A virtual summit is an amazing way to grow your email list no matter what industry you are in so Krista is showing us exactly how to create one.
IE 187: How to Create a Virtual Summit with Krista Miller
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a complete damper on any type of in-person blogging conferences or summits. And if you’re anything like me, those in-person meetings are the backbone of my networking. But what if you could learn how to create a virtual summit?
And what if you could create a virtual summit in way less time and with far less effort than you think it would take? Have I got your attention yet?
I hope so, because in today’s episode, Krista Miller of Summit in a Box, is here to tell us all about her business and why it just might be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’ve been curious about hosting a virtual summit, you’re going to want to stay tuned for this one!
How to Make Hosting a Summit Easier
Because we can’t gather in person right now or in the near future, many bloggers and influencers are considering hosting a virtual summit for their audience.
One of the things that Krista shared with me in this episode is that it isn’t uncommon for people to spend 400-500 hours on creating a virtual summit. I think my head exploded a little bit when she said that!
Summit in a Box provides you with the strategies to create your summit, simplifying those strategies in order for your summit to be effective, and then providing the tools and resources you need to make the whole process easy.
What Is an Online Summit?
Before we get in any deeper into the details of how to create a virtual summit, we should stop and define what we mean by a summit.
An online summit is an online or virtual event that brings together a group of experts who teach an audience on various topics that all relate to one overarching topic.
A typical online summit has around 20 experts, but a summit can have as few as 5 experts or as many as 50 or more. But the average number of experts is 20.
The overarching topic is designed to solve one of the audience’s most pressing problems or to give them content on a topic they are all excited about.
Each session addresses various points of the topic and comes at it from a different angle, but everything ends up at the same place, which is providing solutions for one problem or providing content on one main topic.
Which Platform Is the Best for a Virtual Summit?
When it comes to creating a virtual summit, are there platforms that are better than others? Are there any platforms that simply won’t work?
Krista says that in all the time she has been in this business, she has yet to find a platform that won’t work for a summit.
However, if you’re a blogger using WordPress, (which you should be using if you’re serious about blogging) you are already set up for success because it is the #1 preferred platform for also hosting summits.
If you can create a landing page, have people sign up for your freebie, and then send them to a thank you page, you can create a virtual summit!
If your audience is older and not quite as tech-savvy as a younger audience, you can actually run an entire summit through a Facebook group. You will still want them to register through a landing page though so that you capture those email addresses.
What to Put on Your Summit Landing Page
Your landing page is going to be the most important part of creating your virtual summit. Why?
Because if you don’t make people want to come, they won’t. It’s really that simple. You have to grab their attention by using that landing page to talk about the problem they have and how your summit is going to provide the ultimate solution for it.
The landing page should have the name of your summit big and clear right on top. It should clearly state the problem you are solving and the exact transformation the audience can expect after attending the summit.
Create a tagline that takes your summit title one step further and describes what your summit is, who it’s for, and the main topic.
And of course, include the dates for the summit. You may have people register right then and there but some will continue scrolling. On the rest of the page, sprinkle the pain points and results throughout.
One of the most important things to add to your landing page is a welcome video.
Krista has so many people ask her if they should be on their landing page at all! And she has to ask, if they don’t want to get in front of their people on their landing page, why in the world are they planning a whole summit?
So you absolutely have to create a welcome video so that the person scrolling can see who you are, and can get a feel for whether they trust you and want to learn more from you. In your video, give them a call to action to sign up.
How Many Speakers Over How Many Days?
The best plan for your very first online summit is 15-20 speakers over 3-4 days, according to Krista.
If you try to manage more than 20 speakers your first go-round, it can feel overwhelming, and less than 15 speakers might not get you the reach you need for your audience. 20 speakers is fairly manageable even if you’ve never hosted a virtual summit before.
Having more speakers isn’t any guarantee that your summit will be more highly attended. You have to be sure that you’re doing things correctly with speakers.
You can definitely have a very successful summit if you perfectly match powerful speakers with the right audience.
What to Look for in the Right Speakers
The speakers you bring in for the summit are critical. These are the people who will draw in your audience and either keep them there or drive them away. So, you want to choose your speakers carefully.
Even if you have every other little thing right, the wrong speakers will diminish the results of your summit. If you want a great payoff, you have to get the right people.
The right speakers will have the exact audience that you are targeting with your summit.
This is not your group of friends. This is not some big names you felt really brave and pitched. This is not a huge influencer that you think will draw in a crowd.
In the end, the bigger the name, the less likely they are to actually promote your event, which means you won’t draw their audience in at all.
Krista recommends choosing mid-range speakers, as far as reach. They should have some audience. A speaker with 10K followers on IG knows what they’re doing and they typically have a very engaged audience.
They will be much more likely to promote your event to their audience because they like providing their people with great free content.
How Do You Charge for a Summit?
Krista’s recommendation is to provide free access to your summit for a limited period of time; typically 24-48 hours.
After that, to get ongoing access to presentations, along with bonus content that you offer, they can pay for an all-access pass to access the content. It’s a paid upgrade to your summit.
Some people call it “freemium” access.
Your speakers are far more likely to share your event with their audience if it’s free. And it is easier to convince people to upgrade from a free pass than to sell a pass in the beginning.
Krista shared so much valuable information in this episode, so please, I highly encourage you to go in and listen to the whole thing. Her advice on telling your speakers what you expect from them was pure gold.
A virtual summit can be a fantastic way to grow your list so don’t overlook that as a success marker.
If you’re thinking of hosting a summit but you want more info, Krista has a podcast for you! Each episode is only 5-10 minutes and focuses on one specific piece of hosting a summit that you need to know. Find out more at https://www.summitinabox.co/podcast.
Krista also has a free download for my listeners titled, 12 Secrets to Your First Profitable Online Summit. Get your copy today!
And be sure to follow Krista on Instagram, and DM her and tell her that you heard her on this podcast!
Have you ever thought of hosting an online summit? Head on over to Instagram and DM me and let me know so I can support you!