Limited Open Source traveling budget

Submitted by dag on Sat, 2009/08/08 - 19:50

While I am waiting for a decision about a (partly) refund of my travel expenses to Japan Linux Symposium in Tokyo, I wanted to discuss what I expect from organizations for talking at conferences.

I am doing about 6 to 8 free presentations a year at Open Source conferences, starting from now I do expect reimbursements for travel expenses if they exceed a certain threshold. Neighboring countries are not a problem, but last year I went to Argentina for only 3 days because I promised to do a presentation (which became a keynote and 2 presentations) and our holiday plans to Argentina didn't materialize.

I don't feel bad for this one time, as it was a free conference and I had a great (but short) time in Buenos Aires. But I don't have a budget for doing this every year (especially the expensive plane tickets), and I certainly feel that if it is a commercial conference (entrance fees), I should get some of my expenses reimbursed.

That's why I may not go to the Japan Linux Symposium in the end even when my presentation was approved. It's a shame because I look forward to it, but then again, I am not a Dave Jones or a Jonathan Corbet after all...

Update: My request for expense reimbursement was granted, so I will be going to Tokyo after all ! Yeay \o/

I thought reimbursing travel

I thought reimbursing travel for speakers was "standard procedure". Just about every (reasonably sized) conference I've attended (and helped organize) reimburses speakers for their travel.

For what it's worth: I can *highly* recommend going to Japan! I'll be going to AsiaBSDCon again next year. I'm not intending to give a talk this time, but I find the price more than worth it. :-)

Some Conferences Even Charge the Speaker to Get In

While not a tech conference, I presented at CONduit last year and got a nice $20 discount getting in. Note that I had 2 presentations and they charged $60 (without the discount). Start including the hotel room and it got expensive.

A lot of places figure you'll show up and present for the publicity alone. They're expecting you'll pay to "advertise" at their convention. While that works for some people, I found it somewhat insulting. After all, I'm supposedly there to add reason for others to come. The previous time I'd given these presentations they were literally lining the walls and sitting in the isles. That time I paid for the honor of 10 people scattered in a giant room.

Travel funds for Open Source Developer

I know that the Linux Foundation offer travel funds:

(From TLF website) That fund covers: LF Collaboration Summits, the Linux Foundation’s Japan Symposiums, the Kernel Summit, Ottawa Linux Summit,, desktop conferences such as Guadec and Akademy and other technical conferences where true collaboration takes place.

Also Ubuntu offer sponsorship for the Ubuntu Developer Summit. There is an "how-to" here:

Hope it helps!


Right, that's what I did. I

Right, that's what I did. I am waiting for feedback, but as the automated response indicated:

Thank you for your interest in The Linux Foundation Travel Fund. Your application is under review. A member of our staff will contact you within the next 14 business days to notify you if your application has
been accepted. Due to the high volume of applicants and the limited budget of The Travel Fund, we regret that we cannot reply to each inquiry on an individual basis. You will only receive a response if your application has been accepted.

If I don't get a reply in 2 weeks (ending this Monday) my request is silently rejected.