FEE OR FREE Your reasons for conducting a seminar will vary. Seminars may be used to sell an idea, promote a company or introduce a product. Some seminars are also used to recruit people. This can be a very rewarding and lucrative business, capable of bringing in excellent revenues once you become an established speaker. So should you charge a fee or should you offer your seminar for free? Let's examine the options and how you can still benefit from either one. Decide On What You Want To Achieve. You never try to organize a seminar without any idea what type of results you expect out of it. Then and only then can you decide whether to charge a fee or offer the seminar for free. The money part of conducting a seminar should also be part of your strategy. If you study seasoned seminar speakers closely, you'll see that they don't charge nothing for no reason. Unless they're doing it for charity, they are sure to get something from it. And if they do charge a fee for their efforts, they also do so based on a careful strategy. Conducting Seminars For Free There are several reasons why you might want to offer seminars without charging the participants. If you have a product you want to introduce, for example, a book, an e-book, a gadget, a new diet solution, etc., you could conduct a free seminar and still get something in return. A very efficient method of promoting your product is by conducting a seminar that is related to the use of your product. If your product is a book about jungle survival, for example, you can conduct a seminar about the topic for free and then offer your book for sale afterwards. Once you get your audience interested during the lecture, they will be forming a beeline to your product display table or kiosk to learn more and make a purchase. This is how you'll get paid. If you can get enough people to buy your product, all the expenses related to your seminar will be covered. Conducting Seminars For A Fee This is the route that many of the most successful speakers and consultants have taken, to excellent results. Seminars can cost anywhere from $50 to $1,000, depending on the length of the event, the speaker and the topic. Seminars that offer hands-on sessions and workshops and those that last for two or three days also cost more. Should you decide to charge a fee for conducting a seminar, there are several things you should consider. These are: The Value Of The Topic What will your audience get in exchange for their money? Is it valuable or useful enough? Is it something that they can readily implement after the seminar? Is it based on facts? Is it legal? Is the fee you charge commensurate to what they will receive in return? Coverage For All Expenses It costs money to conduct a seminar. You or your sponsors have to pay for the venue and other facilities, the speakers if you do hire them, the extra manpower such as seminar assistants and staff, cost of advertisement, handouts and giveaways, etc. If you or your speakers have to travel to the venue, that expense should be covered by seminar fees as well. The Expertise Of The Speaker Whether you hire the speaker or conduct the seminar on your own, your fee (or the lack of it) will depend on the expertise you will be offering. If the speaker is an SME (Subject Matter Expert), for example, you'll have more reason to charge a higher fee. How Much Should You Charge? That question could probably be re-phrased as: How much would you want to earn as a professional seminar speaker? It's really up to you and the goals you want to achieve. Whether you organize a seminar for free or for a fee, that will depend on the seriousness of your approach and on how much effort you want to put into it. If you're just starting out, expect to be charging low rates. In fact, you might want to give your first few seminars for free, just to gain experience and recognizability. Once you begin experiencing success, you can start charging a fee. Depending on the industry you choose, conducting seminars can be a good source of income, with professional speakers earning anywhere from six-figure to seven-figure incomes.
"Fee or Free"