The association was founded in 1988 by William H. Just, CAE, CMP as the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM) as the first and only association to serve convention services managers. In September 2011, the association changed its name to Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA). The new name more accurately embraces the diversity of the roles our members play and their evolving responsibilities in their venues and cities. Importantly, the new name focuses on our members and their vital contributions, rather than simply referencing their job function as our previous name did.
ESPA is dedicated to elevating the event and convention service profession and to preparing members, through education and networking, for their pivotal role in innovative and successful event execution.
ESPA members hold many positions in Convention & Visitor Bureaus, Convention Centers, Conference Centers, Hotels and Resorts. Some of these include:
- Convention Service Coordinators, Managers and Directors
- Event Service Coordinators, Managers and Directors
- Housing Managers
- Operations Managers, Directors
- Directors of Convention/Trade Shows
- Catering Managers and Directors
- Facility Managers
- Attraction/Entertainment Facilities
- Audio Visual Companies
- Decorator Management Companies
Through education and networking, members: learn skills to be more effective service managers; gain a better understanding of the breadth of their role; and learn about planners' expectations. Visit Why Join ESPA for more on member benefits.
ESPA Code of Ethics Statement
“Ethics” can be defined as the critical, structured examination of how we should behave — in particular, how we should constrain the pursuit of self-interest when our actions affect others.
From: The Business Ethics Blog, 2010, Chris MacDonald, PhD
Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) presents the following ethics statement to establish and promote the professional behaviors we feel are vital to our work in the hospitality business.
We believe it provides a framework that will guide us to follow the right path in our duties. It also tells the marketplace that business practices which adhere to decency and integrity are in line with the values ESPA represents. ESPA’s Guiding Principles:
We will at all times conduct our business and ourselves in such a way that reflects the highest degree of ethics and morality beyond reproach.
We will extend cooperation and respect to all colleagues, clients and industry partners equally, treating them with fairness and courtesy.
We will not exploit professional relationships for personal gain.
Each member of ESPA is responsible for elevating and representing our profession of event services management with credibility and integrity.
We will choose methods of solidifying or fostering professional relationships that are ethical and driven by quality of service.
We will not engage in or condone any form of harassment or discrimination.
As members of ESPA, we will continually strive to raise our ethical expectations and encourage continued education and dialogue.
Read about the History of ESPA (formally ACOM).