Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

Here at AP LIVE, we have experience designing, planning and delivering live events across the globe. There are many important factors to consider when creating an event, including location, venue, and entertainment. Yet one of the most important considerations for attendees of an event is accessibility.

In this blog, we outline the steps we take pre-event and during an event to make venues more accessible and inclusive, accommodating for the visually and hearing impaired, those with mobility issues, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and sensory processing difficulties.

Before the event

The best way to gain detailed information about the requirements of attendees, to ensure the venue can be made accessible to their needs, is through registration forms. Including an ‘Accessibility and Inclusivity’ section where attendees can select multiple options ensures the forms can capture as much information as possible. Adding a text box allows guests to provide further information on their requirements.

Gathering the preferred method of contact for guests means that someone from the event can contact them in a way that supports their needs to reconfirm their requirements and offer different support options that will be available for the event.

During the event

The most efficient way to ensure everyone is being taken care of during the event is to have a dedicated member of the team in charge of Accessibility and Inclusivity, acting as a main point of contact.

Any guests which have noted they have accessibility needs should be flagged so that event staff and hosts can provide correct information and support during the event.

Future Events

Documenting what support has been implemented and taken up is useful information when planning future events.


How to accommodate attendees with restricted mobility and wheelchair users:

  • Provide ramps and step-free or lift access.
  • Provide floor plans which indicate lifts, escalators, and step-free access.
  • Ensure there are staff available to support with movements around the venue and provide assistance at ramps or steps if needed.


How to accommodate attendees with hearing impairments:

  • Provide signers in the theatres and stages.
  • Offer a signer who is dedicated to the attendee throughout the event, the signer will support the attendee throughout the day, providing signing translations in sessions, whilst moving around the venue and giving them the best event experience.
  • Provide closed captions on screens with presentations.
  • For guests with hearing impairments who don’t need a hearing aid, provide wireless headphones tuned into the presentation sessions.
  • If the venue has hearing loops installed, provide signs to show where they are active.


How to accommodate attendees with visual impairments:

  • Provide a guide to help the guest navigate around the event.
  • Provide accommodation for Guide Dogs who will be with attendees. Offer the guest and their Guide Dog to visit the venue prior to the event so that they can walk the routes before their visit.
  • Provide maps, timetables, and other literature in braille.


How to accommodate attendees with anxiety and overstimulation in new environments or crowded spaces:

  • Provide quiet spaces for guests to decompress if they are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or overstimulated. Quiet spaces should have low lighting, noise-cancelling headphones, calming scents, and sensory toys such as fidget poppers. These well-being areas allow guests to decompress and lower their stress levels.
  • Quiet spaces can be self-managed at the event, or they can be provided by companies such as Event Well and Nook Pods.
  • Event Well can manage and host these spaces and provide well-being sessions.
  • Nook Pods are fully brandable and moveable pods with soundproofing and colour-changing lighting, creating an ideal private space for guests.

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