Are all ‘conferences’ the same?

I remember going to my very first ‘conference’. It was marketed as a Coach’s super conference where I would learn from a plethera of ‘world famous’ coaches and come away with lots of useful information. I would learn a whole host of stuff. The cost was minimal for the actual conference, something in the region of £70 for a weekend, as the organiser was doing it to be philanthropic. It was being held near an international airport in an hotel. I decided I would go and booked my hotel room, and set off to learn something new.

I was sorely disappointed. The very first presenter was Paul McKenna. He spoke for two hours, gave everyone a free copy of his latest book. He was extremely interesting and didn’t sell a thing.

After this the ‘conference’ went downhill rapidly. Every speaker that followed on that first day was selling their product. Whether it was a coaching course, a weekend of inspiration culminating in a fire walk, how to be a tv star etc. Not only that, there was the pressing of the urgency buttons because the audience were invited to run to the back of the room to sign up now as there were only 9, 8, 7, 6 places left and so on.

And these products were priced in the hundreds or thousands of pounds. Plus, if you signed up today, you could get the whole ‘conference’ on video to keep forever for only £xxxx.

I did meet some lovely people in the audience, some of whom were as disappointed as I was.

I stayed the night in the hotel, which was lovely by the way. After breakfast the ‘conference’ continued. By the first coffee break in the morning I had had enough. I couldn’t take any more blatant selling. So I left. I went home. I vowed never to go to one of these ‘conferences’ ever again. I did learn something at that ‘conference’, not to go to another one and not to do the same thing myself.

Of course, there are many ways these selling shows are created. They are billed as one day workshops, or weekend retreats. The main aim of these is to upsell, even though you do learn something about yourself whilst you are there.

And, of course, once you have bought into the upsell, and you have moved on to whatever course, product it is, there is always another, more expensive course or product to buy.

So, are all ‘conferences’ the same. No, there are genuine conferences where you learn stuff that is useful to you and where you are not asked to buy something else much more expensive. But do beware, as I learned the hard way, that not all conferences are what they are advertised to be. And, if it looks too good to be true, that is probably right, it is too good to be true.

If this resonates with you, and you have had a similar experience, get in touch with me today and tell me about it. I will be really interested to hear about your experiences.

Maggie Currie

Transformational Coach, ConsultantFounder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

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