058: Make Your Summit An Event People Want To Attend

engagement Mar 24, 2020

Are people going to be excited when they see your summit pop up?

Of course we all want our audience to be pumped about our summit, but there's actually some intentional thought that goes into creating an event people want to attend.

In this episode we'll break down the main key to doing that and dive deeper into 3 specific tips to make it happen.


Hey, Hey, welcome to the Summit Host Hangout podcast where you learn how to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit, no influencer status necessary. I'm your host, Krista from Summit In A Box, and we are currently in a series about some of the things I see as most important in hosting a successful summit. Today in episode 58 we're going to focus on creating an event people actually want to attend. We're going to cover what I see as the number one key to doing that, and then four smaller pieces that go into it and some examples of each that you can implement in your summit.

The key to making your summit an event people want to attend

Let's dive right in and talk about the key thing to making your summit an event people want to attend, and that is creating an experience, not just hosting a boring summit. You can line up some speakers, create a quick promotion strategy and start accepting registrations. But if you don't give anyone a real reason to show up, you're going to see that in your results from the very beginning because no one's going to be excited about what you're doing.

When you open your summit for registration, you should immediately start hearing from people about how excited they are and even get some specific ideas from them about what piece is getting them the most excited. If you don't see that, you know you've missed the mark. If you don't see those registrations rolling in, if people aren't excited, there's something you need to change.

Creating an experience people are excited about

It all comes down to creating an experience that people are actually excited about through your summit. I want to dive into some ways to do that.

Make your summit fun

So first you can do everything right in the planning of the summit presentations themselves. But if there isn't a way for people to have fun during the event, they aren't going to show up and it's definitely going to reduce your engagement. That's why making your summit fun is my first piece of this.

I talked all about engagement in episode 53 so check it out to hear why engagement is so important if you don't know already. But the easiest way to create engagement is to do something fun. That's when people start participating and getting excited, having five presentations per day and doing nothing but sending an email with a schedule like that's not fun. No one's excited about that. It does take a little effort and planning to create something fun, but you can do it. I want you to stop and think about what can you do to make your summit more fun.


And I'm going to give you some examples here. And these are just examples. So is it Q and A sessions with your speakers? Is that something that your audience would get really excited about? Being able to hop on a call with maybe a panel of your speakers and ask questions? Is it a Facebook community where they can go to connect with other attendees, yourself and the speakers? Is that going to be fun to them or can you make it fun? So maybe in that Facebook group you set up accountability groups or accountability partners. That's definitely going to make it more fun cause it's going to let them connect with people. Are you going to host networking session so they can get on just that they would add an in person event and get to know some of the other people there and make those important connections. Maybe you have some games or some prizes. I'm going to do trivia at the summit I have coming up and have prizes based on that. What can you do to add some fun and excitement to your summit? Yes, you can totally make a summit without any of this, but if you want your summit to be something people are excited about him talking about, incorporate some fun into your plans.

Solve a problem

I want to move on to the next piece here, which is solving a problem. So in the last episode, episode 57 we talked about the importance of your summit's niche and topic. That's coming back for this episode to make your summit an event people want to attend, you need to set it up in a way to solve a real problem that they are facing. This is where my go to example of a summit to help online business owners grow their business comes back into play. Something as vague as that isn't going to create an engaging event that people want to attend. You make people want to attend by hitting one of their pain points and offering a solution to that. That's what gets people excited.

Maybe you're helping them get clients on a specific marketing platform, helping them organize their home, reducing stress in a relationship, learning to effectively manage their team, all of those for a specific type of audience, whatever it is, those are real problems that people are facing, that they want solutions to and that you can offer solutions to. And when someone sees a free solution to a problem they're facing, it's something they're going to be excited to attend. So brainstorm what your audience is struggling with? If you don't know, please ask them. Even if it's in your Facebook group, with some Instagram polls, or a survey. Of course I recommend getting on some calls with people because that can just really open the doors, but ask your audience what they're struggling with if you need to, and create a summit to solve that problem.

Do something different

The last way I want to touch on that, you can really create an engaging event that people want to attend is to do something different. The world of summits is growing. There's always people saying that every marketing strategy is dead. Of course there's going to be people that say summits don't work, but this industry is growing so much and I don't think that's a bad thing, but one way to stand out, apart from your specific niche and topic is to do something different. Find a way to do something different, and this can be, it can be anything. Maybe it's the way your presentations are formatted, what the presentation schedule looks like, an extra piece of your engagement strategy, who you choose as the speakers. There are all kinds of options. I'll give a couple of fun examples from somebody I've seen recently.


Let's talk about presentations first. Something cool I saw was a summit where instead of each speaker teaching us strategy, they talked through an email template that this person used for our launch, the strategy behind it, why it worked for them. I thought that was really, really cool because you can get a look at people's strategies, see the exact email they wrote here, what worked and what didn't. That's a really cool thing to do other than just having presentations where people are teaching a specific topic. Another really unique thing I saw was with a summit schedule. Instead of releasing presentations at a specific time, like all the presentations for day one at like 9:00 AM or each hour for a few hours each day, this person was going to try releasing one presentation every other hour for two days straight. So no matter what time of the day it was, a presentation was going live every other hour. I thought that was again a pretty cool thing to try. Who knows how it will work. But it's something that's going to set that summit apart from all the other summits out there.

As far as engagement goes, this is probably something that's been done before I just haven't seen it, but for the summit I have coming up, I'm going to try networking sessions to make my summit more like an in person event. So we'll all get on a call, we'll be broken up into little groups and we can spend 15-20 minutes just chatting and networking and getting to know each other. Another thing I'm trying this year is a speaker trivia. When my speakers submit their presentations, I'm asking them for a trivia question and this can be a question about them, it can be a question about their presentation, whatever they want. But based on that, I'll have trivia questions going live in the Facebook group, and prizes based on those questions. It's going to add a lot more fun and it's something different that you don't see at a ton of summits out there.

Then the last example I want to give is one of your speakers, and that's as easy as choosing speakers you don't see on every single summit lineup out there. Find some people who are not constantly on summits. They're going to have some unique things to say. And that's another way to get people excited.

These are just little details that might catch the attention of someone who is just mildly interested before, but a lot of them also boost that fun factor that we talked about earlier in this episode as well. So think about that.

Action Steps

As for your action steps, none of the things we talked about today are especially difficult, but it does take some intentional thought and planning. So look through your summit plan, what you have so far and spend 10 minutes brainstorming how you can make your event something people will truly want to attend and be excited about.

Thank you so much for tuning in. In the next episode we'll be chatting about how to set realistic summit launch goals no matter your audience size. So be sure to tune in for that.

What we talked about today is important, but I get that it's one of those things that can be tricky. You might want to make your event into something people are excited about, but kind of feel stumped with coming up with ideas. And that's why I created the Summit Host Hangout Facebook group, which is a community of other summit hosts who can be alongside you to celebrate wins, share advice, offer support. For some brainstorming help, join us inside the free Summit Host Hangout Facebook group.

Now go out and take action to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit.




View related episodes >>


50% Complete

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.