In event management, accessibility refers to the idea that everyone should be provided an equal opportunity to participate in, work and perform at an event. Among other things, accessibility can be understood in terms of how you see, hear, understand and move. A responsible event organiser strives to take all kinds of participants into account and works toward egality and equality. By working to better the accessibility of their event, the organiser can improve its customer service and pave the way for a larger demographic to participate. By doing so, they can also improve the social significance and overall lure of the event which could, for example, translate into a stronger argument for receiving funding from different organisations or government fractions. Moreover, event organisers are legally bound to further accessibility as the law requires all services to be equally accessible. Although accessibility measures serve only for a small demographic, they also benefit everyone as they improve the altogether manageability, enjoyability and security of the event.
Among other things, accessibility can be improved by drawing attention to the physical accessibility of the venue as well as the accessibility of event information, services and pricing. It pays to keep accessibility in mind through the entire planning process and the event organiser should, for example, make clear instructions on how to arrive at the venue and provide information on accessibility online. When considering accessibility measures specifically for those with physical disabilities, questions of accessibility become particularly critical when choosing a venue. When planning these measures, it is a good idea to consult different experts, advocates, volunteers and advocacy groups active in the disabled community. Since the needs of each disabled individual are unique, the venue’s own assessment of its accessibility might be unreliable. In order to get an idea of the venue’s accessibility, it is highly recommended to visit the venue with an expert beforehand.
A prevalent example of an event that commits to accessibility is Ruisrock, the annual music festival in Turku. In 2012, the festival took on a project to increase their accessibility. As a part of this project, they made ten specific promises to further their accessibility. These promises include, for example, adding resting areas and bathroom stalls that are accessible by wheelchair, improving the lighting of the festival area, hiring trained people to help disabled patrons when needed, building wheelchair-designated vantage points close to the biggest stages and educating their staff on accessibility issues. In addition, Ruisrock pledged to improve their coverage of and access to accessibility and event information.