As I surveyed the newspaper, I found many seminars – some free while others are fee paying. Of interest are those related to financial matter. It is quite common to see advertisement promising that individuals can become millionaires. I find it quite distasteful. An acquaintance rebutted me yesterday for judging such.
She told me that as long as this is what the audience wanted (which is greed for making big money), there is nothing wrong with the marketing itself. She said that I have certain fixed ideas of how things should be done. I thought about this for the entire day and I think she is right to certain extend. I do put quite a lot of emphasis on how things are done rather than the final outcome. To me, the means of how things are done is as almost more important than the end. For investment, the end is the same thing for all – that the returns are not guaranteed. Therefore, the means of how investment is done – how it is marketed and how it is implemented are the only matters which can be controlled and thus are the most important. Thus, I am not ashamed to say that I find these seminars that try to make people overnight-millionaires to be rather distasteful.
There are also other seminars that are held by financial practitioners that are also not so tasteful as well. They do not advertise openly in the newspaper but they will hold it with their prospects, companies and clients. Very often they will give free seminars on financial planning but actually they are selling insurance. While I am not against selling insurance itself, it is the means of how this is done that is the problem.
I also have something to say about large scale seminar/exhibitions. An event/seminar organizing company told me their speakers have to pay the organizer to get to speak in the exhibition as “sponsors”. This is in addition to the fact that the audiences also have to pay to listen. I find this unfair and ridiculous that the organizing company profits from both side. Moreover, I feel that good speakers should not pay a single cent. Another event organizer is charging the audience a 4 digit sum (Singapore dollar) just to attend the conference! Are the speakers paid? Not a single cent. I find it quite unbeliever. So what will be the outcome of such event/exhibition? For exhibition which the speakers have to “sponsor” the event, it may end up having a rather distasteful event. That is to say that you will not see great stuff. Why this is so? Firstly, those who are truly professionals do not need to pay anyone. People pay them. Secondly, speakers have to “recoup” their cost by selling something to the audience. A skilled speaker can sell something without the audience knowing. Does the man-in-the-street know? Of course not. If the man-in-the-street already know, why does he wants to waste time attending the exhibition? I really don’t understand why speakers have to pay. Those who are sharing based on their professional experience should in fact charge a fee for speaking. As the business model is somewhat warp, naturally the seminars that these organizers organize are far from ideal – at least in my own personal opinion.
I’ll further write about this as I organize my thoughts on the matter.
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