How to create an accessible event website

© Ben Kolde on Unsplash

Accessibility needs to start prior to your event: Five steps that make your event website more accessible

As a society, we should all aim to reflect society the way it really is. For meetings and conferences, this means diverse audiences as well as diverse speakers. In this context, terms such as inclusion and accessibility are not news anymore because a wide variety of opinions and perspectives that people with different backgrounds have enrich every event, every experience and every discussion.

To organise accessible events requires rethinking right at the start of your planning activities. In the context of accessibility, many only think of physical barriers such as stairs or missing flights of stairs. However, it all starts much earlier when visitors have the first point of contact with your event, i.e., your event website. Luckily, it generally only takes a few changes to make it accessible.

Steps to an accessible website

  • Ensure high colour contrasts on your website. If you work with custom CSS or an image behind the copy of your website, make sure that the contrast is high enough to enable easy legibility. When using a large font size, a contrast of 3:1 is advisable, for smaller font sizes, try 4.5:1. This not only helps people with impaired vision but also all users with mobile devices to read your event website even in case of screen glare.
  • Add subtitles to video. Platforms such as YouTube work with integrated subtitle functions. However, we recommend using your own tools to make sure the right message comes across. People who have difficulty hearing, who don't speak the original language very well or who simply prefer reading will very much appreciate a good video transcript because it makes their lives much easier. Apart from that, subtitles positively impact on the Google ranking of your event website. And on Facebook, 85% of videos are by now watched without sound.
  • Describe the images on your website in the "alternative text" field. How would you describe an image to someone who can't see it? Use the alt field for your images to add detailed descriptions so that it is captured when, for example, screen reader software for blind people is used. As with video subtitles, this is also great for SEO!
  • Introduce diversity tickets. Offer so-called diversity tickets in your online ticket shop/when registering at a reduced price to open up your event to a wider audience.
  • Allow enough time for the buying process. If your settings only allow for short processing times, you sabotage your own buying process. Consider people who use your online ticket shop with reading and/or hearing aids or those who simply have a bad internet connection.

"Eventbrite allows people all around the world to promote and sell tickets online. In 2017 Eventbrite has sold more than 200 million tickets and signups and helped event organizers in 187 countries to organize successful events."

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