True value of presenters

Funny old game presenting at conferences etc.

At some places you get paid well

At some places you get paid, but not so well

Some places cover your expenses, some don’t

Some expect presenters to pay a reduced entry fee, some let them in for free.

The latest offer to drop in my inbox takes the biscuit though – I can pay 3,000 gbp (yep 3 grand) for the opportunity to present at some conference in a few months time!

Of course there are various trade offs, and its not always clear who is providing the value and who is gaining. This offer just struck me as farcical though.

Who would want to go to a conference where the speakers paid 3k to have your undivided attention for half an hour or whatever? Thats going to be some high pressure sales misery right?

I enjoy presenting, but I wouldn’t call it a hobby, nor technically work as it rarely pays properly. There are a million things I would spend 3k on rather than the opportunity to present. Its just bloody bizarre.

Has anyone done this sort of things before? did the leads generated by your stunning performance recoup the investment?




6 Responses to “True value of presenters”

  1. Mike Alexander Says:

    I’ve never paid to speak anywhere, nor would I. …

    I have, however, spoken at webinars and seminars for free in the past.

    I can’t say for certain that is was a complete waste of time, but I can tell you there wasn’t a rush of business afterwards. In my experience, companies/people who attend free classes, aren’t likely to purchase anything. I don’t mind helping the community by presenting classes/seminars for free. I just try to keep the talks to an hour or so.

  2. Biggus Dickus Says:


    Interesting coincidence eh?

    To me this is just another example of a trend toward the large consulting firms controlling the landscape. It’s assumed that if you are a skills expert you must be working for a large consultancy and they should see the marketing benefit of you impressing attendess at the conference with your genius (?) as their representative.

    I am seeing more and more that the individual (or small) consultancy is being marginalized every day. I see two negative trends here:

    1. The money is flowing to the business entities who are doing everything they can to reduce their costs and maximize their profits by offshoring and using lower and lower cost skilled (or even marginally skilled) resources.
    2. There is less opportunity to develop the kind of industry leader role-models (such as yourself) giving energy to the idea of becoming a skills expert themselves.

    I am finding more and more clients wanting more and more for less and less (unless I had a name like KPMG or HP on my card). On the other side inflation is chipping away at our lives to the point where this business just may not be worth it any more.



  3. Simon Says:

    It used to be book authors pimping their wares, but I think Dick is right, its becoming a big company image thing.

    Big companies generally have ‘consistent mediocrity’ nailed but not much else. Having tidied up the mess left by blunderfucks employed by the big names sooo many times, their perceived value must be one of the miracles of modern marketing. Or one of the saddest indictments of modern purchasing?

  4. Biggus Dickus Says:

    “one of the miracles of modern marketing. Or one of the saddest indictments of modern purchasing?”

    Both – in spades.

    To me it’s a big club – the growth of the big IT Consulting firms relates mostly to the fact that IT managers in corporations are psoitioning themselves for jobs afterward in those SAME consulting firms.It’s an unstoppable trend.

    Eventually coporations will put a stop to it (like they did with the big auditing firms) but before then it’ll cost them a lot of money and will hurt the industry in a big way – but these guys will make LOTSA money …. so it’s ok I guess :-).

    The new definition of business ethics is “It’s ok as long as you make enough money to justify the risk of getting caught.”


  5. Simon Says:

    Actually Dick I think modern business ethics is its ok to shaft anyone and everyone as long as you visibly give a minuscule proportion of your ill gotten gains to some needy cause.

  6. Harlan Grove Says:

    Cynicism, Simon?

    I work for a large financial services firm that has outsourced nearly all of its IT to an IBM subsidiary. I have to wonder just how many attendees at this sort of conference would be from, how should I describe them?, end-user companies? IOW, just how small would a company have to be not already to have signed away its IT/IS decision making to the company to which it’s already outsourced its IT/IS operations? Or am I missing the point, and some of these 1st world IT outsourcing companies (the ones picking up the IT operations of others) actually hire you independents just long enough for their own people to learn enough of what you know that they wouldn’t need you any more?

    Gee, guess I’m a cynic too.

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