Member Spotlight: Special D Events on DE&I Event Planning

March 12, 2024

Q&A with Lindsay Krause, COO of Special D Events

Tell us about the mission or purpose behind your work at Special D Events.

For more than 30 years we have produced business meetings and events nationwide. To date, we have managed events in each of the 50 United States and beyond. Our passion is to change the world for the better, one experience at a time. We strategically work to partner with organizations that align with our desire to make a difference in people’s lives. Locally, we are the largest and only ADMEI-certified Destination Management Company in the city of Detroit.

Recently, you completed a certification for an Events DEI Strategist. What does this mean? What’s involved? What did you learn most?

The course, taught by the devoted and passionate instructor Chiriga “Zoe” Moore via the Event Leadership Institute, challenges students to dismantle systems and processes that are not diverse, equitable or inclusive. Students go back in history to understand the beginning of inequity and travel to present day researching everything from the Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights movement all the way to the Black Lives Matter, the Great Resignation and Critical Race Theory. I learned as planners it is our responsibility to have uncomfortable conversations to advance the awareness of this initiative and keep the momentum going for forward thinking. We have the power to dismantle systemic oppression in all aspects of how events are planned and executed.

How can event planners, community builders, or team leaders keep DEI in mind as they plan team offsites and gatherings together?

Too many to count! Here are a few ways:

- Location matters: Do you know the history of the land or venue you are considering? Conduct intentional site research to fully understand its history and provide the opportunity to recognize and honor the land upon which your event will be hosted.

- Prioritize psychological safety: Normalize the use of pronouns by displaying them on everyone’s name badges, not just those who request it.

- Diversify your supplier network: Cast a wider net with your RFPs. Keep in mind the smaller, marginalized companies may not have as big of a marketing presence.

- Development of Program, Theme, Speakers, etc: Inclusivity must be upheld for all stakeholders. When curating your event ensure it is reflective of the world we live in representing people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, neurodiverse individuals, etc.

- Challenge the status quo: Professional is a coded word. Challenge the biases around language and terminology and allow people to let their individuality shine.

What’s one of your favorite annual events personally or professionally that you look forward to?

I really enjoy our non profit fundraiser events. We partner with a variety of organizations who fight to provide support and uplift those with housing and food challenges or health battles. My favorite part of these events is at the end of the event when we tally the money raised, which will be used to provide additional resources for these very important causes. It’s a great feeling to get to love what you do and help people along the way.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your work with the community coming in this year ahead?

Detroit is our backyard and we love any event that supports our city. This year is particularly exciting with the arrival of the NFL draft! We would love to partner with all Bamboo community members and support any event needs they may have.

How can the Bamboo community best keep in touch with you? Send me an email at