Welcome to the Virtual Summit Mastery Podcast. This episode is all about the virtual summit website funnel and website structure. I know it’s hard to understand what they are talking about on a podcast, but I will break it down for you.
We have complicated websites for virtual events. But I will try to explain it so you understand what it takes to build a website for a summit, how to get traffic and understand what tools involved.
Virtual Summit Website Funnel Structure
So let’s start with the most important page on the entire website. And that is the landing page, your main registration page on that page. These contents load when somebody visits the website for the first time.
When they enter the URL of their summit, they get taken to the registration page. And on that page, you need to make it very, very straightforward to understand what your summit is all about.
Who is speaking at your event? You need to capture the attention of website visitors by having a title, subtitle and visual representation of the most exciting speakers. Make sure that visitors have an overview of who will be there at your event and what the speakers are talking about.
The virtual summit website funnel starts with capturing the email address of the attendees in exchange for a free ticket – at least that’s the most common approach. You need to have a visual representation of all your speakers on the Registration Page.
This can be a combined graphic with all the speakers on them, whether you have one graphic per speaker and then the text of the name and the contents of the summit session, and maybe some details about what they’re talking about next to that.
I won’t make any recommendations here because this always depends on the entire context and the design of the website, but usually, what you want to do is above the fault you have a title, you have a subtitle, you have obviously the call to action to grab your free ticket.
You have the most prominent speakers featured above the fold because they drive attention and build authority for your summit. And then, as you go down the page, you should have some social proof elements, and that can be logos of media outlets your speakers have been featured on. Or you could show logos of companies your summit experts have worked with – that has also worked very well for me in the past.
And then below that section, you continue to explain who the event is for why they should attend and who is participating as the speaker on your event. That is the registration page. If you want to see it in action, go to buildyouraudiencesummit.com.
If you want to see a virtual summit website funnel in action that follows the proven VSM structure, this summit is a good example. And when you sign up for the event, you’ll see the entire fund action from an attendee perspective.
So that might be worth checking out just to get an idea of how the funnel is structured.
We do have a second registration page for most summits, and that is called the playbook page. And the playbook is a lead magnet that you create from the summit sessions. You condense the summit session into one or two takeaways and add those to a lead magnet.
For example, you can ask your speaker at the end of each session: “If you had to summarize what we’ve just talked about in three best tips for the audience, what would those tips be?”
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And then you take these tips and put them into a playbook that you can have designed properly, and then give it away as a lead magnet on the playbook page, and you drive traffic to the playbook page, usually via paid traffic.
So that’s Facebook ads, YouTube ads, and similar traffic channels. And you can have emails driving traffic to the page too. You can obviously have affiliates promote the playbook page in the speakers as well. The same principle as on the registration page applies: you want to showcase the most important speakers, and you want to build social proof.
You want to build the trust or win the trust of the people watching this website. Make sure that it is super easy to download the playbook and to grab the free ticket. Be as clear as possible in your message on the website because, depending on your market, virtual summits might still be somewhat new. Even though everybody and their dog is hosting virtual events.
Chances are your audience is not used to them yet. So try to explain what the event is and how to participate as an attendee in very, very easy language.
Once somebody signed up, you take them to an offer page. That’s the most common form when you’re monetizing your virtual summit through selling an All-Access Pass.
The offer page is essentially a sales page, selling lifetime access to the summit contents for a discounted price. That’s why it’s called the offer page. You should have a tool like Deadline Funnel installed on the Offer page. And what that allows you to do is it sets a deadline timer that cannot be tricked (at least I haven’t yet found a way to trick Deadline Funnel).
The idea is to reward fast action takers. You set a 15-minute timer on the offer page and redirect people to that page after they signed up on the registration or playbook page.
You describe on the sales page what it is that they can buy, but you also need to make sure that they understand that they’ve got the free ticket already. The offer page is where many miscommunications happen.
In the hero section, you need to confirm that they’ve signed up for the free event, that they can access all the contents for free, but if you are selling lifetime access or a membership area, You want to sell them on that, obviously.
And the best timing to sell somebody on a product is when they’ve just taken the first step by grabbing something for free. And that is what you are leveraging on the offer page. After somebody got their free ticket, they’re excited about the event and might be more likely to upgrade to lifetime access.
You need a standard sales page as well. So that is the fourth page in the virtual summit website funnel that I want to talk about in this podcast episode. You essentially have the same contents on the sales page as on the offer page, except for the Deadline Funnel timer and the confirmation for free access.
People visit the sales page for your All-Access Pass after the timer on the Offer page ran out. You’re also driving traffic to that page via advertisements, through emails, and via affiliates and media partners.
Daily Session Pages
What you then need is you need to deliver the summit, actually. So it would be best if you had the daily session pages where the summit sessions are embedded, and you can have one page per day if it’s a multi-day event.
You can have one page per track if you want to have multiple session tracks simultaneously. So this is a track is a series of sessions, grouped by a topic on a web design summit. For example, it could be a Trek for web security, and there could be a track for UX on websites, user experience on websites, and those can happen at the same time. Then you can point people to either the web security track or the UX track.
You can also build a page per speaker and then the speakers can share their session directly during the summit as well.
Depending on how much time you have, those are the pages used to deliver the summit. And on those, you need to make sure that it is super easy for attendees to navigate your event.
So you need a menu structure that gives them the schedule page, which is essentially a page outlining which summit session goes live on which time and day.
You need to give them an overview of all the content pages, whether that is a page per day, a page per track, or a page per speaker.
You want to give them access to the all access pass sales page so that they can easily upgrade if they want to.
You want to offer transcripts, which are super important for accessibility reasons. If you can include transcripts of your sessions, those will increase the perceived value quite a bit. And then what you can do is you can build a page to offer downloadable note-taking sheets. So those are PDFs for your attendees to take notes on the summit sessions. See buildyouraudiencesummit.com/notes for a live example.
And they usually have them in either a digital format. So for digital note-taking or a printable format with lines on the PDF for handwritten note-taking whatever the attendees prefer.
Then you need the Expired page. This is a page that opens once a session has expired.
After the summit is over, you need a waitlist page so that people can sign up for the next event.
Driving Traffic To Your Virtual Summit Website Funnel
Now, how do you drive traffic to the website? Obviously, you want to have email campaigns for the pre-launch to spark engagement, to make attendees feel involved in the summit, and to train your attendees to open your emails and click on the links.
You need an email campaign for the summit delivery. So on the time when the summit starts and every single day for the duration of the summit, send at least one email per day, driving people through the session pages. In those emails, you want to answer the most common questions. You can obviously build an FAQ page on the summit website for that as well.
You want to pitch referrals from attendees by using software like Early Parrot. For example, you can drive social referrals and have your attendees invite their friends and family and coworkers and whoever the summit is relevant for. Thus increasing your number of attendees
You want to have a post-launch campaign as well.
So after the summit is over, you want to continue to promote and send emails to that list, to keep nurturing the relationship with your attendees, to continue to deliver value.
And for example, what you can do is you can use the list for affiliate promotions or your own product launches after the summit has ended.
Traffic Sources For Your Summit Website
A common traffic source to drive people into your virtual summit website funnel is your own audience. Leverage your social media profiles, your existing email list, and whatever other platforms you can reach people on.
It is also important that your speakers are promoting the event. Make it very easy for your speakers to promote your event. So you want to have swipe copy, ready? You want to have graphics ready for them to share. And we provide that inside Virtual Summit Mastery as templates that are super easy for you to customize.
You can have media partners. So those are media outlets who promote your event in exchange for publicity and being mentioned. Throughout your summit as well. You can have sponsors again. There’s something explained in virtual summit mastery is how you make sponsors pay for hosting the event. So they pay for your time when you are preparing the event, interviewing, building the website and creating the copy and all that good stuff.
And the sponsors also are interested in promoting our events because obviously they are associating their brand with your virtual summit. Sponsors want to make the most out of this summit themselves as well.
You can have affiliates and you can have a referral system like early period, for example, where attendees keep referring their friends to your virtual summit.
Let’s talk about some tools as well. We need to talk for example, about the CMS that you can use the content management system. And this is a discussion I’m very hesitant to get into if I’m honest, because this is almost as religiously debated as the question of iOS versus Android or windows versus makers.
Choose, whatever CMS you are comfortable with, whether that’s WordPress, my preferred choice, whether that’s ClickFunnels, Kartra, or Kajabi – choose something that you are comfortable with, that you can build a website on. Inside VSM, we have templates for WordPress, ClickFunnels, and Kartra to help you build the website quicker.
So those make it very easy, but obviously this is just our templates and you can use whatever CMS you want to use and you can handle the most effectively. You want, you don’t want to learn something new just because you’re hosting a virtual summit because hosting your first summit and pulling all the strings together for virtual summit is a challenge in and of itself.
And you don’t need to add complexity to that. As email service provider, we recommend Active Campaign or ConvertKit because we have the automation templates for both of those tools.
Thrivecart is our recommended tool for handling sales and affiliates.
I personally rely on Vimeo for video hosting. I have hundreds of videos on Vimeo Pro, but you can use Wistia as well. Even the worst case scenario would be using unlisted YouTube videos, but I wouldn’t recommend that.
And for membership plugins, if you are using WordPress to build your website, I personally use Memberium. Friends of mine also use Restrict Content Pro. It’s super easy, super effective to set up both of those.
But the essence is use the tools that you are comfortable with. Don’t add complexity, but introducing new software, just because somebody recommends that hosting a summit, even with the VSM program at hand. It’s challenging enough and you don’t want to make things harder than they need to be. So this is the virtual summit summit funnel overview.
The email service provider of your choice deadline funnel is one thing I consider mandatory for vitreous summits, a good sales card. The parallel for referral marketing, a solid video hosting plan forum and the membership platform. If you want to sell the Alexis pass. This is a lot of content I’m fully aware of that.
And this is what I’ve prepared extensive show notes vsmpodcast.com/4, and you can also sign up at summitmasterclass.com to get a free training which will show you how the summit funnel works in action and what you need to know before hosting your first virtual summit. Thanks so much for listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe and check out the free virtual summit training.