I am invited to present in a session at a conference, and the conference requires presenters to pay the registration fee themselves. I usually will have some research grant/ travel fund to cover the registration fee; however, this year, I don't have any financial support from my institution. The conference is extensive and usually has lots of great talks in previous years, so I think it's a good idea to attend. And it's a big event so that I can promote my work and it's suitable for my key performance indicator (KPI) too. However, the fee is not small, and I don't know if it is normal for early career researchers to pay for these events themselves. If I pay, does it make me look bad because I feel like it shows that I failed to get research support?
Edit: thank you everyone for the answers! I should clarify that I only consider paying myself because it’s a virtual conference and so I don’t have worry about travel cost. While I know that virtual conferences don’t bring as much benefit as in-person events, it’s still not as easy as before the pandemic to travel, and I consider this as a way to get some interactions with people in the field. But I do agree that I should only do this at most a few times.