Designing The People Experience of Your Virtual Summit with Ashley Shuler

engagement guest expert Dec 01, 2020

It's natural to spend time planning your overall summit strategy. But what about the people experience before, during, and after the event?

It's natural to spend time planning your overall summit strategy. But what about the experience your attendees have before, during, and after the event?

In this episode, I brought in Ashley Shuler to chat through what your summit's people experience should look like and how you can get started with yours.

The People Experience

How do we create a people experience? How do we truly make this summit or conference experience flow? 

We focus so much on the information. The information is great, but we also have to think about:

  • how people are learning the information
  • how people are actually receiving it
  • how they are coming into your pipeline
  • what sort of activities are you doing to keep people engaged

If you don’t think about any of that stuff, it’s literally just you sending emails that aren’t making sense to your audience

Creating a People Experience

Some of the questions I ask my clients, to get them thinking:

  • What are you going to do with your attendees before, during, and after your virtual summit?
  • What do you do before people arrived, before people are clicking a button?
  • What do you do before people are going to sign up?

We talk a lot about the visioning. Specifically, we talk about the 3 outcomes that you want for people to actually take when coming into your summit and what you want them to experience. We talk about the marketing and branding piece of it and the messaging behind that.

We are in an online environment, so what is the feel of your event and the energy you are going to be putting into it? How are you keeping people engaged?

80% of people come to virtual events for educational purposes, but the second reason is for the networking and connections. We want to make sure that happens. This brings us back to our visioning piece and the purpose of our summit - what happens afterwards? We really want to map those things out. 

People experience + Transformation

Transformation is big. When we're talking about transformation, we're really talking about whether you're solving a particular problem. What's that transformation that's going to take place? People are coming because they're looking to find a missing key, some sort of missing piece of information.

They're attending, they're buying the all-access pass, and they're looking for the one or two things that they need to plug that into their business so that they can actually go off and do great things after your summit.

If you're not solving a problem, if you're not helping people overcome those pain points, what's the point? You have to do more than host this cool summit. It has to actually help your people in some way. 

People experience + engagement

One thing I’ve seen work really well for people is to bring the guest speakers into the Facebook group; have a live Q+A. I’ve also seen a panel discussion on a separate platform, like an “after party”. 

I’ve seen some people do some cool things like a live DJ, paint and sips, yoga meditation to create an engaging virtual summit.

We have to think out of the box and get innovative.

It stands out and gets people excited, and when they show up once for something like that, they’re more likely to show up again the next day for the things you want to really show them.  

People experience + community

In order to magnify the experience, have a community. People are looking to make connections, and now more than ever, people are looking to make those next tangible steps in their business.

I would say definitely have a group for your attendees.  

When do you want to have a community is an interesting point. Some people do it during the event, or if you want to pull people afterwards that’s also something. You want to make sure you have something set up. You will have to have time to carve out purpose of the group, planning out some content, that type of thing. 

Communities keep people showing up because they see hundreds of other people struggling with the same thing and they’re showing up here and putting in the work, and then they will too.  If you are just sending emails, you are talking at people, not having conversations back and forth. 

We just have to remember that people are people at the end of the day.  We’re all just human, and we all are just looking to make that connection, to improve whatever part of our life that we’re looking for. 

Action Step

I have this exercise I have my clients do. Grab a hat of some sort: baseball cap, winter cap, whatever. Visualize yourself as the attendee of your own summit. Grab a pen and paper, Google Doc, etc and actually write down what 3 outcomes you expect to get from this event. 

Really write it out!

What are the 3 outcomes you’re expecting from this event? What would you put on an Instagram story? What would you put in a post? What is going to get people motivated enough to tell others about what’s going on?

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

About Ashley Shuler

Hey Friends! This is Ashley Shuler, your Business Systems Strategist. Her goal is help busy solopreneurs and small teams generate leads, increase productivity, and streamline their client experience. Her superpower is the ability to take big picture ideas and create a system for execution. Ashley is a trainer and lover of all things tech and processes. She teaches a weekly online meetup group called "The Systems Lab," helping entrepreneurs with key tips and tricks with systems in their business.

           Follow Ashley on Instagram | Checklist Freebie 



View related episodes >>

Pin it for later!

It's natural to spend time planning your overall summit strategy. But what about the people experience before, during, and after the event?It's natural to spend time planning your overall summit strategy. But what about the people experience before, during, and after the event?

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.