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What Is A Virtual Summit?

virtual summit 101 Jan 17, 2022
What Is A Virtual Summit

Virtual Summits are online events that deliver solutions.

Are you seeing more and more ads for virtual summits coming through on your social feeds? Been hearing chatter about how virtual summits are changing the game for small business owners and big brands alike?

Yep. I know, me too! And I'm super excited about it...

Virtual summits and online events are popping up everywhere!

They’ve been around for many years and kind of fade in and out of popularity, but with the recent need for fewer in-person gatherings and more digital options, virtual summits are booming, and for good reason!

In this blog, we'll dig into the details of what a virtual summit is, why they knock out in-person options, why you should host one, and the first 5 steps you should take to do so!

Let's get started.

So what is a Virtual Summit?

Virtual Summits are digital events that bring together industry professionals to deliver information on a given topic. They offer attendees the chance to hear from proven leaders, inspirational peers, and business professionals who can help them get from point A to point B without ever leaving their homes. 

Versatile and highly impactful for attendees virtual summits curate the voices, stories, and specialties of leading industry experts to guide attendees through a transformation.

I know that last part sounds really mysterious but it's true.

Information & Inspiration

Virtual Summits deliver information and inspiration to help attendees reach a common goal. They do this by taking all the best advice, tips, and practical guidance from the speaker lineup and packaging it into a nice easy-to-follow format of video and audio content.

Best known for sparking conversations, building communities, and solving problems of all sizes for niche audiences, virtual summits can be an essential part of scaling a new or existing business.

How Do Virtual Summits Work?

Now that you understand the basics of what a virtual summit is, we should probably talk a little bit about how they work. For starters, virtual summits can be delivered in a single day or more commonly span for 3-5 days or even longer. Depending on the duration of your event, you’ll need to organize a lineup of speakers to cover the topics you’ve outlined as important to help attendees reach their intended goals.

  • Speakers are then invited to host video sessions on specific topics in their area of expertise which can be pre-recorded or live. This allows more flexibility in confirming speakers who would normally not agree to an in-person event based on scheduling conflicts, travel restrictions, or other limitations.
  • You can do interviews with speakers or allow them to record their sessions on their own. This is one great benefit of virtual summits, as speakers can create the content when it fits best in their schedule!
  • Speaker sessions are scheduled to go live based on the event schedule and attendees will watch presentations or attend live components throughout the event.
  • Attendees are usually invited to attend for Free or a low ticket price for the basic event. This can include watching all the sessions live, having access to sessions for a specific amount of time (like 24 hours) as well as participating in live panel discussions where they can ask speakers questions directly.
  • Additional access to the speaker sessions is then sold in tickets which usually also include bonuses from your speakers, extra discounts on relevant products and services, and sometimes swag items sent via snail mail. 

Virtual summits can be very easy to customize and can fit any industry, niche, or topic. 

Virtual Summit v. In-Person Event

Think about an in-person summit or conference-style event for a minute.

In addition to regular planning and lining up speakers, you're tasked with booking venues, organizing catering and meal options, booking attendee room blocks, and sometimes off-site activities and evening receptions.

These extra pieces require more work behind the scenes, more dollars out the door, and usually more staffing to make sure everything is taken care of with a high level of detail. 

Virtual Summits Can Deliver Great Value & Experiences

While incredible to attend and a big accomplishment when done right, a virtual summit can usually deliver the same value without the extra burden.

The truth is, registration and attendance for in-person events include geographical limitations for not just you, but also for your speakers and your attendees. Many questions immediately come into play-

  • What location makes the most sense for your team? 
  • What is the travel cost to get your staff to and from the location?
  • What venues are available in this location?
  • Is the venue able to hold your size event?
  • What is the cost of the venue?
  • Are attendees able to book travel easily to this location?
  • Are speakers able to attend during the event dates?
  • Are overnight accommodations on-site or nearby?
  • Does the location have easy transportation options for speakers and attendees?

These questions and many others are just the tip of the iceberg when planning in-person events. So by removing the geographic barriers, you’re able to expand your reach, double the chances of confirming leading industry experts to participate, and increase the number of people who are able to access the information they need.

Virtual Summits Are Great For Business...

Great For the Community

Virtual Summits are also a great way to build your brand authority, create an engaged community of like-minded individuals, and bring new products and services to market. 

They set the stage for genuine conversations and authentic interaction about your topic in your niche. They also help further establish you as an industry expert and thought leader. 

If you're interested in hosting a virtual summit, check out my Virtual Summit Jump Starter Course list below!

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