I rarely go to internet marketing related conferences, but I happened to be in Melbourne when the World Internet Summit was on, so I thought I would attend. The four day event was five hundred dollars, which for me wasn't cheap. While I wouldn't go so far as calling it a scam, I think these kind of seminars can be a real waste of money for people wanting to learn about internet marketing and making money from the internet.
The World Internet Summit is run by Brett McFall and Tom Hua who are both pretty successful internet marketers. The website's homepage is your typical Internet Marketers' sales page, with lots of promises of learning the "secrets" and testimonials. Some of the people who have testimonials on the website attended the event. They are pretty much all well established internet marketers already and spent little time actually listening to the presenters. Most of the time they sat up at the back of the room working on their laptops.
"For 4 days you will witness a proven training system that teaches you the latest and most cutting edge secrets for creating and running a profitable business on the internet", reads their website. One thing I know to life and making money is that there is no "secret" to making money, losing weight etc. To be honest I learned very little from the four days of "training".
One of the speakers was Mike Filsaime who was probably one of the most well known internet marketers at the event. I thought he was one of the better speakers. All of the speakers followed a similar format - a story about their life, how they were in debt, sick or out of work. Their life then turned around after they discovered some particular aspect of making money on the internet.
The personal stories are obviously used to appeal to the audience, who mostly are looking for some kind of change in their life and increase in wealth. Then began a demonstration of how they make money on the internet and how they discovered "unlimited wealth" - pictures of Ferraris and beach resorts. I am sure you get the idea.
The presenters were good at building up a sense of excitement with their products. Everyone could relate to the story of either not having a job, being in debt or just wanting more money. You could see some people in the audience who just couldn't wait to sign up to the presenter's internet marketing program. All of the courses were around $2000 - $3000 and towards the end sales pitch they gave away some kind of special bonus to the first 10 or 20 people to sign up.
The next thing that happened was a complete surprise to me. People jumped up from their seats and ran to the back of the room where they could make their purchase. When this started happening other people also followed suit. It was like, "I really don't know if this program is good or will work, but it must be good if other people are running to get it".
I couldn't help wondering if they paid some people in the audience to be the first movers and create the ongoing rush! I heard that when they ran the show in Singapore that a guy bought every single internet marketing course using his credit cards. I think it would have at least cost him $30-$40,000!
The people that I spoke to were either all very new to internet marketing, or they were people with a lot of experience who were there to promote their own products. One lady I spoke to was still thinking about buying one particular course. I suggested she should just start reading the forum webmasterworld.com That's basically how I learned about domains, SEO and affiliates.
Another person I spoke to. told me how she was still doing a course she bought from last year's event! She complained that there was just too much work to do. I asked her if she had made any money yet, and she shook her head sadly and replied "no". She then piped up again and said how great the guru's new course looked! I couldn't believe that even though she hadn't made any money from doing the course, she still wanted to buy it again! Some people will never learn. I felt a bit sorry for her.
That speaker, who is a fairly well known internet marketer and great sales person, while he was on stage, he couldn't even remember his password to get into his own site which contained all of the teaching materials. I was a bit dumbfounded, but most people weren't bothered by it at all.
Every speaker had one or two snippets of useful knowledge, but they were basically all sales presentations. I had spent a few hundred dollars on the event, so it was disappointing having to pay to listen people who were just selling their products. While it was an interesting experience, I don't think I will ever bother attending again.