Event Planning Code of Conduct and Ethics

Event Planning Codes of Conduct and Ethics Resources

Following are Codes for ISES, CMP, NACE, PCMA, EPA, AICP, ACPWC, and MPI.

  • Create your company’s own Code of Ethics as a starting place for ethical behavior.
  • Review and research any conflict you may have with a vendor, a planner, agency, or a co-worker here.

Abraham Lincoln’s quote reflects on the subjectivity inherent in how we should make choices: “The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject any thing, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything…is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.”

Quoting ISES: “Strive for excellence in all aspects of our profession by performing consistently at or above acceptable industry standards.”


ISES Principles of Professional Conduct and Ethics

Each member of ISES shall agree to adhere to the following:

  • Promote and encourage the highest level of ethics within the profession of the special events industry while maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct.
  • Strive for excellence in all aspects of our profession by performing consistently at or above acceptable industry standards.
  • Use only legal and ethical means in all industry negotiations and activities.
  • Protect the public against fraud and unfair practices, and promote all practices which bring respect and credit to the profession.
  • Provide truthful and accurate information with respect to the performance of duties. Use a written contract clearly stating all charges, services, products, performance expectations and other essential information.
  • Maintain industry accepted standards of safety and sanitation.
  • Maintain adequate and appropriate insurance coverage for all business activities.
  • Commit to increase professional growth and knowledge, to attend educational programs and to personally contribute expertise to meetings and journals.
  • Strive to cooperate with colleagues, suppliers, employees, employers and all persons supervised, in order to provide the highest quality service at every level.
  • Subscribe to the ISES Principles of Professional Conduct and Ethics, and abide by the ISES Bylaws and policies.



Certified Meeting Planners Code of Ethics


  • Maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct at all times.
  • Actively model and encourage the integration of ethics into all aspects of the performance of my duties.
  • Perform my responsibilities in accordance with the laws and regulations of the local, state or national governments under which I reside.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all privileged information, including the identity or personal information of other CMP candidates and the contents of the CMP examination, except when required to do so by law or by court order.
  • Never use my position for undue personal gain and to promptly disclose to appropriate parties all potential and actual conflicts of interest.
  • Communicate all relevant information to my employer in a truthful and accurate manner in order to facilitate the execution of my fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Not use the CMP designation or service mark in any way other than that which is authorized by the Convention Industry Council, and to immediately cease using the designation should I fail to maintain the requirements of the CMP certification or for any other reason have my certification revoked, including payment of required fees.
  • To abide by all policies and procedures of the CMP program as outlined in the CMP Handbook or those that may be set by the CMP Board of Directors in the future.
  • To be truthful in all information provided to the CIC in all applications and recertification applications at all times.

Any action of a certificant or applicant that compromises the reliability of the certification process may be subject to the process described by the CMP Ethics Policy Disciplinary Procedures.


NACE Code of Ethics

As a condition precedent to admission to membership of NACE, candidates for membership shall agree in writing to abide by this code of ethics. Failure to maintain compliance herewith shall be cause for expulsion of any member, following due process as provided in the bylaws of the association.



  1. Members shall at all times conduct themselves and their professional activities in conformance with the laws of the land.
  2. Members shall keep the concerns of their clients foremost in mind in the conduct of their business consistent with the objectives of their employers.
  3. Members shall continuously work to improve their knowledge and skills to the benefit of their clients, themselves, NACE and the organization they represent.
  4. Members will have sympathetic understanding of the problems of fellow members. This understanding is a unifying and strengthening force.
  5. Members shall transact all business on behalf of the association in accordance with the bylaws, policies and procedures manual, laws of the land and this code of ethics.
  6. Members shall not engage in activities harmful to the purpose of NACE, or use their position in the association to exploit personal views.
  7. Members shall devote themselves to giving of their time and talent to the communities in which they live, work and play, without regard to rewards therefrom.
  8. Members shall encourage promising persons to enter the profession of catering and to grow therein to become the best in their chosen profession.



Professional Convention Management Association Principles of Conduct


The Professional Convention Management Association represents the highest levels of professional and ethical behavior in the convention and meetings industry. This association has adopted these Principles of Professional and Ethical Conduct and its members use them as standards of honorable behavior by which they may evaluate their relationships with their organizations, suppliers, and colleagues.

As a member of the Professional Convention Management Association, I will:


  • Conduct myself with integrity, respect, honesty and credibility.
  • Approach all meetings in accordance with the highest ethical standards of professionalism and personal conduct.
  • Negotiate all agreements in good faith respecting the rights of all parties involved.
  • Respect the policies and regulations of those organizations with whom I deal.
  • Pursue continuing education related to the convention and meetings industry and share knowledge learned with others to further the profession.
  • Avoid all activities that will cause damage to or discredit to my organization, the convention and meetings industry, or myself.
  • Refuse inappropriate gifts, incentives and/or services in any business dealings that may be offered as a result of my position and could be perceived as personal gain.
  • Avoid any and all conflicts of interest and advise all parties, including my organization, of any situations where a conflict of interest exists.
  • Value diversity and strive to reflect it by providing and fostering meetings and conventions that create an inclusive atmosphere for people regardless of their national origin, race, religion, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental impairment.
  • Protect our environment and the Earth by adapting “green social initiatives” as applicable for meetings and conventions.


Event Planners Association Code of Ethics


To maintain an organization of professionals recognized for pursuing the highest standards of excellence and professionalism, all members subscribe to the EPA Code of Ethics:


  • EPA members shall continually strive to raise the level of professionalism and excellence in the events industry through ethical, reliable and competent conduct.
  • Members shall provide compassionate, professional service of the highest level at all times.
  • Members shall utilize continuing education programs and networking opportunities to enhance their knowledge base and raise their level of professionalism.
  • Members shall adhere to all safety standards set for the industry.
  • Members shall utilize proper legal contracts to protect themselves and their clients.
  • Members shall maintain appropriate insurance coverage for all business activities.
  • Members shall treat other event professionals with the upmost respect.
  • Members shall encourage newcomers to the industry through local mentoring and intern programs.
  • Members shall provide their time and talent to benefit their community through the local Chapter’s philanthropic efforts or other opportunities.
  • Members shall act in accordance with the EPA Code of Ethics, Bylaws and Policies.


AICP / APA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct


Revised October 3, 2009

The Executive Director of APA/AICP is the Ethics Officer as referenced in the following.

We, professional planners, who are members of the American Institute of Certified Planners, subscribe to our Institute’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Our Code is divided into four sections:

Section A contains a statement of aspirational principles that constitute the ideals to which we are committed. We shall strive to act in accordance with our stated principles. However, an allegation that we failed to achieve our aspirational principles cannot be the subject of a misconduct charge or be a cause for disciplinary action.

Section B contains rules of conduct to which we are held accountable. If we violate any of these rules, we can be the object of a charge of misconduct and shall have the responsibility of responding to and cooperating with the investigation and enforcement procedures. If we are found to be blameworthy by the AICP Ethics Committee, we shall be subject to the imposition of sanctions that may include loss of our certification.

Section C contains the procedural provisions of the Code. It (1) describes the way that one may obtain either a formal or informal advisory ruling, and (2) details how a charge of misconduct can be filed, and how charges are investigated, prosecuted, and adjudicated.

Section D contains procedural provisions that govern situations in which a planner is convicted of a serious crime.

The principles to which we subscribe in Sections A and B of the Code derive from the special responsibility of our profession to serve the public interest with compassion for the welfare of all people and, as professionals, to our obligation to act with high integrity.

As the basic values of society can come into competition with each other, so can the aspirational principles we espouse under this Code. An ethical judgment often requires a conscientious balancing, based on the facts and context of a particular situation and on the precepts of the entire Code.

As Certified Planners, all of us are also members of the American Planning Association and share in the goal of building better, more inclusive communities. We want the public to be aware of the principles by which we practice our profession in the quest of that goal. We sincerely hope that the public will respect the commitments we make to our employers and clients, our fellow professionals, and all other persons whose interests we affect.

A: Principles to Which We Aspire

1. Our Overall Responsibility to the Public

Our primary obligation is to serve the public interest and we, therefore, owe our allegiance to a conscientiously attained concept of the public interest that is formulated through continuous and open debate. We shall achieve high standards of professional integrity, proficiency, and knowledge. To comply with our obligation to the public, we aspire to the following principles:

a) We shall always be conscious of the rights of others.

b) We shall have special concern for the long-range consequences of present actions.

c) We shall pay special attention to the interrelatedness of decisions.

d) We shall provide timely, adequate, clear, and accurate information on planning issues to all affected persons and to governmental decision makers.

e) We shall give people the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the development of plans and programs that may affect them. Participation should be broad enough to include those who lack formal organization or influence.

f) We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.

g) We shall promote excellence of design and endeavor to conserve and preserve the integrity and heritage of the natural and built environment.

h) We shall deal fairly with all participants in the planning process. Those of us who are public officials or employees shall also deal evenhandedly with all planning process participants.

2. Our Responsibility to Our Clients and Employers

We owe diligent, creative, and competent performance of the work we do in pursuit of our client or employer’s interest. Such performance, however, shall always be consistent with our faithful service to the public interest.

a) We shall exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of our clients and employers.

b) We shall accept the decisions of our client or employer concerning the objectives and nature of the professional services we perform unless the course of action is illegal or plainly inconsistent with our primary obligation to the public interest.

c) We shall avoid a conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest in accepting assignments from clients or employers.

3. Our Responsibility to Our Profession and Colleagues

We shall contribute to the development of, and respect for, our profession by improving knowledge and techniques, making work relevant to solutions of community problems, and increasing public understanding of planning activities.

a) We shall protect and enhance the integrity of our profession.

b) We shall educate the public about planning issues and their relevance to our everyday lives.

c) We shall describe and comment on the work and views of other professionals in a fair and professional manner.

d) We shall share the results of experience and research that contribute to the body of planning knowledge.

e) We shall examine the applicability of planning theories, methods, research and practice and standards to the facts and analysis of each particular situation and shall not accept the applicability of a customary solution without first establishing its appropriateness to the situation.

f) We shall contribute time and resources to the professional development of students, interns, beginning professionals, and other colleagues.

g) We shall increase the opportunities for members of underrepresented groups to become professional planners and help them advance in the profession.

h) We shall continue to enhance our professional education and training.

i) We shall systematically and critically analyze ethical issues in the practice of planning.

j) We shall contribute time and effort to groups lacking in adequate planning resources and to voluntary professional activities.


B: Our Rules of Conduct

We adhere to the following Rules of Conduct, and we understand that our Institute will enforce compliance with them. If we fail to adhere to these Rules, we could receive sanctions, the ultimate being the loss of our certification:

1. We shall not deliberately or with reckless indifference fail to provide adequate, timely, clear and accurate information on planning issues.

2. We shall not accept an assignment from a client or employer when the services to be performed involve conduct that we know to be illegal or in violation of these rules.

3. We shall not accept an assignment from a client or employer to publicly advocate a position on a planning issue that is indistinguishably adverse to a position we publicly advocated for a previous client or employer within the past three years unless (1) we determine in good faith after consultation with other qualified professionals that our change of position will not cause present detriment to our previous client or employer, and (2) we make full written disclosure of the conflict to our current client or employer and receive written permission to proceed with the assignment.

4. We shall not, as salaried employees, undertake other employment in planning or a related profession, whether or not for pay, without having made full written disclosure to the employer who furnishes our salary and having received subsequent written permission to undertake additional employment, unless our employer has a written policy which expressly dispenses with a need to obtain such consent.

5. We shall not, as public officials or employees; accept from anyone other than our public employer any compensation, commission, rebate, or other advantage that may be perceived as related to our public office or employment.

6. We shall not perform work on a project for a client or employer if, in addition to the agreed upon compensation from our client or employer, there is a possibility for direct personal or financial gain to us, our family members, or persons living in our household, unless our client or employer, after full written disclosure from us, consents in writing to the arrangement.

7. We shall not use to our personal advantage, nor that of a subsequent client or employer, information gained in a professional relationship that the client or employer has requested be held inviolate or that we should recognize as confidential because its disclosure could result in embarrassment or other detriment to the client or employer. Nor shall we disclose such confidential information except when (1) required by process of law, or (2) required to prevent a clear violation of law, or (3) required to prevent a substantial injury to the public. Disclosure pursuant to (2) and (3) shall not be made until after we have verified the facts and issues involved and, when practicable, exhausted efforts to obtain reconsideration of the matter and have sought separate opinions on the issue from other qualified professionals employed by our client or employer.

8. We shall not, as public officials or employees, engage in private communications with planning process participants if the discussions relate to a matter over which we have authority to make a binding, final determination if such private communications are prohibited by law or by agency rules, procedures, or custom.

9. We shall not engage in private discussions with decision makers in the planning process in any manner prohibited by law or by agency rules, procedures, or custom.

10. We shall neither deliberately, nor with reckless indifference, misrepresent the qualifications, views and findings of other professionals.

11. We shall not solicit prospective clients or employment through use of false or misleading claims, harassment, or duress.

12. We shall not misstate our education, experience, training, or any other facts which are relevant to our professional qualifications.

13. We shall not sell, or offer to sell, services by stating or implying an ability to influence decisions by improper means.

14. We shall not use the power of any office to seek or obtain a special advantage that is not a matter of public knowledge or is not in the public interest.

15. We shall not accept work beyond our professional competence unless the client or employer understands and agrees that such work will be performed by another professional competent to perform the work and acceptable to the client or employer.

16. We shall not accept work for a fee, or pro bono, that we know cannot be performed with the promptness required by the prospective client, or that is required by the circumstances of the assignment.

17. We shall not use the product of others’ efforts to seek professional recognition or acclaim intended for producers of original work.

18. We shall not direct or coerce other professionals to make analyses or reach findings not supported by available evidence.

19. We shall not fail to disclose the interests of our client or employer when participating in the planning process. Nor shall we participate in an effort to conceal the true interests of our client or employer.

20. We shall not unlawfully discriminate against another person.

21. We shall not withhold cooperation or information from the AICP Ethics Officer or the AICP Ethics Committee if a charge of ethical misconduct has been filed against us.

22. We shall not retaliate or threaten retaliation against a person who has filed a charge of ethical misconduct against us or another planner, or who is cooperating in the Ethics Officer’s investigation of an ethics charge.

23. We shall not use the threat of filing an ethics charge in order to gain, or attempt to gain, an advantage in dealings with another planner.

24. We shall not file a frivolous charge of ethical misconduct against another planner.

25. We shall neither deliberately, nor with reckless indifference, commit any wrongful act, whether or not specified in the Rules of Conduct, that reflects adversely on our professional fitness.

26. We shall not fail to immediately notify the Ethics Officer by both receipted Certified and Regular First Class Mail if we are convicted of a “serious crime” as defined in Section D of the Code; nor immediately following such conviction shall we represent ourselves as Certified Planners or Members of AICP until our membership is reinstated by the AICP Ethics Committee pursuant to the procedures in Section D of the Code.


ACPWC Code of Ethics

Each ACPWC member must:

  • Operate business with credibility
  • Maintain the highest standards of professionalism at all times
  • Practice good business ethics at all times
  • Practice professional integrity
  • Maintain a positive and professional attitude in all business relationships
  • Use honest and factual advertising
  • Establish reasonable and proper fees for services
  • Represent each client fairly and honestly
  • Provide quality, cost-effective service
  • Be accountable, objective and tactful
  • Promote and maintain good business practices


Meeting Professionals International Principles of Professionalism


As members of Meeting Professionals International, we are responsible for ensuring that the meeting industry is held in the highest public* regard throughout the world. Our conduct directly impacts this result.

Maintaining Professional Integrity:

•Honestly represent and act within one’s areas of professional competency and authority without exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment. •Avoid actions which are or could be perceived as a conflict of interest or for individual gain. •Offer or accept only appropriate incentives, goods and services in business transactions.

Utilizing Professional Business Practices:

• Honor written and oral contracts, striving for clarity and mutual understanding through complete, accurate and timely communications, while respecting legal and contractual rights of others. •Ensure rights to privacy and protect confidentiality of privileged information received verbally, in writing, or electronically.

• Refrain from misusing solicited information, proposals or concepts. •Commit to the protection of the environment by responsible use of resources in the production of meetings. •Actively pursue educational growth through training, sharing of knowledge, expertise and skills, to advance the meeting industry.

Respecting Diversity:

• Embrace and foster an inclusive business climate of respect for all peoples regardless of national origin, race, religion, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental impairment.