With every event you organize, there is always the chance that someone will act in an undesirable manner. Everyone is human, and unfortunately, not all of our traits are positive ones. How do you handle these situations?
When planning an event, you want to sit down and try and cover your bases, to ensure that you have a plan for as many possibilities as you can, as on the day you’re going to be very busy and you won’t have the time to figure out how to handle situations as they occur.
Having a code of conduct for your event can help avoid some of these issues, and can make handling issues on the day a lot easier.
What is a Code of Conduct?
A Code of Conduct is your promise to your attendees and speakers and should include:
- Expected behaviour
- Organiser Guidelines
The first of these covers what is, and is not, acceptable at your event, and helps set the tone. By stating this publicly, you can ensure that people coming along feel safe about coming to your event.
This is becoming increasingly important for events, and goes a long way to instil a confidence in you as an organiser, that you care about everyone who wants to attend your event. It is becoming increasingly important to speakers, and not having a well considered Code of Conduct can be a deal-breaker for them agreeing to speak at your event.
The second of these, the organiser guidelines, outlines how people running your event, and those assisting them, should carry themselves. This covers how they should appear, helping to ensure that they are easily identifiable to attendees, but it also covers how to handle situations should it be necessary.
This helps streamline the process of dealing with situations during the organised chaos of an event. This provides a clear course of action for the people running your event, in how they should handle situations, but also for people at your event as well. Having a Code of Conduct lets attendees know exactly who to approach if they see something unacceptable occurring at your event.
What are the benefits of having an event Code of Conduct?
The most important benefit of having a Code of Conduct is that it makes you more transparent to your attendees and speakers. They know, long in advance, what your stance is and if it isn’t clear that you can clarify things for people before your event has begun.
Attendees and speakers know exactly how situations will be handled, and who to approach should an issue occur. It also allows you, as an organiser, to have a plan of action to handle situations. How you handle anything that crops up during the course of your event will affect the experience your attendees have.
3. Good Planning
There are a lot of moving parts involved in running any event, and having a Code of Conduct makes dealing with issues as they occur much more swift and decisive. This allows you to remain focused on the task of running your event, whilst also affording you the ability to deal with issues as they occur, rather than after the fact.
Writing your Code of Conduct
When writing your code of conduct, a few key areas that you should cover:
- Expected behaviour of attendees
- Issue resolution/organiser approachability
These are quite broad and there is a lot that you can cover under each of these headings, and there is a lot you can write in addition to these two areas, but these two serve as a foundation for setting the tone of your event.
Taking the time to write a Code of Conduct helps ensure that everyone involved in the running of your event is well prepared to handle any issues that might crop up on the day. It doesn’t need to be a laborious task, and most venues may even have a policy that you can build into your Code of Conduct.
Your Code of Conduct is a promise to your attendees and your speakers, and helps define their experience at your event. Make sure it’s a good one.