Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Subject Is Ethics

We've been sending out invitations to participate in quarterly short online surveys for a while now, and I've never received as much feedback on a topic as I did yesterday, shortly after our latest survey — on ethics in the industry — went live.

Seems like we touched a nerve. One respondent pointed out the irony of offering a drawing for a $50 American Express Gift Card as an incentive to complete the survey. The irony wasn't lost on us, but since American Express generously funds our surveys and we give respondents the option to be entered into the drawing, we didn't think it presented an issue.

But that's just the thing: Just as offering a carrot is a commonly accepted practice in the survey world, a lot of our survey questions have to do with commonly accepted meetings industry practices. What we are really after is what practices do planners think are questionable and when are they — if ever — appropriate?

Some things just aren't black and white. The subject of ethics in this industry makes for a fascinating gray area. We're relishing the opportunity to analyze the results and share them in an upcoming issue of Convene.

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