Welcome to the first part of our new behind-the-scenes series where you can come along with me as I plan for the 6th round of my original virtual summit. Instead of throwing a bunch of strategies at you each week, like I normally do, I'll walk you through everything that I've been doing in my summit planning process and make it actionable in the process.
To set the stage, this week I’ll touch on things like:
Let's dive in with a little background on what my summit is all about.
The Simply Profitable Designer Summit helps brand and web designers simplify their design businesses so they can do their work more efficiently, increase profits, and spend more time designing.
I hosted this event twice in 2018 and annually since then, with this being my 6th round.
This is a free, 5-day event with prerecorded presentations and some sort of live aspect offered each day.
This goes to show that you should never give up after the first round. I thought that first summit was hugely successful and results have skyrocketed from there!
The first thing to do when you decide to run a summit is create a plan. It’s too big of a project to just make happen on accident or in an unorganized fashion. This applies to me as well!
I asked my assistant Kate to create the project plan in Asana. To do that, she:
Using the same resources we give our students makes the planning go significantly faster.
After last year’s run of my summit, I didn’t think I was going to host the summit again. I don’t do anything with that business or audience anymore. All of my focus is on Summit In A Box® and it feels weird to put on a summit for an industry I’m not involved in anymore.
But, a couple of my speakers caught wind of that, and because of how much the summit impacted their businesses in the past, they offered to run it with me this year.
I thought this was a great idea because:
I’ve talked before about what to keep in mind when co-hosting a virtual summit, but no matter how awesome my co-host is, it’s not for me. I learned the same lesson again.
A few weeks into planning I had to call off the collaboration. I’ve hosted this 5 times already and have a whole system in place for running summits. It gave me so much anxiety to teach my strategy, complete my tasks, and make sure they were doing their parts. It was hard, but the right decision.
They were both so gracious and understanding. I plan to feature them extra in the summit as a “thank you”.
Goal setting is my least favorite part, but an important part. Even though this is my 6th round, I still have imposter syndrome – especially since I don’t do anything in that industry or with that email list between summits.
In general, my goal is always to match the previous year’s goals – This year the two ladies I was originally working with pushed me to set higher goals, so I’m sticking with them for the most part.
Last year’s numbers were:
This year’s goals are:
To me, those numbers mean:
I have a few new things to try related to my attendees and speakers so I can make it a better experience. But I also have goals related to YOU so I can teach fun, new strategies with data to back them up.
The changes that I’d like to make for my attendees are:
There are quite a few things I’d like to change for my speaker's experience as well.
The last change I want to make this year is to love on my assistant, Kate. Hands down, I would not be doing this summit if it wasn’t for her.
It’s a little different because she’s a full-time employee, rather than a contractor who doesn’t care and is just there to get paid.
She cares deeply about this brand, our students, speakers, attendees, and how the event goes. It honestly doesn’t feel right to me this year, to know I’m likely going to make a good amount of money through this event, have her do most of the work, care about it just as much as me, and not share more of what comes from it.
I plan to do a percentage of profit share with her but haven’t set that amount in stone yet.
I’d love to see this kind of thing normalized – show your team appreciation when you get big results thanks to them.
That’s been the breakdown of my first couple of weeks between the initial plan, the collaboration, and brainstorming new ways to do a few things.
And even though my business is called Summit In A Box®, I still find ways to improve and customize the experience based on what feels exciting, how the industry changes, and what aligns with my everchanging values and views on things.
Even if you have my program, you’re allowed to do things your way!
Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.