Planning & Promotion

Ever Thought of Child Support at Events? It's Time to Think Now!

Eventually Learning Team

“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!

Our Suggestion:
  • 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!

Tips to Set up Child-care at Your Events

Setting up child support services at your event doesn't happen over a day! You have to take 'baby steps.' In addition, an organizer should be well versed with child care and licensing regulations to create a set-up that fits the norms.

Below are a few tips that will help you offer A1 child support at events:
  • Take attendee needs into consideration – Every event planner should know who their attendees are. You should email all event stakeholders asking which type of child-support services they require at the venue.
  • Hire professional teams – If you are not an expert in child-care services, then you should hire professional agencies skilled at providing child care for kids of all ages. This way, nothing can go wrong.
  • Connect parents with local care providers – If it's a small-budget event, you can partner with local caregivers and offer discounted rates to attendees so they can leave their kids under a professional watchful eye.
  • Offer support at subsidized rates – Considering that attendees come from varying backgrounds, it's better to offer child support at subsidized costs. For example, instead of $15 an hour for a single child, you can charge $5. This way, the attendee count will also shoot up!
  • Provide flexibility with payments – If you are jetting off to a faraway destination for an event, consider providing accommodation, food, and other items or activities for kids. Try offering flexible payment options like payment in installments or 'buy now, pay later.'


Wrapping Up

As a planner, you must think of DE&I strategies in the true sense! Inclusivity is not limited to increasing women's participation; it's about making them feel comfortable. And as child support is a mammoth concern for working parents (woman or man), try fostering a child-friendly atmosphere at events.

As an event planner, you can:
  • Tailor your sessions to be shorter
  • Offer frequent breaks to allow parents to check up on their kids
  • Arrange feeding/lactation rooms
  • Prepare sessions that involve activities with kids
  • Have story-time sessions with popular storytellers

Frequently Asked Questions


Should there be an age limit for bringing children to an event?

The younger the kid, the more difficult it becomes to look after them at the venue. So, either you can set an age limit to bring kids to the venue, or you can offer home-nanny services for infants. Or, if you want to allow kids of all ages at the venue, then make sure your set-up caters to all sorts of parental and child needs.

Should an organizer pre-decide child-support services?

Yes! An event planner must talk to all of their attendees well in advance to prepare a database of all the kids that will be present at the venue. Then, you can pre-plan activities and childcare solutions based on factors like age, health, needs or requirements. But be ready to improvise at the last minute! It's taking care of kids, after all.

How to make your event easier to navigate for parent attendees?

Some tips to make your event better for parent attendees are:
  • Plan less off-property or off-locale activities
  • Given parents a ‘hangout’ place to spend time with their kids
  • Hire licensed supervisors to take care of kids
  • Make the program educational and fun for kids as well
  • Be aware of religious dates or holidays before planning an event

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