[Owasp-leaders] Speakers at Appsec conferences

Tobias tobias.gondrom at owasp.org
Thu Sep 11 21:58:08 UTC 2014

Hi Jerry,

hm. I can see some good reasons where I would like to pay for some 
speaker's travel expenses.

(before starting: up to this date, I was in the fortunate position that 
I never needed to ask for money from OWASP for travel in my function as 
board member or speaker. And I think if other funding is available to a 
person, that should be used first and leave more money for the 
foundation's work.)

Having said that, I very much think that this situation can be very 
different for other speakers and paying for a regional flight or hotel 
can be a massive burden on a speaker's holiday budget. And many speakers 
don't have company expense budgets and could not afford to do this 
basically using their year holiday budgets to speak at an OWASP 
conference - even though OWASP is great fun, the spouses may not agree 
that this justifies spending all their holiday money on OWASP without them.

Some examples where I think it is very good that OWASP can pay speaker 
travel (flight and/or hotel):
- chapters inviting specific speakers to present at their chapter event 
about topics that are exciting for their community
- AppSec conferences: frankly quite a few of external keynote speakers 
will require travel expenses to be paid. Otherwise they would have to 
pay out of their private pocket and not come.
- OWASP tours where we help bring speakers from within a region to 
different chapters to present OWASP topics there and exchange ideas
- allow chapter leaders and project leaders to attend chapter and 
project workshops (e.g. at AppSec conferences) to help further improve 
their chapters and projects.

IMHO, these are good reasons to support travel for speakers if necessary 
and if it can be afforded by the hosting chapter.

Just my 2cents.

Best wishes, Tobias

On 11/09/14 22:22, Jerry Hoff wrote:
> I agree completely - I'm very much against OWASP paying for anyone's 
> travel - speaker, board members, guests (obviously excluding staff) ....
> Absolutely everyone should pay their own travel IMO. The benefit is 
> the opportunity is to speak in front of the OWASP audience.
> Can anyone give a good reason why OWASP pays for some member's travel 
> expenses?
> -- 
> Jerry Hoff
> jerry at owasp.com <mailto:jerry at owasp.com>
> @jerryhoff
> On Sep 11, 2014, at 14:11, johanna curiel curiel 
> <johanna.curiel at owasp.org <mailto:johanna.curiel at owasp.org>> wrote:
>> Defcon has a very different approach
>> Entree USD 220,-
>> Speakers pay their own cost I think
>> But why are they so darn good? Better than BH with all due respect. 
>> BH entree is between 1800-2500 for the briefings of 2 days
>> and Defcon is 4 days!
>> Defcon is very cool...(and cost 10x less but you get 10x fun)
>> On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM, Eoin Keary <eoin.keary at owasp.org 
>> <mailto:eoin.keary at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>     Given the foundation has 300k in the bank I don't see why we
>>     can't cast the net wider to include more speakers. It helps the
>>     foundations mission to spread the word and have high quality
>>     speakers at our events.
>>     Eoin Keary
>>     Owasp Global Board
>>     +353 87 977 2988 <tel:%2B353%2087%20977%202988>
>>     On 11 Sep 2014, at 21:54, Michael Coates
>>     <michael.coates at owasp.org <mailto:michael.coates at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>>     Steven,
>>>     Hope all is well and it will be great to catch up in Denver.
>>>     I always enjoy new ideas and discussion. I have a few questions
>>>     about your idea.
>>>     1. Do we have any indication that quality speakers aren't
>>>     applying because travel / hotel is not covered?
>>>     2. Do you think the quality of speakers would increase if travel
>>>     costs were covered?
>>>     3. How many of the speakers do you think are paying for their
>>>     travel out of pocket versus having it covered as a business expense?
>>>     4. Would you support an increase in ticket prices to cover the
>>>     costs of speakers? If not, where would you suggest the costs be
>>>     covered?
>>>     A bit of cost planning:
>>>     AppSecUSA has 79 people listed on the speakers tab.  Let's
>>>     assume travel as $900 per person ($500 airfare + 2 nights hotel
>>>     at $200 night). That comes out to $71,000.
>>>     Cost increase per attendee:
>>>     500 attendees +$142 per ticket
>>>     1000 attendees +$71 per ticket
>>>     --
>>>     Michael Coates
>>>     Chairman, OWASP Board
>>>     @_mwc
>>>     On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 1:11 PM, Steven van der Baan
>>>     <steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org
>>>     <mailto:steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>>         hi Leaders,
>>>         I've got a question for you all and it is regarding speakers
>>>         at Appsec
>>>         conferences.
>>>         I am of the opinion that we should cover expenses for
>>>         speakers that are
>>>         presenting at Appsec conferences. At the moment this is not
>>>         the case and
>>>         I truly believe that this is wrong. I think that if OWASP
>>>         wants the
>>>         AppSec conferences to grow in size, we should also give the
>>>         speakers
>>>         more than just an entrance ticket. I would like to see that
>>>         also some of
>>>         the expenses are covered. This is currently only done for
>>>         the keynote
>>>         speakers. I agree that the keynote speakers should be
>>>         handled more
>>>         special, but they are only the 'cherry on the cake'. It's
>>>         the speakers
>>>         that 'make the cake' and without good speakers you will have
>>>         a lousy cake.
>>>         I know that conferences like HitB and BlackHat/Defcon
>>>         provide hotel
>>>         expenses next to the entrance fee (with BH and Defcon you
>>>         can choose
>>>         between more badges or money). And they do get a large number of
>>>         attendees, especially due to the numbers and quality of
>>>         their speakers.
>>>         This is what I would like to see with the OWASP Appsec
>>>         conferences as
>>>         well. Being known for outstanding speakers and at the same time
>>>         attracting more attendees. Reflecting back at taking part in
>>>         organising
>>>         Appsec EU 2014, the attendee numbers where really low for a
>>>         long time
>>>         (below 100 up to two weeks before the conference). Thought
>>>         it did pick
>>>         up in the last two weeks, i firmly believe that these
>>>         numbers could
>>>         easily have been doubled if we take more care of our speakers.
>>>         I know that I have a personal stake in this as I'm one of
>>>         the speakers
>>>         at Appsec USA. But it should not only be an honour to speak
>>>         at an OWASP
>>>         conference, we as OWASP should actively support this
>>>         knowledge sharing
>>>         by stimulating speakers and meet them with their expenses
>>>         and take care
>>>         of the hotel for them. I am aware that in the current model
>>>         the Appsec
>>>         conferences are used to generate revenue for the foundation,
>>>         but I am a
>>>         firm believer that you first have to spend money to make
>>>         money: to
>>>         invest into the speakers, which in turn will attract more
>>>         attendees and
>>>         therefore generate more income.
>>>         Below are two tweets that I quickly found searching online
>>>         about this.
>>>         These tweets are from non OWASP members
>>>         https://twitter.com/MatiasKatz/status/323490014136791041
>>>         https://twitter.com/notsosecure/status/478912487182827520
>>>         I'd love to see this change happen.
>>>         Steven.
>>>         _______________________________________________
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