Code of conduct

We are dedicated to providing a welcoming, harassment-free, inclusive, educational and enjoyable conference experience for everyone. Our code of conduct sets out the behaviour we expect from everyone involved in our events.

Rough Agenda is dedicated to providing a welcoming, harassment-free, inclusive, educational and enjoyable conference experience for everyone (regardless of characteristics such as gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or professional experience).

Anyone violating these rules may be penalised, sanctioned, expelled from the conference (without a refund) and/or banned from future events at the discretion of the conference organisers.

Our Code of Conduct applies to all of our events including social events. We may also use its spirit and wording to remove potential participants (including attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors) from the list of attendees prior to the event if we feel they may jeopardise the welcoming and safe environment we aim to provide and/or our reputation as a professional event that welcomes a wide variety of people to help them meet, learn and do their job a little better.

What we expect

We expect everyone involved in the event including attendees, speakers, staff, exhibitors and sponsors to help create the welcoming environment we expect. This applies to our in-person and online events, social activities and online chatter.

Our events are professional events (despite what the silly bits of the conference might sometimes suggest!) and we expect people to act accordingly.

Participants asked to stop any harassing or inappropriate behaviour are expected to do so immediately.

While alcohol is available towards the end of the conference day and at some of our social events we expect people to know their limits and not drink excessively. Being intoxicated is not an excuse for bad behaviour.

What we don’t tolerate

We do not tolerate inappropriate behaviour or harassment of attendees, sponsors, speakers or event staff in any form, including inappropriate online conduct such as responses to talks or comments.

Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for our events, including within talks.

Harassment includes offensive or inappropriate verbal or online based comments (that may be related to characteristics such as gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, level of geekiness, affiliation with Google or pre-disposition to SEO related jokes), sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following (except, of course, the twitter kind), harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks (no one likes a heckler, including on Twitter), inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.

Exhibitors in the expo hall and all staff at the venue are also subject to our code of conduct policy. Exhibitors should not use sexualised images, activities or costumes, which in any way could create a sexualised environment.

How to report something to us

If you are being harassed, experience inappropriate behaviour, notice someone else being harassed or someone acting inappropriately, or have any other concerns, please let us know.

We will be more than happy to provide assistance in contacting the appropriate venue security or police, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment or inappropriate conduct to feel safe for the duration of the conference.

Our welfare team is a small mixed gender group of senior members of the Rough Agenda team.

We will do our best to handle complaints discreetly and in confidence however are clear that there may be occasions where it is appropriate to break confidentiality when there is immediate danger to you or others, for example if there is a safeguarding concern, or there is a legal obligation to do so.

You can contact our welfare team via [email protected], calling or texting 07716 809306 (during our events), by speaking to a member of the brightonSEO team at our Friends desk on the ground floor of the conference, or by speaking to a member of the brightonSEO team at our social events.

You can report concerns anonymously, but that will limit what we can do. If you are happy to give your name and contact details we will get in touch with you as soon as possible to investigate any breaches of our code of conduct.

What happens if something is reported to us

If someone is immediately in danger we will involve venue staff or the emergency services as required.

If appropriate, we may ask for more information from you or others involved to help us decide what to do.

We are not best placed to investigate complex issues and may suggest you take action independently of us, e.g. report an incident to the police.

There may be occasions when a report of a breach of code of conduct is hard to verify, e.g. there are no third party witnesses.

We may choose to make a decision based on what may have happened and/or by weighing actual and potential harms of acting or not acting on the complainant, subject of the complaint and/or wider community. This would not be intended as a declaration of what definitely did or did not happen.

If our welfare team decides that the code of conduct has or may have been breached they may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expulsion from the conference (without a refund), or bans from future events (either fixed or indefinite).

As outlined in our terms and condition, Rough Agenda reserves the right to refuse admission or eject any delegate deemed to be behaving in an unacceptable manner. We do not tolerate any form of unsociable or unacceptable behaviour, and will act upon any behaviour reported to us. All attendees and sponsors of the event must follow the Code of Conduct.

Useful resources

Here are some useful organisations you can seek specialist support and advice from:

Rape Crisis - support for people who’ve experienced sexual violence and abuse

Citizens Advice - advice on what to do about harassment

Glitch - resources for people experiencing online abuse

Sussex Police

Mind - for mental health support

Samaritans - for someone to talk to if you're struggling

Last updated: 17 May 2023

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