Like many of my (ageing) contemporaries, I regularly get approached by conference organisers asking me to give ‘keynote’ addresses to their events. I’ve noticed a trend: the glossier and more upmarket the event, the less inclined the organisers are to offer a speaker’s fee. Guy Clapperton has noticed the same problem — and pointed me at this wonderful rant by Harlan Ellison.
My rule btw is that I will do stuff free for charities and non-profit educational or public-service events. Companies pay, preferably through the nose.