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I received an invitation reading
Acme Inc is organizing and sponsoring Timbuktu’s biggest annual developer conference called “Timbuk-Toot!”. Past speakers include Richard Stallman, Morgan Freeman, Humphrey Bogart and Cruella de Vil.
Would you like to give a workshop or a talk at Timbuk-Toot! in February 2019?
Let me know!
And that was it. It’s not nearly enough information to make a decision, so —unless it’s from someone I know, or I’ve always always wanted to visit Timbuktu— I park this, thinking “I’ll email back and ask them for more information”. Then, of course, the rest of the day happens and I forget about it.
So, if you’re emailing someone to ask them to speak, at a minimum I’d need this information:
- what do you want me to talk about? What’s the theme of the conference?
- How long is a talk? How long is a workshop?
- Are the talks recorded? Are they available to all, e.g. over YouTube?
- How many people attend? Who attends?
- You mention Acme Inc; is it an internal Acme staff conference, or open to the public?
- What are the dates? How can I answer when i’m only told “February 2019”?
- Are you paying for my flights/ accommodation? I suspect not, as you don’t mention it.
- If you are covering travel expenses, am I expected to pay them and get them reimbursed? If yes, how many days does it take for me to get my money back? (A the moment, over Xmas, I’m giving an two-month interest-free loan of 1000Euro to a conference.)
- If I’m a freelancer, are you paying a fee for my time? I suspect not, as you don’t mention it.
- Is there a code of conduct? Where is it? Is the speaker line-up inclusive? (Probably not, if you’re not paying expenses or a speaker fee.)
You need to tell me why I should care about it. You might be huge in the Timbuktu web industry, but I don’t know you. So far, all you have done is raise questions which means I have to reply to you and ask them, on top of all the other things I have to do today.
Don’t make me think!