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Pay-to-speak conferences, day 2
By Dave Winer on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 7:43 AM.

A picture named joe.jpgOf the hundreds of tech conferences, only five, Mesh, PaidContent, BlogHer, 0redev and Gluecon responded to the question in the first Pay-to-speak piece, all saying that they didn't do it. That leaves us to wonder about the others. #

I think most of the others do it, or have thin excuses that somehow, to themselves, justify it.  #

For example, Jason Pontin of Technology Review writes, via email: "Our conferences aren't 'pay-to-speak,' but sponsors are now fairly immovable on this issue: today, they won't sponsor without a speaking slot."  #

Yes, I'm aware of that.  #

He continues: "We get around it the same way TED does: we invite potential sponsors to sponsor a lunch. It has the benefit of transparency, and (we think) better serves our event's attendees: insofar as a sponsor speaker has any value to attendees, he or she probably has more value if they speak openly about their products and services, rather than presenting themselves as 'thought leaders.'" #

Not sure what I'm missing, but that seems to me, in every way, to be pay-to-speak.  #

PS: Some conferences spell out the connection between sponsorship and speaking, in writing#

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