Inclusive Africa: What you can learn from their accessibility experts

Navigating Inclusive Events: A chat with the founder of the award-winning event agency Attendable on what it takes to organise a truly inclusive event.

Attendable is a boutique event agency from the UK that is deeply committed to fostering inclusivity and diversity in the events they organize. They are not just an event agency, but a champion of inclusivity and diversity in every event they organize. With a deep commitment to making every attendee feel welcome, they bring expertise in strategic content planning, speaker selection, live captions, and language translation. Their outstanding work in the event planning industry has earned them multiple awards. In an exclusive interview, their founder and managing director Catherine Grinyer, shared valuable tips on what to consider when aiming to create a welcoming event for everyone, as well as how LiveVoice helped them in delivering a seamless interpretation service during their Inclusive Africa Conference in Nairobi.  


LiveVoice: Catherine, can you share the background of the Inclusive Africa Conference and the challenges it aimed to address?

Catherine: Certainly. Since its inception in 2020, the Inclusive Africa Conference has been pivotal in advancing digital accessibility and assistive technology for individuals with disabilities. Our goal is to create a platform for experts, policymakers, businesses, and individuals to come together and advocate for the inclusion of everyone, leaving no one behind. 

LiveVoice: Attendable played a crucial role in ensuring the success of the Inclusive Africa Conference. How did you tackle the challenges faced during the event’s hybrid nature, with a part held in Nairobi and a larger section online?

Catherine: Our role was multifaceted. We facilitated English and French captions, audio, and sign interpretation to make the conference accessible to a diverse audience. However, with hybrid events come challenges—different needs for in-person and online participants, cultural differences, and occasional internet outages! Our adaptability and proactive communication helped us navigate these challenges effectively. 

LiveVoice: What impact did Attendable create with the conference, particularly in terms of accessibility?  

Catherine: We ensured the event reached a wider audience by organizing watch hubs, with around 15 watch parties across Africa, including Ghana and Tanzania, sponsored by our main partner. This not only addressed challenges like internet access but also enhanced community engagement. We witnessed 2000 online sign-ups, but it wasn’t without its hurdles, like time differences and occasional internet outages. 

LiveVoice: Can you share insights into the advancements and challenges in inclusivity across different regions, particularly Africa?

Catherine: Certainly. While some regions like the UK and EU have strong legislation, Africa faces unique challenges. The mobile-first approach, driven by the affordability of mobile devices, has accelerated progress, especially during the pandemic. We work closely with Microsoft and participate in the European Accessibility Summit to stay at the forefront of advancements. 

Livevoice: How did LiveVoice contribute to the success of the event, and what role did it play during the conference in Nairobi?

Catherine: LiveVoice was a game-changer. Easy to use and integrate with platforms like Hopin, it provided a reliable solution for language interpretation in Nairobi. The seamless setup and user-friendly experience were impressive, saving the day when our initial interpretation platform faced challenges. 

LiveVoice: What tips can you share for inclusive event planning based on your experience with Attendable?

Catherine: Awareness, budget allocation, and clear communication are key. Consider various use cases for different events, communicate what you are offering and not offering, and have accessibility statements to manage expectations effectively. Addressing common attendee requests, such as providing agenda information, contributes to a more inclusive event. 

LiveVoice: How does Attendable approach inclusive event planning from design to delivery?

Catherine: We take a holistic approach, providing speaker briefings on presenting inclusively and upholding a code of conduct for inclusion. For other events, we offer support with on-the-day services or webinar broadcasts. 

LiveVoice: Any closing thoughts on the importance of inclusivity in events?

Catherine: Inclusivity is not just a checkbox; it’s about creating a welcoming environment for everyone. As event organizers, we have a responsibility to foster diversity and ensure that events are accessible to all attendees. 

LiveVoice: Thank you, Catherine, for sharing your insights and experiences. It’s been a pleasure learning from Attendable’s impactful journey in creating inclusive events.

Catherine: Thank you for having me. It’s crucial to keep the conversation around inclusivity alive and continue finding innovative ways to make events truly welcoming for everyone. 


Use Case

Simultaneous Interpretation

Smart live interpretation system for on-site, virtual and hybrid events. Translators and listeners can be located anywhere in the world.


Julia Stockinger

Content Manager

Julia is our social butterfly who is driven by the impact LiveVoice makes in spreading accessibility. Currently pursuing her master's in Sweden, she passionately supports LiveVoice and its mission remotely.