We wish it would never happen, but sometimes as organizers we have to respond to bad behavior at our events. If you see or hear about any behavior that is making the event less welcoming or more intolerant, then please take the following steps.
- Kindly but firmly explain that the behavior is unacceptable at WordPress events; if necessary, ask them to leave. Don’t shame them publicly, but also do not ignore it.
- The three part method of conflict resolution could come in handy here: “When you… I feel… Next time, please do this…”
- Another handy option is to approach it as a reminder “Don’t forget this is a family-friendly event. We don’t do…. ”
- If all else fails, be calm but factual: “Remarks like that are against our code of conduct.”
- Follow up with them after the event with a little more explanation and to thank them for being so willing to adjust (assuming of course that they did).
- Make sure you follow up with the other organizers.
Creating an inclusive environment is an ongoing process of gentle course correction. No one ever got everything right the first time they tried, but we all get better with each nudge in the right direction.
Note: Very importantly, if the situation turns physically aggressive, violent, or otherwise dangerous, do not try to handle it yourself. Call police if required.