I was invited to speak at many conferences in Europe, so I travelled internationally to speak. The event gave me a free ticket, and I was not paid to speak. My travel and accommodation was fully covered by the event. My employer did not pay my travel expenses, and I took unpaid time off to speak. It took me 2 days to prepare for my 50 minutes speaking slot, and I had a mostly good time. I'm a man who has been speaking for 4 years. This was a for profit event. Also, I have both submitted for and been invited to software conferences. My main motivation is a) I usually enjoy speaking, as well as attending conferences, meeting people etc b) it gives me exposure and lands me consulting gigs. I'm self-employed so it's not really paid/unpaid time off is not the right way of framing it, but rather billable/non-billable time. In the beginning, perhaps naively, I sometimes paid travel/accommodation out of pocket. I was just happy to be accepted. Nowadays, I would refuse to speak if it costs me anything, except in some very rare cases where I feel I would be contributing to some higher goal. I've noticed that some conferences do not offer reimbursement, but when I ask them about it, they do. I've never asked for a honorarium for a talk so far. However, sometimes I teach a half or full day pre-conference workshop, for which I typically ask 50% of ticket prices. This has resulted in anything from a few hundred to a few thousand euro, depending on attendance and price. Recently, I've started getting more invitations, including to conferences that I would not attend and that I do no expect to gain new business from. I'm still struggling on how to handle these, eg refuse, negotiate fee, negotiate a better slot (such as a keynote), get them to add a pre-conf workshop day, ... Thanks for doing this :-)

Submitted in mid November 2015