One event would only pay for the cheapest airfare for a long-haul international flight–to fly on my preferred group of airlines, I had to cover $400 myself.
Essential parts of the speaker package are travel (all or most of the cost), at least two nights at the hotel, conference ticket and lunch. I have made a few exceptions in the past, but am doing that less often now. These things must be offered upfront. I shouldn’t have to “beg” for it or apply for financial aid.
Several times I’ve been to speaker events that essentially left us in the hands of the organizers for transportation. This can be frustrating if you are feeling unwell, tired, or anxious. I’ve very much appreciated organizers who have announced alternate/ad-hoc travel arrangements for those who need them, and wish more would.
One event said they’d said a car to pick me up from the airport — but it didn’t arrive. And couldn’t contact the organisers on the day either. Added a lot of stress to getting to the venue on time.
I spoke at a conference in Moscow, and was told that transport from the airport had been organised , but the organisers took too long to reply, I spent 2 hours in the airport with other speakers trying to figure out what we were supposed to do.
Recently I had a conference want to send me back on a flight the last day of the conference meaning I would miss it, that made me sad, also no breakfast included in the hotel, which can be stressful first thing in the morning, not something I need when i’m essentially working.
ArrrCamp 2015 – My train was involved in an accident while I was on the way to the airport in Brussels. I pinged the conference organizers on twitter and they called the airline to notify them of the issue, and were extremely helpful when it came to any other travel assistance I needed.