Ten tips to hosting a successful Pride event & being inclusive year-round

With the world becoming more inclusive of LGBTQ+ communities, it’s more common for people to want to get involved with annual Pride celebrations. Although people are familiar with Pride month being in June and tend to host Pride events during this time, experts say businesses should aim to celebrate year-round. 

Following a 100% increase in interest for the search term ‘Pride event¹ between the start of May to June 2022, now is the perfect time to host an event honouring Pride. With this in mind, event specialists AYRE Event Solutions share ten tips for hosting a successful Pride event in 2022 and how to be inclusive all year round:

  1. What style of Pride event do you want to run?

To determine the style of the Pride event you want to run, contemplating the primary outcomes you want to achieve is a must. It’s a given that a Pride event’s main aim is to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities but there’s more to consider than this. Are you wanting to team up with a charity to raise funds, do you want to go all out with entertainment, or do you want to simply educate people and delve into the history of Pride? Although it can be easy to go crazy with your imagination, ensuring the event’s main aim is clear is essential to deciding on the style of the event. 

  • Choose the right venue

Deciding on an appropriate venue can be tough. While ensuring the venue will suit what you want to achieve from the event, being aware of the cost and budget is important too.

If it’s an outdoor Pride event you have your heart set on, things to consider include checking noise restrictions in the local area, reviewing fire and safety procedures, logistics and layout, and accessibility. You’ll also need to ensure the correct technical equipment is provided for the outdoor occasion. Depending on the scale of the event, this can include adequate power, audio systems, outdoor lighting, and possibly outdoor coverings. Similarly, choosing the right venue is equally crucial if it’s an indoor event. 

  • What’s the mission of the event?

The mission and aim of the event must be made clear from the start. Not only is this important for you as the host, but if the mission is clear throughout the event, it will be beneficial for the guests. 

Pride can be a very passionate time for people so ask yourself, what’s the reason for doing this? What do I want others to gain from this event? It could be as simple as wanting to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, or it could be to improve the audience’s knowledge of Pride topics. 

  • Community vs Workplace Pride events

If you’re hosting a community Pride event, some aspects to consider include volunteer staff, charity collaboration, local entertainment, guest speakers, and family activities. However, a workplace event may differ. 

Hosting a workplace event during Pride is becoming more common. If you want to host a work event for Pride, consider including diversity workshops, guest speakers, talks on the history of Pride, and charity fundraising. When it comes to Pride in the workplace, adopting a rainbow logo means very little if your organisation is not continually campaigning for change.

  • Stay away from cliche

If you’re hosting a work Pride event, refrain from virtue signalling. Don’t overdo the Pride campaigns and social messaging throughout June, as people will question how genuine this is. As much as it might feel like you are doing something compelling, Pride content should be a focus all year round. 

By all means, ramp up the social activity referring to Pride topics and your upcoming event, but communicate the subject appropriately and sensitively. Likewise, try and avoid rainbow washing and performative activism. If you’re going to go big in June, it’s important to be consistent throughout the rest of the year. 

  • Support local catering businesses

Involving local food caterers at your community or work event can be an effective way to support local businesses and get other organisations involved.

There might be local food caterers specifically interested in helping out with Pride events or part of the LGBTQ+ community themselves. It’s also best not to go overboard with the rainbow-coloured food, although the odd selection here and there can be a suitable addition to the occasion, it’s not necessary to go crazy with this!

It’s important to provide options for different dietary requirements and for more cost-effective ways of providing food, you could ask all of your colleagues to bring something to contribute to a buffet. Asking guests to do this at small community events could also be a good option, but keep in mind, that larger-scale events would need to comply with stricter food laws.

  • Large scale vs small scale technical equipment

Technical equipment can certainly enhance both large and small scale events. If it’s a large Pride event you have in mind, equipment could include stage decks, railings, and specialised lighting such as pixel battens, outdoor lighting, and moving headlights. For live entertainment equipment such as DJ decks, microphones, mixing decks and speakers will be beneficial. Infrastructure, toilets, power, food tents, and pop-up visuals could be helpful if the event is at an outdoor venue.

If you’re hosting a smaller event, technical equipment to factor in could include projectors, projector screens, flat screens, audio and lighting equipment.

  • Stay consistent all year round

Staying consistent year-round is a crucial factor in hosting an authentic Pride event. A simple way to do this is to steer clear of being tokenistic. Make sure you’re not celebrating or singling out specific colleagues just because it’s Pride month and ensure all members of the community and workplace are embraced everyday of the year. Likewise, think about implementing inclusivity policies at your organisation, with the aim of creating a safer space for colleagues. 

  • Think about the decor

When it comes to decorating your event, there’s no harm in going all out, but it’s important to keep it appropriate. Stay clear from rainbow capitalism and be careful when incorporating the Pride rainbow, making sure you’re using the correct colours and flags with the appropriate meanings behind them. An inclusive idea for community events could be getting the local schools involved to create colourful decor. For a workplace, you could get each colleague to provide a piece of decor for the event, creating a personal and inclusive touch.

  1. Create an accessible event

Pride events are something everyone should be able to attend and get involved in. Choosing an appropriate venue which is fully accessible for all types of guests is sensible. 

If there are guest speakers at the event, you could organise sign-language interpreters, or if there are movie screenings, offer subtitles. Moreover, if there is a march or parade involved, ensure the route is accessible for people with mobility aids by avoiding stairs and narrow walkways. 

Managing director of AYRE Event Solutions, Chris Ayre, commented: “Pride events are a great way to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, freedom, and inclusivity. When people think of Pride events, I think they assume it’s the big parades and wild parties, but actually, there are so many ways people can host their own Pride events and, might I add, on a budget too! 

“Community and workplace pride events are becoming more and more popular, and it’s fantastic to see so many people putting their own stamp on raising awareness of the history of pride and the issues the LGBTQ+ community still face today.

“People don’t need to spend a fortune on creating a huge Pride event with all the bells and whistles. If you’re hiring technical equipment, there are plenty of options for smaller-scale events and smaller budgets. ”

For more information on hosting a successful Pride event, please visit: https://www.ayre.events/ten-tips-to-hosting-a-successful-pride-event-being-inclusive-year-round/ 

Author: Editorial Team

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