Marketing experts differ on the virtues of free vs. fee as a business generator. Using a free event to upsell is one tactic. Charging to pre-qualify is another.
I have heard opinions expressed by Bizniks that the plethora of free workshops reduces Biznik to a place to try out your material for other markets. I have only co-hosted a free event. I have not yet attempted any fee workshops because they only seem to be viable for select presenters.
Your advice is sound regarding testing the waters and adjusting. Ditto the multiple income streams. I would add the element of multiple venues, including teleseminars and Blogtalk radio as non-Biznik events, or to supplement Biznik offerings.
An added benefit of paid events is attendance. Free offers no disincentive to no show, denying others the opportunity to attend.
Looking forward to the comments and discussion to follow.