Algarve, Portugal 14-19 October 2018

Conference Policies

Code of Conduct

IMATA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and IMATA staff. Each and every participant, including attendees, speakers, volunteers, and exhibitors, is expected to understand and follow attendance policies. These expectations apply to all IMATA meeting-related events, including those events held in conjunction with IMATA conferences and events.


Click below to read each policy.


  • Personal Safety and Security

    IMATA works with venue staff to make sure meeting participants are safe. We ask that all attendees report any questionable activity to any IMATA or venue security staff for immediate action. No concern is too small – if you see something, say something.


    • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
    • Regardless of where you are, use the buddy system when walking to and from the conference location, networking event locations – especially during early or late hours.
    • Don’t wear your meeting badge on the street. Take it off as soon as you leave the venue.
    • Don’t carry a lot of cash or credit cards.
    • Don’t leave personal property unattended anywhere, anytime.
    • In an emergency, you should ask any IMATA staff member or the on-site security personnel to help you.
  • Responsible Drinking

    At many IMATA networking events, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served. IMATA expects participants at our events to drink responsibly. IMATA and conference host event staff have the right to deny service to participants, and may require a participant to leave the event.

  • Unacceptable Conduct

    • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.
    • Any abuse, including physical, verbal or non-verbal abuse, of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, IMATA staff member, service provider, or any other meeting guest.
    • Disruption of presentations at sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at any events organized by IMATA at the meeting venue, hotels, or other IMATA contracted facilities.
    • Examples of unacceptable behavior include comments related to gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, IMATA  staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment is unacceptable conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel uncomfortable, offended, humiliated and/or intimidated.  Examples of conduct or behavior which constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:


    • Physical conduct
    • Physical violence, including sexual assault
    • Unwelcome physical contact or inappropriate touching
    • The use of threats or rewards to solicit sexual favors Verbal conduct
    • Comments or insults based on appearance, age, private life, etc.
    • Sexual comments, stories or jokes
    • Sexual advances
    • Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
    • Condescending or sexist remarks
    • Sending sexually explicit messages (by phone or email) Non-verbal conduct
    • Display of sexually explicit or suggestive material or images
    • Sexually-suggestive gestures
    • Whistling or “cat calling”


  • Reporting Unacceptable Conduct

    If you or anyone else is in immediate danger at any time, please contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notify facility security.


    If you or anyone else is the subject of unacceptable conduct, please contact any of the IMATA staff below.


    IMATA has zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. If you experience or observe harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, IMATA asks that you please inform any of the following so that we can take action.

    Peter Gilgam – 1st VP   Grey Stafford - President

    Michele Sousa – Conference Chair Billy Hurley – Executive Director


    All reports will be treated seriously and promptly. Incidents will be handled with respect for the privacy of the victim, and will be confidential to the extent practical, given the circumstances. Reports may also be made anonymously.


    Upon receiving a complaint, the matter may be further investigated by additional IMATA Staff. Actions to be taken will be discussed beforehand with the victim of the harassing behavior, where possible.


    If the complaint is of a criminal nature, legal authorities will be notified.

    If the offense is not of a criminal nature, the IMATA staff receiving the report will listen to the victim and discuss next steps.


    If a person has been found to have harassed another person, any of the following may take place:


    • Verbal or written warning;
    • Suspension of attendance at IMATA-sponsored events;
    • Prohibit attendance at any future meeting


    The IMATA staff receiving the report will respect any and all requests of the victim to remain anonymous. Unacceptable conduct may be part of a larger pattern of repeated harassment. Please alert IMATA to all such conduct regardless of the offender’s identity or job title, even if you prefer your report to remain anonymous.


    Reports of unacceptable conduct by an individual may also be reported by IMATA to an individual’s employer.


    IMATA has zero tolerance for retaliation either on-site or at a member facility against individuals for reporting unacceptable conduct at IMATA-related events.


  • Payments

    All payments must be made in U.S. funds, drawn on by a U.S. bank, and payable to IMATA. Credit card payments will be processed in U.S. funds, in accordance with effective exchange rates. Statement to show charge by the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association.

  • Refunds

    All refund requests must be received in writing by Friday, September 14th, 2018. Refund requests received after this date will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  No refund consideration will be given for requests received after Monday, October 8th, 2018.  Approved refunds will be issued within 30 business days and a $50 processing fee will be deducted. Substitutions from the same institution or company will be accepted, in writing, without penalty.  Event tickets are nonrefundable. Please send cancellation or substitution requests to: Sarah Brignac, IMATA Treasurer (

  • Vendor Solicitations

    Solicitation of attendees and exhibitors by non-exhibitors is prohibited and individuals will be subject to expulsion.

  • Age Requirements

    No one under the age of 18 is permitted to register and attend the conference sessions, meetings, or social events, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the entire conference. That parent or guardian must be a registered attendee and over the age of 18. Children under the age of 18 must be registered and accompanied by a registered parent/guardian over the age of 18 at all times.


    Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the Exhibit Hall during exhibitor move in or move out.  Children are not permitted to partake in Exhibit Hall food events. Complimentary child registration badges can be requested at the onsite registration desk.


  • Media

    Photographers will be taking pictures at the conference, which may be used for promotional and educational purposes. Registration or participation in the meeting and other activities constitutes an agreement to allow IMATA to use and distribute attendees image or voice in photographs and recordings of the meeting - now and in the future.