Should speakers get an honorarium? Comped conference fees? Airfare and hotel? Nada? The whole topic of how and if speakers get paid is a recurring theme among some folks who speak at industry events and meeting planners. Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine represents one side of the story with this rant about being offered a "special one-day registration rate" as recompense for being on a panel at an association show:
We as panelists come as their trained monkeys to give these conference organizers the only damned content they have and they expect us to pay for the bananas? Well, peel this!
Itâ€™s time for panelists everywhere to unionize, to rise up and form the International Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Amalgamated Blatherers, Local 1. We demand free nametags â€” with ribbons. We demand good bottled water on the table. We demand decent swag briefcases made of real fabric or leather, no plastic. And we demand a cut of the gate.
But Hugh at Gaping Void says it's worth his while to speak for free, because of the indirect payback he gets:
It's up to every person to decide for themselves, of course, but if someone was asking me to actually pay to provide content for their meeting, well, as someone who makes a living being paid to provide content, I think I'd just say no. Then again, I'm no speaker.