How to Host A Virtual Summit As An Introvert

confidence Jan 02, 2020

Being an introvert shouldn’t hold you back from growing a business and you *can* host a virtual summit as an introvert. Here’s how to use it to your advantage!

 Being an introvert shouldn’t hold you back from growing a business and you *can* host a virtual summit as an introvert. 

There are hundreds of tasks that are perfectly suited for introverts when you plan your summit. 

We're going to cover:

  • why I don't think being an introvert is a reason to avoid hosting a summit
  • what you can do differently to account for your introverted tendencies.

Virtual Summits and 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? 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.

As one of the most introverted people you'll ever meet, it hadn’t crossed my mind that a summit was something I couldn't do because I was an introvert. Since then, I've noticed that "excuse" coming up more and more.

If you’ve used that as the reason to hold yourself back, don’t feel guilty. Have an open mind and challenge yourself to push past the fear, and I’ll help you do that!

Why being an introvert shouldn't hold you back

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.

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. Extroverts experience the opposite.

I might argue that introverts are better suited for a lot of what goes into a summit because we recharge by being alone and there’re 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
  • recording some videos
  • your promotional period
  • the live event

These are only a few of the 340 tasks in my Summit Host Process Map. There's a lot of tasks that aren't people-facing.

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.

accounting for being an introvert when planning your summit

When you're an introvert hosting a summit, 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.

Also, maybe you do something after the live event is over, such as plan for a couple of days to check out, to take off and recharge afterward.

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 put your energy outward toward someone else and wait for a response. This can be tough and uncomfortable for everybody. If you feel drained by that, plan for it.

Personally, I give myself 3 full weeks to complete my speaker pitches. I pitch in 3 rounds, starting with the people I'm most comfortable with and then working my way up.

I use the pitch template in Summit in a Box®, and all I need 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. I have customized this 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.

Speaker management tools

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 the follow-up 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.

Secondly, I use a Facebook group for my speakers. Rather than having 20+ email threads going, I can post one message, in 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.

Summit Presentations

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

I won’t do it, and I wouldn't recommend it if it's something that would drain you. 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. Although, 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.

Your Summit's Promotion Period

The next piece I want to talk about is the 2-3 week promotional period. This can be draining and long for introverts, so plan for it.

To make it easy on yourself, write out all your emails and then re-purpose them for social media and assign a task to your VA to do all the scheduling.

That means all you worry about during the actual promotional period is showing up when you have the energy for some live video on Instagram stories and your Facebook group, things like that.

The Live Event

The last place I want to talk about where you can 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 tough.

After my 5-day summits with 25+ speakers and thousands of attendees, I’m exhausted. I don't want to deal with people for a little while afterward. If this is something you're worried about, do a 3-day summit instead of five.

There are a couple of things you can do to make it easier on yourself.

  • First, have everything scheduled and ready to go in advance. Check out how to simplify social media as an introvert.
  • Second, outsource what you can. 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 can show up where you're needed most and put your energy in those places.

Consider Your Introverted Tendencies

Do not let being an introvert hold you back from planning your summit. Adjust your timeline and consider adding extra time for tasks you know may drain you.

Highlight anything in that process that you feel will be extra exhausting for you because you're an introvert and brainstorm what you can do to make it easier on yourself.


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