I found this interesting article about Live events. I recently attended a live event in Wollongong hosted by Steve Dixon from Breakthrough 4 Business and I am happy to say the speakers did introduce their products but the value they provided was definitely worth more Value.
Here is an article I found from Joel Comm
You may have received a postcard in your mailbox informing you that some well-known celebrities were appearing at an arena in your city to motivate you and your company to new heights.
Maybe your phone rang and you picked up to hear the overly enthusiatic voice of a persuasive person inviting you to a local real-estate seminar that would help get you out of the rat race and into the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Perhaps your inbox contained an email telling you to save the date for an Internet marketing conference that would help you make more money online than you ever thought possible.
For decades, live private and public events have been a cornerstone for many in the real estate, travel, personal development and Internet marketing industries.
I’ve attended and been a speaker at a number of these events.
The good ones deliver on their promises with valuable content and excellent follow through. They have the potential to be life-changing.
The bad ones exist to part you from your money and have the potential to change your life as well — in a bad way.
Both kinds of events might be labeled “pitch-fests.”
When my first ebook took off in 2005, I found myself swept up into the Internet marketing world.
Sales letters, squeeze pages, upsells, downsells, digital delivery, shopping carts and such were all new to me. It was an exciting time. People enjoyed the product I created. I built my reputation quality and on over-delivering value.
That’s why I was so interested in entering the realm of public speaking. I’ve always been a communicator. I enjoy speaking to as many people as possible at one time. It allows me to share my knowledge and experience en masse. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a room full of people with light bulbs going on over their heads as I share with them!
Because of the success with my products, I was asked to speak at event after event. In line with my successes, my topics have included Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, application development, and entrepreneurship. I am passionate about bringing value to people from the platform and I’ve always had three goals in mind whenever I appear on stage.
1) Inspire people – I want others to have a sense that what I am sharing with them is attainable… that they can apply themselves and make it happen.
2) Educate people – My talks are content-heavy. If you aren’t taking notes, you will likely miss something valuable that you can use in your own business or life. Regardless of whether or not people purchase my products or services after a talk, I want them to walk away feeling they received great value from the time we spent together.
3) Entertain people – With me, what you see is what you get. I can be a bit of a joker and I allow that attitude to be a seamless part of my presentations. I don’t put on shows. I just get on stage and be myself. I derive great pleasure from sharing my sense of humor and making people laugh. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?
There are essentially two ways for a speaker to be compensated at a live event. Either he/she is paid for their talk or they sell their stuff from the stage.
There’s nothing wrong with selling from the stage, as long as it is done with integrity. However, I prefer paid gigs. They demonstrate an event promoter’s greater desire to provide value by investing in their speakers and not depending on sales to pay for the event.
Earlier in my speaking career, I was somewhat naive. I attended and spoke at several conferences that opened my eyes to the seedy side of live events.
This is how selling from the stage works.
The promoter putting on the event invites the speaker to take a slot on the agenda. The speaker delivers the speech and uses the opportunity to sell their product and/or services. The speaker and the promoter then split the revenue generated from the sales pitch. The speaker receives no other compensation. In fact, they are almost always responsible for their own travel, lodging and expenses when invited to speak at one of these events. The split is more often 50/50, with the speaker responsible for all follow-up, support, credit card fees, etc. That is why it is imperative that the speaker sell product. They are starting out in the red before they speak a single word.
Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach. The promoter is spending their time and money to put people into the room. If they do their job right, the speaker has an opportunity to get their message and product in front of a qualified audience eager to learn. It’s a legitimate model that goes awry when placed in the hands of greedy, irresponsible people.
Again, I was naive. I thought every speaker was motivated by their passion for what they were teaching. I thought bringing value was the prime directive every time someone took to the stage. I thought promoters were genuinely concerned with the well-being and future success of the people who paid to attend their conference. I was wrong.
Making money and selling product is definitely important, but that happens when you genuinely care, deliver value and demonstrate authenticity.
There are definitely some promoters and speakers that have integrity, are fully authentic, seek to bring value and genuinely care about other people.
But unfortunately, there are those who don’t share the same values. No, I will not name names. That’s not my style. But here are some true-to-life examples of what I experienced…
- I spoke at one event where I stood outside the room with the promoter, and he proceeded to mock the “sheep” that filled the room. He commented that they would “buy anything.” I remember standing with an associate as this person spewed this vile attitude. Neither of us could believe what we were hearing.
- One promoter used (and still uses?) his best-selling book as a tool for putting people in rooms where extended pitch-fests would go on for a number of days. NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) tactics and outright brainwashing were used to “wear down” attendees so they would be vulnerable to high-pressure sales pitches. I’ve seen table runs where people who don’t have the money to spend invested $10,000 – $25,000 on coaching programs. When I spoke for this person, his first question to me as I prepared to take the stage was “what’s your price point?” Ouch.
- Another promoter (who is VERY well known and respected from those who haven’t seen the real person) didn’t even bother knowing who was speaking at his event. Nor did he place a call, send a card or even an email to let me know that he appreciated me training his attendees.
- One very large conference promoter wanted me to speak at their event if I paid for my own travel, hotel and expenses, AND shared 75% of what I sold with them. I politely told them that they were out of their minds. What kind of speakers do you expect to get when your offer is so insulting? Ones who are desperate for exposure or have no real value to bring. The good news is that these promoters no longer fill rooms and have had to change their business model. I still wouldn’t even do business with them.
- Yet another promoter chided my assistant while I was speaking (and threatened to pull me off stage!) because my blog url showed up on my order forms. He didn’t want any of his attendees to be able to make direct contact with a speaker unless he was going to earn something from it. I would consider this the opposite of an abundance mentality. I will credit this promoter with apologizing to me and my assistant after the event.
That’s just a small piece of what I witnessed from the promoter side. Even worse is what I witnessed from many of the speakers who appeared at these events.
Want some examples? I thought you might…
- I witnessed a well-known Internet marketer speak on how anyone could make money as an affiliate marketer, selling other people’s stuff. So far, so good. Then he proceeded to charge them $2000 so they could sell HIS product to others! A bunch of people bought it. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen happen.
- In the early days of AdSense (when I was teaching people how to legitimately make money with Google), one speaker told a large audience that they could make money with AdSense without lifitng a finger. For $10,000, he and his team would build hundreds of websites that would generate AdSense revenue for them. I witnessed a table run where twenty people offered up their credit cards seemingly without a second thought. It was remarkable. Shortly thereafter, Google changed their algorithm and the scheme failed miserably. It is my understanding that the promoter and the speaker were forced to refund the entire $200,000 to those who bought into “too good to be true.”
- Another smooth-talking speaker would appear at as many events as possible, sell his high-priced course, and have absolutely no follow-through. His reputation eventually caught up with him, but not without leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Of course, when people have negative experiences with someone calling themselves an Internet marketer, it pollutes the entire pool.
- Numerous speakers used their entire stage time talking about their “rich and famous” lifestyle, and sharing testimonials touting how great they are. Zero content, all sales pitch. I saw this happen recently coming from a person I once trusted and it makes me sad. As the late Zig Ziglar once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
- Then there is the endless parade of speakers who never really made money online (there are many of them), those who provided easy push-button solutions (which rarely solved any real problems), and the outright BS’ers that lied, lied and lied some more.
I have been on very few stages the past three years and will often turn down invitations to speak before large audiences because of the promoter and/or the others I would be sharing a stage with. You would probably be surprised at some of the high-profile people I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
I cautiously accept some invitations if I know the promoter’s reputation or if I am being paid to speak without having to sell. I don’t enjoy selling from the stage. I find it is much better to over-deliver on content and let people who are interested in my products or services come to me because they have already seen a demonstration of how I can help them.
So does this mean that you shouldn’t attend events where speakers are pitching from the stage? No, that isn’t what I am saying.
What is DOES mean is that you should be aware that not everyone has your best interests at heart.
If you are going to attend an event, you will know fairly quickly if it is a pitch-fest. Take notes and absorb all the value you can. You WILL likely receive value. Remember, the good Read More
If you would like to keep up with Steve Dixon visit Breakthrough4Business