We’re currently in a series about virtual summits for high-volume business owners, that is business owners who need a relatively high volume of leads to hit their sales goals. Today in Episode 216, we are building on our last episode, which was all about expanding your body of work in increasing your impact with the virtual Summit, by talking about how you can infuse your values into your virtual summit.
We really have a chance to make a huge impact within our summits by using them to spread our values and use our values to impact or teach others. When you're running something like a course, a membership, or group program, you have the opportunity to impact people on a large scale already built into your business, and hosting a summit is an incredible way to increase that impact and reach more people.
I'm excited to dive into some practical and concrete ways you can infuse your values into your virtual summit and make your event even more impactful.
We're going to talk about:
My goal is for you to walk away with a concrete idea of which values you want to incorporate into your summit and the next steps to get started.
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Summits are a powerful tool to get a big message out quickly to a lot of people, but sometimes that message can end up looking different than what we expected.
The message you communicate through your summit goes far beyond the what you say on your registration page or how you talk about your event. It's also infused into the way we say things, structure our events, run our summit, the types of speakers we have, and the strategies we use.
You're sending messages to your speakers and attendees through all of those things, and sometimes it's a message that you haven't even considered.
These messages that can come through in your summit include:
These are all messages I've specifically become more aware of and more conscious about in running my events, but I know there are lots of things I haven't come across yet, or I haven't noticed yet.
Let's start by going through some examples to get your wheels turning and see what I mean by these messages you might be sending through your summit. We'll also talk about how you can intentionally infuse your values into your summit to make sure you're sending the message you want to be sending. Then we'll circle back with an exercise to help you infuse your values into your next event.
The first value we'll walk through is diversity. I've been saying for years that summits are a powerful way to either bring people in or leave them out because it's on such a large scale. One of the most obvious ways is through the diversity of speakers you have at your event. For most of the events I see, there's a huge lack of diversity in the lineup, even when I hear people say that diversity is something that they value.
If that is one of your values, your speaker line up is a big opportunity to show it. It might be extra work for you, but it’s also very, very worth it.
There are many types of diversity you could focus on representing through your summit:
Of course, the most obvious things that will grab people's attention are the things people make judgments on quickly just by seeing things with their eyes, without having to know anything else about your speakers.
In my 2019 summit, someone in my feedback form said she wished I had more people of color on my lineup, and that was a huge wake-up call for me. It was hard in the moment not to get defensive and say, “I tried” or “I don't know anyone.” But if that’s what you're saying, it points to a deeper-rooted problem.
If you tried and couldn't land someone who doesn't look like you or you don't know anyone that doesn't look like you, that's a much bigger issue than your summit. I'm not qualified to teach on this, but it's something I've been intentional about with my events since receiving that feedback, and you can check out my episode with Nichole Beiner on diverse and inclusive summits for more.
Overall, if diversity is a value of yours, your summit is a place to let that shine.
The next value we'll talk about is inclusion, which goes along with diversity, but there are other things to consider here in terms of the accessibility of your event. If this is an important value to you, put it on display and walk your talk by making your summit accessible.
For example, I know I have a very small minority of people in my audience who are deaf, but you can bet every single one of my videos in my summits is still going to be captioned. Even if it's one person, that one person is still worth it, still welcome, and still deserves to learn.
There are different types of neurodivergence to keep in mind, too. For example, maybe some people have trouble sitting and watching a video for a long period of time or listening is hard for them. For that, in addition to my videos, I have a podcast feed, captions in case they want to read along, and session notes. And as I have started learning more about neurodivergent individuals and how they might learn in different ways, you better believe I've started being more careful about how I present those things.
I used to not have captions because they were expensive to make, and I put my transcripts behind a paywall because they were also expensive. Now, I have been awakened to the fact that it forces people who are deaf or have trouble sitting and watching videos for any reason to pay for that when everyone else can just watch the videos for free.
In my December 2022 summit, I also added a podcast feed at the last minute for all summit attendees to access the free presentations for similar reasons. After realizing how difficult it is for some people to sit and watch videos, it felt much more inclusive to make those audio feeds available to everyone during their free availability timeframe so people could learn in the way that they learn best and can focus best.
If inclusion is a value you hold, you need to keep it in mind in the decisions you're making throughout your summit.
The next value we can talk about is pricing, which ties back into inclusion. The great thing about free summits is that there's no financial barrier to the free viewing period. You're providing a ton of value in that, which is wonderful, but your all-access pass offer and the way you price it can also be a reflection of your values..
For example, some people I know have a really strong feeling about limited-time tripwire offers and think they are just terrible for various reasons. If that's you, you would not do the fast action timer, and maybe not even price increases in the way that I teach. For me, I don't approach those things from a place of trying to add a ton of pressure and FOMO or being an evil person. After considering the messages I might be sending and values I'm infusing through my pricing strategy overall, I'm comfortable including those price increases in my own events. But if it's something you feel strongly about, leave them out. Your conversion rates may be lower, but your values are more important, right? So that's one thing with pricing to keep in mind.
Something else to consider with pricing is the way you structure your all-access pass. I used to do one all-access pass offer packed with a ton of great information and bonuses and all the things, so I had it at a relatively high price point. But then I got emails from attendees saying they couldn't afford it, and they wanted a cheaper option where they could just get ongoing access to presentations, but I didn't have that option.
At first, I was too clueless to really think about the request and think about it as something I should add in, especially when people were willing to put themselves out there and ask for it. But in the end, that was a big part of why I shifted to a two-tier all-access pass model a few years ago:
Another example I want to share is the ability to infuse your faith or religion into your event. This doesn't necessarily mean having it all laid out on the registration page or having a summit topic about faith, but it can show up in so many different ways.
For example, in the conference we hosted last August, I ended up unintentionally hosting a panel with business owners who either ran Christian-based summits or who were very openly Christian in their business and it ended up coming through in the panel. And I loved it! I'm sure there were some people there who aren't practicing Christians, who were a little uneasy, but I really love that our shared value came through.
If you have strong political values, you could also put those on display throughout your summit. Again, this could be very open in your summit topic or naturally infused throughout your messaging or different parts of your event. I'm not going to go into examples, because we don't need to think about politics here, but keep reading for an exercise to help you identify and infuse your political values into your summit.
I've given some examples of common values that I know are important to many of you but it doesn't stop there. You can infuse any personal or business value that you have into your summit. An example I can give is that I highly value relationships in everything I do, personally, in business, and in my summits. This shows up in my summits in the way I treat and value my speakers, and the types of presentation topics I have.
It also shows up in the way I teach, because my summit strategies are all heavily based on relationships. All of those things kind of tie into showing off that value. It's not something that everyone's going to notice, it's just going to be a low-key thing that's represented throughout my event that makes it unique and makes it “me”.
If you need actionable, concrete steps for infusing your values into your summit and being intentional about the message you spread, the first thing to do is brainstorm your business and personal values. For some of you, your values are already at the forefront of what you do and you could quickly rattle them off if asked. But some of you will probably need to spend some time thinking about this and figuring out what your values actually are.
I'm no expert in this, but if you need some guidance, start by considering what's important to you as a human and to your business as a whole in the way you do things.
Hopefully, the ideas and examples I've shared got you thinking and have your wheels turning a little bit. So now let’s talk about how to infuse those values into your own summit. A lot of this is going to happen naturally if you just keep your values top of mind as you are planning and making decisions for your event.
Start by asking yourself:
As you brainstorm on these questions, give yourself the space to really go deep and figure out what your values actually are. Next, analyze how you can tie that value into your event. And don't be afraid to do things differently! Part of infusing your values in to your summit means speaking to what's important to you and putting your own spin on how you do things, whether that's in your presentation, on your registration page, in your emails, or in the strategy you use for your event.
If you value diversity and inclusion, you might decide that:
If you value relationships, you can take that into account with your speaker experience.
My examples could go on and on, but you'll have to take the time to think through your values and how you can tie them into your event. Sometimes you might incorporate a value into your summit in a super obvious way, and others will be more low-key things that really only you'll notice.
If you get stuck on how to incorporate your values into your summit, feel free to DM me on Instagram and we can talk through it. I also love to know what values you are incorporating in general, whether or not you have questions so DM me or post in the Summit Host Hangout Facebook group to chat about it. I'd love to hear more!
If you're still here and want to learn about how to host a values-aligned summit, please never be afraid to reach out. I love it when we can connect on this kind of thing.
I'd also be absolutely honored to work with you in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator and work with you every step of the way as you put your values-infused event out into the world.
If you're ready to host a high-converting virtual summit to replace your slow-growth marketing strategies and use it to lead into your biggest course launch yet, I've got an exclusive training just for you. This training is for those who are interested in working with me in our Launch with a Summit Accelerator to host a summit that blows industry standards out of the water, uses feel-good, engagement-based strategies to create an amazing experience for everyone involved, seamlessly leads into your biggest course launch yet, and sets you up for additional post-summit profits on the back end. Inside the Accelerator, we help our clients consistently host life and business-changing virtual summits in the free private training. I'll show you exactly how it works along with all kinds of examples. Apply for an invite to the Launch with a Summit Accelerator and training.
I hope this episode has you excited about taking the virtual summit strategy and really making it your own. And I know people are often hesitant to host a summit because there are certain pieces they don't like or certain things that don't feel aligned. This is me telling you that you can change literally anything that doesn't feel good to you. Sometimes that could mean a conversion rate hit, but a lot of times it will just really mean a unique event that properly reflects you and what you care about. And that's exactly what we're going for.
Take some time to brainstorm your values and look for ways you can incorporate those things into your summit. I can't wait to see what that looks like!
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.