Small steps, big impact: An introduction to the IMEX Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

3 mins

Meet the IMEX EDI Working Group: our mission, vision and actions

The EDI Working Group is made up of IMEX team members who share a common goal. We want to educate ourselves and take action to ensure that IMEX is inclusive in the workplace, online and at our shows.

Over the past few years, we’ve been working hard in the background to progress EDI initiatives across our company and our shows. EDI has evolved over the years and, according to a webinar ran by Bizabo, 26% of event planners reported that EDI is top of the agenda for 2024. Here’s everything you need to know about EDI at IMEX.

IMEX America people in front of logo

Our passion has always been the driving factor for implementing change. We’ve empowered the IMEX team to put energy into projects they care about. Although some of these actions may be small steps, it means we have momentum to tackle projects across a wide range of issues.

Our team are members of several diversity and inclusion committees in the industry. This participation enables us to learn from and share ideas with other organizations and experts in the field. Our Chairman, Ray Bloom, is a board member of the Tourism Diversity Matters committee. They aim to be a diversity resource that educates, advocates and empowers the tourism and events industry. Maria Gaillez, Relationship Manager, is a member of the Events Diversity Alliance Committee. This organization has committed to championing diversity and inclusion. Our Director of Impact, Natasha Richards, is on the EIC Equity Task Force. The task force aims to address racism in the industry and develop a framework to accelerate inclusion.

What are our goals and what actions are we taking?

We have a few overarching goals to measure our accessibility and improve it for future shows.

Goal 1: To create a diverse and inclusive culture at IMEX

We’ve introduced a new recruitment approach which facilitates a blind recruitment strategy. This guarantees an interview to anyone who meets the criteria for a role regardless of name or identity. This is part of our ongoing work to eradicate unconscious bias in our recruitment.

Show opening IMEX America 2024

Goal 2: To run inclusive, accessible shows that promote, celebrate and educate on diversity, equity and inclusion

We encourage IMEX staff to wear pronoun badges to start a discussion around gender expression and pronouns. We want to create an open environment so those who want to specify a pronoun can do so.

Our Operations Team focusses on accessibility and inclusion. They strive to address physical, audio, visual and neuro-diverse needs at all of our shows. This is a process of continuous learning. It involves listening to the voices of underrepresented groups and creating safe spaces to do so.

Google XI opening ceremony

Goal 3: To ensure we're promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity through all our communication channels

New for this 2023, we’ve created an accessibility webpage for our IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America attendees. It provides venue information such as wheelchair access and medical assistance onsite. It also details our catering and sensory information ahead of time. We hope to keep adding to this every year to make it a comprehensive guide to accessibility at our shows.

Our design team worked hard to put accessibility at the heart of our brand refresh. Our content across our social channels is now above all it’s easy to read and follows digital accessibility guidelines to a T.

See our EDI working group in action at IMEX!

About the author

Charley Murfitt is IMEX's Content Producer. She is a proud advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and the circular economy.

Charley Murfitt

Content Producer