events of every scope and scale.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace aren’t new concepts, but companies that organically realize these aspects in their culture undoubtedly see varied viewpoints and perspectives worked into their day-to-day operations. For some companies, this is simply part of their fabric and is quietly woven into their culture. 

The practice of inclusion attracts a diverse group of people with unique perspectives, backgrounds and experiences that can positively weave into the work of your team and execution of events. Here are some ideas for fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace at your organization: 

  • It’s important to normalize inclusion in an authentic way as well as to recognize that even though we strive to be inclusive, that doesn’t mean we have an immediate understanding of where someone is coming from. Diversity affords event organizers a vantage point. It allows the ability to seamlessly produce and to fit in just about any community, reflecting the cultural nuances necessary for event success. 
  • Be open to recognizing that you don’t come from the same background, place or experiences as everyone else. It’s important to listen to and hear the people around you to incorporate their feedback and viewpoints when you’re putting together your team and creating your workflow and production of events.
  • Consider creating opportunities in productions to help push your team to their own boundaries, and you may see it translate to the audiences’ experience as well. We’ve created unique roles and characters in past productions that allow people to bring in their own personalities to enhance these performances, and we create an environment where everyone has a voice, no matter who they are and where they come from.
  • Push productions that can be considered a safe space where everyone feels welcome and guests can see themselves represented in some way. This will leave attendees feeling included and satisfied.

Inclusivity, as it pertains to multi-dimensional storytelling, has allowed event pros to produce educational and informative events across the country in diverse locations. We work to bring our team together in a genuine way and lift up the voices we are most trying to understand. It’s not a numbers game or a perception game; it’s about walking the walk and magnifying and amplifying those voices and views. 

When people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives are brought together and included in the narrative of a live production project, the innovation and creativity brought to the table can be endless, which creates not only a more responsive workforce but also productions that audiences can relate to, feel represented by and ultimately leave feeling fulfilled. 

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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact