I'd never really looked that deeply into the BizSummits operation though, but even though it promotes itself through spam I had assumed that there was a real business at the end of it.
But when I started to look into their websites, it quickly became apparent that a great deal of the material was faked.
Most of the sites use the same material, so let's start with forwd.net/cfosummit/about.html which is an "About Us" page.
Let's look more closely.
blog of the US Ambassador to Iceland and it shows a group of Icelandic executives meeting with an organisation called the Young Presidents' Organization which is completely unrelated to BizSummits.
So let's look at the "Why Join" page at forwd.net/cfosummit/whyjoin.html which features a bunch of happy-looking individuals.
their website lists everyone in the photograph and identifies them as being employees.
Let's look at the "Members" page next at forwd.net/cfosummit/members.html
Professor Michael Porter speaking at the World Economic Forum. Professor Porter would be a highly influential and important person to have on board. But his name doesn't appear on the list of "Members & Speakers".
Let's look at the "Topics" page at forwd.net/cfosummit/topics.html
Who's in the photo?
That's a publicity photo of Niels Stolberg. Stolberg's company collapsed and is the focus of fraud investigations. Given the controversy surrounding Mr Stolberg, would it be appropriate to have a picture of him on your site? Odder still, Mr Stolberg seems to have no connection at all to BizSummits.
Now we turn our attention to the "What's New" page. Who are the people having a discussion? People at a BizSummits seminar?
Let's look more closely.
NG Utilities Summit in Australia (open the lightbox). If you look carefully, you can see the NG Utilities logo on the woman's badge on the right. Despite having "Summit" in the name, this is nothing at all to do with BizSummits. If BizSummits really held any meetings then a photo like this would be trivial to take.
The next page is "Questions" at forwd.net/cfosummit/questions.html. Well.. we have a few already.
Who's in the picture?
couple of executives from WebTrends. As far as I can tell they have nothing to do with BizSummits, and the photo has just been stolen.
Incidentally this page contains what I consider to be a flat lie:
The evidence I have provided about this firm shows that they simply scraped your name from your company website and guessed your email address. Is that research? I don't think so.
Why was I Invited to Join?Either a member nominated you, or we specifically wanted your company involved and researched the best executive.
The next picture to deconstruct is on the "My Login" page at forwd.net/cfosummit/login.html
You probably already guessed that the guy in the photo has nothing to do with BizSummits.
Dr. Thomas R. Insel who again has nothing to do with BizSummits.
Finally, we come back to the home page.
Who is in the photo?
These are apparently the senior management of BHP taken in an AAP photo. What do they have to do with BizSummits? It seems nothing at all.
In fact, the only original piece of imagery I can find is this promotional video:
The video is meant to be an endorsement. But who is this woman? Who does she represent? What exactly is she endorsing? The video is professional looking but deliberately vague.
Incidentally, if you want to see what Michael Price, the CEO of BizSummits looks like, here he is:
This copied material doesn't just exist on a few websites, it exists on a LOT of cookie-cutter sites, all presumably marketed through the same spammy approach.
- CFO Summit (www.cfosummit.org)
- CIO Summit (www.ciosummit.org)
- CMO Summit (www.cmosummit.net)
- COO)Operations Summit (www.theoperationssummit.net)
- Corporate Counsel Summit (www.thecorporatecounselsummit.org)
- Corporate Development Summit (www.corpdevsummit.org)
- Customer Service Summit (www.customerservicesummit.org)
- Engineering Summit (www.theengineeringsummit.net)
- Executive Summits (www.executivesummits.org)
- Hospital Growth & Excellence Summit (www.hospitalgrowthsummit.org)
- HR Summit (www.hrsummit.org)
- Product Development Summit (www.productdevsummit.org)
- Project Management Summit (www.projectmanagementsummit.org)
- Public Relations Summit (www.thepublicrelationssummit.org)
- Procurement Summit (www.procurementsummit.org)
- Quality Management Summit (www.qualitymanagementsummit.org)
- Risk Management Summit (www.riskmanagementsummit.org)
- Safety Management Summit (www.safetymanagementsummit.org)
- Sales Summit (www.salessummit.org)
- Supply Chain Summit (www.supplychainsummit.org)
- Training Summit (www.trainingsummit.org)
Ask yourself this question.. why is it that a company such as BizSummits, that is supposed to organise all of these meetings, cannot get around to taking any photographs of those meetings themselves? Surely it wouldn't be difficult to do? And yet almost every image is copied from somewhere else. What kind of company does that? Is it one that you feel comfortable doing business with?