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What is the Price of Professionalism?

The Association Specialists has taken a very public stance against the practice of accepting rebates and commissions from third-party suppliers (such as insurance brokers, printers, venues, audio visual suppliers etc.).  We feel that this practice may be perceived to prejudice our ability to work on behalf of our clients, in their best interests. The article below by Peter Gray from Motivating People was featured in Business Events News (BEN, January 2015), and may be of interest to Association Boards, Executive Staff and Conference Convenors. Whilst being independent of The Association Specialists, the article strongly reflects our firm stance on fair and honest pricing and our corporate ethos.

What is the Price of Professionalism?

By Peter Gray

Recently, I heard some disturbing news; someone I have known and respected as an ethical and efficient conference and incentive operator has left the industries he has known so well for a good many years.  His reasons were plain enough.  He felt that there were too few people with real integrity left in these industries; that in spite of the illegality many were accepting undeclared commissions or providing ‘under the table’ marketing support, as  result of which many clients are being ripped off.

What has happened to decent, ethical behaviour these days?  Or does everything come down to the common denominator – money?

I can recall long discussions at AIA (the AustralAsian Incentive Association) conferences (the AIA was the forerunner of the IA) about incentive operators who accepted undeclared commissions – something that has been illegal in Australia for many years.  I also know of many who proclaimed themselves solidly against this practice but who were in the forefront of those who did it.

Whatever happened to being honest with clients?  In my book, ‘honest’ means free of deceit, being truthful and sincere…



A Psychology and Economics graduate, Peter has more than thirty years experience in creating, managing and rewarding incentive programmes, managing national and international conferences and events and advising on motivation and incentive theory and practice.  Peter is the current General Secretary of The Incentive Association Inc.  He was a board member of the former Australasian Incentive Association (AIA), Chairman of the Incentive Practitioners’ Council and a board member of the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He is also a speaker, writer and facilitator.

Peter can be contacted at