Welcome to VSM podcast episode 12 entitled “Would a summit work in my industry?”
That is a question I get all the time. And in today’s episode, we’ll break down how you can assess whether a virtual summit would work for your industry or whether it would be a bad idea and just a waste of time and money to execute.
I’ve seen summits work well in most cases, no matter what industry you’re in. I’ve seen VSM students crush it in over 100 niches. So this episode is diving deep into the validation process of your virtual summit idea.
It gives you some actionable steps you can take today to get a better picture and a better understanding of whether a virtual summit can work in your industry or not.
Would A Summit Work For Me?
Let’s dive into this.
So this question is a common question. I get it all the time. Would a summit work for me?
What if there are already virtual events happening? How do I separate myself from the competition if nobody knows me? And all those questions that are popping into your head when you’re first starting to tinker around the idea of hosting a virtual summit.
And I appreciate those questions a lot because they save you from wasting time on a summit that would potentially be a waste of time and money. That potentially would not work.
And this is why I’m recording this podcast episode. I want to dive through four questions. I want to deep dive into them and walk you through the thought process of validating your virtual summit idea.
How Coaches, Consultants, Experts, and Speakers Are Using
Our Proven System to Build Wildly Profitable Online Businesses With Virtual Summits
While Making A Bigger Impact On Their Audience, And Adding Targeted Subscribers To Their List.
So let’s start with the obvious questions. The most obvious one, probably.
What if there are many virtual events in my industry already? Especially with the pandemic, there have been virtual events popping up left, right, and center.
And what do you do if they are already established virtual events in your industry? I’m coming from the WordPress space. And there are amongst my events; there are other virtual events in that space.
Is that good? Is that bad? I mean, does it mean that nobody can enter this space anymore?
If there are already virtual events that get hundreds or 1000s of attendees, I always see them as a great sign because it means that summits are profitable in your space. It is good that there are virtual events in your industry already. Take this as a sign of confirmation that you are on the right path.
How Do You Separate and Differentiate Yourself From Other Virtual Events/Summits?
Now. How do you separate yourself from those events? What do you do to position a new event in your space without making people tired of all the visual summits popping up?
Attend your competitor’s events and take notes on who’s speaking, how is it organized? What’s the website structure? What’s the pricing and marketing.
The first thing you have to do is attend the event and pull out your note-taking sheet to talk or to write down. Who is speaking there? What topics is the event covering? Write down some information about the organization of the event, like the duration. For how many days is the event going?
How many hours on every given day is the event running? Is it live? Is it pre-recorded?
And here’s a kind of black hat technique that I like to use. Sometimes I use the Facebook ads library to see what type of ad campaigns they are running. That gives you an idea of how strong their marketing budget is.
For example, when you’re looking at the ad word ad campaigns in the Facebook ads library, you will see that they have many campaigns running all the time. So it will probably be hard to compete with them. But if they are not running any Facebook ads or don’t even have a Facebook page, this is your chance to bring in traffic via Facebook if you know how to run ads.
So if you can hire an agency to do that for you or a freelancer, this is a good chance to separate yourself.
Then what else do you need to take notes on when you’re attending competitors’ events?
The website structure is a big one. What pages do they have and how easy are they to use? I’m talking about the registration page. Then they likely have a sales page for lifetime access. But also, how do they deliver the summit? How are the pages built internally? What is the structure for the session pages?
For example? How do they position the speaker on the session page? What outgoing links do they have? Do they let the speakers promote their products? Do they have sponsors that are positioned in a certain way? Do they have a live chat?
Do they have a standing video call for the networking area or something like that? You all want to take notes of this. Because this gives you a baseline. This shows you what your competition is doing so that you know what you can do differently.
Then the last step that you want to take notes on is essential; it is the pricing and the marketing. So, what type of language do they use on their sales pages, on their registration pages, and in their marketing campaigns? Who is promoting that event? Can you find out what types of platforms the event is featured on?
Are the speakers promoting? Or do the speakers even care to promote the event? What’s the pricing for the replays? What types of bonuses do they have? What types of upsells or downsells do they have? Those are all essential pieces of information.
When you put them together with that speaker list with the organizational aspects and a website structure, they give you a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to differentiate your virtual summit from those already in the space.
The next step is how do you differentiate yourself from those summits if nobody knows about you. Maybe you have a little following in your space; maybe you are somewhat known but not nearly authoritative enough to be perceived as the virtual summit host in your space.
One of the goals that we want to achieve with the virtual summit is being known as the number one person in your industry. To be the person to connect with because you are in touch with all those influencers and all those thought leaders.
Keep Your Ideal Attendee In Mind At All Times
First and foremost, you need to focus on your ideal attendee. Who is it that you want to attend the summit? And why will they spend time at your event? This is the most important thing; to keep people in mind at all times.
What problems could you solve with your event? Or what questions could your summit answer that the other events leave open? This is why you need to attend those so that you have this insight. Then, is your audience big enough when you separate yourself? This is a big question.
When you focus on topics left open by the other summits, is the audience you’re speaking to still big enough to justify a virtual summit? Can you still bring together 1000 people, 2000 people, or 5000 people at your virtual event?
This is a crucial point to dive into.
Try Shorter One-Day Events instead of 5 or Live Events Instead of Pre Recorded Ones
And now here are some examples of how you can separate yourself from the competition, even if nobody knows about you. And if you are establishing the event from scratch, I want to give you three examples of what you could do. If the other summits are five-day events, you could do a one-day summit.
Because those five-day events take time to consume, they have a massive requirement from the attendees to set aside a ton of time for every workday in a week. So why not give your attendees something very easy to digest? Give them a one-day summit, with just six to eight sessions.
Maybe it’s perfect for you to dip your toes into the world of virtual summits because they are easier to organize. And you give your attendees a different format. And you might even be able to convert some of the attendees from your competitor’s events to come into your event as well.
If all the summits have mostly pre-recorded content, what type of live content can you do at your event to separate yourself or to make it easy for your attendees to engage with the speakers and with the experts at your summit?
You could do something like Ross Brand with Monetizing Live Streaming.
In his industry, the live streaming industry, pre-recording is a no-go. So he did a fully live one-day event, eight hours of streaming, which is exhausting. But he now, on the back of the summit, launched a best-selling book on Amazon, which is number one in 14 different categories.
Congrats to Ross for doing this. And this is the power of the virtual summit. He had a brand before. With the summit, he increased his brand awareness and his audience. And now he was able to launch the best-selling book in 14 different categories, even outperforming YouTube stars like Sean Cannell from Think Media.
So this is what a virtual summit can do for you if you differentiate yourself since there are tons of video marketing events in the space already. But Ross did it live, he went the extra mile and he got the results that he deserved.
Put Together Some Form of Freebies/Giveaways or Lead Magnets to Share with the Audience/Attendees
And the third example I want to give you is, if the other summits do not offer any freebies, any form of lead magnets, PDFs, or playbooks as we call them in Virtual Summit Mastery, why not put them together?
There are easy ways that we explain in the Virtual Summit Mastery Method book and in the full course at virtualsummitmastery.com that you can leverage to create freebies your attendees will love and that they can share with their friends. That could convert them to go into your event as well.
I want to talk about two more steps. And I grabbed them very briefly because we’re already at the 10-minute mark for this episode.
If you don’t know any speakers, listen to the previous episode from last week. That’s podcast episode 11 at VSMpodcast.com/11, where I give you actionable advice on how to connect with influencers, even if nobody knows who you are.
And then, if you don’t know how to get started with your virtual summit. if you now have taken those ideas, I’m sharing with you on validating your virtual summit and seeing how you can differentiate yourself from the events that are already in the space, grab the virtual summit mastery method book.
It’s only $4.99. You can get it at virtualsummitmastery.com/book. And it teaches you the exact process not just from validating the idea but also to organizing and hosting your virtual summit. I’m not holding back in this book, and if you want to get started with virtual summits, my Virtual Summit Mastery Method book is the best way to do this at just $4.99.
It’s very affordable because I want to make this entry into the virtual summit as easy and affordable as possible.
So those were four ways you can make sure that the summit would work in your industry. You attend your competitor’s events. You take notes on who’s speaking, how is it organized? What’s the website structure? What’s the pricing and marketing.
You speak with the attendees and ask them about their experience of attending the summit. You have a conversation about and around that event to know what worked well and what could be improved.
You keep your ideal attendee in mind at all times. You focus on what you can do for them and how your event can help them differently than the currently established events are doing right now.
You can separate yourself by doing shorter or longer virtual summits, by doing them with more live content or with more pre-recorded content. By offering freebies, playbooks, lead magnets, something that adds value and helps your attendees get results before the summit even starts.
And if you want to learn how to connect with speakers, listen to VSMpodcast.com/11. That’s Episode 11. Learn how to connect with influencers even if nobody knows who you are. Thank you so much for listening again; the book is virtualsummitmastery.com/book. It’s only $4.99.
Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast if you want to learn more actionable bite-sized tips of running virtual summits, and leave a review if you don’t mind because this podcast still is young, it’s very new, and I’m looking forward to growing this brand. Thank you so much. I’ll catch you next week.