Tackling Events With EDI And Safeguarding In Mind

Studios, when participating in, or hosting, events have a responsibility to ensure that every attendee feels safe, respected, and included. Special attention needs to be given to safeguarding women and other under-represented groups who have historically faced disparities in such environments. Here are some thoughts on how to get it right.

teamwork race & culture

Safeguarding at External Events

When your team attends industry events, their safety, especially that of women and other under-represented groups, is paramount.

Action Steps:

  • Buddy System: Encourage a ‘buddy’ system, especially for women and other individuals from under-represented groups. This isn’t about implying they can’t handle themselves, but about creating a supportive environment.
  • Awareness Briefing: Prior to the event, brief your team about potential issues they might encounter. Awareness is the first step to preparedness.
  • Emergency Protocols: Make sure every team member knows what to do and who to contact if they face any challenges or feel unsafe.

Hosting Inclusive and Safe Events

As a host, the importance of ensuring an inclusive and safe environment is even greater. Here are some pointers:

  1. No Alcohol or Limited Serving: While alcohol can be a social lubricant, it can also lead to unwanted incidents or make some attendees uncomfortable. Consider a no-alcohol policy or limited serving with clear guidelines to ensure safety.
  2. Clear Code of Conduct: Every event should have a prominently displayed code of conduct which outlines expected behaviour and repercussions for those who don’t comply with the Code.
  3. Feedback Channels: Set up clear channels through which attendees can report any concerns or incidents. Prompt action should be taken on any feedback received.
  4. Badge Coding System: Implement a ‘traffic light’ system on badges. A green badge means the delegate is okay with physical greetings like hugs or handshakes; amber indicates they’re open to conversations but not physical touch; red signifies they’d prefer not to be approached. This system fosters respect for personal boundaries.
  5. Accessibility: Ensure the venue is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. This means having ramps, elevators, and accessible toilets. Signage should be clear and legible, and consider providing interpreters for those who are hearing-impaired.

Training and Sensitivities

Your staff, especially those in managerial or supervisory roles at events, should be trained to handle issues related to EDI.

Action Steps:

  • EDI Workshops: Regularly conduct workshops to ensure your team has a clear
    understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will help them to recognise
    and respect the varied perspectives of attendees.
  • Incident Management Training: Equip your team with skills to handle and de-
    escalate any untoward incidents, ensuring the safety and dignity of all involved.

The games industry and our games are for everyone, and every event should reflect this ethos. By implementing these guidelines, studios can ensure that they not only champion EDI values but also provide a safe and enriching environment for all attendees.

Get started in your organisation

Fiona Housiaux

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