Meena has been in the events industry for over 20 years and brings a unique twist to it. With a passionate focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, she wants to show the world how an event can be truly memorable for all hosts and guests.
From the venue hire to accessibility, logistics, emergency planning, food, speakers, accommodation and much more, creating the perfect day or evening is her mission and she thinks of and discusses all angles.
What inspired you to start Events Together and create bespoke events for the corporate world under the ET brand?
I’ve always been in the corporate world organising events for very high-profile business clients, so it was a natural transition when I started my own business to carry on this theme.
I also felt I had hit a glass ceiling working for others, so I thought I’d set up Events Together to expand my clientele and bring Diversity and Inclusion into the events I organise for my clients.
What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you and how would you like to see it being incorporated over the next 5-10 years?
Diversity and Inclusion are not just about race, ethnicity, gender etc. it’s about so much more.
From an events perspective, it’s about making your event inclusive, such as considering the location of the event and how easily accessible it is for all modes of transport, it’s about the food and making sure that all dietary requirements are taken into consideration, not favouring one over another.
Speakers are really important at an event and it’s about bringing in diverse speakers and giving those less senior the opportunity to present or speak at the event. These are just a few things to consider regarding Diversity and Inclusion when organising events and of course, there is so much more.
What aspects would you say make an event memorable and enjoyable for all attendees?
The food is a key memory for attendees as well as the content from Speakers. You can spend thousands on a venue but if the content is not right and the food is awful then what’s the point of an incredible venue?
If people are left without any value from the content or left hungry then they will be disgruntled and would then make a bad name for the organisers of the event.
Although, every touchpoint from the website to registration to communication all impact the event. Every minute detail must be considered from conception to completion and far beyond.
You love the idea of having an on-the-sofa chat show in the future, could you tell us more about this exciting venture?
Well, I’m very excited about this too! A lot of people have started podcasts during the pandemic which clearly made sense and I started a podcast too. However, very much like a live/in-person event, you don’t get the same feeling remotely as you do physically, so I wanted to start a chat show inviting guests to talk about an interesting part of their life.
I want this to be an informal chat on the sofa but where we talk about the latest trends, interesting topics and their life experiences which may indeed help others, however, with a strong focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and on the events industry and how the two can be married up.
How do you think the events management industry will change and adapt going into 2022?
I definitely think that live, physical, in-person events will be a key focus as people buy from people, and sometimes you need to experience or feel the product or service that you are buying, and you can’t do that remotely.
For example, a large exhibition is not the same virtually as you will lose that passing trade/footfall or that random conversation with someone. With a virtual conference, yes, you can dip in and out of topics and sessions, but sitting at a desk you don’t necessarily replicate the networking that goes on during coffee breaks.
A Ride and Drive – Dealerships and Car Manufacturers cannot demonstrate their product as well remotely as they can on a live track, for example.
There will still be a place for virtual events but smaller or shorter events or webinars.
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