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Saturday, August 12, 2006

OH Visalia Conference -- Day 2

I have a few minutes between getting ready and eating breakfast to jot down a few thoughts before heading out to today's session.

I learned something interesting about ObesityHelp during dinner last night. OH does not pay its speakers a dime, which explains why its conferences are so affordable. After all, how many 2.5-day conferences have you attended that only cost about $100? Dr. Monica Ganz, the organization's director of events and support groups, says it's important to her that every penny from events goes toward making the events rewarding for attendees -- not to line the pockets of speakers.

That also explains why some sessions can be a crap shoot. When I was at the Fairfield conference in June, I overheard some attendees complain that certain speakers delivered nothing more than an infomercial for their services or products. I would say that's a gross exaggeration, but I did notice bits of self-promotion here and there during sessions. Knowing that the speakers were not paid in any way explains that, however. You can't expect them to travel to a conference unpaid without hope of some sort of remuneration or exposure to their target market.

As I'm blogging from the sessions today, I'll try my best to make it clear who offers products or services for sale so readers can make the most informed decisions regarding whether to believe the opinions of the speakers.

Oh, and keep reading throughout the weekend for my review of the numerous samples given out throughout the conference. For example, attendees last night received full-size samples of AchievOne coffee-flavored protein drinks, Power Crunch protein bars, and various other bariatric-friendly snacks.

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