Quite a few people have noted that Blogtalk Downunder isn’t free… or particularly close to being free. In fact, at $175 it’s quite an outlay for many people who blog but don’t have organisations willing to fund them.
We totally appreciate peoples concern and would very very much like to be able to offer the conference for less (or even for free) but unfortunately that’s impossible… and here’s exactly why:
We’re not an exhibition
There are no vendors stalls, you can’t buy anything and we’re not selling anything. ‘Exhibitions’ are essentially large marketplaces with some public interest events… the stalls pay thousands and thousands of $s to be there and that’s why they’re $10 at the door to get in.
We’re flying in some of the cream of the blogging world
Our invited speakers really are a selection of the most highly respected and knowledgeable individuals in the world when it comes to blogs. They come from round the world and we have to fly ‘em, put ‘em up and support their attendance. I’m happy they’re coming!
Location, food & drinks
Your conference fee gets you morning and afternoon tea and lunch on both days at one of Sydney’s premium venues. How much would that cost you without the conference?
Now, considering that you’ve probably got to add the work of the organising committee (entirely unpaid), this site and all the work that’s gone into it (also unpaid), editing and processing all the papers (guess what, unpaid) and the time that’s gone into marketing, publicising and getting the conference going in the first place (allllll unpaid).
And despite all of this, I believe (through experience) that we are offering the most affordable (non ‘exhibition’ / ‘vendor’) conference fee that you’ll find in the whole of Australia (and NZ / Europe / N America too). Seriously! I have NEVER been to a professional 2 day conference with all of the above for less than AU$300… Blogtalk Downunder is AU$175.
In fact, I’m so sure about this that I’ll buy each person who can disprove me a beer at the conference.
So please understand, we do appreciate that $175 is a pretty big ask for a student or someone on a low income… but besides from holding it in a barn, inviting no-one from overseas, sending you to the milk bar for food and whacking up a one-page brochureware site at geocities… there’s not a lot we can do!