Virtual summits are trending!
In this new age of COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic, everything we knew about conferences, workshops and on-site training has changed!
While some companies have been offering online learning opportunities all along, others have had to rethink their strategy to reposition themselves in the event and learning space, adding online learning to their lineup.
Think of this article as your virtual summit 101 cheat-sheet!
We will answer
- What a virtual summit is
- Who plans virtual summits
- How you can find virtual summits in your industry
- Why you will want to host a virtual summit
- Why you will want to join a virtual summit
What is a Virtual Summit?
Virtual Summits are collaborative online events in which speakers are interviewed by a host to be broadcasted live or recorded. Other virtual summits are made up of stand-alone pre-recorded training videos submitted by the speakers.
Virtual summits are similar to online conferences, with a panel of expert speakers who present a collection of online presentations within an industry or predestined topic.
More often than not virtual summits are held over the course of multiple days. Some virtual summits will stream their sessions live for added interaction and engagement, while other virtual summits are 100% pre-recorded and will ‘dole out’ the content in several sessions per day.
Social Media Conferences are Going Virtual, Too!
Most, if not all, conferences slated to take place in the Spring of 2020 have had to cancel their in-person events due to the pandemic. While some event organizers chose to reschedule their event to a later date in 2020 or to next year, other event organizers created a brand new plan.
These event organizers turned their conference into a virtual summit and thus turned attendees and sponsors into summit attendees.
An example of such an event is this large marketing conference, MDMC in St. Louis, MO. While this two-day Midwest Digital Marketing Conference was slated to take place in April 2020, it has been rescheduled as a free virtual event for May 2020.
There are others in our social media industry who have done the same pivot or are contemplating creating a free virtual summit in place of a large event.
Questions About Hosting a Virtual Summit
While there are quite a few similarities between live in-person events and virtual events, not every aspect is the same. Here are some questions you may have about hosting a virtual summit vs a live event.
Q: How does a virtual conference work?
A: The virtual summit is streamed online. Participants or virtual attendees who have registered for the summit will receive a link to use to watch the video content. If the content is broadcasted live, there will also be a place for online interaction, including commenting and asking questions of the speakers.
Q: Where do I host a virtual conference?
Q: Who typically runs a virtual summit?
A: Virtual summits can be hosted by non-profits, a brick and mortar business as well as an online business, organizations, schools, government agencies, corporations… you name it. Typically, someone who understands marketing and can navigate the backend of a website should be in charge of the project. This person will need to have strong skills in email marketing, web design and copywriting. Support from videographers, graphic designers and other team members will make this a team project, for sure.
Q: How do I promote the summit?
A: Promoting the summit depends on where your current audience is. Virtual summit marketing strategies can include blog posts, paid advertising, email marketing, videos, speaker promotion reels, livestreaming events and more.
Q: How can I get people to participate in my virtual summit?
A: Participation in the summit will depend on your own participation and preparation. Try setting up a Twitter list with speakers, and live tweet during the summit, tagging speakers. Take screenshots of videos and post to a Facebook group or event page. Give out prize-packs and lifetime access passes. Your goal should be focused to first get a lot of people signed up, and only second to get them to engage.
Q: How can I find virtual summits in my industry?
A: You can find virtual summits several ways. Here are some ideas:
- set a Google alert to ‘virtual summit keyword'
- use Twitter
- crowdsource in your Facebook groups
- Keep an eye out on LInkedIn
- Ask your peers!
5 Reasons to Host a Virtual Summit
As you ponder if it is feasible for you to host a virtual summit – do you have the money, resources and manpower to pull off a virtual summit successfully – let us give you five valid reasons, to host such a summit!
Host your own virtual summit to
- Display Social Proof
- Enhance your Product launch
- Grow a Membership Site
- Expand Lead Generation
- Gain Email Subscribers
If these are not enough reasons to convince you to host your own summit, you might be better off sticking to a webinar or online course instead! There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, a poorly run summit could damage your brand reputation. Do it well, or skip it. If summits are not a good fit to your business objectives, skip it.
10 Reasons to Join a Virtual Summit
If you are a social media manager, digital marketer, VA or work in the social media industry in any capacity, we invite you to check out our next virtual summit!
In celebration of Social Media Day 2020, Social Media Pro is proud to present the Social Media Day Summit from June 29-July 3, 2020.
Here are 10 reasons to join our virtual summit this year!
- Access to great content
- Opportunity to grow your business
- Learn new social media skills
- Multiple presenters for diverse teaching style
- Connect with expert speakers and grow your own online network
- Learn from the comfort of your home
- No travel required, thus less time spent out of the (home) office
- Consume content when you want it
- Chance to win some amazing prizes
- No dress code
Are you in? Register today, for our free Social Media Day Summit 2020.
Join us For The Ultimate Social Media Day 2020 Celebration!
Our Social Media Day Summit rose from the desire to celebrate all social media professionals.
In 2018, we hosted a one day event. In 2019, we hosted our first virtual summit. The Social Media Day Summit was born. This year more than ever, do we understand the need for something to celebrate!
Register today and get ready for a great e-learning experience and Social Media Day celebration!
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.