Seminars can be a good way to obtain a broad array of information, but if you need know-how in aparticular area, try this: Go to the seminars where the experts teach the pros in their special field. The experts aren't trying to sell anything, theirpresentations are more sophisticated, and you can make great contacts in the process.

When Cecil Ursprung, president and CEO of Reflexite, in Avon, Conn., wanted information on employee stock-ownership plans (ESOPs), he attended aseminar for accountants and lawyers who administer ESOPs. "We went to hear the experts whom professionals rely upon," Ursprung says. "The informationwas presented in an unbiased manner, and they discussed the positives and negatives. We were much better prepared to evaluate our own lawyer's andaccountant's advice." And when Reflexite's board voted to set up an ESOP, Ursprung had in hand a list of the best advisers to hire for the transition.

The ESOP program was a success. In 1992, the employees-turned-owners of Reflexite were designated Inc.'s Entrepreneurs of the Year.