Getting PHK to speak at your conference

Chances are you are going to be disappointed reading this, because I get more invitations to speak at conferences, than I actually end up speaking at conferences.

It’s not that I don’t like speaking at conferences, I actually don’t know anything better than to get people to laugh and to think.

But I have a one-man company I need to keep profitable, and that means I have to send a certain volume of invoices to people who are going to pay them, or my creditors will become upset.

Here is some negotiable guidance, try to see where your event fits in, and then send me an email, if you are still interested.

Free Talks

There are talks I really want to give and/or places I really want to give them, in which case I’ll do whatever it takes, likely pay my own way, and even thank you profusely for the invitation. If you don’t already know if your event is in this category, it probably isn’t: Read on.

Friends and communities to which I belong know where to find me, and they don’t have to do much to persuade me. You also know who you are.

If you’re asking me to give a talk I have mostly already prepared, and I happen to be in the neighborhood anyway, your chances are good.

Not Free Talks

I used to (somewhat) politely decline invitations that got to this point because I have no intention of making a living on “the talking circuit”.

But I always felt bad about it, so bad that often I would simply “forget” to answer, because I felt terrible saying “no”.

It’s hard to say “no” because invitations invariably come from people who have good reasons to invite me. They have a vision for the event they’re organizing, and I feel it is unfair for me to just veto their vision.

So I have decided that it’s more fair if I simply quote people what it will cost to get me there, and leave the cost/benefit decision to them.

Travel and stay

If air travel or sleep overs are involved, and you have gotten this far, you will have to pay for that, no matter what.

I live in Denmark, CPH is my airport and I must leave home two hours before take-off, so if the total flight time is more than approx 1.5 hours, I’ll probably need to sleep somewhere.

I don’t fly airlines with unfair labor-practices (ie: Ryanair) or too shaky safety-records (ie: Banned from EU).

Hotels I don’t care much for or about, as long as they are clean, not too noisy and have working internet access.

I don’t mind sleeping in a private guest-room, in fact if we know each other, I’ll far prefer that: It gives us more time to hang out and chat.

My Time

If your event is academic, community or not-for-profit, the amount of travel is reasonable and it’s not at an inconvenient time for me, I may donate the time I spend. (Hint: Access to interesting bits of technological and/or cold-war history is good PHK-bait.)

If you represent a profit making venture, you will always have to pay for my time, my one-man company is not in the business of sponsoring your business.

Creating a talk for your event takes at least one day, but can take more, depending on the subject etc.

The event itself will be at least one full day. However, having paid for me being there, I can participate in round-tables etc. as well.

If I have to travel for more than 8 hours in total, I will bill you for that time as well, with a possible exception for really scenic rail-roads.

My billing rate for these days is 960 euro/day, normal EU VAT rules.

Now, send me an email, and lets talk about it…