Inviting Bruce to Speak
I enjoy speaking at events, in companies and to user groups, and take every opportunity I can to do so. Especially if I’m already traveling to a location, I like to add speaking into the mix whenever I can.
Because I live in the mountains, about 4.5 hours from the Denver airport, travel is a significant investment for me, and this limits the number of trips I can make (presentation preparation is also a factor). Also, once I’m traveling (see the Event List), it’s easier to add more stops than to go home and make a new trip.
Enthusiasm is key – if your group is enthusiastic, that energy goes a long way in making the trip go smoothly and effortlessly. I love to be where I am really wanted. If your event feels right to me, I will make every effort to be there. If there is an honorarium (in addition to travel expenses), that is helpful but not essential – an exceptional experience is what really motivates me.
When planning the trip, see if it’s possible to add extra-curricular activities, such as visits to companies, business incubators, maker spaces, bookstore signings, and other places and activites of interest.
I am happy, and even prefer, to stay in someone’s guest room rather than a hotel, which often saves money.
I’m especially interested in trying new experiments. The more interesting the experiment, the more I want to participate. For example, I can help you create and organize an open-spaces event; I have had over ten years of experience creating my own open-spaces conferences.
Travel represents a significant opportunity cost for me – not just the actual travel time, but preparation (including creating presentations) and recovery. International travel has the additional impact of jet lag, along with potential cultural and food adjustments.
Even if there’s an honorarium involved, it virtually never covers the actual costs in time, effort and impact. Thus, the trip itself must be the payment.
I have had many exceptional travel experiences, and these always begin with the care of my hosts. The best experiences consist of a steady stream of opportunities for contact and connection, and this connection means the ability to have complex and meaningful conversations. For me, these conversations are the essence of my travel experience.
In some situations there are significant language (and sometimes cultural) barriers that prevent complex and meaningful conversations. If such a trip extends for too long, I begin feeling disconnected and isolated. I am still willing to consider a trip to countries where people are unable to converse in English, but please understand that, for the stated reasons, I must keep such trips short and busy.
I ask that all my travel expenses are covered. This includes:
Driving from Crested Butte to Denver and back (500 miles at the standard US IRS rate of 54.5 cents per mile = $273).
The Denver Airport hotel which includes the cost of parking during the trip. For domestic flights this usually means the night before the flight, and for international flights it often means the night after the return flight. In some situations, both nights may be necessary. A one-night stay including parking is usually in the range of $200-$300.
Incidental travel expenses like trains, cabs, luggage and visa fees.
Hotels and meals.
Domestic Travel (within the continental U.S.)
I don’t love to fly (and only fly on jetliners; no smaller planes), so I try my best to get nonstop flights. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines has a hub in Denver which produces nonstop flights to almost everywhere in the U.S., and they are also quite inexpensive and flexible. On occasion, other airlines are required, and in that case I ask for the fewest number of segments on the largest possible jets.
If you’re in Colorado, Utah or New Mexico it’s often just as easy for me to drive.
When I travel internationally, I ask to be flown business class on airliners where the business-class seats fold flat.
For Europe this means British Airways or Lufthansa because they have nonstop flights from Denver to Heathrow or Frankfurt, respectively, and then a single additional flight to the final destination.
Other international destinations must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
I sincerely apologize for this requirement, and if you can’t manage it, I completely sympathize. I know it is expensive, but being able to sleep in comfort is what motivates me onto the plane in the first place. For community conferences that are paying my expenses, however, I only ask for expenses and don’t ask for a speaking honorarium.
Check the Event list for conflicts. You may also find that an event is already scheduled in your area and you can add yours while I’m there, so I can do it in a single trip, which can often save money.
To inquire, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give details about your event and what you hope I can speak about, or how I can otherwise contribute. Please try to allow as much lead time as possible.