Case study

Inter and Beeple team up for #EverybodyEverywhere

#EverybodyEverywhere is the credo of Inter, the Flemish accessibility expertise centre. Besides their initiatives on mobility and infrastructure, they also have an active event operation. With their advice on accessibility and their many volunteers who accompany people with disabilities at many events, they want to build a society in which everyone - young, old, with or without disabilities - can participate, and Beeple is happy to contribute to that.

Leen Vanelderen is a member of the event team at Inter Vlaanderen. When she started this job in 2017, the planning for the various events was still made up in Excel, not much later Inter made the switch to a planning tool. We look back with her on the past six years and Beeple's impact on the organisation, but first things first, what exactly does Inter's event operation do?

"In a nutshell, Inter makes events accessible to people with disabilities. We do this by literally and figuratively removing barriers. We support and advise organisations of e.g. cultural performances, sports competitions, parades and festivals to improve their accessibility, for example by providing an adapted car park, an alternative entrance, extra signage,... We also provide volunteers at each event to accompany these people," Leen says. Inter not only accompanies people with physical, visual or hearing disabilities, but also people with mental disabilities or those on the autism spectrum.

Scheduling 800 volunteers, how do you start?

Inter's event team currently consists of six permanent staff members; they are responsible for scheduling volunteers at events. Meanwhile, the organisation can count on a pool of 800 registered volunteers. "Over the years, we have indeed built up a nice and diverse group of volunteers. This group consists of both friends and family of our members, as well as people who came to us via-via or people who call on us at the events we attend. Anyone can apply, experience is a plus but not a requirement! We provide regular introductions to explain our expectations and answer questions," explains Leen.

How do you start planning so many volunteers? "That is indeed a big challenge! Each permanent employee is responsible for his/her events. As soon as we are notified by the event organiser, we create this event in Beeple so that volunteers can apply to come along as chaperones. Some events are very popular: you might get 50 applications for 14 places and it is up to us to start putting the puzzle together. We always ensure a good ratio of new and experienced staff and take personal preferences into account as much as possible," explains Leen.

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