Behind the Scenes: 5 More Lessons I’m Learning from Hosting a Summit

I’m really excited to be hosting my 2nd summit: The Military Spouse Business Summit! How did this come about? Well, I’m a military spouse and my fellow military spouses are always asking me how to start a business. If so many military spouses are coming to me asking me the same question, there has to be other military spouses out there who have the same issue. Eureka! The Military Spouse Business Summit was born! After all, I’m no stranger to summits. I hosted my first one (The Aloha Summit) about 3 months ago and got the hang of it.

This summit is very different than my first one. I have more speakers, it was planned well in advance (I started looking for speakers in September), and there are A LOT of moving promotional parts to all of this. The good news is that

  • We’re on track to have over 200 people attend the summit!
  • We have reached over 2,000 people on social media over the last 7 days.

Not bad considering the summit hasn’t even started yet. Now that I’m getting more experience from this summit, I thought I’d put a list together of some lessons that I’ve learned over the last 2 months. If you want to have a summit that grows your email list (who doesn’t?), you’ll love these tips!

1. Plan in advance
This is the key to having a successful summit and it’s worth repeating. This time around, I started about 90 days in advance. This gave me enough time to really get to know my speakers, get promotional materials together, and have some downtime to relax and not stress out.

2. Promote your summit early
Something I realized is that it’s never a bad thing to promote your summit early. We started promoting about 2 weeks before and when I do this again, I’ll definitely be promoting 3-4 weeks early. This is especially critical if your speakers have small or no email lists and you’ll be using social media to market your summit.
As much as we would love to think that our summit is the only summit going on, it’s not. Also, your speakers have their own promotional schedules and events too!

3. Keep the end in mind
I can’t tell you how many people decide to have a summit, get more people on their email list, and then do nothing with those new people. Think from the perspective of a new person who has joined your list: they are very excited about the topic, would possibly like to know more and they become disappointed because now they’re receiving emails that don’t lead to anything. So, what’s the end goal? Are you going to launch a product to the new people who joined your email list? Are you going to offer free sessions? Have something in place after your summit ends for the new excited people who join your email list.

4. Keep it simple and make it easy
One of the reasons why we’re having a lot more success with this summit is that I’ve made it very easy for my speakers and others to promote the summit. My speakers and promoters sign up for an affiliate account where they get a specialized link that keeps track of who has signed up using their link. When an account is created, they get access to the Affiliate Center which has banner images and pre-written social media posts with their link to promote the summit. I’ve also stocked the Affiliate Center with pre-written emails that they can send to their email lists to attend the summit. It’s so critical to make it easy for people to promote: no one wants to sit down and create social media posts to promote your summit.

5. Reward by having a leaderboard
A leaderboard is simply letting your speakers and the people promoting your summit know who is having the most sign-ups using a contest style ranking. You would simply send an email every week letting your speakers and promoters who are the top 5 people who are getting people to sign up. You don’t have to include numbers, just the ranking.

I’ve been doing this with my speakers and the results are amazing! I used the element of surprise and didn’t tell them I was doing a leaderboard and after 72 hours of promoting, I sent the email. For my leaderboard, the person who has the most sign-ups gets an Amazon gift card as a prize. Shortly after sending the email with the leaderboard, more of my speakers were promoting the summit and we tripled our sign-ups within 3 days! I’ve been doing my leaderboard twice per week, to make things interesting and keep the sign-ups more consistent.

And there you have it! I can’t wait to reveal my results post-summit so be on the lookout for my blog post. And check out my next summit, the Military Women In Business Summit. I’d hate for you to miss out on a good summit and see how it all came together!
(Click here to sign up for the summit!)

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