I proposed an idea to be on a panel at SXSW in Austin, TX, so I travelled domestically to speak. The event gave me a free ticket, and I was not paid to speak. The event did not pay for my travel and accommodation. My employer did not pay my travel expenses, and I used my PTO to speak. It took me 2 days to prepare for my 45 minutes speaking slot, and I had a great time. I'm a Woman who has been speaking for 3 years. This was a for profit event. Also, The conference did provide good exposure and opportunities to meet other thought leaders. It was also a critical experience for building and expanding my brand as a speaker.