WCEU email templates for allergies and accessibility needs

It only took a contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. to get me to sit down and tackle this issue, sorry it took me so long, folks! But I’m pleased to be able to share our thought processes and email templates from WCEU for managing the new required fields added to attendee registration: deathly allergies and needs for special accommodations.

Allergies

Food requirements are always difficult, and the open field that we used before this new radio button was put in place left a lot of room for ambiguity. Also, people often used it for other than reporting life-threatening allergies. In either approach, this part of the registration form serves two purposes:

  • Gather information about extreme and life threatening allergies so that we can prepare as organizers to best protect attendees.
  • Reassure and inform attendees regardless of the specific food allergy or preference so that they know what to expect when attending WCEU and can themselves plan accordingly.

Now when attendees check the radio button, there is no field for additional info, so our first template sought to gather more details.

Email template #1

Subject: WCEU you reported a life threatening allergy

Dear {firstname},

Thank you for purchasing a ticket for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe 2018.  

You have indicated that you have a life-threatening allergy. In order for us to help ensure your safety at WordCamp Europe 2018, please tell us a bit more:

What are you allergic to?
To what extent are you allergic? (ingestion, contact with the skin, airborne – please specify for each allergy if you have more than one)

If your allergy is non life-threatening, or if you checked the box to report a food preference, there is no need to reply to this email. We will be posting the full lunch menu including ingredients to our website, and on signage at the venue. In this way you can find the foods that are right for you.

Kind regards,
{yourfirstname}
Attendee Services Team
WCEU 2018

We then compiled a list of all the emails that came back to us, in the hopes that some patterns would emerge. For a large event like WCEU, there was a potential for a large volume of emails, and we were looking to create templates rather than need to respond individually. Two themes emerged:

  • Nut allergies
  • Non deadly allergies and food preferences

Follow up email #1 (nuts!)

Dear {firstname},

Thank you for getting back to us. Good news! We have worked with our caterers to ensure that none of our dishes contain any type of nuts. The only exception is one little dish at our After Party that contains pine nuts, and this will be clearly labeled.

We just published menus with complete lists of ingredients for each meal that we’re serving. There are lots of choices available and we hope you find options you’ll like!

https://2018.europe.wordcamp.org/2018/05/30/lets-eat/

We look forward to seeing you in Belgrade.

Regards
{yourfirstname}
Attendee Services Team
WCEU 2018

Follow up email #2 (non deadly + atypical ingredients)

Dear {firstname},

Thank you for getting back to us. Good news! Each meal from Contributor Day through to the After Party will be served buffet-style with plenty of options. All dishes will be clearly marked so that you can make sure and compose a plate of only things you like and free of any foods that can cause you harm.

We’ve also published these menus online for your convenience so that you can plan ahead. We hope you’ll find options you’ll like!

https://2018.europe.wordcamp.org/2018/05/30/lets-eat/

We look forward to seeing you in Belgrade.

Regards
{yourfirstname}
Attendee Services Team
WCEU 2018

AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) needs

We took the same approach with accessibility needs (seek info, analyze results, build around specific needs), although we didn’t have many inquiries, so our template only covers wheelchair accessibility.

Accessibility needs email #1

Subject: WCEU you reported having accessibility needs

Dear {firstname},

Thank you for purchasing a ticket for WordCamp Europe 2018.  

You have indicated that you have accessibility needs. In order for us to help make your visit to WordCamp Europe 2018 a good one, please tell us a bit more:

What are your specific needs?
Do you need assistance upon arrival to the event?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
{yourfirstname}
Attendee Services Team
WCEU 2018

Accessibility needs reply template #1 (wheelchair)

Subject: Wheelchair accessibility at WCEU

Dear {firstname}

Thank you for getting back to us.

The main venue is on multiple floors and can be navigated by elevator. All bathrooms have at least one wheelchair-accessible stall. Please note that the Milky Way track is staggered, and so access is limited to the back – where reserved space is available – or the front of the room, which can be accessed via a clearly indicated door in the hall.
For more information on accessibility at our event, please visit:
https://2018.europe.wordcamp.org/info/accessibility-information-for-conference-venue/

And if you have any questions or require any assistance upon arrival, please visit our Info Booth at the center of the venue, or ask any of our volunteers wearing clearly marked red t-shirts.

We look forward to seeing you in Belgrade!

Regards
{yourfirstname}
Attendee Services Team
WCEU 2018

I hope this is useful for some organizers out there! And I look forward to hearing how others are addressing these community needs and creating streamlined and effective communications.