029: How Long Does It Take To Plan An Online Summit?

Nov 14, 2019

How long does it take to plan an online summit? We'll cover it in this episode along with an overview of the big picture tasks you'll want to complete along the way.

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As a woman who owns a business, I get asked a lot of questions. Like about how my business works, what I do throughout the day, and what working as a momma looks like. Another leading question I get asked over and over again is, “How long does it take to plan an online summit?” I’ve planned a few summits in my day, so I’m more than happy to answer this question!

Just to give a little PSA before we get started, planning an online summit is going to vary from person to person and business to business. This is a recap of my experience and my advice to get you started!

Create A Realistic Timeline

When getting an online summit together, you need a minimum of 90 days. While you may think three months seems like a long timeline, I promise you; you may even think you need more time after you start getting things into motion!

When you sit down with a calendar and consider everything that goes into an online summit, 90 days is a super fast turnaround. It is doable, but you will have to stay strong to your timeline and due dates to make it all happen.

Not sure what all you need to include in your planning? Check out my Summit Host Process Map!

Don’t Timecrunch It

As much as you may be tempted to put things into hyperdrive, you really should NOT try to get an online summit planned and produced in less than 90 days. A huge part of making an online summit successful (and profitable!) is handling the details correctly.

You need to think about the attendee’s experience with the summit during all parts of the process. How you interact with them before, during and after the online event is a significant part of what could set your summit apart from the rest. Make sure to have items like an initial opt-in, email funnels, speaker promotions and more handled to enhance the experience and gain hype for what’s to come.

Quality presentations are also a key component, and that part alone is reason enough to have your timeline extended. You will have to depend on others’ productivity and turnaround to make it all happen! Having guidelines and internal due dates for your speakers will help, but life happens, some of your speakers may end up needing an extension. Add a little bit of wiggle room in your timeline for the unexpected!

If you rush your timeline, something without fail will slip through the cracks. Don’t let that happen!

A General Look At My Timeline

To give you an even more realistic view of why 90 days is the sweet spot for online summits, here is a breakdown that I usually stick to when getting my materials together.

Days 0-30

  • Make your initial plan
  • Identify and connect with potential speakers
  • Set up your website
  • Pitch + finalize speakers

Days 31-60

  • Speakers create presentations
  • Finalize registration page
  • Set up upsell product and sales page
  • Create registration email sequence
  • Create promo + engagement plan

Days 61-90

  • Testing
  • Collect speaker material...and allow plenty of time for them to be late
  • Promote
  • Create speaker presentation pages
  • Kick off the live event

Need an even more detailed overview? Check out my Summit Host Process Map for everything you need.

Take Your Sweet Time

Whatever your timeline, don’t rush it. While you don’t want things to take forever to finish, you would rather take your time for a quality event than rush for a sub-par summit. The more time you invest in things, the better return you will see when things are said and done!

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Free: Virtual Summit Prep Timeline

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.