CMX Summit Code of Conduct

CMX Summit is an amazing opportunity for community professionals of all stripes and those interested in community to come together, learn, network, and share. CMX created this community conference with the goal of expanding professional growth opportunities of all kinds for our attendees. We believe an explicit code of conduct is a great way to help us stay aligned with this goal and with our core values.

We value the participation of each member of our community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to show respect and courtesy to other attendees throughout CMX Summit and at all CMX Summit surrounding events, such as the parties.

To make clear what is expected, all delegates/attendees, speakers, exhibitors, organizers and volunteers at any CMX event are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

The Short Version

CMX Summit is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.

All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual and other exclusionary language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. As we serve a tech-savvy audience, communication includes social media postings by attendees concerning CMX Summit.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Behave professionally. Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for CMX Summit.

Attendees, sponsors, speakers, and staff violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organizers.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly event for all.

The Longer Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors, exhibits, or similar activities are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Staff, including volunteers, should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

Be careful in the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Excessive swearing and offensive language are not appropriate for CMX Summit.

If a participant engages in behavior that violates this code of conduct, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Contact Information

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a CMX employee. CMX employees will be wearing “CMX Staff” t-shirts. They can either directly help or contact another employee who can.

If the matter is especially urgent, please contact any of these individuals:
Erica McGillivray, Director of Product Strategy and Community Experience
David Spinks, CEO
Katie McCauley, Head of Learning + Community Operations

CMX will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

Procedure for Handling Harassment

Attendee Procedure for Incident Handling

1. Keep in mind that all CMX employees will be wearing a t-shirt with the words “CMX Staff” on it. Staff will also be prepared to handle the incident. All of our staff are informed of the code of conduct policy and guide for handling harassment at the conference. There was also a pre-CMX Summit meeting where employees and our volunteers received information about working at CMX Summit, including reiteration of the code of conduct.

2. Report the harassment incident, preferably in writing, to a conference staff member. All reports are confidential.

When reporting the event to staff, try to gather as much information as available, but do not interview people about the incident. Staff will assist you in writing the report and collecting information.

The important information consists of:

  • Identifying information (name/company) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

CMX employees are well-informed on how to deal with the incident and how to further proceed with the situation.

If everyone is presently physically safe, involve law enforcement or security only at a victim’s request.

If you do feel your safety is in jeopardy, please do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement by dialing 911. If you do not have a cell phone, you can use any venue phone or simply ask a staff member.

f at all possible, all reports should be made directly to Erica McGillivray.

CMX Staff Procedure for Incident Handling

Be sure to have a good understanding of our Code of Conduct policy above. Also have a good understanding of what is expected from an attendee that wants to report a harassment incident, also above.

Try to get as much of the incident in written form by the reporter. If you cannot, transcribe it yourself as it was told to you. The important information to gather includes the following:

  • Identifying information (name/company) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

Prepare an initial response to the incident. This initial response is very important and will set the tone for CMX Summit. Depending on the severity/details of the incident, please follow these guidelines:

  • Take them seriously. Always bias toward the Empathy to a victim/reporter and be supportive, not skeptical with disbelief.
  • If there is any general threat to attendees or to the safety of anyone, including conference staff, summon security or police.
  • Offer the victim a private place to sit.
  • Ask “is there a friend or trusted person who you would like to be with you?” (If so, arrange for someone to fetch this person.)
  • Ask them “how can I help?”
  • Provide them with your list of emergency contacts if they need help later.
  • If everyone is presently physically safe, involve law enforcement or security only at a victim’s request.

There are also some guidelines as to what not to do as an initial response:

Do not overtly invite them to withdraw the complaint or mention that withdrawal is okay. This suggests that you want them to do so and is therefore coercive. “If you’re okay with it [pursuing the complaint]” suggests that you are by default pursuing it and is not coercive. Do not ask for their advice on how to deal with the complaint. This is a CMX employee responsibility. Do not offer them input into penalties or make promises around penalties. This is also CMX’s responsibility.

Once something is reported to a CMX employee, immediately meet with Erica McGillivray. The main objectives of this meeting is to find out the following:

  • What happened?
  • Are we doing anything about it?
  • Who is doing those things?
  • When are they doing them?

After the meeting and discussion, have a CMX employee communicate with the alleged harasser. Make sure to inform them of what has been reported about them.

Allow the alleged harasser to give their side of the story to the staff. After this point, if report stands, let the alleged harasser know what actions will be taken against them.

Some things for CMX employees to consider when dealing with Code of Conduct offenders:

  • Warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in sanctions.
  • Requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event.
  • Ending a talk that violates the policy early.
  • Not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy.
  • Not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event now or in the future.
  • Immediately ending any event responsibilities and privileges the harasser holds.
  • Requiring that the harasser not volunteer for future events your organization runs, either indefinitely or for a certain time period.
  • Requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return.
  • Banning the harasser from future events, either indefinitely or for a certain time period.
  • Removing a harasser from membership of relevant organizations, such as banning them from CMX’s site and online communities.
  • Publishing an account of the harassment and calling for the resignation of the harasser from their responsibilities. (Usually pursued by people without formal authority: may be called for if the harasser is the event leader, or refuses to stand aside from the conflict of interest, or similar, typically event staff have sufficient governing rights over their space that this isn’t as useful.)

Give accused attendees a place to appeal to if there is one, but in the meantime the report stands. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to encourage an apology from the harasser.

It is very important how we deal with the incident publicly. Our policy is to make sure that everyone aware of the initial incident is also made aware that it is not according to policy and that official action has been taken – while still respecting the privacy of individual attendees. When speaking to individuals (those who are aware of the incident, but were not involved with the incident) about the incident it is a good idea to keep the details out.

Depending on the incident, CMX may decide to make one or more public announcements. If necessary, this will be done with a short announcement either during the event and/or through other channels. No one other than designated CMX employees should make any announcements.

If some attendees were angered by the incident, it is best to apologize to them that the incident occurred to begin with. If there are residual hard feelings, suggest to them to write an email to Erica McGillivray. It will be dealt with accordingly.

This Code of Conduct was adopted from the example policy from the Geek Feminism Wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers, which is under a Creative Commons Zero license.