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From Nóirín Plunkett <noi...@apache.org>
Subject Re: apachecon eu speaker subsidies
Date Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:52:18 GMT
On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM, Steve Holden <steve@holdenweb.com> wrote:
> A further data point, now I have had time to revisit our budget for ApacheCon NA.
> The current budget assumes that there will be five tracks with 24 talks each over three
days. We plan to subsidize each talk by offering the speaker a $250 honorarium and one free
night's accommodation (to a maximum of three talks).

Historically, I'm pretty sure it's fair to say that a majority of our
speakers have not had the unrestricted right to work in the US: this
caused problems with a keynote speaker's honorarium in the past (and
was one of the things my own immigration lawyer quizzed me about last

I would *much* prefer to see these funds applied directly to the
speaker reg fee, and I certainly think if we're invoking "fairness",
it's much more fair to do so.

> I just wanted to be clear that "no free tickets for speakers" does not equate to "no
support for speakers." I personally believe that declining attendance (which ASF members have
expressed some concern about) might be associated with the price, so this year's proposed
downward price movement will to some extent test that theory. If everyone feels like you I
suppose I could lose a lot of money ...

Understand that my reticence comes from a history of our having been
talked into "experiments" previously that there was no way to undo
when they turned out to be worse than what we'd had before, and is not
an objection to your basic premise.

I think more communication is required--assumptions on either side are
easier to deal with at this stage than later :-) I agree that downward
price movement is a very worthy experiment, but I have a fundamental
difficulty with requiring speakers to pay just to get in the door of
the conference they're speaking at, and I find it more offensive, not
less, if there's an honorarium attached.

What are the middle grounds here? Can we ask, but not require, that
speakers buy a ticket? Get rid of the honorarium and provide them with
free tickets? Get rid of the honorarium and require them to buy a
ticket that's significantly lower-cost?

It's your job, IMO, to tell us when talking-time is up, and to decide
what the right thing to do is even if a handful of us disagree with
you :-) But I appreciate the opportunity to talk about it and work
together to try and find an optimal, not merely a reasonable,


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