I have been warning young, starry-eyed people about the 'talent fair showcase' type of scam for years, and I was delighted to find this answer to a question regarding Barbizon on Yahoo Answers. The pity of all this is that thousands of unsuitable people will continue to think they will become stars if they just do one of these things like iPOP or IMT or Hollywood Here I Come, Explore Talent, etc, etc, etc. Parents always think their kids are pretty,cute, dainty, and talented, even if they are just the opposite, and not wanting to disappoint thier kids, they spend thousands of dollars to send them to these showcases. Every once in a while a really talented, photogenic person will get an agent and work from these things, but all aspiring models and actors and their parents should watch the following videos.
The Today show did a piece about their "auditions" http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/v…Or read this transcript and watch the video clips from the Dateline investigationhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30156875/
The scam is not that they don't do what they promise. They do that. They give people a chance to be seen by agents. The scams is that they have no compunction about taking thousands of dollars from completely unsuited people and sending them off to these things to get no results whatsoever.
My advice to people about these things is that they are for the very very talented, very very photogenic and very very rich. If you are not all of these things, don't go, because the chances of success are the same as for all aspiring actors about one in a billion.