Why No One Signed Up for Your Virtual Summit

summit success Aug 23, 2022

I’m feeling a little spicy this week…but lovingly spicy, of course…because we’re going to talk about why no one signed up for your virtual summit.

If you’re someone that this has happened to, as long as you’re not sitting here blaming summits as the reason it didn’t work, the spice is not directed at you. It is fully directed at people who do what we’re going to talk about and then go on to rant and rave about how "summits don’t work”.

If you haven’t hosted a summit yet, this is still a great one for you because you’ll find out what to avoid without having to learn it the hard way.

There are are many things that could hurt your summit results, but there are two big ones that I see over and over again, so we're going to focus on those today.  Let’s dive right in!

Reason #1: Your Positioning

The first reason why no one signed up for your virtual summit is…the positioning.

You need strategic summit positioning that attracts the right audience.

What does that mean?

  • First, you have to choose a specific group of people that your summit is for. This is so important, and coming up, I’ll walk through a big mistake we see with this.
  • Then, you need to identify a tangible outcome your summit will create for those people.
  • And third, you need clear messaging you can use to communicate both of those first two pieces, which ties into the second part we’ll get to shortly.

When your positioning is spot on…

  • Your summit attracts the right people. They know that your event is for them and that makes them want to sign up, so you see your number of registrations skyrocket.
  • Your speakers will be excited to participate in your event. If you think about any pitches you’ve received to speak at summits before, there are some key things everyone looks for, even if we don't realize it, that impact whether or not a speaker will say yes. So much of our decision is based on how well we understand what we're being pitched for, if we care about it, and if it’s for an audience we want to be in front of.
  • Writing copy is so much easier and more effective. When you have a clear audience that you're speaking to and tangible outcome you're helping them achieve, your copy will come so much more naturally rather than feeling forced. And with the amount of copy that goes into a summit, this is a must.
  • It also builds desire for your signature offer, while helping attendees make progress through your summit so they’re primed and ready for that next step with you.

But without the right positioning, no one is going to care enough to sign up. It’s as simple as that.

Examples of poor summit positioning you'll want to avoid…

I could sit and give examples of this all day, but one that sticks out to me the most and that I see often is in the spiritual space.

If that’s you, don’t worry, I love you, what you do is amazing, and you can host incredible summits, but I see this positioning issue in this space often, so it gives me the best example to pull from. I see summits all the time for something like “helping intuitive women follow their soul’s calling to find inner peace”

What does that even mean?

To a person who isn’t already in that world, who hasn't already solved that problem or experienced that outcome, it means nothing, so why would they sign up!?

And B2B hosts, you’re not off the hook here! No one wants to go to a summit to help online business owners “grow their business” or “make more money” or do something related to a framework that means a lot to you and makes sense once your clients are in your world, but means nothing to others.

Positioning is absolutely everything!

It is the top reason standard summit conversion rates are terrible, and it is the thing we work with our clients in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator™ on the MOST. We even have a messaging and copy coach who coaches our Accelerator clients on their positioning because it is just so important. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a single client or customer who didn’t need at least a little help on this piece. Most need a lot of help, and we work on this in depth to get the positioning just right.

I give more examples of this and side-by-side comparisons of what to expect with conversion rates and numbers when you get this right and wrong in our advanced training for anyone who applies to our Launch with a Summit Accelerator™ and is accepted, so if you want more information and guidance on this, that would be your next step.

Reason #2: Your Registration Page

Now, let’s move on to the second reason no one signed up for your summit, which is the fact that your registration page just…wasn’t good. I say that with love!

I have seen this happen both with hosts who do and do not have good summit positioning.

Hosts who didn’t position their event well…

If your positioning is off, it creates a downward spiral that impacts every other area of your summit. It’s like a sad version of the book “If You Give a Mouse A Cookie…”.

  • Without solid positioning, you can’t have effective messaging.
  • Without effective messaging, you can’t write good registration page copy.
  • And without good registration page copy, people aren’t going to sign-up for your event.

The positioning is really where the stream of disappointment stems from with most summits and why it is so so so worth it put in the time to get this piece right in the beginning.

There are clients we’ve worked with who’ve been able to get tens of thousands of extra dollars in sales because we got this piece right.

But even if your event is positioned perfectly…

Your registration page can still be a problem, even if your event is positioned perfectly.

And that’s because most people don’t know what to focus on when they write their registration pageor they make it way too simple and don't give people enough information to want to sign up. 

A summit is free, but a lot more goes into the registration page than a simple freebie landing page. 

You can’t just throw up a simple page without any thought, and expect it to convert.

A summit takes more buy-in from people because it’s more of a commitment from them than opting into a freebie that they can take 3 minutes to scan through - they’re dedicating their time to showing up and attending the event.

And focusing your registration page on the fact that you’re hosting a “really cool summit” and have some fancy speakers isn’t going to cut it either.

You need to treat this like a sales page.

  • Empathize with what your audience is struggling with.
  • Paint the picture of where they want to be.
  • Illustrate how your summit will help them get there.
  • And plant the idea of the offer you’re going to make at the end of the event.

I’ve seen the difference a good registration page can make in action!

I’ve been able to see this in action with Launch with a Summit Accelerator™ clients who had hosted summits before working with us.

We had one client that comes to mind who had hosted two very successful summits before coming to us.

  • Her 2nd summit had 3500 attendees, but only a 27% registration page conversion rate, which is within industry standards, but not within my standards.
  • Within a few weeks of joining the Launch with a Summit Accelerator™, she had opened registration for her 3rd event with a 47% conversion rate!

That is almost double! All she did was use our template, before even asking for feedback from us, because her event was happening so soon after joining. She had already set herself up to double the size of her summit and the revenue she was making along with it.

So That’s Why No One Signed Up

There are definitely more reasons that you might not get any signups from your summit, but these are the two most important and I’ll save the rest for another time!

If you did host a summit that no one signed up for, I hope you feel encouraged by knowing what needs to be fixed moving forward.

This is also reason #1 billion that you need to join us in our Launch with a Summit Accelerator™ program.

We love having experienced hosts in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator™ just as much as first-time hosts because we can start by digging into numbers from your previous event and identifying key areas to improve as you start your planning.


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