I was going to go that conference, but it is too expensive as a private citizen. I see you are the key note speaker on Monday morning. Hope it goes well.
I think Pyrmont is one of the few urban maps in Sydney that I've run on - as a score event.
The money to put invited keynote speakers up in posh hotels has to come from somewhere :-).
I'm not used to commercially organised conferences - the registration fee ($1500 for three days) is about three times what we'd pay for an equivalent Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society conference.
and then there's the cost of airfares and (lessor quality) accommodation. I went to the same conference a few years ago and there was a $200 a head cocktail party. I got 2 pieces of sushi and a glass of wine for my $200!
However, as keynote speaker, l am sure they will look after you.
You pay for the chance to network.
I only did one of those commercial conferences as an invited speaker. I quickly gained the sense that my main role was to attract punters who would pay so that the organisers made money. Declined offers after that.
I used to fend off approaches for my companies to attend and pay mega bucks for the guarantee of "reaching all the industry influencers" made the mistake of attending a couple and always a flop compared to real industry conferences / trade shows.
This one is a real industry event (it's the peak conference for the industry) - but it's organised by a commercial company. Most people attending are sponsored by their (public sector) agency.