14 Tips for Launching a Virtual Summit

By Bailey Richert | @baileyrichert | Business Coach for Beginning + Budding Infopreneurs

Keep these 14 tips from business coach Bailey Richert in mind while launching a virtual summit.

Some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate. I only recommend products and services that I know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not. Questions? contact@baileyrichert.com

In November 2016, I hosted a 14-day live video series inside my free Facebook group, Infopreneur Community, about launching a virtual summit. This series wasn't a step-by-step process for launching a virtual summit like I lay out in this other post, but rather it was meant to be an educational series about tips, tricks and other information that a new host ought to know before starting the process of launching their own virtual summit.

I uploaded all of those videos to YouTube, which you can watch in this playlist. In this post, I've also rounded up the 14 tips I shared and have written out a brief description of each tip here.

To get a more full understanding of each tip, please watch the youtube video for the tip. A link to the corresponding video is posted at the end of each tip.

#1: View your virtual summit as a relationship-building and authority-establishing event, not just a marketing tactic or list-building event.

A virtual summit is so much more than just a marketing tactic which can grow your email list. It's an incredible way to connect with influencers and begin forming real business relationships. It's also an incredible way to establish your authority in your niche, to become 'known' for something specific. If you approach your virtual summit already knowing this, you are more likely to conduct your event in a way that fosters these relationships and positions your expertise better than if you are just in for the new email subscribers.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#2: Promotion is the key to your virtual summit's success.

There is a lot of prep work to get your virtual summit up and running before you even announce it to the world. It can be easy to believe that once you share it with your list one time in your weekly email newsletter that the hardest parts are over. Not so! Promotion of your event, which will last about 3 weeks before your virtual summit goes live, is absolutely critical to its success. You can't just assume your guest speakers will do this for you. You, as the host, have to take the lead, and that means having a promotional plan in place.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#3: Don't spend a ton of money branding your summit. Spend your budget instead on great technical systems and promotions.

If you're a beginning or budding infopreneur with a small budget, don't waste it hiring designers and contractors to come in and make your summit look more fancy to compensate for effort you need to be putting into promotion. You can do so much of the branding, promotional graphics and more yourself for little to no cost. Instead, invest your budget in really good technical systems to make the user-experience for your attendees flawless, and put the rest into promotional activities like social media ads. The bottom line is, you don't have to spend a fortune to have a successful virtual summit. The less you spend up front, the more profitable your event will be.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#4: Choose your speakers wisely.

Once word gets out that you're creating an incredible virtual summit, many people will approach you to be considered for a guest speaking position. Just because they pitch to you, doesn't mean you need to allow them a spot. You need to be sure that their brand aligns with your brand, and you also need to be sure that the content they want to speak on aligns with your overall summit topic.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#5: Invite 'mid-level infuencers' to join your virtual summit as speakers.

Contrary to what many might believe, you don't need to gather together only the top-level influencers or 'celebrities' in your niche to have a succesful virtual summit. In fact, you may have more success inviting 'mid-level' influencers instead who will truly partner with you to make your event a success. A mid-level influencer is someone who has an email list of several thousand and their own devoted group of followers.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#6: Keep interviews to 30 minutes in length or less.

You don't need to broadcast hour-long interviews during your summit. Many attendees believe that is way too long. They simply can't dedicate that amount of time to watch, and more often than not, the host and guest speaker will simply end up rambling to fill the space. Keep your interviews to a half hour or less. Also, as the host, it's your job to keep the interview on track. Come prepared with a list of questions, and keep the interview focused on finding out the answers.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#7: Don't beg influencers to be guest speakers. Present yourself as a colleague.

Wording your invitation to a potential guest speaker is important. You don't want to beg them and make them feel that they are doing you a favor. Instead, you want to present yourself as a colleague that is 'on their level' of influence and present the summit as a collaborative opportunity during which they will benefit as much as you will.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#8: Ensure that speakers have 100% confirmed their participation before you advertise their involvement.

Several emails may go back and forth between the you and the influencers you invite to be a part of your virtual summit before they officially commit to participating in your event. It is important that you do not mistake an interest in your virtual summit as a commitment. You must ensure that the influencer has agreed to do an interview with you before advertising their participation to the general public. If you start advertising their participation before they have committed, this may ruin the relationship you were trying to build with them.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#9: The execution of your virtual summit is a marathon which requires your full attention.

You should not plan any other major activities during your business during the week of your virtual summit. You should not expect to get a lot of blogging done. You shouldn't book yourself on any podcasts or media interviews. The virtual sumimt should be your number one priority, and it deserves your full attention.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#10: Engage with all of your attendees, and provide incredible customer service.

Before and during your virtual summit you should be engaging with your guest speakers and attendees as much as you possibly can. This is an opportunity for you to offer incredible customer service and show your new audience how attentive you can be to their needs. Respond to every single email you receive. Reply to every social media post. Also, don't outsource this task to a virtual assistant. You need to be on the front lines engaging.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#11: Prepare a way to leverage your new business growth after the summit is over.

By the end of the summit you will have grown your email list and your online community. You now have hundreds or thousands of new audience members that are just waiting to see what you bring to the table. Don't disappoint them by letting your email list grow cold over weeks or months after your event. Have a plan for how you are going to leverage this new growth in your business to make a real impact with your next immediate offering.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#12: Respond to all feedback, even critics, professionally.

During your virtual summit, you're going to receive a lot of comments from viewers. Many of these will be positive, and it will fill your heart with joy to know that your event has helped so many people. Still, some will feel the need to reach out to you with criticism. In their defense, many people do feel that they are providing you with constructive criticism, no matter how negatively it comes across. As the host, it is your job to respond to these individuals as professionally as possible. Whether or not you decide to implement their suggested changes is up to you, but either way you should not let any negative feedback cause you to respond negatively either.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#13: Recording video isn't easy. Do all you can to ensure a successful recording.

Recording video over the internet is still not great, despite the technological age we live in. To ensure that you have a good recording, use a wired internet connection (not a wireless one) if you can. If you are still producing a bad connection, remember that it's more important to have good audio rather than video. You might want to even turn your webcam off if that means you'll be able to record better audio. (Though, you should only do this for one or two interviews. If you find yourself recording all of your interviews as audio-only, you need to find a better recording solution.)

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

#14: You need a real plan.

Virtual summits are exciting, and you should be motivated to dive right in. But the best virtual summits come from hosts who understand that you need to have a plan of attack and follow-through. You need to set goals for yourself. You need to self-impose deadlines. You need to have a real promotional plan in place for your summit.

Not sure where to get started creating a plan for your virtual summit? Virtual Summit School is the self-paced online program which will walk you through the entire process for launching your own virtual summit in just 90 days. With video lectures, tech tutorials, templates, guides and a 90-day launch plan showing you exactly what to do every day, you'll be able to host your own successful virtual summit in mere months. Click here to learn more.

Watch the YouTube video for this tip here.

What tips have you found valuable when launching a virtual summit? Share with me in the comments below!

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Bailey Richert

Hi! I'm Bailey Richert.

I’m a business coach who helps individuals launch profitable online enterprises as “infopreneurs”: respected experts in their fields creating value and generating income by sharing their life experience, knowledge and passions with others in a manner that supports their ideal lifestyles.

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Affiliate Disclaimer

Some of the links contained in this article and website are affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate. I only recommend products and services that I know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not. Questions? contact@baileyrichert.com