As June rolls around, Pride Month gets underway, and after 2 years of lockdowns raining on our parade, we're excited to celebrate the month in style! Pride is a hugely important event for so many people around the globe, and planning a Pride-themed event is a great way to have fun with your team while showing your support for equal rights, and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Even more so than with other events, making sure the party you plan is inclusive and welcoming is essential. This can be daunting when you're starting out on the planning process, but we're here to provide a comprehensive guide to hosting an event your whole team will rave about for months to come! So grab your glitter and fill up the punch bowl: here are our top tips on doing Pride right.
Ideas for celebrating Pride with your team
1. Host a Pride party
Pride is all about making a noise to celebrate and commemorate the LGBTQ+ community's struggle for equal rights, and that translates to some of the year's best parties! Pride celebrations take place across the country in loads of different forms, from huge parades to intimate bashes, and it's a fun idea to get your team involved in the action. You could either opt for an event in the office, or find a quirky venue to host your do for even more fun factor - somewhere with a dance floor ought to get everyone in a party mood!
We recommend going all out on the decorations, from rainbow flags to colourful table displays and streamers - after all, if you can't have fun decorations at Pride, when can you?! You'll also want to include entertainment of some variety to get everyone engaged and having fun - this also helps to break the ice and get the party in full swing. Performers can be a fun addition to events, and for a Pride-themed event entertainers like drag artists or cabaret performers can be great fun and are sure to make your event a night to remember! You could even opt to add entertaining food servers, like champagne pourers in fancy dress for some extra flair!
2. Organise an educational workshop
Education is also an essential element of Pride Month, and it's a great time to tap into learning opportunities that are on offer year-round. There are so many options available for educational workshops, from fun, high-energy sessions featuring bingo and drag, to more serious workshop settings. It's really up to you what format you feel would best fit your team: it could be a lunch and learn with a guest speaker from the LGBTQ+ community, or a half-day session on workplace culture and wellbeing. It could even include some activities like yoga or aromatherapy as a way to ease people into feeling comfortable together.
Workshops and other interactive sessions are great ways to warm up your team and get them feeling more comfortable with each other, but make sure you do it sensitively and don't put any pressure on people to share. Check out our article on what Pride means for the events industry for more tips on how to run a safe, positive, and inclusive event, and make your workplace a more equal environment overall.
3. Take part in an office fundraiser
There are many ways to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month and beyond, but one of the best is to raise money for a charity that helps individuals and fights for equality. Examples of charities to fundraise for include: Stonewall, which runs campaigns against homophobia, and provides diversity training for workplaces; MindOut, which offers mental health support and counselling to LGBTQ+ people; and akt, which provides help for young LGBTQ+ people experiencing or at risk of homelessness or living in unsafe environments.
A fundraiser offers the dual benefit of being a great way to get your team engaged with the topic, while supporting an organisation doing great work on the ground. Plus, if you make your fundraising activity something fun, like a sponsored fancy dress run, or talent show, it'll also be a memorable bonding experience for your team - a real win-win!
4. Get involved in a parade
Pride parades happen up and down the country at different times over the summer. London's Pride parade takes place on Saturday 2nd July in 2022, and it's open to everyone, so why not get the team on board and represent your company with a fun day out altogether celebrating Pride? We're confident plenty of colleagues will be up for a trip out, but as an added incentive you could treat your team to brunch beforehand, or drinks afterwards to add to the team-building experience.
Top tips for hosting a Pride event
Make sure your event is a safe space for all
Pride should be a time to embrace and accept differences, but you need to be careful with how you go about encouraging this. Never ask your employees or colleagues to share any information they don't feel comfortable with, and make sure that anything that is shared is done so in a sensitive and confidential manner. This includes topics such as pronouns, sexuality, and gender among others.
This also applies to asking your team to dress up or take part in activities - it's all well to want to include everyone but make sure you don't put anyone under pressure to get involved. And for any activities you do put on, make sure everyone is respectful at all times and that lines aren't crossed into offensive stereotypes and parodies. On that note, it's worth having a code of conduct or discussion about expectations on attendees before your event, to make sure everyone's on the same page. This could include a reminder about your anti-discrimination policy, and help to set the tone for an inclusive and supportive event where everyone can enjoy themselves in safety.
If you're looking to dig deeper into bringing Pride to work, check out our blog on making events and the workplace more inclusive and safe. LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall are also running an online workshop on celebrating Pride in the workplace, which we highly recommend looking into.
Get a great venue
Of course, it wouldn't be much of a party without a venue to set off the celebrations! As Pride falls in June, we love the idea of having your event in the open air (with food and drinks at hand, of course). Check out some of our favourite venues with outdoor space, or if you're after something for an evening do, have a browse of our top party venues to find the perfect spot.
Make sure your event's accessible
As Pride is about inclusion and celebrating difference, it's important to keep these at the fore of the event. Your venue should be accessible to everyone with any access requirements, such as wheelchair users and those with impaired sight. Additionally, if any of your team require sign-language interpretation, there are many interpreters who can be brought in for events to make sure they feel included.
Remember that not everyone will be able to attend in person, so it might be worth including a virtual element to the event to make sure everyone can join in the fun. Platforms like Arena allow events to take place in a hybrid format, while our range of virtual team building activities provide ideal ice breakers and entertainment to keep your guests engaged and enjoying themselves.
Making sure your event is accessible doesn't have to be a huge challenge, but it will make a huge difference to attendees. If you need some guidance on how best to manage a hybrid event, just get in touch with our event management team, or check out our ultimate guide to hybrid events.
Include some education
It's always a good time to learn new things, but Pride is a particularly great excuse to introduce your team to new perspectives. By getting your team engaged in an educational event or workshop, you'll be able to open up conversations which may be difficult to broach otherwise, such as creating a collaborative code of conduct within the workplace. Putting on educational events is a great investment in company culture, as it allows colleagues to explore new topics together in a space without judgement, where ideas can be cemented just by talking and sharing experiences.
Adding an educational aspect to a party also helps to break the ice, and get teams in an open and engaged frame of mind. For a seriously fun, outrageously silly event which provides plenty of educational content as well as laughs, check out That's Drag's Ancient Queerstory bingo event, available either in-person or virtually.
Add fabulous food and drinks
All that fun's guaranteed to have your guests working up an appetite, so you'd better be prepared to serve up a feast! We're talking cocktails, preferably mixed up before your eyes by some marvellous mixologists, and sweet snacks - rainbow cakes could be a fun option, though we'll take whatever's going! The perfect accompaniment to a summer party is, of course, ice lollies and ice cream, and there's no need to settle for standard fare - Sixth Sense's liquid nitrogen technology makes magic out of summer moments, and guests can create their own flavours of treats, keeping everyone happy!
We recommend going for a rainbow theme to celebrate Pride in all its colours - from neon alcohol-infused candyfloss to fruit wedges, a brightly-coloured feast is sure to make your event really pop!
Keep up the momentum after the event
Pride doesn't end once June's over; if you want to make your workplace really inclusive, you'll need to make sure the principles you applied to the workplace at your Pride event carry on throughout the year. If you didn't have an anti-discrimination policy before, or if you created a code of conduct for a Pride event, make sure it becomes part of your company culture, and that everyone knows that your workplace is a respectful environment. Some organisations create a diversity, equity and inclusion committee who are responsible to ensuring the organisation is embodying the values laid out in the charter, which can be a good way to keep the company on track.
There's no reason not to bring in more lunch and learns at any other time of year, and in fact your team will probably appreciate the continued visibility of these initiatives! So don't rush to take down the rainbow flag: after all, we should be making sure that everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves at all times. Use your event as a starting point, and make a point of flying the Pride flag, metaphorically or otherwise, all year!
Share your Pride experiences
Sharing experiences with an audience can often end up inspiring more people to take part in activities and explore different perspectives themselves. Lulu Lemon's Proud and Present campaign, which gave employees a platform to share their stories and responses to Pride, created huge ripples across its audience, and encouraged others to reflect on what Pride means for them. Why not create a platform to share stories internally, or share the events you host with your team on socials? The more we champion people within the LGBTQ+ community, and the more we show our support publicly for Pride in all its forms, the more we can be positive allies and influence others to stand up for equal rights too.
So there you have it: our top tips for getting the ball rolling on the perfect Pride celebration to educate and uplift your team this Pride Month and beyond. If you're after some more tips on making the event as inclusive and positive as possible, check out our article on what Pride means for the events industry in 2022 and what we can do to make our industry a better place for everyone.
If you'd like more guidance on planning an event, or some extra hands to make sure it all goes smoothly, get in touch with our event management team at the button below. Happy Pride to all!