This year’s big surprise was that paid Sunday School training events were better attended than free ones.

We live in an era where time is more valuable than money. People will sooner give up their money than their time. They will only give up their time if they perceive the event will be valuable. One way to convince people something is valuable is to charge for it. I got some insight into this from, (of all places), research on wine tasting.

Researchers had people taste wine and were told the price of the wine. The researchers lied. They mixed the price tags. Sometimes people were told the expensive wine was the expensive wine, while other times they were told the cheap wine was expensive.

People consistently described the wine that they were told was expensive as tasting better. Experts didn’t do any better at evaluating the wine:

When the scientists repeated the experiment with members of the Stanford University wine club, they got the same results. In a blind tasting, these semi-experts were also misled by the made-up price tags. — Jonah Lehrer. How We Decide (Kindle Locations 1715-1716). Kindle Edition.

This misconception is not just with wine tasters. People report name-brand aspirin that costs more relieves headaches better than the cheaper off-brand. When researchers switched the labels, people report better relief from the cheap aspirin that came out of the name-brand bottle.

People report that Coke tastes better than generic store brand cola–unless you switch the labels.

Perhaps this explains why attendance was better at meetings where there was a fee to attend.

There has never been a better time to host a training event at your church. If attendance is good, it should be free for the host church.

The best time to schedule a training event is adjacent to an existing event. This way, you only pay $200 for travel. Click here to check out the current schedule.

For details on hosting a conference, click here.