Conference behaviour: give a little respect

Movers are well known for having frank and open discussions, and that is a good thing. But, says Jesse van Sas, Secretary General of FIDI Global Alliance, in the modern society of today, international associations also have an important role to play in promoting respectful discourse, tolerance and diversity of thought

The art of civilised and respectful debate is being challenged these days. People seem to have sharpened their tongue, perhaps influenced by social media discourse in a rather polarised society – or simply because they do not feel comfortable with our changing, inclusive society. FIDI, however, operates in a business environment, where there is never room for toxic disputes.  

Put 600 individuals from six continents and 100 countries together in one conference hotel, and you have a vibrant and fascinating environment in which business can thrive. But this can also bring a risk of improper or misunderstood behaviour. Unintentional cultural misunderstandings are to be expected from time to time; this is perfectly normal in such an international community. Indeed, because of the international nature of our business, these cultural differences are usually swiftly dealt with through one particular trait we (should) all have: respect.

Respect is the keyword when it comes to how we should behave to one another. Regardless of their ethnicity, beliefs, disability, gender or sexual orientation, every person in our community deserves to be treated with respect.

In the past years, there have been a few incidents during conferences, where attendees have not behaved appropriately towards others. Perhaps you have witnessed such incidents, or been a victim of it yourself. A few drinks at the bar, combined with lack of sleep and the feeling of being in a private environment away from family and friends can trigger such behaviour. Drinking alcohol clearly has an important effect on social behaviours – but it cannot be an excuse for improper conduct.

It is important for you to know that the FIDI Board has taken action against participants breaching the rules of conduct in the past, and that they will continue to do so for any future offences. The FIDI Conference will remain a safe space, where every person feels welcome and included in our community.

FIDI has a very clear set of rules of conduct at our conferences, to avoid anyone feeling left out or treated inappropriately. The Conference Code of Conduct is part of FIDI’s commitment to promote best practices within its membership and to ensure that the FIDI Conference is an enjoyable experience for all participants. As such, it applies to all attendees, staff, speakers, sponsors, volunteers and guests, within any location and venue where FIDI Conference activities and events are being held. Any kind of harassment, offensive comments, aggression or intimidation will not be tolerated. 

The FIDI Conference is one of our industry’s highlights of the year, which, along with the annual IAM convention, is recognised as a key opportunity for the relocation world to meet up and discuss developments in our business. Let’s keep up the high standards and friendly atmosphere by enjoying our diverse and dynamic community with understanding – and respect.

“The Conference Code of Conduct is part of FIDI’s commitment to promote best practices within its membership and to ensure that the FIDI Conference is an enjoyable experience for all participants”

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