062: Avoid Overwhelm In Your Summit Planning

Apr 14, 2020

So many people go to start with their summits and can’t get past the first step because they're so overwhelmed by the entire process.

That's why, in this episode we're breaking down 4 steps to avoiding overwhelm in your summit planning and creating a timeline you can actually stick to.


Hey, Hey, welcome to the Summit Host Hangout podcast where you'll learn how to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit, no influencer status necessary. I'm your host, Krista from Summit In A Box, and in the next couple of episodes I want to talk about some of the biggest struggles I see online business owners facing when they decide a summit might be something they'd like to do. Today I specifically want to cover how to avoid overwhelm in your summit planning because it's something that comes up so much.

So many people go to start with their summit and honestly can't get beyond the first one or two steps because they're so overwhelmed by the entire process, and there's so much uncertainty that comes with that that comes with never having done something before that has so many moving pieces. Like that's tough. Luckily my brain is wired for these kinds of things. I love that I thrive with big projects like that. I always catch myself when it does happen and I just know how to push past it. I know how I work best. Plus I also had the experience to share from hosting summits myself. Today we will dive into four steps for avoiding overwhelm with your summit planning and then creating a timeline you can stick to.

Before we dive in, I want to remind you that the free Start Your Summit That Sells challenge starts next week. Timing is one of the two big themes we'll cover throughout the challenge. If it's something you're struggling with, I want to see you at that challenge so I can come alongside you and help you to finally start taking action. You can get all the details at summitinabox.co/challenge. It kicks off on April 20th.

stop looking at it as one big project

Let's dive into really the first big step for avoiding overwhelm with your summit planning. This really is the key. Everything else depends on you being able to do this, and that is to stop looking at it as one big project. There are hundreds of tasks that go into hosting a summit. My Summit Host Process Map, which has all of the tasks you need to complete to host a summit laid out in Asana and Trello, has over 300 individual tasks you need to complete. The only complaint I get about that product, it's overwhelming. The reason some people think that it's overwhelming is the same reason you might be overwhelmed when you're planning your summit. It's because you'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. There's no way you can do it. That would freeze me in my tracks too if I was like, okay, now I'm going to go plan a summit and that's like as far as I got. If that's what you've been doing first, know that it's okay. It's common, like it's common enough for me to see it happening and be able to talk to you about it here. But second, it's time for you to stop doing that. No more thinking of a summit as one big task you to complete. Instead, you're going to go to step two and recognize that you can't do it all at once. It's literally impossible. And once you come to terms with that, you're going to feel such a big weight lifted off your shoulders. So instead you're going to take it one step at a time.

Decide where to start

That's where this next piece of overwhelm comes in though, because now you're not looking at it as one big project and you know, you have to just take one step. But 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, but let me guide you or let other people that teach about summits guide you on what to do first and what to do after that and after that, once you're doing that, like once you identify that first, next step you're going to take, let yourself forget about the rest and focus on that one task. One step at a time and you're going to get in a groove. So stop looking at a summit as one big thing you need to do, and break it down step by step. Focus on the one task you're doing.

Get really realistic with your timeline

Now that you're not looking at your summit as one big task to check 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. I've seen it. Were they stressed as heck and like didn't see the impactful results that they wanted to see or that they would've seen if they would have used a more reasonable timeline. Yup. If you are serious about this, if you want to create huge momentum in your business while giving your attendees and your speakers and 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. That's how I work too. When I come up with an idea, I want to do it tomorrow, I want to do it yesterday. I promise it is worth it to give yourself time to implement these small details. So what does a realistic timeline look like? It really depends on what else you have going on in your business and how much time you can dedicate to the summit itself. A couple episodes back, I gave you an overview of what my most recent summit looked like. And in there, I told you what, it took me about a hundred hours of my own time to put the summit together. That was my fourth summit though. I have all the big pieces in place. It will take you longer than that, I'm sure.

I want you to give yourself a minimum, even if you can work on this thing full time, a minimum of 90 days. So let's talk about why. Why 90 days? There are a lot of pieces that go into a summit that don't involve you. It doesn't involve you taking action. For example, you want to give yourself a couple of weeks to connect with speakers before pitching to get the best results. There's two weeks in your timeline. You need to allow a couple more weeks to make your pitches, hear back from your speakers and fill any extra if you get no's. There's at least two more weeks. You need to allow your speakers at least four weeks to create their presentations if they're recording them or give yourself two to three weeks to conduct all the interviews. So we're at eight weeks already, right?

Then there's a three week promotion period before the summit starts. Now we're at 11 weeks. Like we are right up there with 90 days just based on those things. All of that time adds up. But that's okay because you'll have a lot going on behind the scenes as well as you're connecting with your speakers, as you're waiting to hear about from your pitches, as you're waiting for them to make their presentations for you or you know, between interviews. You will have a lot of other stuff going on and hopefully be able to work on some other things or enjoy your life as well. That's where that 90 days comes from. Honestly, you'll thank yourself if you allow more than 90 days, more time for those details, and more time for the experience you want to create for your speakers.

They're the biggest ones effected by timelines and then your attendees as well. So if you've got a crazy schedule and don't know where a summit would fit in it then check out episode 30 with Ashley Gartland where we talked about making time for our summit in an already full business because I know that's a problem. I hosted my first summit when I had no time for anything. Ashley really breaks this down well - exactly how you can go ahead and make a summit happen when you're already busy. Overall being realistic with your timeline and not rushing you or your speakers is going to help a ton with any overwhelm you are feeling with the process.

Make a plan to follow

The last part of this, once you're ready to take it one step at a time and you know the date you want your summit to start, which is at least 90 days in the future, right? You need to make yourself a plan to follow. You're going to feel so much better once you stop thinking of this as one task and 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. I could list off a whole bunch of tasks you need to do, but that's not going to be helpful.

Head to summithosthangout.com/timeline 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.

It has both 90 day and 120 day timelines. If you're doing something different, you'll just kind of tweak the dates that it gives you, but it's still going to give you a great starting point. From there you can take those due dates and add them to your task management system and take it one step at a time.

The Start Your Summit That Sells challenge is also next week, and we're going to cover the two big things that hold most future summit hosts back, which is choosing your summit topic and also choosing your start date like we talked about today. If you need help with those things, you're ready to take action, you wouldn't mind some feedback from me head to summitinabox.co/challenge. That's a free challenge. I'd love to see you in.

My signature Summit In A Box program is also going to be announced at the end of that challenge, and I promise you that program is going to help you so much with any overwhelm you're feeling at all, all the tasks that need to happen. This program is going to make it so insanely easy for you with scripts, copy templates and graphic templates, written processes, strategy trainings for every step of the way for you and your team to have your hands on and implement. There's so much in there. I want you to tune into the challenge to be the first to know when it's released. I'm so excited to get your hands on it. It's been about a year in the making at this point, you guys are gonna love it.

As a recap for this episode, 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. From there, of course, tune into that challenge if you want, kinda more guidance and help with that. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode.

In the next episode, we'll be chatting about the five major pieces that go into hosting a summit. So be sure to tune in for that if you want to know more about an overview of the process.

Now go out and take action to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit.




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