4 Critical Decisions To Make When Planning an Online Summit

4 Critical Decisions To Make When Planning an Online Summit

So you want to host a summit. Awesome! 

But are you willing to put the work in?

You already know that a summit is an incredible way to build your email list, engage your leads, and make s-a-l-e-s…

But if you don’t put the effort in from the get-go, you’re going to get results that ultimately you’re not happy with.

I’ve produced and strategized over 350+ summits… and there are a few things that my most successful summit hosts have in common. 

Before we dive in: YES, this will be a lot of work. But the effort is 100% worth it when you look back on the asset you’ve created in your business.

4 Critical Decisions To Make When Planning an Online Summit

Want to skip all the reading and get right to planning? Let’s talk on a free 20-minute call about what a summit can do for you… and how I can help.

Decision #1: Why are you doing this thing in the first place?

Doing a summit for the RIGHT reason is critical. 

Do you want to increase your influence? Do a summit.

Do you want to network with other experts in your field? Do a summit.

Do you want an injection of subscribers to your email list? Do a summit.

Do you want to uplevel your skills in copy, tech, video, social media, marketing, sales… and everything in between? Do a summit.

Do you want to get all those things but don’t think you have the time to commit or the energy to make it amazing? Skip the summit. (I can always help you figure out an alternative – just grab a quick chat with me and we’ll see what your options are.)

Just to be clear: there’s nothing wrong with not doing a summit if it isn’t your cup of tea.

Where the problem comes in is when you do a summit with half-measures and it doesn’t turn out the way you expect. That’s not great for you OR your audience.

Decision #2: How long should you allow to plan your summit?

A summit shouldn’t take over your life. It does NOT have to be a 150-hour a week job. 

But if you’re trying to plan and execute a high-quality summit… 90 days is going to be really rough for you.

Even for me – a complete expert at summits – the launch is stressful. It’s time consuming. It’s overwhelming. 

But the best thing you can do is give yourself the lead time to do it right withOUT trying to cram summit planning in every spare minute of your day.

That’s why I recommend 120 days (4 months) to plan your summit – and some of my clients take even longer! 

The key is to look at how a summit will fit into your EXISTING life and business – as well as what your business could look like AFTER your summit ends.

If you know that you have a big personal thing coming up… don’t try to plan a summit in that.

If you’re going for your yearly 2-month vacation on the French Riviera… don’t plan a summit around that time.

If you know that your kid is going into kindergarten in the fall and you’re gonna be a big ball of stress… you get the idea.

Give yourself plenty of time to manage your life AND build your summit. There’s no rush – let’s just get it done right.

Decision #3: What do you want to offer? 

When you’re planning your summit, you want to work backward from the end goal – in this case, what you have to offer. 

(And I could talk for eons about this so that will be the topic of a future post more in depth, but we’ll lightly touch on it here.)

Let’s pretend you want to offer a group coaching program that opens September 1st.

Knowing that will help you determine a few pretty important things:

  • You’ll want your audience to be people who would likely be interested in that program
  • You want your experts to be people who HAVE that audience
  • You want your topic to be related to your program
  • You want your summit to happen close enough to the start date, but not so far that it’s not exciting.

See how working backward from the offer can make a couple other decisions easier for you?

Decision #4: How Can You Make The Summit YOURS?

Here’s the thing about summits: they’re not for everyone.

If it feels like a chore – you’re going to treat it like a chore. Which means you’re not going to give it your best. Your business (and you!) will be better served with an alternate list build strategy. I can help with that.

But if you’re only a little uncomfortable – or you’re a lot uncomfortable with one or two aspects of a summit… then pushing forward and perhaps changing the structure a little bit might work for you.

I had a client who was gung-ho on all things summit… so they did a mega-summit with over 40-speakers. That worked for them! 

But I’ve had other clients who needed to dip their toes into the water before they could get fully on board, so they did a mini-summit, just one day with a handful of experts.

I’ve had clients start their summits with a yoga session. Others end it with a wine & PJ party. Others had tons of live video interaction, and some that relied only on the pre-recorded sessions and interacted mostly through chat.

It depends on what you can handle – and what will make your summit feel like YOUR event. Not a cookie cutter event outlined by someone else. 


Once you’ve got a handle on these 4 decisions, you’re ready to really dig in and start planning your summit.

If you’re looking for help, strategy, guidance – or even implementation – then I’m your girl. Because I’ll help you  understand what’s REALLY involved… but also, gently guide you in the direction of best practices, highest conversion… and biggest results.

Grab a time to chat with me and let’s make your summit happen the way you want it to.


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