- Pay for a certain number of tickets and invite others to attend
- Have a specific number of people register for the event
- Pay to speak or present
- No-fee and all travel costs are your responsibility for what is promoted as a "huge national event"
It's easy to get caught up in their glossy copy and hype which makes the event look amazing. Don't be fooled. This is a business decision.
- How will speaking at this event move you forward in your career?
- What will you earn in sales after the speaking gig? What is your actual profit after factoring in your expenses?
- Are the seats filled with people excited to learn more about what you offer and able to make a buying decision?
Before you agree, ask good questions. Dig deep and ask for the names of other speakers you can talk with. More and more I see people create events and bring in speakers with the requirement that the speakers fill the seats. The event creator can take photos and market filled-to-capacity-events without explaining the quality of the audience or how they even learned about it. This puts a lot of money in the event creator's bank account, but not in the bank account of the speakers.
As with anything, there are exceptions to rule. But if something looks like a skunk, acts like a skunk, and smells like a skunk, it probably is a skunk.
For a listing of speaking scams that speakers have submitted, please go to http://www.speakermatch.com/news/scam-alert/
If you've had experience with any of the speaking gig criteria I outlined, please share - good or bad. We'd love to hear about it.