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Many business owners and event hosts make mistakes when organizing their virtual summit. The good news is that you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes!
Let’s go through some of the most popular mistakes people make when hosting their virtual summit and how we can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Platform
This is a mistake we see over and over, but it’s not your fault. Like any event, leading with platform selection is usually what leads to choosing one that doesn’t match your needs.
Often the most expensive software platform on the market isn’t necessarily the best. There are also so many options out there; it can become overwhelming on which platform to choose.
In my experience, a platform should match your goals and not the other way around. Start with identifying your goals and objectives and create a detailed list of your non-negotiables and nice to haves. Once you’ve identified your non-negotiables (ie. Chat functionality, live streaming ability, pre-recorded sessions with chat…) Check through the features of these platforms thoroughly. Based on your identified goals and wants, cancel out platforms that do not meet your criteria.
Often these types of platforms allow a one-week to a 30-day trial, so don’t be afraid to try them out. Especially if you are producing the Summit yourself. Get yourself familiar with the features and see what is most user-friendly for you.
Mistake #2 Not Keeping Sessions Short & Sweet
People get bored quickly (or distracted by open browser tabs). It doesn’t matter if a conversation or session is insightful and engaging; there’s usually a breaking point. Avoid the long sessions as much as possible.
For best results, think TedX or consider limiting your sessions to 20-30 minutes each. If you think you have limited time with your speaker, you can provide post-resources for your attendees. This only applies when you have the option of shortening the time. I know some organizations have credits or other driving forces behind session time, but this is a rule of thumb.
Also, remember to add intermittent breaks between the sessions and consider adding some form of entertainment for your audience.
Mistake #3: Too Many Pitches
We understand that for many businesses, the focus of launching a virtual summit is to increase your email list, generate revenue with your all-access pass and potentially promote your product or service. However, don’t be tempted to rinse your pitch. People are attending your virtual summit to gain knowledge, learn about your topic, and listen to experts, not to be ‘sold’ to.
In saying that, it’s ok to talk about your service and/or product but keep it light. Remember, your attendees signed up for a reason and are definitely expecting some sales content, but not a firehose of buy now messages.
Mistake #4: Not Enough Planning Time
We recommend at least 90 days to prepare for your virtual summit. Plan your time with clear steps and action points. A clear plan of tasks will help keep you on track.
I also recommend keeping a spreadsheet of guest speaker communication rather than relying on sorting back through old emails. Another great option is identifying who on your team will help with administrative tasks. It can free your time up to work on other things and keep you super organized.
We at Event Specialists have been producing virtual summits for years! We actually began with telesummits – yes, conference call line conferences! It was a thing!!
If you need any support, don’t hesitate to let us know in the chat or send us a message. We’re here to serve.