You (or your firm) might be paying $2,05o to attend Autodesk University + flights, hotel, ground transportation. But the organization running Autodesk University is cutting the pay it gives people who give classes.
One long-time speaker tells me pulled out after he learned about his new pay grade:
Honoraria: Free admission to conference. No accommodation, no travel expenses covered.
- All virtual classes taught = $0
First live class taught = $0
Second live class taught = $400
Roundtable discussion = $100
The $400 for the second class tells me that AU is pressuring each speaker to come up with at least two classes. More classes-per-speaker means fewer presenters on-site, and so lower expenses for AU.
In addition, he tells me that AU has cut back on the benefits of the Guest Pass -- now renamed the Evening Pass. It costs $250, but this year covers only the three evening activities. Guests can no longer join their spouses for breakfast or lunch, and cannot enter the exhibit area (unless they pony up $75 more).
Yah, so you're paying $2000 to listen an expert speak, who may well be compensated $0 for his talent.
The Original AU Zilch-Pay Policy
This reminds me of Autodesk University when it was run by Miller Freeman. For the very first AU, the staff of Cadence (owned by MF) offered to pay me double the usual rate to give three talks. Nice gig!
The next year I was invited to speak again, but didn't accept after I noticed the sentence that described the full and complete compensation: "You will be compensated through the admiration of your peers." It has a lovely ring to it, but cold hard meaning is: $0.
Closer to the AU event, someone on the Autodesk Compuserve Forum -- yeh, that's where in those days we hung out online -- asked if I was going to speak again at AU. I said no, explaining why. People were astounded, for they had not noticed the new no-pay policy. Some speakers pulled out.
MF organizers were furious at me after I publicised their new zilch-paygrade. Heh, I pointed out to them that it was their problem that they weren't paying anyone! Nevertheless I was banned from AU for as long as MF ran it.