Should meeting professionals avoid sessions about wearing masks, racism in America, or other typically taboo topics.?

Our guest says no!

How do you address tough topics at a virtual event? Lenora Billings Harris dropped some diversity and inclusion wisdom when she joined Thom Singer and me on the Webinar Talk Show. She also shared her personal pivot in early 2020 when her World Cruise ended abruptly.

Key Points about to tackle tough topics in Virtual Events:

  • Don’t Cancel Your Event! Your people rely on you.
  • Meeting professionals often worry about addressing topics such as racism, inequity, or politics at events responsibly.
  • Ignoring tough topics facing your industry, organization, or association does not serve your people.
  • Listening sessions are very productive, but leaders need to be trained to listen well.
  • Panels are a great tool for providing multiple views or experiences of controversial issues.
  • Interviews can keep tough conversations from going astray. A good virtual emcee (or two) can be the key to facilitating a productive session.
  • Virtual events expose financial and social disparities.
  • Meeting professionals should carefully vet speakers on diversity, equity, and inclusion and look for depth of experience.
  • And so much more.

Thank you, Lenora, for sharing your insights!

Links to Lenora Billings-Harris’s services:

Catch the Webinar Talk Show most Monday and Wednesday mornings at 11 am CT live on Facebook or watch all of our episodes on our YouTube Channel. We interview meeting industry professionals and share what’s effective and ground-breaking in virtual and hybrid meetings.


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