So today we’re going to talk about all the pieces that it takes to create and host a virtual summit. Some of these are going to sound obvious, while others you might not have thought of. So we’re going to start with some of the most obvious pieces.


Elements of a Virtual Summit

One is that you have speakers. You want to have experts or people who are known in the field of, or the category of,  the topic that you are hosting a seminar on. I’m going to use mine again as an example because I just recently held a summit. It was for virtual assistants, but even more specifically than that, it was for Christian virtual assistants.


So though the speakers may not have all been or even previously been virtual assistants, they were experts in their field and could speak into the lives of virtual assistants in a way that was either helpful to them spiritually as Christians or to them educationally as business owners. So I myself chose to go out and reach out to specific people whom I knew I wanted to speak at my event, but I also put the call out in some various Christian business Facebook groups and asked if people were interested in speaking, and then I would speak with them about the topic that they were available to speak on to see if it was a good fit. 


So there are a variety of ways that you can get speakers, including going to them individually and choosing them individually, but you can also choose to put out a call for speakers. You can have speakers fill out an application. I have spoken at several events over the years, and most of the time you go and fill out an application, and then you are able to go through those applications and choose based on what best fits your summit and the specific event that you’re hosting.


So I also chose to have a specific group of topics that I wanted to cover. So I already had the topics in mind, and then I was looking for the speakers for those topics. You can do that, or you can have speakers submit potential topics for the event. So, there’s a lot that goes into choosing who you will have as a speaker, but you want to think about, are there specific topics that you want to cover?


You want to think about whether the person is a good fit as far as their level of expertise, and what they’re an expert in, and then you have to make sure that you’re upfront with your speakers about what’s required of them.  Some people even charge speakers to speak at events. I personally did not choose to do that.


In fact, I was looking for volunteer. But you do want to be sure that you are very sure of the type of speaker you’re looking for, the topics that you’re looking for, and the way in which you’re going to choose your speakers so that you can be upfront and very thorough with what is required of them. So I created a list of what I would have them do.


For example,  I chose to have them submit all the information up front. It was a lot easier that way because I wasn’t having to chase down the speakers to get the information that I needed from them. For example, you’re going to need their headshot, their description of their talk, and the title of their talk.


If they choose to have handouts, you’re going to want to collect those so that you can have all of those things together. You are going to want to have a bio of them so that you can put that on the website and share it at the event. So there are lots of little pieces that go with having speakers. You’ve got to think ahead of time about how you want to do that and what is going to be required of them.


I also ask that my speakers share with their audience an email – sort of promotional email so that I can get people to come to the event. One of the reasons that my event was successful was because each of these speakers had an audience that was uniquely theirs, and they shared the event with their audience.


And it was kind of what I consider a ripple effect because I did not know some of my speakers personally prior to the event. So not only did I meet these new people who are speakers, but I also met their audience and I was able to get a new audience to see things from me that they’d never seen before.


So this was very helpful, and you want to consider this prior to something you’re going to require and make sure that the speakers understand what’s required of them prior to the event. And so for me, that was submitting all of their materials, such as their bio, the description of their talk, the title of their talk, handouts if they had them, a headshot, and things like that. I asked them to submit that upfront, so I had everything that I needed to build and create, not only the website but the promotional materials that I would need in order to promote the summit. Then, I gave them specific dates that we would be promoting it, and I provided them with what they needed to do – which is another element that we’re going to talk about shortly. So we’ve talked about speakers. 


The second element also begins with an S, and that is sponsors. Sponsors obviously are an optional piece, but the thing about it is that sponsors can help you with the financial aspects of a summit, which can free up the burden of having to pay for all the little pieces and the necessary tools that you need to make a summit go well. 


So I had three levels of sponsorship, which included platinum, silver, and gold, or platinum, gold, and silver. So platinum was the top level. It was the most expensive of the levels, and you would receive the most in return. My sponsors would receive specific promotion, not only to my social media but also to the emails that I provided to the speakers and others that promoted this summit, and then they got special recognition on the website as well as during the live event, and those were different levels of exposure and promotion based on the level that they chose. I was very, very happy with my sponsors and the ability that they gave me to provide the tools that I needed to promote the summit and to make it go off without a hitch. 


The third piece is a landing page—at least a landing page. On my website, I chose to have multiple pages. I had originally said to myself that I was just going to create a one-page website to promote this summit, but in the end, I wanted to give a little bit more recognition to the speakers. So I created a page for the speakers and the sponsors.


So my page ended up being three pages, or my website ended up being three pages, but what you need at the most basic level would be a landing page that would explain what the summit was about, who was speaking, the topics they were speaking on, whether the summit is paid or free, and a way to opt in or sign up. Those are the basic needs of a landing page.


I also chose to create a page for the speakers that gave information about their background and linked to their website and their promotions. They could give away something like a free gift and it would link over to those but also to the sponsors. So I did that just as an extra way of promoting them, which brings me to gifts.


Another element is a gift.  So in exchange for sort of a thank you to the sponsors, because it was voluntary, I linked to the page, a page on their website where you could go and sign up for something from them, a free gift. That gave them the opportunity to collect the names and email addresses of these people so that they could promote to them in the future.


Now, some people, when they host a summit like this, we’ll basically give the list of people; whoever signed up, they will give that to all the speakers as a way of allowing them to promote those people. I chose not to do it that way. Instead, it allowed whomever chose to to go to the websites of these individuals and pick up their free gift if it was something that they were interested in.


Because I just felt like that way, you weren’t bombarded with emails if you chose to sign up for the summit and then get emails from all 10 of these speakers. It just felt a little bit overwhelming. I can remember signing up for something recently and I started getting all these emails and I didn’t even know who these people were because I didn’t realize that they had sponsored a giveaway or something like that. In return, I got on all of their lists and I started getting all of their emails and a lot of them—I didn’t even know who they were. So that was a little bit concerning for me. So I did not want that to happen in this case. So I chose to do it a little differently, and you have to think about that.


As a summit host, there’s a lot to consider and think about prior to hosting your summit,  because you want to be respectful of those who sign up for the event, but also be generous with these people – the speakers who have given of their time and expertise to come to your event and to speak.


Okay, there are five more and this episode is getting a bit longer than my normal episodes. So I’m going to try to not be as chatty about the rest of these. So it goes without saying that there are some more tangible pieces that you need, such as an online meeting area. In a future episode, when I talk about the tools that you need, I’ll go into more detail, but just let’s suffice it to say that you need a place to meet.


You need some promotional tools, whether these are social media posts or graphics. I provided social media posts—actually, the body of the post, the text, or the copy—to all of my speakers and sponsors so that they could promote the event. I provided a ton of graphics, not only one that says I’m a speaker at the Serving with Spirit Virtual Summit, but also other promotional graphics, and I provided emails as well. 


Emails are probably one of the biggest pieces that you need because not only do you want to promote the event, but you also want to send reminder emails out to those who have signed up for the event. After they’ve signed up, you want them to continue to get emails so that they can remember to come and actually attend live.


Because you might have a larger number of people who sign up for the event but a smaller number who actually come and attend live because I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone and seen things online that I wanted to do or sign up for and then something else came up or I got distracted and not actually attended that live event. So emails help to kind of keep you at the forefront of a person’s mind so that they can remember to come to your live event.  


And then the last two are kind of one and the same. So I’m going to share these together. Downloadable resources and/or a workbook. I chose to create a workbook that had all of the worksheets or content that went along with each of the speaker’s topics.


So if they provided a worksheet or some sort of tool like PDF, I put all of that into one workbook and included in that workbook the bios of each of the speakers, as well as information from each of the sponsors. The sponsors provided an ad that went into the workbook. And so for example, if it was a platinum sponsor, they got a one-page full 8 1/2 x 11 ad. If they were a gold sponsor, they got half of a page, and if they were a silver sponsor, they got a fourth of a page. So that was another piece that they got in exchange for sponsoring the event.


So let’s just quickly run over those elements again. I’m going to get more in-depth on some of the tools that I used in a future episode. But today we talked about speakers, sponsors, a landing page, gifts, an online meeting area, and promo tools such as copy and graphics. emails, downloadable resources, and/or a workbook.


So as I shared, this episode has been a little bit longer than most of my episodes of the podcast, but I hope that it gave you some valuable insight into the elements and just how many elements there are when hosting a virtual summit. If you or someone you know wants to host a summit and feels like it’s a little overwhelming, I have helped literally dozens, if not over a hundred, probably people or business owners host their own virtual summit as a virtual assistant, and I would love to help you. So please reach out to me at, and I would love to chat with you about the possibility of helping you host your virtual summit. 


Elements of a Virtual Summit

Questions? Join the Group!

If you have specific questions about hosting an virtual summit, I’d love to get those because that would help me to make sure that I’m covering everything that you’re interested in knowing during this series on the podcast. You can submit your questions inside The Christian Business Advantage Facebook group. I look forward to seeing you there!

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