“Child care is an invisible part of the economy.” – Ellen Galinsky.
How much does child care cost in the States? As per Care
, the cost of a nanny for a single child is between $612/week - $340/week for a daycare or childcare center. That's a bit on the dear side! So, one of the reasons for losing out on attendees might be the lack of child support or care at your event.
It’s a wake-up call for event planners who need to consider offering big-time child support!
It’s challenging for working parents to look after their kids throughout the week. So, if you don't want them to write off the golden chance of attending an event, you need to think of how, as a planner, you can do better with child care services and babysitting.
Is Child Support a 'Thing' at Events?
A group of female scientists got together to write an opinion piece in 2018 on how conferences can better support parent attendees. They reported how parents face inequitable hurdles while attending events like the lack of medical help for pregnant mothers, lactation rooms and child care.
According to research by Science.org, 64% of conferences offered some sort of child support in the US. However, according to the survey, only events in the life sciences and social sciences spheres provided child care services and the different multidisciplinary industries like physical sciences, mathematics and computer sciences were lagging in this aspect.
We also got to know the story of a working mother, Lisa Bower! She spoke to Northstar Meetings Group and told them she has four kids. She quit her job after years of flying to attend business events without concrete child support. But that did not go in vain! She started her own company, Plus One Meetings which offers workplace and event child care solutions for working parents with kids. She is an actual 'Forward-thinking' meeting planner, isn't she?
In 2022, event planners
should think of inclusivity with a new lens. But, first, they should assess attendee needs before the event to discuss child support needs.
Did Events With Child Support Fare Well?
The Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Conference is amongst the most elite meeting hotspots for data scientists around the globe. However, when Ankur Teredesai took over as the chairperson for the conference, he noticed the participation of women attendees compared to men was abysmal. That bothered him!
So, he and his co-chair decided to offer child support at the conference. And guess what? Women's attendance leaped to 28% from the previous 22%. Even the 6% increase meant additional 75 women attendees at their event, which is a huge win!
In another incident, TedWomen 2016 came under the scanner as a working mother was banned from entering the venue because she had brought her 5-month-old infant.
According to an article by Quartz, even though the conference offered a list of services like lactation rooms, referrals to three local nanny companies and even a free pass to the archive of the TedWomen talks, babies weren't allowed inside the venue!
Demonstrate how your event is a thoughtful business place bringing communities together.
Offer daycare services and allow children, if possible, of different age limits inside the venue.
Plan everything in advance!