Honorariums - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-29-2008 Thread Starter
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I live on a small island (Full time population ~4,000) off the coast of Vancouver, BC. We have a yacht club which has narrowed it's focus over the years to a racing series and an educational program for kids. Membership (and, of course, funds) has declined as a result. Several people are trying to broaden the programs offered to revitalize the membership, funding, and overall interest in the club. One program being considered is a educational/social series where we would invite guest speakers to talk or hold a short workshop about a boating topic of interest, followed up with a video about a boating adventure or another topic of interest, followed up by a social hour ... "finally we drink!".

The question is, what is an appropriate honorarium for someone to come visit us and do a presentation? There is a bit of time overhead to get to and from the island (15 minute ferry ride plus queue). It seems a lot of people who do such things have something to "sell" (i.e. a service, a book, a product, a marine store, etc) so they derive a non-monetary benefit. It's obviously a small market and a fun place to visit. It seems that the overall compensation needs to be attractive enough to entice someone here. In the same breath it will need to be modest enough that people feel a value in attending for a small "cover" charge... and, of course, something our modest club can afford to subsidize if necessary.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, especially from those of you who might be doing something along these lines already (either as a club or as a presenter).
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-29-2008
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We belong to the Gulf Yacht Club here in Vancouver.. our monthly meetings are in exactly that format - open bar, short business meeting (20-30 mins) another bar break followed by a 1-1.5 hr presentation.

Our presentations run from members' holiday slide shows, to clinics on rope and rigging selection (offered by Pro-tech) to civic government speakers on topics including marina plans, marine support infrastructure, etc. We've also had presentations from non members, usually sailors that have completed a significant voyage or trip. Our presenters are given a pair of GYC wine glasses as a token of appreciation.

In your case you do have the Bowen Ferry and it's attendant hassle, but perhaps you could offer to reimburse those costs in addition to a token similar to ours.

Most presenters are quite willing to volunteer their time.. including local vendors.

You do need to get your membership up and interested if you mean to continue to offer the Round Bowen race as it has been run up til now!!


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post #3 of 3 Old 10-29-2008
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I'd agree that anyone with a service/product to sell should be glad to do an hour or so presentation for nothing more than reimbursment on direct travel expenses. A small gift from the club would be nice. My caution would be to ensure that they will give an informative lecture and not subject your membership to an one hour infomercial. I don't think it would be unreasonable for the board to request prior approval of the lecture to ensure some measure of fairness. Eg if Brion Toss came to lecture (call me and I'll fly up and be there ) He should be willing to discuss other methods of splicing in addition to his excellent splicing wand.

As for experts (self-proclaimed or otherwise) that will come and lecture without a product/service to sell. I think something along the lines of travel expenses and 2-3 times the hourly rate they recieve in their field would be a reasonable honorarium. Speaking as someone who does give outside lectures, I can tell you it takes a minimum of 10 hours prep to give a 1 hour lecture, obviously these can be recycled, but it still takes several hours of adjustment to the lecture for a new audience.

Be prepared to give the lecturer some demographics on the audience, it greatly helps in the preparation and creates a better and more enjoyable lecture for all in the end.

Hope this helps,

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Last edited by TxLnghrn; 10-29-2008 at 11:53 PM.
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