Paying to Speak at CLMA
A few years ago I had a thriving consulting business which included speaking at conferences all over the country. I spoke to clinical laboratory groups, healthcare executives, civic groups and a variety of other professionals. I was asked to deliver keynote addresses and had the good fortune of making several overseas trips.
Not only did I enjoy the work, I loved the lifestyle. I was paid handsomely to speak about topics that interested me and even visited several exotic places on someone else's dime. Due to the downturn in the economy (and that didn't affect only the US by the way; several countries felt the pain as well), the business dwindled. I was forced to take a full time traditional job.
This day job pays the bills, but it also means I do not currently have the time or flexibility to entertain the invitations that have recently started to trickle in again.
I was asked to speak at the CLMA conference (ThinkLab 2010) in Las Vegas next week. I gladly accepted and made my arrangements after several logistical hiccups associated with the bureaucracy. For one thing, CLMA organizers and the conference hotel had me staying for 3 nights (as I requested) but they both had different dates-and both were wrong.
Another issue is that attending the conference will actually cost me money as opposed to getting paid handsomely as I had become used to in previous years.
Yet, I will gladly attend. I will use vacation time from my day job to attend this conference. Why? Well, I love speaking and I think I still have something valuable to say. In the past I have agreed to speak at small conferences for a minimal fee as well. I love this profession and am willing to make sacrifices for the advancement of the profession.
I guess the larger point is that rewards are not always monetary in nature; and service is not always convenient or lucrative. But it sure is worth it.