Code of Conduct Policy for SMPS Events

SMPS is dedicated to providing an environment in which all individuals feel safe and are treated with respect when participating in SMPS programs, including webinars, conferences, events, meetings, and other activities held or sponsored by SMPS, whether in person or virtual (“SMPS Events”). In order to create such an environment, participants are expected to maintain appropriate standards of behavior by refraining from conduct that may be (or perceived to be) harmful to themselves, SMPS members, SMPS staff and/or other third parties with whom they come into contact during a SMPS Event. Participants include, but are not limited to: exhibitors, vendors, staff, all attendees (member and nonmember), service personnel (Hotel, other third parties).

Prohibited Behavior

Types of conduct that SMPS considers inappropriate include, but are not limited, to:

  • Discriminatory conduct on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, national original, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or any or any other characteristic protected by applicable law;
  • Offensive verbal comments, such as those based on a person’s gender, physical appearance, sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • Offensive or explicit images or photographs in plain view, including in an exhibitor’s, sponsor’s, or vendor’s booth;
  • Threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts, including stalking and the unauthorized taking of photos or audio or video recordings;
  • Electronic discrimination or harassment, including the taking or transmitting of offensive comments, photos, or audio or video recording via email or other messaging systems;
  • Offensive, inappropriate, or unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, including the touching of another’s body, the touching or display of one’s own body, or any similar contact;
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or sexual advances;
  • Use of offensive or explicit props, costumes or other attire, including by those staffing an exhibitor’s, sponsor’s, or vendor’s booth;
  • Sustained disruption of portions of an SMPS Event;
  • Actual or threatened use of any physical force or weapon of any kind against any person;
  • Failure to comply with directions of SMPS staff or venue personnel regarding SMPS Event operations; and
  • Advocating for or encouraging any of the above behavior.


Participants asked to stop any inappropriate behavior are expected to comply immediately.

SMPS retains the right to determine the nature of the participant conduct that warrants corrective action as well as the corrective action(s) to be taken to maintain a welcoming environment for all participants. If a participant engages in behavior in violation of this policy, corrective action, as determined by SMPS in its sole discretion, may take one of the following forms: warning the offender, expelling the offender from the event (with no refund if applicable), barring the offender from future SMPS events and/or notifying appropriate authorities. Additionally, SMPS may act with regard to a participant’s membership in SMPS, if applicable, including suspension or expulsion, subject to established SMPS procedures.


If an individual has been made to feel unsafe, discriminated against, or harassed, please report it to SMPS HQ staff as soon as possible through one of the methods outlined below. SMPS staff should refer to the reporting procedures outlined in the crisis communications plan.

Confidential or Anonymous Report

A report may be submitted anonymously if preferred by the complainant. Reports of violations or suspected violations of this policy will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

A report can be made:

  • Online by filling out the form below;
  • By calling 703.684.2263; or
  • By contacting an HQ staff member.

When taking a report of conduct alleged to be in violation of this policy, our staff will handle the conversation with discretion and respect. SMPS is committed to taking all reasonable steps to prevent inappropriate conduct and to investigate reports of inappropriate conduct.

If applicable, our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security local law enforcement, local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event.

Questions About this Policy

If you have any questions at all about this policy, about whether you should report an incident under this policy, or about SMPS’s commitment to an environment free of discrimination and harassment, please speak to SMPS HQ staff.

Related Policy(ies)

For additional SMPS Policies, please visit our Policies webpage.


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