Muslim Entrepreneur Group Conferences
Have you ever attended or been invited to attend a Muslim Entrepreneur conference? Did you get “perceived” value from the conference? Was there a speaker at the event that you looked up to?
It seems like Muslim Entrepreneur Group Conferences seem to be the money making in thing right now.
This new trend may just be appearing in the Muslim Marketing world, however, Marketers and Motivators have been doing these for years. Speakers like Anthony (Tony) Robbins (probably the most famous of them all) discovered a long time ago that you could earn a significant amount of money by simply canning a motivational speech and getting people to make an “event” out of attending a conference…which instantly increases the worth and the ‘accomplishment’ someone feels they get out of it.
Is it any better than a webinar on the internet with these exact same speakers? Not really. The difference is that people that have not achieved the results they desire in their own online/business ventures feel a sense of importance when they attend conferences. They are in a room of like-minded people and they have paid a lot of money to be there. Whether or not it leads to any level of success is insignificant at that point.
At the root of it, the actual value is the act of going to/being invited to the conference.
The REAL Costs of Attending Muslim Entrepreneur Group Conferences
Attending a conference and paying the high ticket price is one thing, but then take into consideration a few other factors:
Flight/Travel. Average flight is going to cost £300, regardless of where you are travelling, and if you are lucky enough to travel within reasonable distance you are still looking at £100 or so.
Hotel. For a typical 3 day conference you will be looking at a minimum of 2 nights hotel stay depending on where the conference is located. Let’s assume a cheaper hotel at £150 for both nights.
Food. You gotta eat and even if lunch is provided you still have breakfast and evening meals to think about so add another £60 (I’m being conservative here!)
Time That You Are Not Working. Midweek conferences are cheaper for the organisers to book but this means you taking 3 days off work to get there. Weekends are typically eaten up by higher paying clients and companies but even so with more of us now working weekends there is still likely to be an income cost. Let’s say an average of £150 wage loss incurred.
Time Away from Your Family. An intangible cost, but one that has to be taken into account. When you leave to go to a paid conference, you are going to spend 2-3 days away from your family, sometimes longer. The argument typically is that you are going to the conference so that you can make your life better for your family/children but, in reality, you are creating a mountain of costs that could be better spent on them or building your actual business.
Add that up and you are looking at an extra £500 or so just to be at the event.
FEES. Then there’s the conference fees ranging from £500 to £2,000 for the experience. This itself is a bit like going to the funfair but without the thrill of the rides…in fact, you don’t even get to go on the dodgems. Instead you get to listen to a bunch of highly paid speakers whose sole motive is making MONEY from you.
When you fly or travel anywhere you feel like you are going on vacation and the level of “importance” that you think the engagement has (the conference in this case) is automatically increased. You feel like a boss, a success, part of an elite group. A group that most of the time only provides an illusion of having money.
Attendees tend to think even if they get a small bit of information from a conference or a couple of ‘insider tips’ from the speakers then it has been worth their while and expense. What they overlook is that any information or hidden gems they have been given could just have easily been found elsewhere…for free. Just because the information given is surrounded by motivational quotes and well used pearls of wisdom doesn’t make it worth any more.
Here’s some free and very real motivators for you right now:
Hard Work = Success
If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It
And one of my personal favorites:
Each Time You Think About Giving Up But Don’t, One Of Your Competitors Does
The speakers on stage are rarely the ones that are actually making the majority of their money by doing themselves what they are teaching you to do. Their main source of income usually comes from, well, being on stage, speaking at events like that one and selling you dreams and stories.
I have personally seen several people in the Internet Marketing industry that have failed as Internet Marketers yet somehow they have become speakers and experts on stage. They offer knowledge that is theoretical and ideas that “may” work claiming that they became millionaires by doing the very same thing they are teaching you to do.
We used to have a saying back in my sales days which was ‘All sales trainers are failed sales people’. That is exactly what is happening here…with an addition of overcharging and under-delivering.
In fact, these talks can be presented by anyone confident enough at public speaking with little or no practical experience and no hard evidence to back up their claims. What makes it worth doing is that conferences themselves can be very lucrative businesses.
Let’s look into the business model of running conferences.
Muslim Entrepreneur Group Conferences are PURE Business…
To understand why high ticket conferences are so expensive and why I believe they are unethical, you first need to understand the business model of conferences. The purpose of a conference is profit. Nothing else.
As much as the marketing and hype behind the conferences tells you that the purpose of the event is to HELP people, it is purely for the sake of the company running the conference and the speakers to line their pockets with pound notes. It goes far beyond a legitimate company seeking to build a business, and falls into the category of an opportunist taking advantage of desperate opportunity seekers.
Some reading this may think, if you are dumb enough to pay for something, then it is your own fault….or others may be of the thought that if people are willing to pay for something, then that makes the business model legit and ethical.
I highly disagree. People that attend conferences are often times desperate. Like a gambling junky at the casino unloading their last £1,000 in hopes of turning it into something much more significant.
Conferences are preying on the exact type of person. Someone who has tried and failed on one or more occasions and is now desperately trying to claw back something, anything. And the more times these attendees have failed the more likely they are to grasp at one ‘last’ straw.
Let’s look at the revenue of a hypothetical 3 day conference.
Price to Attend: £1000
Seats Available: 500
Total Revenue: £500,000 (yes, half a million)
Costs to Run Conference
Speakers at events: £50,000 (you can get some damn good speakers for this much, and if the speakers are also the organisers even better for them)
Conference Room: £15,000
Promotional Materials/Set-up: £10,000
Miscellaneous Costs: £10,000
And we can’t forget the affiliates that are getting a cut of the revenue. Let’s say on average they earn a combined 5% of all the revenue from the event.
Affiliate Payout: £25,000
Total Costs: £95,000 + £25,000 = £120,000
Total Profit (Revenue – Costs): £380,000
That’s right the person/company behind the conference in this scenario would be pulling close to HALF A MILLION net profit. Not too bad for a 3 day event!
I just want to put things into perspective for you as to what these conferences are really designed to do. The speakers are there for the SOLE INTENTION of getting paid from the conference: they couldn’t care less about helping you or whether you succeed or fail going forwards.
Every time you attend one of these conferences you are making someone else rich, and you are making a poor investment choice for yourself and your business. Not only that, you are also contributing to and increasing the problem.
Spending money to watch/listen to someone about how to become a success is always easier than going out and trying to be a success yourself. We naturally seek out a way where we can fast-track our way to achievement instead of working patiently towards it.
We would rather spend, in many cases £2,000, on a weekend conference sitting there, listening to information and taking ‘scribble’ notes of stuff we could have found on YouTube.
“Yeah, yeah…it’s all about the ‘networking’ though”. If only I had a £1 every time I heard that line.
Can this not be done through this funny little thing we have called the Internet? Amazing connections are being made every day, huge deals are being brokered, and people are creating hugely successful relationships through the World Wide Web. People are creating very successful businesses online. Every day. With hard work and a proper education.
I am not saying nobody has ever gotten any value from a conference and I am definitely not saying there are not some smart minds behind conferences or those who are attending conferences. However the majority are only in it for themselves.
There have also been spates of free invites to conferences. Sounds great except all you get is highly motivational speakers selling you a vision, keeping you on the edge of your seat with excitement and then KAPOWWW!. The big hard sell at the end where they take your hard earned money off you as easily as taking sweets from a baby, because they promised you it was so easy to become millionaires just like them.
Daniyal, Have You Ever Attended a Conference Though?
Yes, I have; Two in fact:
The first one was a free one day invite to a conference run by a company called Inside Track. A property investment company promising I would have a property portfolio to brag about within a year. I would be financially secure, own a big house of my own mortgage free and could travel the world.
The location was a posh hotel in the Midlands and as per usual with these things places were limited so I had to be quick to register my interest.
I have to say the speaker was very good. Along with his associates and ‘previous successful attendees’ they told their stories and showed us photos of amazing properties that they owned. How they had started with almost nothing and were now the envy of their friends and families.
They suggested that any questions we had could be left until the end and would be answered. I made notes of what to ask like “How many people have signed up and lost their money?”
I never got the chance. Towards the end of the day they gradually began to reduce the signing up price from £6000 to £3000. Then right at the end they bought out some property buying DVD’s which normally retailed at £299 a set and offered them free to the first hundred people who signed up right now at an even further reduced price of £2000.
Anyone interested was asked to join the queue at the back of the hall. As the mad rush began I was left sat there looking for someone to direct my questions at. By now the speakers were packing up and the queue at the back was rammed. The chap sat next to me turned to me and asked “how about we go halves and pay £1000 each?”
I just grabbed my jacket and left.
The second one was an Online Marketing conference for which I had the pleasure of parting with £299 (special price for a select few with limited seats available). It was a couple of chaps selling the Internet dream.
The usual five page mailer with pictures of a big house, Bentley, expensive holidays and yachts etc. all earned by apparently doing very little and simply following their guidelines. It sounded like my day had finally come. When I got there though, it was a completely different story.
The £299 was simply an introductory fee to become an affiliate of their products. After sitting through all the usual spiel we were asked to sign up on a subscription program at £99 per month where they would help set up a website, help with marketing and proved licenses for the products which we would promote.
I remember clearly when the main speaker asked the attendees how many conferences they had attended. I remember putting my hand up, me and one other person out of around 600 people in the crowd to less than one conference.
Then he asked the audience if they had attended more than one similar conference and bought any of their products. Hands went up everywhere. In fact, almost the entire crowd.
You better believe that this came as a shock to me. The term ‘Glutton for punishment’ came to mind.
Why would anyone in their right mind attend a conference hosted by somebody, buy their products, have an unsuccessful go with them, and then decide it is a good idea to go to another conference and buy some of the rehashed products again?
Seriously, if you want to burn your money it might be a little more exciting to hand it out to strangers in some needy neighborhood where some may actually find a real use for it…. It seems the people attending high ticket conferences are part of the problem.
For me that was enough, my budget was well blown already. I caught up with one of the members a few months later who had signed up and he explained the process.
The first months £99 was teaching him how to set up a Facebook page and attract ‘likes’. The second month he was paying for a program teaching him how WordPress worked. His third (and last) month consisted of Ebay/Amazon marketing tips.
He then gave up as he was now expected to pay for Facebook advertising, Website Hosting and Ebay/Amazon accounts without yet making a single penny. He could have learnt all this for free!