043: Hosting An Online Summit As An Introvert

confidence Jan 02, 2020

This episode kicks off a new series all about hosting a summit as an introvert.

We'll cover what I was seeing from introverts that made me decide to do this series, why I don't think being an introvert is a reason to avoid hosting a summit, and what you can do differently to account for your introverted tendencies.


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 today we're starting a new series about hosting an online summit when you're an introvert.

Today, in episode 43, I'm going to give a behind the scenes look at what it's been like for me to host summits as a mega introvert. I'm talking about like 99% introverted on every personality test I've ever taken. So if you consider yourself an introvert, I am right there with you. In this episode, we'll chat about why I decided to do this series, why I don't think being an introvert is a reason to not host a summit and what I do differently to account for my introverted tendencies to make it a little easier on myself. These are things that you can implement in your summit as well.

Before we dive in, I want you to know that giving yourself the right amount of time to plan and launch your summit is vital to creating a successful event, rather than one that looks thrown together. Especially if you are super introverted and might need some more people-free space added to your timeline.

With my free Virtual Summit Prep timeline you can see the amount of time I recommend setting aside for a summit, my top tips, a look at the big-picture tasks, and even a timeline calculator to make sure you plan everything right the first time. Get the Virtual Summit Prep Timeline by going to summithosthangout.com/timeline.

Why a series for introverts

Let's start by talking about why we're doing a series just for introverts. When people join the Summit Host Hangout Facebook group, I always ask what's holding them back?.That's one of the join questions. And I would say about 10% of people who join, say it's because they're an introvert and that's what's holding them back. I kid you not the first time I saw that I was sitting in my office by myself and just said, "What?" out loud. Like I couldn't believe it as a one of the most introverted people you'll ever meet. It had actually never crossed my mind that a summit was something I couldn't do because of the fact that I kind of like recharge and just like being alone and by myself. But since then I've noticed that "excuse" coming up more and more. That's why we're doing the short series.

If you have been kind of using that as the reason you're holding yourself back, don't like feel guilty. That's not where this is coming from. I'm doing this episode clearly to help you so don't feel guilty, but I do want you to have an open mind and challenge yourself to kind of push past the fear of putting yourself out there in this way. I'm going to help you do that.

Why being an introvert shouldn't hold you back

Let's talk about why I don't think being an introvert is a reason not to host a summit. There isn't a single part of my being that believes that you can't or shouldn't host a summit just because you're an introvert. I do believe that there are some personality types that are better cut out for it than others, but in my experience, and in my opinion, it doesn't matter if that personality type starts with an E or it starts with an I.

If you're introverted or extroverted, the basics of being an introvert are simply that you gain energy back by being alone and communicating with others or being around other people drains you as where extroverts, experienced the opposite. Obviously that is a very oversimplified explanation, but you get the idea. I'm sure you've heard it all before, you know what it means, but what about that says that one is better cut out for hosting a summit. In fact, I might actually argue that introverts are better suited for a lot of what goes into a summit because like we recharged by being alone and there are a lot of pieces of hosting a summit where you are sitting at your desk by yourself doing the work. The pieces that have the most interaction with people are pitching your speakers, managing your speakers, maybe some videos, your promotion period, and the live event.

But there are a lots of other tasks. I have 340 tasks in my Summit Host Process Map. There's a lot of tasks that aren't those ones. I think that being an introvert means that you can sit at your desk, focus longer, complete those things faster and better because you're not having to rely on other people to recharge you. You're recharging as you're sitting here doing this work, and I think that is a superpower. I want you to look at it that way. I think that maybe hosting offline events might be better fits for extroverts, but as an introvert, hosting a summit is something you can totally do.

accounting for being an introvert when planning your summit

Something that I very strongly recommend when you're an introvert hosting a summit is to account for the fact that you're an introvert when you are planning. First of all, give yourself a longer timeline around the pieces that will require more of your outward energy. Maybe you do something after the live event is over, plan for a couple of days to just, you know, check out, to take off and recharge afterwards.

But there are all kinds of things you can do throughout the planning process to help with that. In the next episode, I'm actually going to talk about the importance of live video and how I manage that part of it as an introvert. But let's break down a couple of the other pieces that we mentioned earlier.

Pitching Speakers

First let's talk about pitching speakers. Even though pitching speakers is a one on one interaction through email, it can still be tough. You're putting your energy outward toward someone else waiting for a response. And I think this stuff is really tough and uncomfortable for everybody. But if that's you, if you feel really drained by that plan for it. Personally, I give myself three full weeks to complete my speaker pitches.

I pitch in three rounds, starting with the people I'm most comfortable with and then working my way up, and I use a pitch template that you can get inside of the Summit Host Vault. So all I have to do is customize a few things and send it without sitting and stressing over every word in every email. I also have an assistant who manages the replies as they come in. This is something I have customized the strategy to fit me so it's not as draining. You can do the same thing.

Managing Your Speakers

After you have your speakers lined up, it's time to manage them. That starts with getting information from them. Again, this is something that if you don't have a good system in place, it's going to be absolutely exhausting for you to manage all of these people, chasing them down, asking them for things.

But I think it's especially draining for an introvert. There are a few things I've done in my process for managing speakers that makes it a lot easier. First I use a tool called Content Snare to create a form template for speakers to fill out with all of the information I need, and it can be reused for each speaker. I don't have to recreate it each time or anything like that. The best part is that Content Snare also takes care of all of the followup for people who don't submit their information. For example, if the due date is approaching, maybe it's five days out and I haven't got someone's information yet, it will automatically email them with a template I wrote automatically. I don't have to worry about it. I don't have to keep track of it.

Once someone submits their information, it stops sending reminders. If someone doesn't have their information, it sends reminders on a schedule that I set. I don't have to worry about it. I don't have to keep track of it. I don't have to have that constant communication going with 20 plus speakers. Honestly, if you're an introvert, I would almost say that this or something like it is something you absolutely need. I have tutorials inside of the Summit Host Vault for it. It's just, it's a lifesaver in my opinion. And then something else I do to help with speaker management is having a Facebook group over communicating solely through email. Rather than having 20 plus email threads going, I can post one message and one place and everyone can see it and ask questions and see everyone's responses right in there.

That's just something that it's easier for me. It feels less overwhelming for me. So this right here I think shows how powerful it is to keep your tendencies in mind when you're organizing something like this that has so many other people as a part of it. Something that would be really difficult and stressful is actually really easy because of how I have it set up. The entire step by step process is in the Summit Host Vault. But even without that, you can think about how to make it easier on yourself and implement that in your planning.

Summit Presentations

The next piece I want to talk about that's more draining for introverts is the presentations. And to that I say do not do interviews. There are, you know, a lot of interview-based summits out there. A lot of them are great, some of them aren't so great, but getting on an hour long call with every single speaker is a lot for anyone to handle.

But especially introverts and I don't do it. I will not do it, and I wouldn't recommend it if it's something that would drain you because you'll dread every single one and that's not going to help you enjoy this big event you're planning. Instead, have your speakers create their own presentations. I will say though, consider accepting a few interview spots since that's all some people will have time for, but don't do them all as interviews. I let my speakers pick which ones they want. In the three summits I've hosted as of recording this, no one has ever asked for an interview. That might be different than your experience, but I think it's a good thing to at least offer that up for speakers you really want to have as a part of your summit.

Your Summit's Promotion Period

The next piece I want to talk about is the promotion period, and a two to three week promotion period is another thing that can be really draining for introverts because you're having to show up over and over, over for a pretty long period of time. So plan for it. That's what you have to do.

I make this really easy on myself by writing out all of my emails and then re-purposing those for social media and assigning a task to my VA to do all of the scheduling. That means all I have to worry about during the actual promotion period is showing up when I have the energy for some live video on Instagram stories and my Facebook group, things like that. We'll cover that more in the next episode. But this makes the process a lot easier on me because I'm not having to worry about where I'm communicating with people in all these different platforms throughout that entire promotion period.

The Live Event

The last place I want to talk about you being able to kind of customize your strategy for your introverted tendencies is the live event. I'll admit this is where things can kind of catch up with you and get really tough.

After my five-day summits with you know, 25 or more speakers and thousands of attendees. I would be kidding you if I said I was not exhausted. I'm exhausted. I don't want to deal with people for a little while afterwards. If this is something you're really worried about, do a three day summit instead of five, maybe even a two day summit if you really want to start small. For me it's worth doing the bigger event even if I'm going to be exhausted afterwards, that's fine.

But to make it as easy on yourself as possible, regardless of how many days you plan your summit for, have everything scheduled and ready to go in advance as much as possible. Also have an assistant lined up to help you in the Facebook group and your inbox and the chat boxes. There's going to be a lot of people talking to you, asking questions, wanting your advice, people you just want to support as they're talking.

Have someone else help you with those things so you're not just constantly talking to people all day long and that makes it so you can show up where you're needed most and put your energy in those places instead of being split everywhere and just really getting exhausted.

So overall, don't let being an introvert hold you back from hosting a summit. Please. I'm begging you. Recognize it for what it is and plan for it in advance and really just look at it as a superpower. You're able to sit at your computer and create this incredible event without having to rely on other people to recharge you and whether this means for you, you have an extended timeline for certain things for your time overall, whether you use some alternate strategies, need some extra help, all of those things, that's totally fine as long as you make it happen.

Action Step

So your action steps for today is to get the Virtual Summit Prep timeline, that's at summithosthangout.com/timeline. In there I have a list of all of the big picture tasks and a little description of them. I also have a timeline calculator for you where you enter the date you want your summit to start and it will calculate the due dates for those tasks and then I have, I have two options for you, a 90 day timeline and 120 day timeline depending on how long you want it to take.

Then I want you to highlight anything in that process that you feel like will be extra exhausting for you because you're an introvert and a brainstorm what you can do to make it easier on yourself, whether you use an alternate strategy was something I talked about. Just give yourself a longer to do it. Jump in the Summit Host Hangout Facebook group as well if you need help. There are so many people in there, myself included, who are ready to support you and kind of give you some advice based on our experience.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. In the next episode, we'll be chatting about how I manage the live video aspect or just the video aspect in general of my summits being an introvert. So be sure to tune in to that.

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




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