It’s been many years since we last openly discussed the question of whether or not to pay for the travel and expenses of out-of-town speakers for WordCamps. I’ve seen a few discussions around (and have had quite a few with people, myself), so I thought it was time to have a post about it. The Background Info
Speaking at a WordCamp has always been considered a volunteer contribution. In the same way that developers donate their time writing a patch for core, speakers donate their time sharing knowledge with the greater WordPress community. If a speaker chooses to submit their talks to WordCamps where travel would be required, the expectation is that they will cover their own expenses.
The global community team stresses a local focus for WordPress events, to not only keep costs manageable, but also to foster that sense of community that makes our project so unique. We ask organizers to do the following things:
Focus on having primarily local speakers at your event
Choose high quality speakers (and presentations) over quantity
Crowdsource potential speaker suggestions from your Meetup members
The Current Info
The conversations I’ve been seeing/having lately often are