Speaker Expenses Policy

At The Ministry of Testing, we host several software testing conferences each year, under the name of TestBash.

We don’t believe any speaker or workshop facilitator should have to pay to speak at a commercial conference, we feel such policies act as barriers to hearing from new and diverse voices in our profession. We're long term supporters of first-time speakers, many who would struggle to get any kind of financial support from their employer. We feel very strongly about this and we believe our speaker policy reflects this. We are always looking to improve it and push the boundaries when it comes to speaker support. We’ve supported speakers from our very first TestBash.

Here is the short version of what TestBash offers:

  • This shouldn’t need listing, but of course, it includes entry to the conference and the workshops.
  • Pay all reasonable travel costs. Including flights, buses, trains, taxis, ferries, car mileage, parking and of course your accommodation, no matter where you are located in the world, our expense policy is not capped.
  • We provide a service that allows you to book your own flights, collect your own points, but the cost is charged directly to us. This service is called TripActions.
  • We provide a conference hotel, you just need to let us know the dates you wish to stay, and again the charge comes directly to us.
  • However, if you do wish to book your own travel and accommodation you can do so. We will reimburse before or after the conference upon proof of the costs via a digital copy of receipts/invoices.
  • We aim to reimburse you within two weeks of getting your receipts.

The above applies to all speakers, so if doing a paired talk, both speakers would be entitled to the above.

We’ve expanded on each of the covered costs below.

Flights

Reasonable can mean many things but our view, when it comes to flights, is economy tickets. Unless you can justify to us why you require a higher class.

We are also flexible when it comes to which dates you fly out or back on. Let’s say the conference ends on Friday, but it’s £500 cheaper to fly home on Sunday and flying on Sunday doesn’t impact you, and the extra night’s hotel are less than £500, grab yourself a break/holiday!

The same applies if you have friends/family at the location, and you want to stay a week after the event to visit them, as long as the flights are not more expensive, go for it!

Accommodation

Ministry of Testing will cover your hotel from the night before TestBash, up to and including the night of the final day of TestBash, this doesn't include the night after an Open Space as attending the open space is optional. For example, if you are speaking at TestBash Brighton and we have Workshops on Thursday, TestBash on Friday and an Open Space on Saturday, we'd cover the hotel from Wednesday until Saturday. Unless as mentioned in the 'flights' section, it’s cheaper all around for you to arrive or leave later. Any days where we cover the cost of your accommodation, you are expected to attend the event.

We like to give speakers flexibility and choice in places to stay,  however, we have started block-booking rooms at a decent nearby hotel, we feel this will benefit Ministry of Testing and help us control some costs and make it much easier for speakers. You'll be contacted by one of the organisers to ask which nights you'd like booking. However, it's not mandatory you stay there if you prefer some other accommodation that is a similar place we'd be happy to let you book that and reimburse you. We would also be happy to refund AirBnbs/Apartments if their cost is similar to the recommended hotels.

Ministry of Testing will provide a list of nearby hotels and will arrange fixed rates with nearby hotels that we feel are reasonable. Keep an eye on The Club and our Slack Group for conversations and recommendations for accommodation.

Public Transport (Trains, Buses, Ferries etc)

Same approach as with flights with regard to travelling a few days earlier or later than the TestBash. Economy tickets, unless you can snag a first-class ticket much cheaper in advance than a standard fare. Or you have a need for a higher class that you can justify.

Cars and Taxis

Some speakers will be able to drive to a TestBash, if this is the case we will cover your mileage at the agreed government rate for that country. In the UK, this is currently 0.45p per mile.

Parking, if driving to a TestBash, we will cover any parking costs you incur. If driving to the airport to catch a flight to a TestBash, we will also cover that parking fee.

You know, if acquired on your way to TestBash, we’d even cover speeding and parking tickets but please don’t speed or park illegally, that’s not cool.

Taxis and Lyft costs are covered. We won’t refund Uber, well, we will, but their ethics trouble us. Any Taxis related to getting to and from a TestBash event will be reimbursed by Ministry of Testing.

Half-day Workshops

We pay £/€500 per workshop at TestBash, this fee is split between the instructors. This is on top of the expenses mentioned above.

Tutorials / Full-day Workshops

If you are invited to do a full-day workshop/tutorial at a TestBash event the remuneration is £/€1500 + £/€50 for every additional attendee after fifteen*. As well as all your travel expenses as mentioned above. So, if 8 people attend your workshop, you'd be paid £/€1500 + expenses. If 22 people attend, you'd be paid £/€1850 + expenses.

*We'll track the exchange rates and make changes to these if they start to drift too far apart

Please direct any questions to hello@ministryoftesting.com
Updated 11th February 2019