Eli White has an interesting new post about the PHP community and the conferences/presentations associated with it. According to his commentary, it's being done wrong and not quite how other communities/companies do it.
The PHP 'conference circuit' if you will, is one that has grown up in a different manner than other conference circuits that I've been familiarized with in the past (Java, Adobe, 'Web', etc). In most of these other areas, the speakers are PAID to attend. [...] On the flip side, in the PHP conference circuit, every speaker there, in fact, is PAYING for the right to attend that conference and be a part of it.
He talks about the fact that speakers will have more than just the cost of the conference to worry about. In fact, sometimes they can all add up to more than the conference would have cost them normally.
In the end, my point is this. I feel that given the nature of all of these conferences. That the organizers and attendees need to understand the situation and treat the speakers not as a '˜professional speaker that they paid good money to see'. But as what they really are. Far more akin to an Open Source Developer, who is donating their time for the better good and education of the masses.