Virtual summits are a fantastic way to grow your community and engage with your audience through events-based marketing. And in this detailed step by step guide, we show you how to launch a virtual summit such as events, conferences, courses, and much more!
Are you someone who spends your days creating and churning out quality content?
Here’s the reality.
Whether you’re a creator, an influencer or entrepreneur.
And whether you’ve got an engaged audience eager to pick your brain or you’re looking to build your email list from scratch.
A virtual summit is something you’ll want to have in your marketing arsenal.
And in this tutorial, we show you (step by step) how to launch a virtual summit.
By then of this article you will know everything about virtual summits, how to launch a virtual summit and the role of virtual summit platforms like HeySummit.
Let’s get started with an important and crucial question…
What is a Virtual Summit?
Much like its name suggests, a virtual summit is an event that takes place entirely online, giving creators like yourself the unique opportunity to get your content in front of a global audience.
We love virtual summits for a whole host of reasons, including:
- Inexpensive compared to in-person events
- Global reach often leads to higher attendee numbers
- Wider pool of speakers/ experts to choose from
- Instant access to audience analytics
- Not time or labor intensive
- Inclusive – low barriers to entry for both attendees and summit organizers
All these lead us nicely to another great question…
Do You Need A Summit Management Platform?
You could technically set up all aspects of your summit yourself.
For example by using accounts on various platforms to:
- Create your event website,
- Do the video-hosting,
- Sort out attendee registration and ticketing,
- Put in place speaker management and more,
While you could do all that yourself, truth be told, that’s an unnecessary burden to carry yourself as an entrepreneur or creative.
Let’s unpack that idea.
All you need is one summit management platform to take the heavy lifting out of event organization. Period!
This way, you’ll be able to focus all your time on creating valuable content, connecting with the best speakers and creating an all-round memorable experience for your audience.
And that’s where HeySummit comes in.
But first, who are they?
What is HeySummit?
We’ve partnered up with HeySummit to give you a 14 day FREE Trial
HeySummit is the leading virtual summit platform.
HeySummit empowers individuals, businesses, and organizations worldwide to share their content, ideas, and experiences with a global audience.
From live-streaming platforms such as Zoom to video providers like Vimeo, there are plenty of video-hosting tools you could use to host your summit.
However, what differentiates HeySummit is that it is a wrap-around event management platform. Sure, these sites can host your sessions, but how would your attendees find your event in the first place? How will they purchase tickets? Who will send out event promo materials and agendas?
HeySummit’s built-in features simplify the process of producing a successful event by enabling you to manage all aspects of event management, including creating landing pages to market the event, onboarding speakers, selling tickets, collecting feedback from attendees, and ultimately, running the event.
HeySummit was designed for people of all tech capabilities.
To make event organization sleek and easy, without the cost and labor of having a design team behind you. It automates all aspects of event management so that you can simply plug your info into the platform and go LIVE.
If you’ve decided to eschew using multiple specialized software to weave together your virtual summit in favor of a HeySummit account, read on for a step-by-step guide to go from zero to launch in no time.
How to Launch a Virtual Summit with HeySummit
Here then is how to launch your first or next virtual summit using the amazing HeySummit event management platform in 6 practical, easy to follow steps.
#1. Choose a plan that suits you
HeySummit caters to events of all sizes. Wherever you’re at with your business, they’ve got subscription plans to cover your needs. All 4 plans, Starter, Growth, Success, and Agency, will give you access to the basic building blocks of a virtual summit:
- Landing Page Builder
- Customizable Emails
- Webinar Integrations
- Accepting Ticket Payments
The higher the plan, the more flexibility you’ll enjoy – including greater customization, more attendees, custom payment options, and advanced ticketing. If you’re worried about finding the right plan – don’t be. All plans come with a 14-day free trial and can be canceled at any time, giving you that space to dream big and explore as many of our features as you’d like.
#2. Build your landing page
A landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically to advertise your event – it will contain all the details of your event – the what/ who/ when/ where, as well as how (to get tickets, of course!)
Here’s an example from a HeySummit-hosted landing page (you can check out more examples here) :
HeySummit will auto-generate an entire event site for you – your Event Dashboard is where you can add, delete, and rearrange the auto-generated elements, and add images, videos, and text to create something that’s uniquely yours.
Firstly, you’ll want to set up the basics: the what (title of your event), the when (dates of your event), and the who (your name/ your company’s name). Do this by heading to Event Setup > Settings. Under Branding and Content, you’ll be able to upload your logo, social hashtag and set the straplines for your event.
You can also change how you refer to certain aspects of your event if you go to Content > Translations.
Here are some of your options under Translations:
- Change Speakers to Experts, Masters or anything that you think sounds better.
- Don’t like Category? Change it to Topic, or Section.
- Change the phrasing on sign-up or Call-to-Action buttons.
Don’t forget to save all your work by hitting Save after each change.
You can also choose whether or not to grant your speakers access to their HeySummit Speaker Dashboard, which will enable them to edit aspects of their own session, as well as add giveaways and offers.
You can edit the speakers’ permissions by clicking on Content > Speakers > Settings. Consider what aspects of your event you want your speakers to be able to access and edit when you do so.
#3. Configure your tickets
Ticket types are a huge aspect of event planning. Will you have a free event, a fully paid one, or a mixture of both tiers?
All things Tickets can be configured via Dashboard > Revenue, where you’ll also be able to manage coupon codes, offers, giveaways, affiliate payouts, and sponsors. The best part? You’ll have a full record of all attendees and tickets purchased. Having all your records stored in one place can be a real time-saver in case of any disputes or refunds (plus, you’ll only need to remember one password!)
You can even impose limits on many aspects of your ticketing plan – for example, do you only want to offer free tickets for a limited time period, before making them paid tickets? Done!
#4. Set up your sessions
There are two types of sessions (also known as ‘talks’) you can add to your summit: pre-recorded and live. You can add pre-recorded sessions to HeySummit long before your session is scheduled to be broadcast to your attendees, while live sessions will be streamed as they happen.
While you can’t use HeySummit as a standalone video-hosting site, you can plug in your preferred platform for a seamless experience. Different types of sessions, for example, a panel discussion, workshop, or Q&A require different formats so as an event organizer, you’ll be able to choose the best tool to deliver the best experience for your attendees.
To set up a pre-recorded session, you’ll need a subscription to a video-hosting provider. Then, head to Content > Talks > Add Talk.
Once you’ve entered your session details, configure your video settings by clicking on ‘…’ next to the session, followed by Video Settings > Pre-Recorded. Choose your video provider, enter the video link and voila – all set!
If you are using pre-recorded videos, you don’t have to worry about adding a replay video – HeySummit will automatically use the link provided and create a replay for you.
You can test how a pre-recorded video looks by clicking on ‘…’ next to the session, followed by Preview Public Page after you’ve uploaded the video URL/ID. This is especially useful with pre-recorded videos, as you can have the peace of mind that you have set up your video correctly.
To set up a live session, you’ll need a subscription to a live webinar platform. Follow the same steps to set up a session, but select ‘Live Sessions’ instead of ‘Pre-Recorded’ when prompted.
HeySummit currently offers Custom stream and Live sessions (integrations) as options for live sessions:
At the moment, they offer embeddable custom streams for Vimeo and YouTube. Any other custom stream that you enter will take your attendees away from the HeySummit site. If you use Vimeo/ YouTube, the live video will be viewed on HeySummit.
Live sessions (integrations)
Use one of their powerful webinar integrations to take full advantage of all the live-goodness. With live integrations, all you have to do is connect a host to your HeySummit account and the platforms will do the rest.
However, keep in mind that you will still need to record and upload a replay for all integrations except for. BigMarker, which will automatically record and upload the replay for you.
#5. Craft your email communications
Once you’ve got your sessions set up, and your speakers and attendees raring to start, you’ll need to find a way to keep in touch with your audience.
From reminding them of when sessions start, to instructions on how to access the sessions themselves, it’s important you keep communication channels open through an easy, direct medium. That’s why all HeySummit accounts come with pre-written, customizable emails to attendees and speakers. To edit them, head to Event Setup > Email Templates.
#6. Market your event
Now that you’ve got your virtual summit all set up, it’s time to show it off. Marketing is made easy with HeySummit – our platform comes with a host of promotional assets (banners that speakers can use to promote their talk/the event) Leverage your speakers’ networks too, by providing them with copy to share with their audience. You can update your own swipe copy (the text that you can make available to your speakers so that they can easily copy and paste to share information about the event) and assets by clicking on Promoting > Assets or Promoting > Swipe Copies.
Furthermore, you can add customer testimonials to your landing pages – simply head to Promoting > Testimonials. Sometimes, the best advertising can be your existing audience, so having a dedicated section on your event website to testimonials or user reviews can be a marketing gold mine.
And there you have it!
Don’t forget to bookmark this page so you’ll have something to refer to when you launch your next virtual summit. Want to find out more about how HeySummit can help you deliver stellar content to your existing audience, and reach new people along the way?
Check out what it can do for you here:
Q & A on How to Launch a Virtual Summit
Now to the question and answer session.
#1. How much does HeySummit cost?
HeySummit has 3 price plans:
• Starter – $49/month. Switch to annual billing to save $168 / year
• Growth – $203/month. You can save $696 / year when you switch to annual billing
• Success – $595/month. Switch to annual billing to save $2,040 / year
All the plans come with an absolutely free 14 day trial. Great to see whether HeySummit is a good fit for you and your business.
#2. How do I create or host a virtual summit?
Here’s the reality.
You can’t just string together a bunch of Webinars and expect to have a successful virtual conference.
Here’s how to create or host a virtual summit…
• Get a virtual summit platform like HeySummit to do the heavy lifting
• Consider adding compelling context to your content.
• Make it super easy for your tribe to market.
• You can’t go wrong with meaning social media. So add social media that works.
• Live video is the next big thing. Be sure to use some.
• You want to create amazing customer experiences. So put together a plan for customer support that wows.
• Position your speakers for success.
#3. What is the best virtual conference platform?
In one word, HeySummit!
That’s because with HeySummit, you can host beautiful virtual events, conferences, courses, and more to engage with your audience and ultimately grow your community through events-based marketing.
#4. How much does it cost to host a virtual summit?
The cheapest way to host a virtual summit is to use a platform like HeySummit.
Overall, the cost of hosting a virtual summit depends on a range of different factors. These include the features of the platform you choose, the number of people attending, whether or not your speakers will be paid, and whether or not you require a fully managed service.
In general, you should expect to spend from $2,000 for a basic one-day summit for 500 attendees to $100,000 for a 5-day virtual conference or summit for say 50,000 participants.
#5. How do I choose a virtual platform?
Here are some ideas on how to choose the absolute right platform for your virtual events
• Consider choosing an all-in-one platform.
• In the aftermath of Covid-19, virtual networking has become part of our new normal. Choose a virtual platform that provides virtual networking.
• Always a good idea to consider the scope for integrating with other tools you may already be using.
• Branding is a great way to a great way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Be sure to find out if the platform offers a branding option.
• Look at the reviews by the platform’s users. You want a platform that provides an awesome user experience.
How to Launch a Virtual Summit – Your Turn
In this article, we shown you how to launch your virtual summit. Not only that, we’ve also shown you how to use the amazing HeySummit platform to do all the heavy lifting for your next virtual summit or conference.
To make it super easy for you, we’ve even thrown in a 14 free trial of HeySummit.
The question is…
Now you know how to launch a virtual summit, what are you going to do with all this information?
Disclosure of material connection