For a pretty long period of time excluding others meant being at the top.
I’ve worked for more than 5 years with entertainment and being more specific with discos and clubs. I became what was and still is called a “PR”, a person that gives away “invites” to cool friends to populate the night. I earned a small percentage on every invite turned in with my name on it. In one year time I started to invest my money in club nights and quicker got more control over the event management.
Soon I was in charge of making the list (of people not paying to get in) and selecting people that got admitted into the event. That gave me a tremendous amount of power. I was soon able to ask the doormen to avoid certain people getting in.
“Credit card companies have made billions by selling a card that others can’t get.
Politicians stand up and talk about their (exclusive) religion, or pit one special interest group against another.
And of course, the best nightclubs have the biggest velvet ropes and the pickiest doormen.”
I had to think again
The Social Psychology of Inclusion and Exclusion, By Abrams, Hogg and Marques talks about the anger generated by exclusion. Violent reactions and discontent.
Soon few question popped up into my mind. How many people do we usually exclude from our events? How much discontent do we generate? Are there good reasons to exclude people?
At a club it’s up to the selector personal taste. Sometimes it is about the price. Few other times it is the content that excludes people.
Does inclusion mean populism?
What if the basis of events would be inclusion? BarCamp and unconferences are based on including people, but are not populist.
We tend to think that limited resources automatically mean exclusion.
The smart event planner thinks of ways to include those people e.g. who cannot make it that day, who cannot afford the price of the ticket, who are not familiar with the content.
Just think that:
– Online conferencing is a solution for those who cannot make it.
– Scholarships are a good method to make students attend an important conference and sponsors are willing to fund them.
– Opening an online forum and a blog about your event could help a lot of potential attendees to understand more about your content.
I am sure you can come up with more ideas and I invite you to do it.