Where Do Meetings Stand on Diversity?

By Matt Swenson, December 3, 2015

How do you define diverse groups?

As an industry, every time we say multicultural, we mean black or white. We have to get out of that mindset. It runs the whole gamut, including people with disabilities. I heard it now includes nursing mothers.

Is that why Columbus doesn’t differentiate selling between groups?

We don’t want to make the group feel like we wouldn’t do this for everyone. It’s not only because they are an African-American group or an Asian group.

What do you think about other cities, like Dallas and Philadelphia, drawing attention to their outreach efforts?

I think both methods are effective, but sometimes I wonder if we were to have to target someone specifically, there might be an issue. We have the same assets as Dallas and Philly, but for us to bring attention to that, I’m not sure that’s the way we should go about it. We’ve been successful the way we’ve been doing it—by being inclusive.

When you hold discussions on diversity at events, what is the conversation like afterward?

People are talking about thinking differently about the types of people they hire, and making sure they are listening to attendees about the food they are serving and catering to different nationalities. We need to be all-encompassing.

Photo Credit: Experience Columbus

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