Special Care for Special Guests
Updated: Feb 2, 2022
One of the keys to a successful event is inclusivity. It is our responsibility as event planners to ensure that our client and guests feel welcome and comfortable at all times. With every event you organize, be sure to offer guest accommodations for people with special needs. Consider the following impairments/requirements when planning each occasion:
Provide headphones or devices that are customized for the hearing impaired. You may also hire a sign language expert to assist you with this. They add a touch of class to an event without drawing attention to people who are deaf. Keep in mind that they, too, want to hear what's going on!
This is one of the most common special needs guests will require special accommodations for. First time visitors with blindness should be accompanied by a person they are familiar with (i.e., family member). Additionally, consider adding braille to any tables that will be written on (such as place cards). If possible, serve finger foods rather than whole meals; this allows special guests to pick up food without assistance from their friends or family members. Make sure your venue and hotel allows those with vision impairments to have their service animals. Some hotels and buildings will not allow animals no matter what. Remember, the owner and their service animal are one, you cannot have one without the other.
Is there a ramp, a specific parking space, or special seating? Is it possible for someone using a wheelchair to pass through the aisles without difficulty? It's never a favorable appearance for an event planner to have guests trapped in an aisle and draw attention to their predicament...it's not something that helps your reputation. Make it easy for special guests to move around. Install handrails on stairwells, provide ramps at entrances/exits, and keep restrooms accessible. For special events like weddings or birthdays, you may wish to provide reserved seating for special guests.
If you have visitors who don't speak the same language as you, it's a good idea to hire a translator. This will guarantee that everyone is able to communicate and enjoy the occasion.
Allergies can be deadly if left unchecked. Some people have allergies that might cause their airways to become clogged. It is important to be aware of the special needs of your guests and to provide accommodations for them. This will ensure that everyone has a pleasant and safe experience at your event. Check for any special dietary restrictions if you don't already know about them.
The first thing you should do before selecting a venue is to verify that it meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Never take for granted that every location will accommodate visitors with special needs. Do your research and inquire about things. Consider the event as a whole and its accessibility.
As a host, it is important to remember that every person has their own set of preferences. Include a space on the invites or RSVP for visitors to notify you of any special requirements so you may accommodate them correctly. It's also a good idea to print out instructions for accessible entrances and helpful aids that people with special needs can utilize. This can assist them avoid some aggravation as well as save them time and money.
People with special needs are no different from anybody else in that they do not want to be identified, and it might be intimidating for someone with special needs to reveal their condition to you, which is why being prepared is so important. Following the Golden Rule of treating others as you would wish to be treated will guarantee that all of your unique visitors' requirements are met.
As always, WE would like to wish you the best in all that you do! If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them below or shoot me an email. Subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest blogs and stay up to date with The Wynning Experience events.
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This is Allyson Wynn signing off and may all your events be a "Wynning Experience"!