Thinking about co-hosting a virtual summit? My most recent event was co-hosted, so I'm giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what to consider before you decide if it's the right move for you.
We'll cover the great parts about co-hosting, 6 things to keep in mind before you make a decision, and how to split tasks if you decide to go for it with a partner.
I was asked to co-host a virtual summit by Jenn, who is incredible. She runs the Virtual Summit Search, which is a great directory for people looking to speak at summits. She also highlights summits. If you submit your summit to her, she will share it, and that is awesome. If you're curious about how that event went, you can check out the behind-the-scenes of this summit.
I want to start by talking about some great things about co-hosting because even though it's not something I want to do again, not because of a bad experience just because of how I work, I still want to tell you the highlights of it.
I guess I'm looking at these like warnings, but I really want you to know about them. I don't know that all of these were bad things that happened but instead things that came up and I thought about.
Since it was my decision to leave the partnership, Jenn just gets to keep that brand. She's going to control that moving forward. As much as that sucks and does hurt for me, I'm glad it wasn't something that even ended up having to be a discussion. It did not need to be discussed because that was decided in our agreement before we even started planning.
It's really hard to enforce some of these terms. While a contract is important, it won’t necessarily make difficult situations easier. If you do need a collaboration agreement, I have a link to one from Contract Casey.
Jenn and I had a really great system for this. I feel like there are 3 different areas to look at.
I think the best way to do it is to split things up by category. One of you takes website and tech setup, one of you takes care of speaker management. You can do the same with engagement, making promotion resources, setting up the all-access pass, launching after the summit, and getting everything ready for going evergreen after the summit.
Some things are good for both of you to do or have your hands in. For example, speaker pitches. I do think you should each pitch people you have a better connection with.
I think both of you should be in there testing to make sure everything works before you go live. Both people should be reading over the registration page emails and copy and looking over the website. Be ready with what to expect the week of your virtual summit.
You'll both want to be showing up in the Facebook group, before and during the event, to make sure both of you are getting your names and faces out there, things like that.
During the summit, there are a few things you want to pay attention to:
Switch off on the daily tech checkups. Jenn and I did this, and it worked really well. One of you checks things on Monday, the next one checks on Tuesday. Switch off throughout the day, checking the inbox and Facebook group. What Jenn and I did was every hour on the hour, she would go in and check the inbox and Facebook group. On the half-hour, I would go in and check.
We did that the first day. Then I was in there having to do it all, but she did it all the last few days while I got ready for launch on Friday. Just make sure it’s really clear and hold each other, and yourselves, accountable to what you agreed on.
You could also outsource all this, too.
There are a few things that we ran into that we split up in different ways. First was: Are we going evergreen with the summit? Having an evergreen offer of the replays is what we did.
I would say the best way to split this up is whoever is taking the lead on any post-summit launch stuff, will probably let the other person handle the evergreen setup and wrapping up with the speakers.
Afterward, you're going to decide what's next. Do a recap of how things went. Talk about if you're going to do it again, all that good stuff.
If you are going to do it again, what you'd like to change for next time, both as far as the summit itself goes, and as far as your partnership goes.
Overall co-hosting is not a decision I want you to make lightly. I didn't have a bad experience co-hosting. Jenn was amazing! I'm so glad that she was the person I experimented with on co-hosting. It's just not for me.
It will relieve a lot of the pressure to have someone else to rely on, but there are challenges that are going to come up once you begin, no matter who it is, even if you have an incredible co-host like I did.
I want you to think about the six things we talked about and make your decision from there.
In the next episode, we'll be chatting about what makes speakers actually say Yes! to speaking in your summit.
Now go out and take action to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit.
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