If you’re anything like me, you’d rather be out for a run or playing with your kids at the park than feeling like you’re way behind on getting things in order for your next big business venture...
...but lucky for both of us, you don’t have to feel behind the eight ball any longer because I’m pulling back the curtains on the tech that needs to be in place for your next summit.
What tech needs to be put in place for your next summit?
Let's look at what you'll need in each phase of your summit:
- 12 weeks prior to launch
- 7 - 9 weeks prior to launch
- 7 - 10 days prior to launch
Let’s start with the easy stuff:
As summit host, the last thing you want is to deal with tech woes, you’ve already got so many more important things (like having conversations in your Facebook Group and moderating Live Q&A calls) to focus on.
I started Virtual Summit TECH to help summit hosts be truly present at their event and know that the tech is just going to work! ~Jaime Slutzky
The Virtual Summit TECH team works with you to maximize the potential returns from your summit. We work with you to truly understand the goals of your event, current infrastructure and the needs to make this the event you envision.
1. The 12 weeks prior to your live summit kickoff event
12 weeks prior to your live summit kickoff event, is a great time to
secure some digital assets including:
- summit domain name
- website hosting
- summit email addresses
and some physical assets like:
- An external microphone (I use both the Blue Yeti and ATR-2100)
- A solid HD web cam (mine’s a Logitech)
- An external hard drive (because the last thing anyone needs is running out of hard drive space!)
And of course, I’d be remiss if I excluded starting to form your rock-star summit team. These guys and gals are going to be on speed dial for the next quarter; the sooner you identify who they are the better. Define each role that your rock-star team members are going to take on, and empower them to achieve success!
I’ve been working with summit hosts consistently for a while now, and I can tell you, those that go at it alone, or without all their assets in place are not taking long runs nor afternoon walks on the beach… the summit becomes a stressful experience: they are writing emails to their attendees at 10pm the night before the email is to go out, scrambling to find speaker bios, make mistakes and, WORSE these hosts do not actually enjoying their summit!
Start early. Make consistent and big strides each week and you’ll be able to pull off an amazing event.
For the next three to four weeks your time is going to be mostly dedicated to creating the actual summit content.
This is also the time to work on solidifying the visual aspects of your summit and laying some online breadcrumbs.
I recommend opening summit registration 2-3 weeks before the live kick off, but even before you hit that timeframe there is so much more pre-work that can be done online.
These steps may include:
- Sharing content via Facebook Live
- Running webinars
- Creating buzz about your summit in Facebook Groups, on Instagram and through YouTube
Your pre-work can start any time and no later than about 4 weeks before summit registration. Amy Porterfield (from the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast) recommends her students start their pre-launch 90-days before course launch!
I’ve seen it so many times… summit hosts relying on their speakers/guests to promote the summit to their lists, or else only relying on Facebook Ads to cold traffic. You and I both know that it’s far easier for someone who already knows you and what you’re all about to join your cause or mission. So, why wouldn’t we all include a pre-launch into our summit process?
2. the 7 - 9 weeks before launch (creating your summit’s online backbone)
With 7 – 9 weeks before launch, the backbone of your summit’s online presence is being knocked out. While this always includes building out the summit landing page and integrating it with your email marketing provider, be sure to also got your payment gateway, all-access pass portal and email sequences locked and loaded.
Words to remember as you’re working through the backbone “Done is better than perfect.”
I can guarantee that these pages are not going to be done on the first go-around, so the sooner we get started cranking on these, the better!
3. The 7 - 10 days before launch (checks and balances)
The 7 – 10 days leading up to making your summit known to the public and activating the registration link is full of checks and balances. Some questions going through your head during this time might include:
- Are the videos embedded right?
- Does everything look right on mobile?
- Is the registration linked to the email auto-responder series?
- Is the payment system integrated correctly and will my purchasers be charged the right amount?
- Will my host be able to handle the significant increase in traffic?
- Do my affiliates have the right promotional links and material?
- Are my All-Access Pass purchasers going to get the access they need?
- How can I make the All-Access Pass login/portal easy to use and navigate?
- Are my bonuses ready?
- Who am I going to call to double and triple check links and access?
- How is the summit landing page going to look when shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter?
- Is my site going to be found on Google?
What I love about the 7 – 10 days leading up to opening the registration doors is that they are all about getting show-time ready. We are at the stage where the content work is done and we’re finalizing things in order to lift the veil and reveal the summit to your most ideal attendees.
Your marketing engine is hard at work, it’s time to grind through the nitty gritty
While attendees are registering (and purchasing) your focus needs to be on the flow of the summit. That is, the email delivery automation, the release and expiration of the summit pages, creating a meaningful experience with popup notifications and so on.
This is also the time to test out any live elements and increase the bandwidth of your webinar software (maybe that 100 live attendees package has worked for prior events but now you’re up to 2000 summit registrants, do you want to increase your package to allow more live attendees?)
Phew, we’ve made it to launch… it’s time to sit back and coast through your summit, right?
Errr, umm, not quite. Now’s the time to make sure that everyone has a great experience ~ with all the tech taken care of, you can be truly present at your event. This is one of the goals here at Virtual Summit TECH ~ we want you to actually enjoy your summit during the live run.
Issues are going to pop up, there's no doubt about it, but being a strong summit host means having a team in place to help you get the biggest benefit from your event.
Planning and executing a virtual summit is the best thing you're going to do for your business in the next 12 weeks. Benefits include expert positioning and financial rewards, new partnerships and providing a solution for your audience!
Based on the summits that I've produced in the past year, as well as the summits that I'm currently working on, I've put together a handy checklist to help you keep your tech on schedule.
My clients always say that they never knew how much work it was going to be to execute a successful summit.
And in the very next breath they tell me that they
"couldn't imagine having NOT created their event."
Are you ready to plan your virtual summit?
Get started today: