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by Francine McKenna
Putting together a great live conference is harder than it looks. For one, it costs money, but raising the funds can generate conflicts of interest. Major media organizations try to avoid such conflicts when they co-sponsor for-profit conferences with companies and executives they cover. Professional associations and trade publications, by contrast, produce conferences specifically to provide specialized “thought leadership” to discerning, pre-qualified targets of their vendor sponsors. In other words, they tend to be less circumspect about ethical issues.
A few months ago I was invited, then abruptly disinvited, to speak at a gathering of ethics and compliance professionals. To my chagrin, even those who recommend legal and ethical best practices to others will bend for the big bucks.