I did not make myself clear.
When I said "if one gets the proceeding for a nominal fee there is no
need to attend the seminar and you lose susbstantial revenue that way" I meant "if one gets the proceedings for FREE..." as you suggested.
SEAONC seminars cost from $50 to $100. A bargain compared to other organizations (ACI, ATC, ...), with the same speakers!!
All SEAONC seminar proceedings ARE available for sale from the SEAONC Office at a cost of from $10 to $35.
Major committee documents are produced and mailed to all SEAONC members for FREE.
The SEAONC web site currently can be used to download (in PDF format) one of the most popular committee documents: Guidelines for Special Inspection and Structural Observation by the Construction Quality Assurance Committee.
Although only 15% of members attend seminars, the rest can buy the proceedings or attend in-house brown bags given by people who attended.
In short, I think SEAONC is maintaining the proper balance between finance and education. If every service is free, dues will have to be increased substantially. Note that a $10 increase in dues is currently being heatedly opposed. If a $100 seminar (already one third to one fifth what other organizations charge) assures a balanced budget without an increase in dues, I say it is a negligible price to pay.