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Speaker Compensation

About Speaker Compensation

As mentioned in the AgileDC Frequently Asked Questions page, speakers for full 45-minute talks receive a free ticket to the conference. Speakers for 10-minute lightning talks receive a discounted ticket. We value your contribution to the program, and are honored that you will take your time and effort to share that with the local Agile community.

We sometimes get questions about why we do not pay speakers, nor pay travel and accommodation expenses for them. Some people see this as discriminatory, as not everyone works for a company that will fund their employees speaking at a conference.

Many of the Agile DC organizers are self-employed and can sympathize. Some of us lose a bit of money when we speak at conferences, but do so for the experience of attending the conference at reduced cost. This can sometimes mean losing out on some conferences because it’s just too expensive to participate.

AgileDC does not pay for travel and accommodation for a couple of reasons.

  1. This is a regional conference, and we assume that the attraction is stronger for both speakers and attendees in the local area. We are amazed and gratified at how far some people will travel at their own expense to speak at Agile DC. Some do it for the marketing publicity. Some do it because it fits with other travel plans. Regardless of the benefits, we welcome everyone to be a part of Agile DC. Bringing in speakers from far away is not, however, central to the vision of Agile DC. We have a lot of local talent that deserves to be heard.

  2. This is a charitable conference. You may hear many conferences say they are non-profit, in that they use all the proceeds to fund the conference and related community gatherings. We do that, also, but we go a step further. The AgileDC conference is run by Agile Philanthropy, an IRS-registered 501(c)(3) Public Charity. All funds in excess of the costs of running the conference are donated to local charities, as chosen by the conference organizers. Let’s face it--there are many with greater needs than the neediest of conference speakers. In 2018 we donated over $70,000 to charities in an attempt to make the world a better place for us all.

  3. We prioritize accessibility for learners. We have purposely kept registration fees more affordable than comparable regional and national conferences in order to allow those who are self-funded to easily attend. It is most important to us to keep the learning opportunities open to as wide of a group as possible.

Our intent is to benefit as many as possible. We hope you will support us in this mission. If you have suggestions on how we can improve, we'd like to hear from you directly. Send us an email at