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Showcasing 6 New Ideas for a Successful Summit

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic caused a major interruption in the way companies interacted with their target audiences. Face-to-face meetings was replaced by virtual meetings. Due to travel restrictions and social distancing requirements, on-site events such as meetings and conferences was canceled and replaced with virtual events. This shift saved a lot of time and energy; it also saved many dollars in revenue.


Though a summit usually features experts, industry or thought leaders, the collaborative nature of virtual summits enables businesses to bring leading experts together to deliver presentations to attendees. It’s a good way for the summit host to ask presenters questions and allow attendees to participate actively. It is also a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to market their expertise and grow their businesses.

For efficiency purposes, having a check list is a must-have to help you get started. Planning takes about 90 days before you can hold the event - give yourself ample time to plan ahead. Irrespective of the goals of your summit, maximize the summit that best delivers your message.

In the planning stage, ensure that you ascertain the following:

  • What are the dates for the virtual summit?

  • Who is your audience?

  • What technology/platform/tools is being used to deliver the summit?

  • Total number of speakers

  • Will there be live or pre-recorded sessions?

  • What pain point are you trying to solve during the virtual summit?

Having clarity on these points will enable you to decide the kind of speakers you need to invite. You’ll also need to determine what kind of promotional materials is needed to be developed in order to advertise the event. These may include landing pages, blogs, banners, e-mails, video content, ads, and promotional material.

To help you plan a successful virtual summit, here are 6 steps.

Be clear on your target audience

Before hosting a virtual summit, you need to identify who you are hosting it for – that is, your ideal audience. Who are they? What is their average age and occupation? What piques their interest?

Determine your platform

Virtual events often come with myriad needs. It can be in the form of a seminar where an individual discusses a particular topic, or take the shape of a workshop where a group of experts shares their expertise on a particular topic. The fundamental idea is to create an extraordinary experience that is distinct from competitors.

The goal of the event is dependent on the experience you want to achieve with the summit. This is the core purpose of planning.

Choose an appropriate platform

Anyone can arrange a zoom meeting or a webinar, but hosting virtual events has many moving parts to make it engaging. To ensure high engagement rate, you require a hosting platform that offers all the features you need to excel. Look for a platform that offers the following features:

  • Event marketing options

  • Ease of use for organizers

  • Live, semi-live and pre-recorded webinar sessions,

  • On-demand availability even after the event has concluded,

  • The capability to test the platform and familiarize yourself with them.

Engage professional guest speakers

No virtual summit or event is complete without speakers. So speaker outreach should be a top priority for you. Invite influencers and industry experts that best fit the goal of your virtual summit.

Keynote speakers are coveted around business circles, and for good reason. An outstanding speaker can energize the audience that may be nodding off during a mid-afternoon slump at an event.

Market! Market!! Market!!!

Now that you have the event framework in place – the event topic, time and date, and your preferred format and platform – the next thing is to market to your target audience. Your promotion efforts should target decision-makers.

There are endless number of ways to market yourself, but the six I have chosen below cover the whole spectrum of the basics you need to be focusing on to promote your brand.

  1. Choose a niche by narrowing down your search

  2. Be a subject-matter expert in a specific area

  3. Educate yourself as much as you can

  4. Look for speaking opportunities in your community

  5. Find way to network not only on Social Media but reach out to organizations

Communicate

After you request people to speak at your event and get a positive response, the key is to manage your communication with them. The best way to do this is to maintain contact with them as the event draws near. Don’t make the mistake of signing people up as speakers and waiting until the day before the event to contact them. If you do this, you run the risk of losing them to other commitments.


In Closing

Virtual conferences will continue to stay. As we step into a post-COVID-19 world, virtual events will still provide opportunities and benefits that will continue to improve and transform the way we do business. It is also an excellent way to save costs. Want to take a deeper dive into planning your online summit? Sign up for class right below and learn how to plan your 1-day online summit in 4 steps!



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