MoM discussion: Should we pay for events?

On: October 7, 2008
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About Arno de Natris
Finished the Master in New Media in august 2009. See for mor details about me on


Trying to provoke a discussion here. Why do conferences and other events costs so much money? All access to PICNIC would have costed you more than €1200, getting involved in BlOG08 conference €195, with a discount still €95. ‘Ridiculous’, says MoM coordinator Geert Lovink, ‘these events shouldn’t cost more than €20.’ Edial Dekker, one of the organisers of BLOG08 admits that €195 is a lot of money (for students). ‘We would love to make it less pricey, but our budget is very limited.’

What do you think? Would you pay hundreds of euros for a conference, as a professional or as a student? Or should events be free and should the organisations have to search for more sponsors? Do the speakers make organisations poor? Or, is organising conferences just an easy way to make a lot of fame and money? Should we boycott these events? Should we, as being students, be happy with a €100 discount? After all, we work in a creative industry… Feel free to leave a comment!

9 Responses to “MoM discussion: Should we pay for events?”
  • October 7, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I’d like to know if ‘mass media’, a television crew or reporters from newspapers, are required to pay the 195 euro entrance fee as well.

    Cynicism tells me that they will enter for free and make a televised or printed item nobody cares about, all in the name of ‘publicity’.

    On the other hand: every blogger could make the claim to be ‘a member of the press’ which makes the allocations of discounts a potential nightmare…

    It’s quite difficult. Speakers = money = convention. Sponsoring would be an option, but which company needs attention in the blogosphere?

    Hopefully the convention will go very well, so New Media students can enter for free next year ;) It shouldn’t become a sort of extra Picnic, because one Picnic is already bad enough.

  • October 7, 2008 at 5:20 pm


    The Old Media are picking us up!!

    I mean, it’s nice and all but it making the difference between Old and New (which seems to be important only if it features in the ‘Old’) embarrasingly clear.

  • October 7, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    If a blogger is passionate about an upcoming event then (i think)it is his/her responsibility to approach the coordinators with a written proposal. I’ve done this in the past, and you’ll be surprised the places you can get into. Especially if your blog is affiliated with a University.

    It’s presumptive to assume that “any” new media blogger should just have free access to all events; or that bloggers should boycott events they aren’t allowed free access to.

  • October 7, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    a more pressing matter for me is the gathering itself. It seems to be an effort to commodify and professionalize the blogosphere. I personally do not think this is a very good development and will therefore not attend, if this is a boycott, fine…I however agree with Chris that a blatant boycott on the grounds given in this post I think is not the way, better make an argument on the underlying implications of this tendency on the web made clear by such an event.

  • October 7, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I think the professionalizing of the blogosphere can’t be stopped as much as we perhaps want to. I think you will get some kind of elite in the sphere, if it isn’t there already. The BLOG08 site announces with the ‘rockstars of the web.’ Who made them the rockstars? Is that the reason for an event to be that pricey: the rockstars? Are we paying their colour sorted M&M’s?
    It’s a tendency we’ve seen in other media we can’t avoid, I think…

  • October 8, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I agree with Arno that the blogosphere will probably become more and more professionalized and commercialized. But I do think that boycotting events like this doesn’t solve the problem. What we need to do is understand the driving forces behind this process and come up with new ideas (like the one Chris proposed). We have to become entrepeneurs who use the system for the cause of good.

    Commcercialization and professionalization in the blogosphere isn’t good or bad, it’s just a dynamic in the networked society.

  • October 8, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I’m one of the BLOG08 organizers and I’d love to make it less pricey. Truth is though that I can’t organize a conference as good as this one without a budget of 50000 euros. Speakers fee, flights, hotels, Pakhuis de Zwijger, marketing, trust me, it’s pretty damn expensive.

    I think a solution would be some sort of fund. Like the UvA Alumni fund. Write them with a good proposal, ask for a free ticket, and off you go. If only it would exist…

    (and regarding the traditional media, like it or not: it’s still the best marketing out there for large conferences. If you take our 50000 euros financial risk, I will stop inviting and celebrating them)

  • October 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm


    some thoughts on your post. I agree that just boycotting these events will not make any difference. The study of the driving forces is ofcourse necessary.

    I’m not sure about what you mean with the assumption we have to be ‘entrepreneurs’ who use the system for the ’cause of good’ though. Isn’t becoming an ‘entrepreneur’ just accepting the assumed professionalisation of the blogosphere, before even knowing if this is indeed ‘for the cause of good’?

    We don’t know if professionalization and commercialization is a good or bad thing in the blogosphere, right? Probably both.

  • October 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    What I meant with ‘entrepeneurs’ is that we must try to understand how the system (of commercialization) works & use our knowledge to bend its rules. I’m not saying that we should simply accept ‘the assumed professionalisation of the blogosphere’ & become ‘one of them’. I’m saying that only through the use of our knowledge we can transgress/deform the system.

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