1. Alec Terry

    Kyle, you are absolutely right my friend. Haha after I read this I couldn’t help but laugh at how correct you were regarding high ticket conferences.

    Btw, love Tony Robbins, but you can get just as much value by listening to him for free on youtube. The conference is one big party for people who need some extra motivation and can’t find it themselves.

    You hit it on the head. The time they spend at conferences is time they could be spending working, and getting closer to realizing their dreams.

    Great post!

    • Kyle

      Yeah, Tony Robbins has some powerful stuff indeed, much of which is available online or through his books (which are fractional in price compared to courses/seminars/conferences). People tend to think they are getting more value if they attend something and like I said, they often times use it as an excuse to get away.

      In my opinion and from my experience, that money that is being spent on these conferences and trips can be much better used building an actual business online and invested into the actual business. Overspending on information is not a good thing and don’t even get me started on University.

  2. wunderkindonsulting

    Thanks for exposing some of the high ticket conferences and their cost/benefit ratios. While I do think that is always worthwhile to receive nuggets, or motivational winds, there are probably many more ways that one can find nuggets of wisdom and motivation for a lot less money. I do think that networking is a big benefit of some of the high ticket conferences. But again, an internet market can probably get similar value and benefit from attending local conferences without the high cost.

    • Kyle

      I agree with you, there are many much better ways to get these insights/wisdoms. Often times that exact speakers that are at these high ticket conferences are just reiterating things they are already discussing publicly within Youtube or on their websites. Often times the biggest draw for these is the fact that people are looking for a vacation and quantify it by making it a “business” trip.

  3. CannaGary

    I have never parted with 5K to attend one of these Motivational or whatever types of conferences though I had a Free taste of something quite similar.
    I attended a conference that had been advertised on local radio as the next amazing business strategies you have to implement.

    It turned out to be a pretty intense high powered Sales Seminar for lots of Stock Management programs that were supposed to make you rich. I am not a stock professional and did not wish to risk like I was.

    I managed to get away without losing my shirt, I must admit however you really caught me with your comment on the gambling junkie and desperation.

    I could hear it in a lot of the folks I met that day, as they spoke of things they had tried or were currently “Working”

    Thanks again for your honest observations of a Big Time Scam that flies under the radar.


    • Kyle

      These are no different than the time share sales pitches, super high pressure and make people feel like their world is going to end if they don’t “take action right this minute.”. Those are a little different than the PAID conferences that I was referring to, but based on the same principles. They are making money in one way or another, which of course is the whole reason for doing it but that doesn’t make them ethical at all.

      • David L Yancy

        You know I’ve never paid for a conference and I don’t think I will now that I’ve heard the WORD! You, I’m not going anywhere as long as I know that’s the way they flow, Just one scam is one 2-many.

        • Kyle

          High ticket conferences and masterminds are becoming the go to business model for folks without a product or an actual service to offer. They get you to these conferences by paying for big names to speak, typically rehashed stuff that you can find on their Youtube channels, and then charge you a great deal of money to attend.

          The collect their profits, and then move onto the next one. It caters to those that want a vacation and think they are empowering themselves by attending a conference. I have known MANY people to attend these over the years and they become serial attendees (and never actually do anything for themselves in the business world). They remain broke as a result of attending such things.

  4. Steve

    I have attended a couple of these high ticket conferences back in the early 1990’s for MLM events. They didn’t cost thousands, but hundreds. When you factor in driving halfway across the county, hotels etc, it does get pretty costly. Especially when you are broke!

    I don’t believe these events have any lasting effects. They simply reinforce what you want to believe or what your mentors have told you to believe.

    It’s hard to argue that you may not be doing the right thing when there are thousands of other people doing the same thing as you. It’s the whole “mob mentality” that makes these events seem like the smart thing to do.

    I was too naive at the time to realize that the most famous guru for this MLM company was the owner of the company who ran these events. In fact, his company produced ALL of the tools that everyone was encouraged to buy.

    You know, the tools that you will NOT succeed without.

    • Kyle

      I fully agree with you here Steve, it is difficult for people to argue the “value” of a conference or even see the light sometimes when they are surrounded by people that have spent the same amount of money and travelled the same distance to get to these conferences.

      The same actually goes for people that get sucked into the myriad of pyramid/ponzi/mlm schemes that are out there. People that are involved in them don’t typically question their purchases and often times become defensive of them because nobody wants to feel like they have made a stupid decision.

      Unfortunately they almost always are and it takes a lot of losses and a lot of time before people eventually wake up to it.

  5. Nathaniell

    I think one aspect that attracts a lot of folks to conferences is that it feels like you are making progress and improving your business…without actually doing any work. You get to sit down and listen, while people talk AT you. You get to dream big and think about all the plans you are going to start when you get back to your desk at home.

    I have thought about attending a conference before, but then realized that I could probably take that $2-3k and invest it into my business and end up on the other side a lot better off.

    I have actually had the privilege to attend the Las Vegas conference for Wealthy Affiliate for two now, and really appreciate the value that I get out of it. It’s a lot of fun, but we do spend a big portion of the day meeting and discussing how to take our businesses to the next level. It’s a lot more intimate and interactive that to sit around a table with successful people and talk face to face, rather than be part of a crowd of listeners.

    • Kyle

      It is always good to be open to ideas and constantly researching, reading, expanding your skill set. In terms of education though, you can accomplish a lot in that respect for $3K. Imagine how many books you could buy for that. You could read the 300 most poignant books out there. That is REAL education that will further your knowledge, further your idea set, and further your success. Sitting a room with fellow yes men/women for 2-5 days will not.

      Like you said, it is all about “dreaming big” and visualizing your success when you sit in a room and listen to others preach theirs to you. Unfortunately that alone doesn’t lead to any more success.

  6. Vitaliy

    Bravo Kyle! You are doing a GREAT job of tackling the taboo subjects of online business and I couldn’t be happier that finally someone has exposed these shams that are conferences.

    I only did one conference in my life too, but it was for a real estate event. Like you said, a rah rah event and at the end, they give you a “limited time opportunity” to “cash in” on their discounted up-sells.

    What a bunch of you know whats…

    • Kyle

      Thanks Vitaliy, it has become a taboo product and for most people this post might not even make sense to them as they have never considered going to a conference or they do not know what is going on. I just can’t sit there and watch on the sidelines when I see people investing $2K, $3K, $5K and in some cases up to $30K for a few day event when they are just starting out and are trying to create something of themselves within the online space. They are vulnerable and they are being taken advantage of.

      They have been around forever, but as the “make a million bucks in a day” ebook industry fizzles, new doors to new business models (and schemes) are going to naturally open and this is one of them.

  7. Anders

    Great Article. Personally I have never attended a high ticket conference, and with a price of $5.000 I definitely never will.

    If you do decide to attend a conference, you actually may risk that the speaker are only talking hot air, and their products aren’t helpful at all. This sounds very fishy. So this “high ticket conference” is in fact a scam on the line with the very rotten programs/scams on the internet?

    No doubt I could spend my money much better elsewhere, if I want to learn about internet marketing.

    Best Regards


    • Kyle

      Exactly my point. Conferences are in abundance these days, some affordable, many high ticket though as it has become a common business model of the GURU types in the industry. Unfortunately it is at the demise of the opportunity seeker that could have done MUCH more with their money versus dropping it foolishly on a 3 day event.

      What happens after they event, they go home, they collect themselves and realize that they just wasted a lot of money on a conference that they (a) didn’t need (b) didn’t improve their business (c) could have been spent much more wisely elsewhere.

  8. Adrian

    I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand some of the information that you can gain IF it is relevant and it can change the way you do business. However a lot of marketers give you general information, but not information that you can act on. They upsell the information that you can actually act on, instead of teaching you how to do something the first time around.

    The non-upsale information should potentially be good enough to bring you to the level where you can pay for the higher level information if that model is going to be used.

    A lot of the tools that are used can cost you hundreds of dollars per month per tool. They increase productivity by a lot so I understand the higher cost, within reason.

    In the end it goes back to the intentions of the marketer. Is he/she justifying the high cost by providing high level training or are they just filling his pockets.

    Would I pay to go to a conference? If I was given step by step instruction that led to actual results I would consider it. “Feel good” and “you can do it” speeches do not count.

    PS: I don’t think charging 5000 per person for a conference is needed. My above comment was on high prices in general. If someone gets 30 people to attend and only charge $500, they have still made 25000 dollars in less than week’s time. If they are really trying to “give back” their expenses will be covered.

    • Kyle

      The thing is you are not going to get a “step by step” from a conference. Don’t confuse a conference or a speech from an education. Sure, a conference can motivate you but to spend $1,000’s for the sake of getting motivated by going to an event, you are going to be (a) out of your hard earned money (b) no further ahead than you were prior to the conference.

      Conferences are all about “you can do it speeches”. That is why often times the speakers have no specific expertise in the topic being spoken, rather generalized business knowledge and they have simply achieved success online. Would someone like Richard Branson be able to help me with my business by seeing him at a conference? No more than I would get out of reading his book or biography (which is much more thorough and is $15).

      I am in full agreement with you here and what you have said is exactly what these high ticket conferences don’t stand for. They don’t give you and adequate education to build a business, they don’t offer much more than motivation, and they are vastly overpriced.

  9. Randy

    I agree. I’ve never been to a “learn how to make money” conference. I think the overall atmosphere of conferences is somewhat of a “vacation” atmosphere, or at least a “get away from home” atmosphere. I think a conference is best suited for industry – where a person can showcase his or her business at a booth as an advertising effort to win more business.

    • Kyle

      I agree and that is exactly what is referenced to within the post. People feel the value more in the “act” of going to the conference versus the conference itself. Why not save the money if the purpose of it is a vacation and put it towards a nicer vacation?

      I have absolutely no qualms with the industry related conferences. The Comic Con or the International Consumer Electronics Show and even events like the Affiliate Summit where the profits are driven through the businesses looking to showcase versus those that are desperate and looking for opportunity.

  10. Alejandro

    I’ve never understood these conferences as being useful by any means. All of that money that’s spent on going would make a REAL business thrive and circulate. You’ll never see me going to a bogus conference like that!

    • Kyle

      And for that amount of money, you cannot only get a business started, you could be in a position where you are outsourcing aspects of your business and scaling it. $2-5K takes you a long ways within the business world but unfortunately many of the marketers out there will not tell you that because they are in business to make money off of you, not help you out. That is the exact approach of these high ticket conferences.

  11. Glenda Williams

    This article mirrors the way I feel about conferences myself. I have been to a couple but they were close enough to attend that no hotel or flight was necessary. It was just a day drive.

    It was my experience that the people running the conference just put on a rah, rah event to hype up people’s emotions. They were different companies but had the same model of presentation. If you can hype up emotions enough then you can sell a lot of worthless stuff through compulsive buying. The only real value was in networking with like
    minded people. There are better ways to do that.

    Thank you for posting this very informative article. Hopefully it will open some eyes to the truth.

    • Kyle

      There are much more cost effective ways to networking than having to attend a rah rah event. The Internet is a beautiful platform and you can usually articulate yourself and make connections in a much more targeted (less random) manner than meeting a room full of opportunities seekers at a conference. The take then give approach of conferences also tends to emanate within the audience and moving forward, it does tend to stifle their own ethics (and as a result, success) in a very subtle way.

      Think of it is this way. If I went to a conference and spent several thousands of dollars to listen to a few people speak over a 2-4 day event, suddenly I think it is OK to charge others this amount for services and ultimately recommend high ticket services to others. This propogates the problem. Scamming a large group of folks yields them thinking it is completely normal to do the same to others. And so it continues.

  12. Tasos Perte Tzortzis

    Hi Kyle , a very interesting subject you have covered today.I can detect some “rant” in your writing and I understand it.

    I am not a fan of high ticket conferences and I would never pay for airplane tickets , book a hotel for 3 or more nights just to attend such an event.I would consider only attend a normal priced conference in a local destination (less than $200) but I know that these events does not exist.

    Of course there is the chance of networking with some of the attendees but how much time would you have to talk seriously with someone?…

    I can’t believe that there are speakers , like the one you mentioned , getting paid 100 grant for offering their services.The companies are covering easily these costs from their fees but is it really someone worth getting paid that much money just to speak for an hour or two?…Is it gold that is coming outta his mouth?…Oh come on…

    But , there is a whole industry behind it.First of all the hotels are making big times revenues , filling their rooms , selling drinks , food and grant commissions from the companies.The speakers are getting rich overnight and the companies sell “smoke and mirrors” of “..high?..” value information.

    The most depressing aspect is that the same people keep going on these events without evaluating how much they gained from the previous events.They think that they are getting social and pretend they are expanding their network , relationships and their customers.But a customer is not interested if you have attended a conference.The customers are seeking solutions for their problems.

    It is a completely unethical practice , overpriced , targeting the people that are willing to sacrifice their money and peace of mind.There are so much alternatives and information can be found online for free.It is useless to pay these high fees just to say you were there.

    Just a week ago I have received an email from a well known network that I am member to attend such an event in USA.For that event I would have to spend something around $5000 – $10000.Of course I never answered.I kept on getting emails every single day , sometimes twice a day with beautiful photos where smiling attendees enjoying previous conferences.Hopefully this bombarding ended.But I think all of those that finally accepted to take the risk and pay.

    No , it is not for me.I would rather spend that money in something really valuable for me and my family.

    Generally , I do not believe in high ticket items , not for internet marketing , not for any industry out there.There are companies in every industry that are decent and offer normal priced “goods”

    On the other hand the event that you and Carson are holding in Las Vegas is something unique.It is following a model where a company rewards the top members for their activity and sales , paying for the expenses.There are ethical companies throughout the world that are rewarding their TOP personnel in this way , a motivational and valuable outcome.

    This is the “spirit” that every serious company should adapt.But the corruption of money will always conquer the world of business.

    • Kyle

      The question of why can someone fetch $100K for a conference (which is on the high end by the way). They have always “made it” and that is why people want to see them. Are they going to be shooting gold out of their mouths, no. Absolutely not. They are more than likely regurgitating the exact content that they released on their most recent book or that they have available for people to read on youtube.

      The only reason it is so valuable is so people can say I went to a conference that “so and so” was at. No different than being able to listen to a rock concert live, you are there for the experience and to say you were there whereas the quality of the music is much better within a CD or a download on your phone.

      A concert isn’t $5,000 to attend though and you aren’t expecting to miraculously create a business when you attend a conference. It is purely entertainment.

      $5,000 within the online business world can fund your business for MANY years, as I said 16 years through platforms like Wealthy Affiliate which include access to everything need and on the ground experts, not hypothetical ones or ones that are there sheerly for celebrity status and motivation.

      I would never argue that there are not ethical and awesome conferences out there, just the ones that are being pushed out these days are mass cash grabs and there is a defined business model in the make money industry that the gurus are exploiting. It went from spinning out garbage clickbank products to this.

  13. Brenda

    Hi Kyle,

    Thanks for your opinion and detailed insights into the world of conferencing. I have never attended a conference and i don’t intend to unless it’s that free one you host every year! I wouldn’t object to that!

    I wasn’t surprised at all to hear what you had to say, I do believe that there are many many people in business who completely lack conscience and probably lie to themselves about their motives. Well done for speaking out and taking a stand on this.

    By the while I do think that those benefiting most from these events are morally wrong I also think that we are each responsible for our own behaviour.


    • Kyle

      I think that is the case, they either lie to themselves and convince themselves that it is OK or they are around so many people doing the same thing that it becomes second nature. When you hang out with robbers, you all of a sudden become one and you lose sight of your moral compass.

      Free conferences are by no means any better. They always have a motivate and that is going to likely involve pressure sales of their products. Industry conferences are definitely OK and there are many great ones out there, in fact, spectacular ones. Unfortunately within the Internet marketing space this has become the way for a few to make their living online and they have put themselves before value.

  14. Angie

    There are many conferences that are scams. As for paying to attend one, I would never do that. I believe in “show me what you have before I give a dime” If you can not show what you have then you have nothing I want to see.

    I have attended a few conferences that was for free just to see what it was about. What was the big deal. They stated that the 1st 100 would receive a gift and lunch would be served. That was a joke. No gift was ever received and lunch as stale donuts, fruit and coffee.

    The conference was 3 hours long and all I learned was that I had to purchase their program for $1500 or their CD for $25 at a discounted price today only. I couldn’t believe that some people actually purchased anything. I knew right off it was a scam and to tore me up watching people get pulled right into it.

    Do you think that some conferences could place their own people into the audience and pretend to purchase their program just to get others to follow along?

    I have seen some of Tony Robbins video’s before and did not really care much of how he presents himself.

    Thank you for an interesting topic to read


    • Kyle

      Tony Robbins has absolutely mastered this model. He not only charges close to $3,000 to attend his conferences, he sells he wares and his products at the conference which often times can also be high ticket. An average sale works out to be even much higher than the initial ticket price because as you said, people get sucked into high ticket CD’s and courses (which usually end up being dust collectors).

      People are gullible and they are easily taken advantage of when they are desperate. This is the sort of person that a conference will attract (typically) and that is why I am so against the “opportunity” style conferences. They lure people into spending money they shouldn’t be and they don’t deliver value for the money people are spending.

      And yes, I know that conferences often times have people in the crowd that are part of the conference, employees of it, and they usually have people in charge of the clapping and crowd emotion.

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