Running a summit is the fastest way to position yourself as an expert in your field to become the go-to professional for whatever you're offering.
Since 2020, virtual summits, also called virtual conferences, online conferences, and online summits, have become the most popular way for innovative businesses to present their offering to a much larger audience than ever before…
Could saving money and effort while generating high-quality leads and sales be this easy?
Yes! In fact, in the current competitive market, the biggest ONE mistake your business could make is to NOT run virtual summits.
A virtual summit is a collaborative online event that brings together expert speakers in a particular field or niche. It is an opportunity to establish yourself as a leader within your field, generate leads, and gain priceless professional growth. Sounds pretty good, huh?
So, why exactly should you host a summit online?
1. Massively increases your outreach
First of all, you can increase your reach when you go virtual with your events. If you host primarily in-person events, your guest list is limited. Not everyone can travel to the venue due to various limitations. Plus, you certainly can’t fit a huge number of attendees in one confined space. A virtual summit lets you gather a global audience, with speakers and attendees worldwide. When you can easily scale your event to invite people from all corners of the world, you make the event more engaging and make room for countless business opportunities. In addition, it promotes diversity and inclusion, so the discussions will be quite rich.
2. Builds leads like nothing else out there
Virtual events can help build your list and get you more engaged leads for your business.
Creating valuable content and inviting interesting speakers to your event works like a magnet to help build your email list. Your virtual summit gives people a reason to get in touch with you and sign up to get on your list when they otherwise might not. And once they are on your list, you can market to them. If these registrants were interested in particular sessions, you could promote your business’s relevant products and services to them.
3. Prospective clients love online summits
Summits are also very convenient because people can participate in your event from the comfort of their homes without travel costs and accommodations. All they need to do is get in front of a computer or phone screen and log on.
Also, online summits often give the audience access to all the sessions they’ve missed afterward, so they aren’t forced to choose between one session or another that might run at the same time or when the attendee can’t make it. They can listen to anything they want for a certain period without worrying they missed anything important.
And, being able to participate whenever you can instead of being kinda forced to make time for it is very convenient. Many of the attendees will appreciate it! People can use this flexibility to their advantage. They still get to learn useful information without leaving their house. And since it’s so easy to participate in online summits, you’ll get a lot of sign-ups.
4. Saves you money! (And effort)
It is much cheaper to host events online than in person. This is because you don’t have to account for the travel and logistics. In addition, venue rental and setup are quite expensive.
Additionally, you also have to arrange marketing and branding collateral. And let’s not forget the hassle involved in taking the heavily printed collateral to the venue itself.
On the other hand, virtual events don’t have travel costs, venue charges, or any of those additional costs. You simply have to contact the relevant providers and rest easy.
Apart from that, you’ll just have to market the event. So, you can make do with a much lower budget than you’d need for a physical event. Then, you can allocate those resources to your sales and marketing activities.
5. Gives you an instant “product” even if you don't have one
Though summits are usually free for a few days, they are live. They can become a product after they close. All of the content you’ve created is highly valuable, and it’s unlikely that your audience could take in all the information and speakers they wanted to during the live sessions.
For this reason, summit hosts will often sell an “all-access pass” that gives lifetime access to the talks.
6. Generates substantial revenue
Some online conferences exist just like plenty of other in-person conferences: they exist to make money for the hosts. Your online summit can make you money by having paid admission, sponsors, and virtual exhibitors. Like many in-person conferences, you can have paid virtual workshop sessions, sponsored sessions, or a virtual exhibit hall. With summits, you can get creative on the configuration and make it work for you and your audience.
The thing is, there are trade-offs.
Making it pay-to-attend will limit your audience to some degree and, therefore, limit the new emails you get to add to your list.
7. Can be used to launch a completely new business, product line, or product
The whole point of a product launch is to hook people in and get them excited from the get-go. If you aren’t setting the mood with an equally exciting interface, your audience will lose interest very soon. With a virtual event, you have space to showcase your brand, product, or service in an exciting way – without the added costs!
You can place your logo anywhere in the virtual lobby, exhibit booths, or other areas. In addition, you can upload resources for visitors to save and download. Furthermore, your exhibitors and sponsors will also like the option to market their brands at your event. They can do this by hosting their own webinars or sponsoring some activities and games.
8. Positions you as an expert
One benefit of hosting a virtual summit is the soft power that comes from hosting the summit.
Hosting a virtual summit can boost your reputation in the industry you serve. Hosting an event with well-known speakers in your space will impress your attendees and everyone you’re marketing this event to.
With your company hosting this event, it gives you a certain cache in the eyes of your audience.
If you have speakers from major companies in your industry and you are hosting the summit, your brand becomes synonymous with these larger companies. People in your audience will take notice and remember your brand.
Hosting a virtual summit can help you network with even bigger names in your industry. So, even if they didn’t hear about you until now, the event will be a great stepping stone.
9. BONUS: They are virtually cancel-proof!
If your business message or products are not ‘government-approved, there’s a real threat that your videos, social media content, or even your website might be “canceled” by Google, Facebook, YouTube, and so on.
If this happens, cancel-proof online summits are virtually the only way to continue finding and building your audience and sales – without Big Tech interference.
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