Conferences give stage to speakers. Very few conferences pay their speakers. Instead, many conferences make their speakers
#PayToSpeak through not covering the direct costs speaking at their conference incurs for the speaker.
We believe that #PayToSpeak lowers quality of conferences in a few ways:
- Experienced speakers choose not to pay to speak and are not available for #PayToSpeak conferences
- New voices cannot afford to make themselves available to conferences, especially in underrepresented groups and underrepresented speaker origin locations
- Likelihood of commercially motivated contents (sales over practitioner talks) increases
- Choosing to pay money for speaking is not a choice we can make, financially speaking
Conferences choose how they frame payment policies. We believe audiences should be informed on which conferences are #PayToSpeak and make choices with their money to support ones that are not #PayToSpeak.
Maaret Pyhäjärvi has for years maintained a list of testing, agile and programming conferences and their approach to #PayToSpeak. The results are available in a google sheet.