How To Get Speakers To Promote Your Virtual EventJan 15, 2024
In the world of virtual summits, securing top-notch speakers is crucial to the success of your event. Virtual Summits are a collaboration and having great speakers that bring their valuable expertise and credibility to your summit, attracts a larger audience and enhances the overall experience for attendees.
However, the success of your event greatly depends on the active participation and promotion of your event speakers. So for most events, it's not enough for speakers to simply agree to participate – they also need to actively promote the event, as they would any online collaboration they're proud to be a part of.
In this blog post, we will explore why it is essential for speakers to promote the virtual summits they are part of, how much promotion they should engage in, and most importantly, how you can effectively encourage speakers to start promoting.
Additionally, we'll provide some tips on nudging those speakers who have not yet begun their promotional efforts leading up to your big day!
Let's get started.
How To Get Speakers To Promote Your Virtual Event
It is a generally accepted requirement for speakers to help promote for most virtual summits that are not being produced by global brands with HUGE audiences. Most online business owners understand that virtual summits are BIG collaborations and for them to be most impactful, it takes participation and promotion from everyone included.
So don't be shy about requiring speaker promotion but do try to be understand and flexible while keeping in mind your speakers have their own businesses to run.
Here are some tips to start things off:
- Clear expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations regarding speaker promotion from the beginning. Include details of promo requirements in your initial pitch, as well as your pitch deck and your speaker information packet! (Click here to check out our templates for these these resources!) We also suggest you keep these details easy to find and reference on your Speaker homebase or information page!
- Customizable options: Allow your virtual summit speakers to choose from a range of promotional activities that align with their strengths and preferences. Some people may excel at writing guest blog posts, while others may prefer creating video content or engaging with their audience through live Q&A sessions. At the bare minimum, you can encourage emails and social posts!
- Time commitment: Respect their time and availability by setting realistic goals for promotion. Understand that speakers have their own commitments and may not be able to dedicate an excessive amount of time solely to your event. For us, we've switched to a longer promo window which really helps to make sure speakers have time on their marketing calendars to fit in the level of promotion we're all delivering- without feeling like its forced and crammed in!
If you plan your speaker promotion strategy early and with the intent to make it a win-win for everyone, you'll find most speakers will happily share your event details and their participation!
Why Speakers Should Promote Virtual Summits
In addition to just being full of goodwill and positive vibes, speakers should be promoting virtual events they agree to speak at for a variety of reasons beyond just 'sharing is caring'. Let's explore some of the more notable benefits your virtual summit speakers will receive from participating and sharing about your virtual summit.
- Expanding their reach: By promoting the virtual summit, speakers have the opportunity to reach a wider audience beyond their existing network. This exposure can lead to increased visibility, credibility, and potential collaborations with other industry experts. Sharing about the virtual summit on social platforms using new hashtags will expand their reach by giving them something relevant and timely to share!
- Building authority: Active promotion demonstrates the speaker's commitment to their field and the engagements they participate in, this positions them as a thought leader. And by associating themselves with your virtual summit and sharing valuable content that their new and existing audience finds useful, they enhance their reputation and build trust with their audience.
- Driving traffic and sales: Speakers who actively promote the virtual summit drive traffic to the event website, resulting in more sign-ups and potential customers. This can be a win-win situation for both the speaker and the event organizer, especially where speakers are given an affiliate link to share in the sales of event tickets.
How Much Promotion Should Speakers Do
While it is essential for speakers to promote the virtual summits they agree to speak at, it's also important to strike a balance between promotion and overwhelming obligations. Finding the right balance is crucial to ensure speakers are engaged without overwhelming them.
Depending on your event and your speakers, you'll have to play with the requirements of how much promotion you feel is appropriate, but what we usually see and recommend is that you ask for 1-2 emails and 2+ social posts.
- Emails: Emails go a long way with virtual summits, so make sure every speaker sends at least 1. Requiring just one solo email and allowing for speakers to include the event in another email blast as a mention or event round-up is a great way to go!
- Social Posts: Social Posts can be hit or miss, but when they hit... they can really hit big! So don't slack on the social promotion for yourself or your speakers, all you need is one great post to go viral to see the true power of social media. But for most of us, it's a bunch of smaller posts from a variety of speakers reaching micro audiences that will ultimately pay off for our events!
When Should Speakers Promote:
You'll want to set up a promotion timeline for your speakers. This can be anywhere from 2 weeks to a full month or more if you feel that a longer timeline is necessary. One thing to keep in mind is that promotion activities can be broken down by the summit stage as we've detailed below.
- Pre-summit promotion: Speakers should be encouraged to promote the event in the weeks leading up to the summit. We like to give a min of 2 weeks for the promotion window, but have done up to 4 weeks- which provides some extra space for speakers to make sure they have room on their marketing calendars! This can include sharing promotional materials on their social media platforms, mentioning it in their newsletters or blog posts, and engaging with their audience about the upcoming event.
- During the summit: Speakers should actively participate during their scheduled sessions and engage with attendees through live Q&A sessions, chat boxes and/or Communities like event Facebook Groups. Encourage them to share snippets of their presentation on social media platforms to generate excitement and encourage others to join in and attend.
- Post-summit promotion: After the virtual summit ends, speakers can continue promoting by sharing highlights, key takeaways, or testimonials from attendees. This helps extend the lifespan of the summit's content and maintains momentum throughout your cart closing period for any last-minute sales!
Encourage Speakers To Promote Your Virtual Summit:
We find that encouraging your speakers to help promote your virtual summit is an art! It really does need to be a mix of requirements, reminders, and real-world suggestions. Once your speakers are confirmed to speak and you have their signed contract in hand, feel free to add them to your speaker management email sequence (that allows you to communicate with your speakers) which should include all the information, links, and tips they need to make the most of participating in your event.
A few of these emails will mention promotion (some in greater detail than others)... here are some ways to encourage your speakers to promote your virtual summit without being overwhelming or pushy.
- Highlight the benefits: Emphasize how promoting the virtual summit can benefit the speakers' personal and professional growth. Discuss the potential for increased visibility, networking opportunities, and the chance to connect with a targeted audience.
- Provide valuable resources: Offer speakers ready-to-use promotional materials, such as social media templates, email swipes, and shareable graphics. Make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word about the event.
- Incentives and rewards: Consider offering incentives for active promotion, such as speaker-only prizes, or even a revenue-sharing model based on ticket sales. This can motivate speakers to go the extra mile in promoting your event.
How To Poke Speakers Who Haven't Started Promoting:
It can feel awkward to have to reach out to a speaker who hasn't yet started promoting your virtual summit, even though they agreed to do so. But as the virtual summit host, you've got to do it!
A virtual summit is only as successful as the people who are part of it, and it can only be successful if those people participate and promote. So there will likely be a moment when you find yourself with a speaker or two who hasn't done any promotion, which is highly unfair to the others. So you reach out...
And we don't mean in a rude, snarky, or passive-aggressive "can you forward me copies of the emails you sent" kind of way... we're talking more about gentle reminders and encouragement type of ways!
Here are a few ways to poke speakers who haven't started promoting:
- Friendly reminders: Send personalized emails or messages to speakers who have not yet begun promoting the virtual summit. Be polite and highlight the importance of their participation in making the event a success. Be helpful! Ask if there are any assets they need, provide their affiliate link, and ask if there is something specific you can do or help with! You can even offer to jump on a call or co-host an IG live to get the party started!
- Showcase engagement: Share updates and testimonials from other speakers who have actively promoted the event. This can serve as a gentle nudge to those who may need a little encouragement. If you're offering speaker prizes, you can send a group email with leaderboard stats and a mention that if you haven't started promoting then you're missing out!
- Offer additional support: Reach out and ask if there is anything you can do to assist them in their promotional efforts. Sometimes, speakers may require guidance or have specific questions that need addressing. If you open the conversation in an 'I wanna help' kind of way, most people are more receptive to taking the next step and getting it done.
How To Get Speakers To Promote Your Virtual Event
Encouraging speakers to actively promote your virtual summit is vital for its success.
By understanding the benefits, setting clear expectations, and providing valuable resources, you can motivate speakers to become enthusiastic advocates for your event. Remember, a well-promoted virtual summit leads to fresh leads, increased authority, and greater income from signature offer sales for both you and your speakers.
We hope you found this blog post valuable. Stay tuned for more insights on scaling your business and bringing your ideas to market through virtual summits.