Have a code of conduct

A code of conduct explains what sort of behaviour is acceptable at your event, how violations will be dealt with, and how to report a problem. It shows potential attendees that they should feel safe at your event.

It’s important to run an event where everybody is shown respect, courtesy, and kindness, and a code of conduct (CoC) is a reminder for everybody to do that.

A good code of conduct will explain:

Advertise the CoC prominently – on your website, when buying tickets, in your introductory remarks at the start of the day. Make sure people know about it.

A code of conduct is only as good as its enforcement – so you have to follow through with it. Have a documented procedure for dealing with bad behaviour, and stick to it.

Don’t be shy about calling out problems if they occur. At PyCon UK 2016, if there was a CoC violation, we did three things:

This helps people see that you’re enforcing the CoC (and hopefully makes them feel more comfortable making a report, if they need to). It also serves as a counterpoint to people who say “this sort of behaviour doesn’t happen in our community” – unfortunately, it almost certainly does.

Further reading