Creating Neuro-inclusive Events
Planning the event
- Think of how big an event you want and whether it can be split into smaller units for some people who find noise, people, or lights challenging.
- Choose a place where there is good access – parking and public transport if possible.
- Ensure you have people available to help on the day to signpost and assist.
- Consider a ‘hybrid event’ to allow people who want to participate but find getting to the event or being at the event too challenging.
- Plan so people can watch from another space if they want to at the event.
- Have tables available where possible for some people who may need a surface for writing/using laptops.
- Provide guidance for speakers on how to make accessible presentations.
- Ensure sessions are not too long in length to aid focus and concentration.
- Consider speakers delivering virtually as well as live. Some amazing speakers may find the anxiety of presenting in front of a large audience too much but can do that from their home setting.
Before the day
- Let everyone know it is going to be a neuro-inclusive event so people try to be aware of different needs.
- Provide as much information about the event as possible. Pictures or videos from previous events, where possible can be helpful to know what to expect.
- Be clear about start times, break times and finish times. Place – any building markings are helpful to direct people to the event.
- Allow standing space in conference rooms and explicitly state that people are welcome to stand, move around and leave as they see fit.
- People – provide names of who is speaking and for how long so people can choose specific sessions.
- Describe what the food options are and what happens at break times.
- Transport – provide information about public transport and if there are parking options too.
- Create waymarks/signage to ensure people can find their way to the event from the entrance.
- Let people know what’s being offered in terms of support e.g. sensory space, and quiet eating areas.
- Make it explicit how to ask for assistance or adjustments before the event and on the day.
- Describe any expected dress code or if there is not a dress code. Business dress is often too vague and can be interpreted differently by different people.
- Create an online group (LinkedIn/Whatsapp) so people can ‘meet up’ before the event.
- If you can provide a video of the space being used this can also be very helpful.
- Advance information about any exhibitors can be useful too, and how they can be approached in addition to the usual conversations at their stands. Contact details as well.
Ref: for more information go to:
On the day
- Provide name badges with options to ‘Talk to me’, or ‘Don’t talk to me now’.
- Have color-coded stickers on name badges or specific lanyards to identify those attendees not wanting to
- Have people on hand to signpost to different parts of the event.
- Create a quiet space so people can easily go there at any time if needed.
- Ensure good waymarking to rooms and from rooms.
Encourage people to be able to stand, sit, and move as they want.
- Closed captioning on presentations.
- Encourage speakers to describe their hair, outfit, and about themselves to aid those who may be visually
- Add small breaks in between each speaker.
- At break/lunchtimes create conversation tables about key themes as options to aid conversation. Have a quiet space for people to take food to as well.
- Have a place where people can sit to eat/place plates and glasses. It can be harder for some people to balance food and drink.
- Check dietary needs.
- Decide on different options for maximizing participation- online polls, Post-it notes; as well as question times.
About the sessions
- Provide information about how sessions work- Q and A at the end of the session, online polls (and if an app needs to be downloaded beforehand), and Post-It Notes on a board to comment.
- Information for login for virtual meetings.
- Notes are available for sessions where possible.
- If hybrid – any rules of logging in – cameras on or off; sound off; how to ask questions; whether ‘chat’ will
- Offer different ways people can ask questions such as writing them down and passing them to a moderator if the attendee doesn’t feel comfortable speaking on the microphone or sending a private message online if you don’t want your name being shown.
After the event
- Gain feedback on what went well and what didn’t for the next time. We can all improve our approaches each time.
- Exhibitor information and contact details.
- Notes from presentations where possible.
Ref: for more information go to:
For more guidance, training, tools or consultancy go to www.doitprofiler.com