Nearly anything that is trustworthy and profitable has cheesy scammy alternatives that follow the path they created. In many trades the associated conferences bring in more ad revenues than print adshttp://blogs.mediapost.com/research_brief/?p=1422:
According to a report from American Business Media president & CEO, Gordon T. Hughes, the face-to-face events industry is a rapidly growing, critical part of today's integrated business media environment. Face-to-face revenue has surpassed that of its print counterpart for the first time: In 2006, business media trade shows accounted for 36% ($11.3 billion) of industry revenue; magazines accounted for 35%. Events are the third-fastest growing segment of business media, surpassed only by digital and custom media.
Simon Chen recently posted about how unimpressed he was with the pich fest that was the first day of Ken McCarthy's 2007 seminar:
You see, when you come to â€œtrade showsâ€ like these, the speakers (or Faculty) are featured and marketed as leading practitioners in their field. You would like to think that if folks are forking out good money on the actual tuition or entry fee, airfares, hotel accommodation, average coffee and time away from their family, that the seminar organiser would insist that his faculty deliver content.
But this is where the basic model of these events is flawed. You see, the speakers all need (or want) to be compensated. So their sessions are platforms whereby they are supposed to deliver content to the audience and then gently mention that there are options for investing with them - by either buying their product or service.
In true US capitalistic fashion, some presenters get carried away. Instead of following the creed Content Is King, they get out of the gate quickly and go straight into sales mode. Hard. Pushy. Aggro. All the things that are old sell.
That conference is well known and Simon said the second day was better, but even amongst good content providers there are people who sell without mercy and without intent to provide any value, which is sad.
As bad as that may be, some people take it one step further by creating conferences that actually charge the speakers to speak. Talk about guaranteed sketchy content!
Scams emulate the format and structure of things that are real. Any format has its associated ups and downs, but anything that is wildly successful will also have outlier questionable versions pop up.
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