Want to make impactful change in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) of the events industry, but don’t know where to start? Luckily for you, the Events Industry Council (EIC), the global voice of the business events industry on advocacy, research, professional recognition and standards, launched the first phase of its landmark Equity Acceleration Plan last week.

The first phase will focus on establishing a benchmark by which to measure progress for the industry through a survey to determine the current state of DEI within the workplace across the events industry. The results of this benchmark will inform the development of tools, resources and recommendations in the subsequent phases on the Equity Acceleration Plan, which aims to provide a framework to turn the association’s vision into action, and lead the challenge against discrimination and systemic racism in the events industry.

The survey will give respondents the opportunity to share some of their personal experiences and opinions on what is needed to improve the sector. The gathering of these insights globally is the critical first phase of EIC’s Equity Acceleration Plan.

The findings will be used as the basis for a report, and a series of specially created educational courses, tools and resources to support the industry in its shared goal of a more diverse and inclusive future. The Equity Acceleration Plan is part of EIC’s Centre for Sustainability & Social Impact, and is a long-term project that will regularly measure the impact of interventions and make recommendations for further work.

According to Amy Calvert, CEO of EIC, “With over 10.3 million direct jobs and over 1.5 billion participants in our sector, and as the industry that at its heart fosters human connection and collaborations, we have the opportunity and responsibility to be a catalyst for meaningful and measurable change. The Equity Acceleration Plan will enable us to support event professionals to create more diverse and inclusive environments, develop career pathways, and ensure representation in leadership and supply chains by providing the learning and resources intended to reach and support our community.”

Jason Dunn Sr., co-chair of the EIC Equity Task Force, immediate past board chairman of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, and vice president of the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau, says, “I believe that tourism empowers communities and that business events can be a driver for change. This survey is an important step toward emboldening our global industry to lead and be an example of how to move the moral compass of DE&I to the center of everything we do. I’m looking forward to seeing the results and to working with the EIC Equity Task Force to create what will be incredibly valuable guidance and resources for event professionals.”

The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and uses an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot from Culturelytics to make completion easier and more efficient. To take part, simply visit kaiwa.culturelytics.ai/EIC/. The survey will close on Oct. 15, 2021.

Mark Cooper, CEO of the International Association of Conference Centers and 2021 chair of the board of the EIC, concludes, “We encourage our global community to openly share their experiences and insights so that the EIC can create the resources and support necessary to drive genuine long-term change.”