B2C Virtual Summits: Behind the Scenes of the Biggest Party in the Crafting Industry with Abbi Kirsten

Snag a behind-the-scenes look at the wildly successful Cricut Craftfest Summit with Abbi Kirsten and what played the biggest role in the success of this event.

One thing that always surprises me is the assumption people often have that summits teaching people how to make money are the most successful. In my experience, while B2B summits can bring in incredible results, we tend to see higher numbers with B2C events.

Some of the most successful summits we’ve seen have been in the B2C industries, including my guest on the podcast this week. Not only did she host an incredibly successful summit for her crafting business, but she currently holds the record for the all-time largest summit out of all of the clients and students we have ever worked with!

In this episode, my client Abbi of Abbi Kirsten Collections joined me on the podcast to talk about her wildly successful Cricut Craftfest Summit, which has now become a twice-annual event. The Cricut Craftfest truly is the biggest virtual party in the crafting industry, and with this episode, you’ve got a backstage pass to see exactly what went into making this event so successful.

Abbi pulled back the curtain and shared all the behind-the-scenes details of her event including:

  • The numbers behind her record-breaking first summit
  • How her second summit compared to the first one
  • What she did to create a positive experience for her speakers and attendees (and how it impacted her summit success).
  • And more!

Listen to the episode:

Download the episode transcript here.

Episode at a glance:

[2:00] Abbi hosted the Cricut Craftfest Summit for the first time in February 2022, and surprisingly, summits weren’t on Abbi’s radar for long before she decided to host one of her own!

[4:23]She first got the idea to host a summit after seeing Summit in a Box mentioned in a Facebook group, and after a little bit of research, she decided she was ready to go all in.

“There have been a few very pivotal points in my business where I invested in something that took me to the next level. When I looked at Summit in a Box, I could tell in my gut that it was going to be the next thing that would help me grow my brand, my community, and my business to the next level.”

[7:06] Unlike many of our clients and students who have questions or hesitations about hosting a summit before deciding to work with us on their summits, Abbi decided to dive in head first right away. However, she wasn’t immune to the doubts that can creep up when planning a summit, and she soon started experiencing some imposter syndrome.

“I'm a learned extrovert, but I am an introvert by nature, so it is very difficult for me to put myself out there. Once I got into the course and started planning my summit, I started questioning whether I was really the kind of person who could host a successful summit. The way the course is broken down step-by-step helped me to take things one-step at a time without getting caught up in the imposter syndrome, but it was definitely there.”

[8:53] Abbi decided not to focus her goals on conversion rates or revenue for the first round of her summit, and instead set goals around the execution of her event, with her biggest goal being to provide a smooth experience for speakers and attendees

“I figure that if you take care of your speakers, they're going to want to promote. If you take care of your attendees and they have a good experience, they're going to want to come back and buy the all-access pass. If you focus on these things, the rest is going to fall naturally into place. And it worked!”

[10:26] After sharing her philosophy on goal setting, (which is very aligned with our belief that as long as you're putting your all into it and supporting your people, everything else will fall into place), we dove into all the numbers and details from Abbi’s first summit!

“Right out of the gate, on the first day of registration, we had more registrations than I was expecting for the entire event. The rest of the registration period was a roller coaster with ups and downs in our conversion rates and registration numbers each day, but that’s to be expected. In the end, after the event was over, we had 31,000 registered attendees and $247,000 in gross revenue, which still feels surreal to me! That worked out to an overall conversion rate of 18% for the all-access pass.”

[12:25] With one wildly successful event down, Abbi was ready to start planning the next one! In the end, she ended up with similar results to her first event, but she felt a lot of pressure throughout the process to repeat the success she had the first time.

[13:45] From pitching the right speakers with the perfect audience for the event, to choosing the right dates for the event that made perfect sense for her audience, there were several things that all came together to make Abbi’s events a success!

[16:26] Hosting a summit with over 30,000 attendees is an incredible accomplishment, but it didn’t come without its growing pains. Especially when hosting an event that far exceeded what Abbi was initially expecting.

“We didn’t have any major tech issues, but there was a high volume of customer support tickets that we had to manage during the summit. I have an amazing assistant who worked around the clock to help me with customer support. My husband even took the summit week off work to help with customer support for the summit because it was more than my assistant and I could manage on our own with everything else going on. Luckily, for the next one, we had a better idea of what to expect and brought in additional support ahead of time.”

[18:51] While the numbers for B2C events typically outperform B2B summits, there are some pros and cons that come along with B2C events: Abbi attributed the higher volume of customer support questions to the fact that this was a B2C event, where her attendees were less familiar with virtual summits and digital products.

“If you're doing a B2B event, you're dealing with people who are probably already technologically savvy on some level, but with B2C summits, your attendees may feel a little out of their element. We had to help attendees understand the technology of the summit before we actually do anything with the technology at the summit. We tried to stay ahead of the questions as much as we could with videos and explanations for everything, and I think that helped.”

[22:27] Abbi, along with one of our other Accelerator clients, were two of the first people to host summits in the crafting industry, and after seeing their success, it’s no wonder that others have started hosting crafting summits. I asked Abbi to share what she’s done to continue to stand out as her industry gets more crowded:

“It all comes down to the experience you create for your speakers and your attendees. Focusing on creating an incredible experience for speakers first, and then attendees is going to stand the test of time because there will be trends where people will jump on the summit bandwagon for a while, but the ones that are going to stick around are the ones that really hone in on the experience and go above and beyond.”

[25:16] As always, we wrapped up, by asking Abbi to share her advice for first-time summit hosts based:

“My first piece of advice is to work with Summit in a Box®, because I couldn’t have hosted my summits without it, and would have missed so many steps if I’d tried to do it on my own. My second piece of advice is not to bite off more than you can chew for our first summit. If you try to do too much, that will impact speaker and attendee experience, and make it harder to succeed. But if you start with something that feels doable, you can build on the initial results with future events.”

About Abbi

Abbi, the creator of Abbi Kirsten Collections, is a self-made creative entrepreneur on a mission to nurture the creative magic inside your soul and bring that bursting imagination inside you to life with easy-to-learn tutorials. Abbi spends every day making messes and magic in her home studio, with a mission to make the world a more colorful place, one craft at a time, through sharing her Cricut tutorials, papercraft projects, and handmade gifts.

 Abbi Kirsten Collections Blog Follow Abbi on YouTube

 

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Snag a behind-the-scenes look at the wildly successful Cricut Craftfest Summit with Abbi Kirsten and what played the biggest role in the success of this event.Snag a behind-the-scenes look at the wildly successful Cricut Craftfest Summit with Abbi Kirsten and what played the biggest role in the success of this event.
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