Friday, December 8

How to Plan a Virtual Summit

Virtual Summits have gained a lot of popularity in recent times, mainly due to Covid-19 making it almost next to impossible to host in-person summits. Quite obviously, it’s necessary to understand the process and flow of planning a Virtual Summit to pull together a successful event execution. Planning is the most significant part of hosting any virtual summit if you are expecting fruitful outcomes for your organization in the end. But before beginning to comprehend the planning process of hosting a Virtual Summit, let’s understand what a Virtual Summit means in the virtual sphere of business and events.

What is a Virtual Summit?

 A Virtual Summit is much like an in-person summit, except that it’s online! A virtual Summit brings together a group of experts to speak on the topic related to their field of expertise. These summits are by and large 3-5 days long and all the sessions come together to support the overall theme of the event. 

Virtual Summits are changing the game in the world of conferences as apart from the cost and time benefits, it offers you the opportunity to have a greater impact than the physical summits. These summits are generally free, pay-to-attend, or freemium. Your Virtual Summit can basically be however you want it to be as there’s no hard and fast rule of how a Virtual Summit has to be like. 

Why you should definitely go with the idea of hosting a Virtual Summit

If you’ve already rethought about hosting the summit with a bit of confusion in mind, here’s something to give you the much-needed assurance. Organizing a Virtual Summit always comes with multiple advantages that can be profitable for you in the long run. 

The bunch of benefits includes:

1) It will help you build and elevate your organizations’ reputation in the industry. People will end up remembering the name and work you do, adding up to your goodwill.

2) The summit will help you elongate your email list by generating a lot of marketing leads.

3) You get the opportunity to build relationships with the industry’s best players and potential partners.

4) Organizing a Virtual Summit can be a good way to creating some sales leads.

Now let’s understand how you can plan a successful Virtual Summit!

The planning process of a Virtual Summit begins with making the most significant decisions that are actually going to determine what and how your summit is going to look or be like. So to make your work much easy ahead, ask yourself a few questions, acknowledge what you’re expecting out of your summit and the planning will become effortless. 

Decide on An Efficient Timeline

The most important aspect of planning a Virtual Summit is planning it at the right time! There are different things to be done, different decisions to be made and all of this needs to happen on time. 

Here are the pieces in a sequence that you need to think about-

  • Choose the right date and time of the event, keeping in mind the availability and engagement prospects.
  • Understand your goal and decide if your Summit will be free, paid, or freemium.
  • Sign on to engaging and skilled speakers.
  • Create promotional strategies for both the Virtual Summit as well as separate sessions.
  • Create/Design the website and the registration page.
  • Begin promoting the event.

When talking about the recorded sessions-

  • Schedule recording timings for each speaker beforehand.
  • Edit and update these session banners on the website as well as begin promoting these sessions too.

Decide the Format

Your Virtual Summit can have different formats according to your needs. A virtual summit usually has multiple sessions with potentially many different speakers. So how should you do it? You’ve got three ways- pre-recorded, live, or a combination of both. 

-The first option is pre-recording the session and editing it ahead of time!

Once the recording and editing are completed, the session can be broadcasted at their scheduled time without any hassle. This format ensures the quality of the session as you’ve always got the time to re-check and make sure nothing is going wrong. However, the drawback of pre-recording a session is that it requires a prior time investment. Also, it can be challenging to engage the audience as there’s no live interactivity and the communication is happening one way.

-The second option is to go live and thrive!

You can also broadcast live sessions back-to-back according to a well-organized schedule. The live sessions also have their own boons and banes. You will have to ensure that all your live speakers are skilled and the sessions are productive to your audiences. Your Virtual Summit can end up becoming boring if the live sessions are not engaging and fruitful.

-Or go with the option of combination!

You can also mix up the above two options to bring the advantages together and eliminate the possibility of your audiences getting bored. Although the positive aspects come together in this case, there’s also a possibility that your overall event ends up having an unstable equilibrium.

Next on, decide whether your Virtual Summit will be Free or Paid. There are pros and cons of this too. If the Summit is paid, the registrants are more likely to attend the Summit as they have already paid for it but the overall number of registrants might be less. The Summit can be free but then you don’t get to make monetary profits.

However, there’s another option of freemium. In this case, the Summit is free but if people want to view the sessions after the event, they can be charged a nominal fee to get lifetime access to the content.

Decide the Content

Apart from the content of your session, there’s content that you need to decide and keep ready to ensure the efficiency of your Virtual Summit. Such content includes blog posts, press releases, email series, advertisements, social media cards & posts, etc. Also, the promotional content too needs to be decided with a keen understanding of what attracts the audiences by framing what’s useful to them.

Tools that will help you host your Virtual Event

Hosting a Virtual Summit means you need to make use of some vital tools. These tools will not only help you increase your reach, contacts, and leads but also maximize the performance of your Virtual event platform.

The most important of all the tools that you need to host a perfect Virtual Summit are- Email Marketing Software to manage the contacts, a Payment Gateway in case of paid registrations, Registration or Membership software, a Website platform, video hosting and editing tools, and Social Media Marketing Software. 

Once both the mentioned and elaborated steps are followed, you are good to host your Virtual Summit. For further assistance, we have got your back! Contact us now and book a demo to make the most out of your Virtual Summit.