We’ve reached part 3 in the ‘How to Plan An Online Summit’ series! Part 1 was all about determining your niche, topic, and offer, while Part 2 covered all things summit speakers. If you haven’t had the chance to read those just yet, take a second to review those before moving forward. Trust me, you are going to want to stick to the order of this series!
When it comes to your summit website, there are some big decisions to make. It involves a lot of moving pieces, but it’s an important part of the process.
Below is a rundown of the choices you’ll have to make for your summit’s website. Use these questions as a guide to make ensure things are set up properly for your summit needs!
The platform you select will play a big part in what you can do with your summit and contribute to your final results. For example, I use WordPress and love that I can do anything I want (however, I'm also a developer, so that's an extra advantage I have). I’ve also seen summits hosted on ClickFunnels with great results.
On the flip side, I’ve talked to several people who have used HeySummit. However, they’ve gotten really caught up in the limitations. With HeySummit, they’ve either seen major decreases in their profitability because of those limitations or have switched platforms altogether.
Quick note: HeySummit is adding new features all the time, so I’m sure they will end up being an amazing platform to choose from in the future! I’m keeping a close eye on them!
If you’re looking for an in-between option, Squarespace may be your go-to. It’s easy to build out pages on this platform, but just a heads up, some integrations may be slightly more difficult or not possible with Squarespace so it could affect your overall results.
If the platform you choose to use for your summit is the same as your main website, you'll need to decide whether you want to host your summit on your main website or create a new one.
Just to give you a little look behind the curtain, even though my main business website is hosted on WordPress, I chose a new Wordpress site for my summit.
I didn’t want to add more clutter to my current website since there are so many new pages and plugins involved in creating a summit website. Plus, I wanted to brand my summit differently than my business.
However, there is no right or wrong answer here. Do what fits best with your goals and tech abilities.
Once you’ve selected your platform of choice, it’s time to set up all of the pages for your website.
Pages to keep in mind include:
Now that you’ve got your “must build” list, let’s break each page down to give you a better idea of what to include and why!
I would consider the Registration page to be the most important page on your website (quickly followed by the thank you page, coming up next). This landing page is where people will learn about your summit and sign up to participate.
With your registration page, you should include:
While this is can be a lot to cover, I certainly recommend including it all. Use the above bullet points as a checklist!
Avoid these mistakes with your registration page
This will be the first page visitors see after completing the registration form. Your first priority is to thank attendees for joining in on the event and what they can expect next. Then, while you have them excited and committed, give them a special offer to whatever you’re selling during your summit.
I like to do both of these things through a video at the top of the page. Underneath the video, I include more information about the upsell.
In addition to having information about what you're selling on the thank you page, you'll also need a separate sales page to send people to after they’re registered. While I like to keep these pretty short, I make sure that I include information on pain points, the transformation, what’s all included, and the cost.
Many people don’t have this information featured on their summit websites, but I think it’s so important. If it weren’t for your speakers, you wouldn’t have a summit! Your website is a great way to feature them.
What to include for each speaker:
Since we’ve already covered that I don’t recommend having a summit schedule right on the registration page, it will need a page of its own.
Along with basic information like time, title, and presenter - I like to include Google Calendar links so attendees can add presentations to their calendar. This is a great way for them to get reminders about the upcoming summit events!
Each presentation should have it’s own page to be hosted on. This page will be pretty standard for each presentation, so make a template and duplicate it for each presenter.
This page includes:
This page will serve as a hub for all of the resources for your speakers. Include details on the summit and how it will all work and go down during the event.
Having this section of your summit website can also provide speakers with extended information about what you need from them, what they can expect from you, and links to swipe copy, graphics, and presentation templates.
You can also set up this speaker page as a way for people to schedule their presentation. It can serve as a go-to spot for them to learn about your summit as well when you are in the pitching stage. The page can also come in handy when they start asking questions down the road - all you have to do is drop the page link in your response.
If you have affiliates or sponsors, this may end up being two separate pages, but similar to the speaker information page, you'll include all of the information affiliates or sponsors would need here.
In addition, for affiliates, you need a way for them to create and access their account as well as see the level of commission you're offering. For sponsors, you may not need swipe copy and resources, but instead, provide information on the levels of sponsorship available and the reach/exposure they can expect.
After your pages are created, it’s time to add in the special features. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we’ll briefly cover some of the more important pieces to include on your summit website.
If you're selling something through your summit (and you should be), you'll need a way for attendees to purchase and then access that product.
Price increases are a huge part of my recommended strategy and if you can automate it, rather than doing it manually, you'll thank yourself later. For this, I recommend Deadline Funnel (affiliate link).
Most summits allow attendees to access presentations for 24-48 hours after the original air date/time. That means, you’ll need a way for those pages to expire after that time is up. You can either plan on removing presentations manually or use a tool that does it for you once the clock runs out.
Whether your presentations are shared live or pre-recorded, chats are a great way to increase engagement on your summit website. Chatroll is one of my personal favorites to use for summits.
There are several places you'll need to integrate with your email marketing software. From registration to after someone purchases entry to your summit, emails will play a part in the process. Don’t forget to incorporate this feature into your summit website buildout.
Alrighty my friends, did you catch all of that? This part 3 certainly had a lot of information to cover, but each section is just as important as the last. Make sure to go over this content with a fine-tooth comb for your upcoming summit!
Your summit website is obviously a huge part of your event and has a large part to play in the conversion rates you’ll get. Take it one step at a time to make sure nothing is missed.
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.