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Respect your Conference Speakers

timnash.co.uk | Jan. 26, 2015 | 1 min read

Pretty gutted to be dropping out of speaking at a WordCamp event :( But ultimately it's not fair on volunteers and speakers to pay to speak.

19 votes   Flag
Vladimir Prelovac

Its pretty unbelievable that they are charging speakers. Really wonder what kind of thought process produced that idea and checked it as a good one.

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Pascal Birchler

I could probably live with that, but not if I was a volunteer. Imagine you're at the welcome desk all day long and need to pay for talks you never attend.

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Tim Nash

While the post is from a speakers perspective, as this is where I find this attitude happens a lot, I was genuinely shocked when I found out volunteers were expected to get tickets.

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Nemanja Aleksic

There's no excuse for such a behaviour. If you charge organizers and speakers, then you either:
a) Suck at organizing events, in which case you should step down, or
b) Want to cash in on the event in some way

Frankly I don't know which one is worse.

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Tom Harrigan

In the case of a WordCamp, b) would be worse in my opinion. The structure isn't really set up for that, and it's not a for-profit conference. Some seriously shady stuff would need to happen in order for this to occur. I don't think for a second that this was the case though.

Everyone is volunteering to be part of the conference, including the organizers. It's their time and energy that make the event happen. I agree that it makes no sense to charge organizers, volunteers, speakers. As a speaker, I'm used to having to pay the costs of travel and lodging, which can add up very quickly. Having the ticket paid for and having a speaker dinner is a nice way of giving a high five to everyone for making it out to the conf and giving their time/expertise to the community.

Since everyone is a volunteer, I don't know that I'd necessarily assume the organizers are amazing at organizing events, I would assume that they love WordPress and that's why they're there. I'm think that Central helps out a bit with the organizing process, including giving the organizers the best practices/strategies for fundraising. If the organizers had a really tough time with fundraising/sponsors (or if there were other factors we don't know about that led to a rough planning/execution), then this compounded with the other issues Tim mentioned seems to be a lesson learned very harshly by the organizing committee. Hopefully with these lessons under their belt, future conferences will be run differently and everyone will be happy again.

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