Ethical Hot Buttons

Planners weigh in on questionable business practices

NLR082011 Pie chartOne in five meeting professionals has engaged in unethical business practices in order to "get the job done," according to a recent poll by M&C Research. Of the 110 respondents to an online survey, 14 percent believe this industry is particularly rife with temptation, resulting in a high incidence of shady doings, while the majority (57 percent) maintain that meeting planners are not more apt to cross the line than people in other professions.

NLR082011 bar chartWith respect to fam trips (hosted by suppliers to "familiarize" planners with a property or destination), most of those polled feel they're ethically acceptable only if there is a real potential to take a future meeting to the site. However, 4 percent of respondents think it's OK to accept or request a free visit to a property they don't plan on using for business purposes.

Another 13 percent of those surveyed see no problem asking for a free stay or deep discount for their personal vacations.     


NLR082011 Data chart

29% of those who have paid someone off to get business done were uncomfortable doing so. Another 5 percent weren't bothered by it; they consider such actions common business practice.

42% say their organizations do not have an ethics policy that specifically addresses meetings.

34% of planners have given gratuities in advance, in hope of getting better service.

Just 28% of planners know about the Convention Industry Council's new ethics policy for the Certified Meeting Professional program. Read about it here: