How to Use Learning Design to Increase the Impact of Your Virtual Summit with Emily Walker

Did you know that most virtual summit presentations are too long and don't give attendees what they need? Use learning design to host a more impactful event!

Did you know that most virtual summit presentations are way too long and don't actually give attendees what they need to see a transformation?

It's true! And incorporating learning design into your event can go along way to help.

Special guest, Emily Walker, is here to talk about what learning design is and how to incorporate it into your summit.

What is learning design?

Learning design is well known corporate and academic spaces, but not so much in online business. For example, if a corporation wants to build a course, a certification program, or training program, they bring in an expert.

They go by all kinds of different names. The most common are:

  • learning designer
  • instructional designer
  • curriculum designer 

Learning design is looking at questions like:

  • How do we put together content, activities, tools?
  • How do we actually present that to maximize the learner's results?

We want to make sure that learners have an amazing time, take action, and get results, while not feeling overwhelmed. This is 100% the case for a virtual summit!

Overall, learning design brings together a lot of different aspects to transform ideas into a learning experience.

Learning design in virtual summits

At its core, a summit is a learning experience.

You're bringing together a group of experts who have workshops to present. If you're not being intentional at the micro level,  about how each individual experience fits together; then at the macro level, how these experiences string together to have a transformation, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.

If your summit is leading into selling a product, then there is a transformation you need to create of the summit getting your people ready to jump into this paid experience. You want them to get amazing results from a summit. 

Biggest learning design mistakes with virtual summits

Since learning design isn't currently well known by online business owners, it's not surprising that virtual summits have pretty glaring issues when it comes to creating a learning experience. 

Let's touch on some of the biggest mistakes:

  1. Topics: Summit hosts tend to pick a really generic topic, seek out experts, cram them together, and don't really think about how each of these presentations play together
  2. Time: There are studies that say after about 17 minutes the adult brain is full and clicks off. Unless you have the most engaging presentation ever, with tons of action and activities build in, it is hard to have any lasting impact. Participants can watch more videos and get more information in a 20 minute session than a 45 minute session. 15 minute videos make your event super actionable, super practical.

We attach value to length of content, but value comes from the transformation the summit provides. 

Live components increase the learning experience

Most of today's virtual summits have pre-recorded presentations. However, you need some sort of live component to boost engagement and get attendees to start taking action.

A couple of the easiest options include:

  • Co-working sessions: These sessions are where attendees are actually implementing what they're learning in the summit.
  • Group call: Hosting group calls is another great option. This guide breaks down how to host a group call, minute by minute, and what you should be doing and saying.

Overview of learning design and virtual summits

The biggest to pay attention to with considering learning design principles in your summit is the word "intentionality".

Be intentional about the transformation you're creating and the experience you're going to craft. 

Think about how you can stack puzzle pieces of pre-recorded and live experiences together to have this mind-blowing result, which also makes it so much easier to promote your summit as well.

If you can say that if attendees watch every presentation, attend co-working sessions, and complete the action steps, that they will walk away with an exact result...that is so powerful.


 About Emily

Emily Walker is a course creation and curriculum design expert from beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. She helps fiercely creative thought-leaders turn their brilliant ideas into powerful + profitable courses so they can improve thousands of other people’s lives while building more spaciousness into their own. When she’s not designing courses or leading workshops, Emily can be found hanging out in yoga pants with her fur-family and her partner, dreaming of their next trip to France.


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Did you know that most virtual summit presentations are too long and don't give attendees what they need? Use learning design to host a more impactful event!Did you know that most virtual summit presentations are too long and don't give attendees what they need? Use learning design to host a more impactful event!

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