Is the seminar dead or has the death of the seminar been highly exaggerated? It's true, at one time and STILL people will pay huge amounts to enter the doors into the massive almost church like arena of the seminar. But it's also true in 2011 attendees like that are rare and few and far between.
Yet seminars apparently disguised as training weekends are finding it increasingly difficult to fill a room of any kind.
One multi-million selling author and speaker in the USA very recently had to cancel 1000 room event after sales of just 15 tickets.
Yet the reality is you can still learn and discover and be inspired from seminars.
What went wrong? Not too long ago I created copy for an event. The vent filled up. Why? It really was an event where experts shared their skills.
Seminars over the past few years have become nothing more than a way to fill a room full of those looking, seeking, searching for a better way of life yet what most don't realize until they are there are the majority of speakers now have almost sniper like training in the power of persuasion.
Recently I met a speaker. Her name shall remain nameless. She told me she had just made her first 70,000 pounds from a stage.
I asked her how long she had been speaking. She told me this was her first speaking event. I asked her how long she had been in business? She told me she had previously been working in a bar until she was persuaded to train as a speaker by a sales speaking coach. I asked her well what do you sell then?
She replied... 'whatever they will buy' ... I asked her really, she told me... 'really'. And that is the death of the seminar in a short story but why?
Well the seminar as it was originated with the churches. Speakers came from churches and began to use their persuasion skills to buyers Sell fear, offer salvation.
Then racing ahead into recent years seminars were known for one thing. Getting close to a real expert that has really walked the walked and created something special they want to share.
People would pay high tickets to see and hear, Tom Peters, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn and many, many other true, real-life almost genius like experts that would share their story, share some advice and get paid for doing so. They made their cash by creating a hungry marketplace through a fantastic reputation. That is why some can offer coaching for a million plus dollars a year.
The bastardization of the seminar took a huge turn with the advent of the web. Suddenly the internet became a more than just a place the army and nerds were to share communications, it was now a place of the searcher who went from MS DOS to windows and AOL, Alta Vista portals.
Legendary names like Declan Dunn, Patrick Anderson, Ken Evoy, Marlon Sanderson and more discovered ways to create a business suing the web. They would sell real-stuff and advise others to do just the same. My first sale online was actually a Nintendo game. A real thing that went in a real box.
Sales began to rise, giant began to fall. Alta Vista would vanish into the nether lands of nothingness just to become part of web history, then Google appeared and re-wrote the web only to be kick up the backside by the herculean Facebook boys. Web 3 was born.
Some were making money from the web, not many but some. Other wanted to know how to make money doing just that.
The seminar world took another direction. Rooms would be packed with those wanting to hear exactly how to make money online. And they were packed to the hilt.
Speakers were not speakers like those of old. These were nerdie guys that had worked out how to sell stuff online. They would show you how to sell more guitars, more boxes, more anything online and the crowd loved it.
Attendees would buy, buy, buy but the problem was most of the speakers wouldn't be sure how to deliver. After all these guys were not established in the rule of business. Yet cash was being made.
The graduation from that to today came the advent of the non expert, non speaker, non business person that could make a few things up, create slides that were slick and simply show others how to create an internet business by showing others how to create an internet business.
Event organizers saw the huge potential here. Big and bigger and Goliath rooms would be rented. Thousands would be put into those rooms. The non experts in nay thing in particular would talk about Google, Facebook and how to jack them, twist them and manipulate them for more and more sales.
Not only did the non experts not increase their own business skills but they invested heavily into persuasion skills.
Bottom line is over the years the audience now know what to expect. More persuasion, more credit card handovers, more crap, non expert experts that really, truly could barely run their own business never mind the business of others.
The seminar went from the church to the training room to the arena of mass deception on mass. Pockets were picked, banks were emptied on promises that could never be fulfilled.
Years on... the question is has the seminar died? The answer is not really.
The audience have become more and more tuned into the reality of the lies and persuasion being taught from stages.
If you want to fill a room it has to be set from the greatest intention. The people in the room must have a value in their mind related to what will be shared.
This will take a shift in the mind of the hosts, the mind of the speakers and the mind of the attendee. The death of the seminar ... ?