Off the back of Tony Albrecht's blog post on speaker fees for this year's Game Connect AP conference, a number of the event's organisers have come forward to address the matter. It seems a little attention has done some good!
Greg Bondar, CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA) and GCAP organiser, posted a comment to the story in an attempt to explain the reasons behind the fees. "Last year we had a number of speaker no-shows and this did no go down well at with delegates not to mention the added cost to the event in finding replacement speakers etc," said Bondar. "GDAA is a not for profit organisation and I am amazed at those that want something for nothing. Those that are complaining should be supporting us so we can put more back into the industry that we all live for."
In response, Albrecht posted: "Those that are complaining *are* the ones that are supporting you. Have you considered the cost of creating and giving a presentation? ... The people that give these sessions are generally quite senior developers and their time is very valuable to their company."
I'm not sure if Albrecht's reply got Bondar thinking, but the next time he commented, his reply was optimistic:
Dear Gamers, Game Developers etc.
OK - I am going to propose to the GCAP Committee that ALL speakers be given free and/or concessional regsitration. To err is human to forgive divine. I have been over-zealous. Sorry guys.
According to Steve Fawkner, a member of the GCAP organiser committee and Infinite Interactive CEO, there may have been a misunderstanding in regards to the fees, and that there's some leeway as to their implementation. "The truth is that speaker no-shows were absolutely a pain in the butt for GCAP last year, and it is something they're trying to address to make the conference better for everyone. My understanding is that the fee-for-speaking is not set in stone just yet so I think this might all naturally sort itself out in the correct manner given a little bit of time."
Many of these comments were also posted over Oz developer portal Sumea.