Avoid Overwhelm In Your Virtual Summit Planning

summit basics timeline Apr 14, 2020

Many hosts begin the summit planning process and end up overwhelmed from the start. Let’s break down how to avoid overwhelm in your virtual summit planning.

Overwhelmed with trying to plan your virtual summit? I get it!

So many people begin the summit planning process and struggle to get past the first few steps because they end up overwhelmed by the entire process.

To help, we're going to break down 4 steps to avoiding overwhelm in your summit planning and creating a timeline you can actually stick to.

Step 1: Stop looking at it as one big project

This first tip is really the key. Stop looking at your virtual summit planning as one big project that you need to tackle right this second.

There are hundreds of tasks that go into hosting a summit. My Summit Host Process Map has over 300 individual tasks you need to complete.

The only complaint I get about that product, it's overwhelming. And the reason that some people find it overwhelming is the same reason you might be overwhelmed when you're planning your summit. They're looking at it as one big project that needs to be completed right now.

Of course, when you look at 300 tasks as something you need to do all at once, it's going to feel overwhelming. It's going to feel impossible!

That would freeze me in my tracks too.

If that's what you've been doing, know that it's okay. It's common enough for me to see it happening and be able to talk to you about it here.

But now, it's time for you to stop. No more thinking of a summit as one big task you to complete.

Instead,  go to step two and recognize that you can't do it all at once. It's literally impossible. Once you come to terms with that, you're going to feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.

Take it one step at a time.

Step 2: Decide where to start

Now that you're not looking at your summit as one big project, it's time to take one step...but which one?

Which of these 300 tasks on the list do we start with? What is that one step we need to take?

That's hard, too. I get it.

That's the part that I do for you so you don't have to worry about it. Use my resources, whether they're my free ones or my paid ones (I'll talk about a freebie that will help in a couple of minutes).

Let me guide you on what to do first...and what to do after that...and after that.

Once you identify that first, next step you're going to take, let yourself forget about the rest and focus on that one task.

Step 3: Get realistic with your timeline

Now that you're not looking at your summit as one big task to cross off your list, and you're ready to take it one step at a time, the next thing I need you to do is get really realistic with your timeline.

Have I seen people throw a summit together within a few weeks? Yep.

Were they stressed with trying to throw things together and missing important details? Yup.

If you are serious about this, if you want to create huge momentum in your business while giving your attendees and your speakers an incredible experience without running yourself ragged in the process, you need to be reasonable about your timeline.

I know you want to pull this off, like, yesterday. I did too.

When I come up with an idea, I want to do it tomorrow...I want to do it yesterday. But I promise it is worth it to give yourself time to implement these small details.

So what does a realistic summit timeline look like?

I want you to give yourself a minimum of 90 days.

Why? There are a lot of pieces that go into a summit that don't involve you taking action.

For example:

  • You need a couple weeks to connect with speakers before pitching
  • You need a couple more weeks to pitch speakers, wait to hear back, and fill remaining spots
  • You need to give your speakers plenty of time (I recommend at least 4 weeks) to create their presentations
  • You need about 3 weeks to promote the event

So...we're at 11 weeks already, right?

We are right up there around 90 days just based on those things.

Honestly, you'll thank yourself if you allow more than 90 days. It will allow more time to get the details right, improve your speaker experience, and lead to a more well-rounded event.

If you've got a crazy schedule and don't know where a summit would fit in it then check out how to make room for a summit where Ashley Gartland talked about making time for a summit in an already full business.

Step 4: Make a plan to follow

Once you've set your realistic date, it's time to make a plan.

You'll feel so much better once you have a step-by-step plan in place. This is where that freebie comes in that I mentioned because there's not a great way for me to show you how to make a plan in a podcast episode or blog post. I could list off a whole bunch of tasks you need to do, but that's not going to be helpful.

Click here to get my free summit timeline and timeline calculator. With the calculator, you'll put in the date you want your summit to start, and it will calculate due dates for some of the big picture tasks for you and you can just fill in the gaps from there. It'll give you a starting point, which is going to help a lot.

Your summit isn't one big task

As a recap, don't look at your summit as one big task that needs to be completed. You're taking it one step at a time because that's all you can do.

You're also going to choose your summit start date at least 90 days out, and take it one step at a time. You can do it! 



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