How to Position Your Virtual Summit For Success

summit basics Aug 27, 2019

In the last two episodes, we've identified your summit's audience and topic. Now, we'll put those things to use to determine your summit's positioning.

We'll cover how your positioning ties into your audience and topic, positioning mistakes to avoid, how to position your summit, and where that positioning will show up.


Hey there, and 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 branding your online summit. In the last couple episodes we covered choosing your summit audience and topic so start there if you haven't listened yet.

Today in episode six we're taking it a step further and talking about positioning your summit for success. We're going to cover how this all ties into your audience and topic, positioning mistakes to avoid how to position your summit, and where this positioning is going to show up.

Since you're reading this, I know that you care about the details and pieces of summit hosting that people don't talk about all that much and guess what? There is actually more where that came from. In fact, I've put together a PDF with my 12 best summit hosting tips and you can get it today.

How positioning ties in

So let's start with how your positioning ties into your audience and topic. Really your positioning will be directly decided by the audience and topic you choose. After you have done those steps is when the positioning comes in. The difference is who it's for and what you'll do versus the way that you're actually going to communicate that. And there is a difference. That leads us right into the mistakes to avoid and I have two of them for you.

Positioning mistakes

The first one is skipping it. I see a lot of people treating their summit registration page as this short basic landing page that doesn't need any information and skipping the strategic positioning altogether. It's almost like they think the fact that they're hosting a summit is all that's going to matter to make someone sign up and that's just not the case. It is such a really a huge missed opportunity if you do it that way. So do not skip the positioning step.

I want you to avoid focusing on the wrong things in your positioning. Similarly, I see a lot of summits focused on a few things I'll list here and they just really don't matter as far as your audience is concerned and those things are:

  • The fact that it's a summit. Yes, you want to make it clear that it's a summit, but that's not what your marketing and positioning should be centered around.
  • That your speakers are awesome. Again, yes, we want people to realize that, but that's not where we are trying to position our marketing.
  • It doesn't matter how many presentations there are.
  • The fact that is free.

None of those things are what you want your positioning to focus on, and I see it done all the time. Those things matter, but they're not the pieces that are going to get your audience to sign up. Do not focus on that.

Positioning your summit the right way

Remember in the last episode we chose your topic based on your audience's biggest problem, and now it's really time to dive into that and pull out those pieces. What I want you to do here is brainstorm all of big pain points that come up from this issue they are having.

For example, my summit is helping designers streamline and simplify their business so it can be more efficient, profitable, and stress-free. A lot of the pain points I hear from them are things like they don't have time to work on their own business, they can't even dream of having enough time to make a passive income product, they either have no clients or way too many clients. Those are all the kinds of pain points I want you to be thinking about here. Then on the flip side of that, I want you to take each of those pain points and brainstorm the benefits of solving those problems.

These two pieces come together to create a transformation that you can give your audience. That's what your positioning should focus on. That transformation. You are going to start with bringing those pain points to life for your audience members. For me, it's the fact that maybe designers can't grow their business because they straight up don't have time or they reached the end of the day and they're exhausted and feel like they gave it all they had and didn't make any progress.

Then you want to show them what their life or business will look like after the summit. For me, it looks like a streamlined business that can be run in a fraction of the time with time to focus on things like passive income products or even relaxing, which is something a lot of them can't even fathom. It's up to you here to paint a picture that lets them see what's possible through your summit. This is so much more powerful than the fact that you're hosting an event with some pretty cool speakers, right?

Where your positioning will show up

Now that you got the positioning down let's talk really quickly about where that positioning will show up. First of all, it's going to show up on your registration page. This is where you really paint that picture for them. Here's where you're at right now, but here's where the summit will help you be. It's going to show up on all of your promotions: your sales strategy or your promotion strategy, like to your emails and on social media, it needs to show up in there as well. Paint that picture for them, hit on pain points, and then present your summit as a solution.

You are going to hit on it in your registration email sequence. Once they're registered, you don't have to necessarily keep hitting really hard on those pain points, but really keep bringing up the benefits they're going to see through taking part in the summit.

Then most importantly, this should really show up in your presentation topics, the speakers and topics for your summit. Presentations should focus on solving those problems and bringing the benefits and the transformation you have promised. It's really important that your positioning carries all the way through the summit and then that you actually follow through on what you're promising. So getting your positioning down, really will bring your summit success to an entirely new level. And like I said, using your positioning to show the transformation is just so much more powerful than advertising the fact that you're hosting a summit.

Action Steps

  • Take five minutes to think about your summit's positioning.
  • Brainstorm the pain points your audience is currently experiencing.
  • Write down the benefits your summit will bring to them and let that be your transformation.
  • Infuse that transformation in all of your summit's messaging, goals, marketing, and presentations.

In the next episode we're going to change gears a little bit and talk about branding as it pertains to visuals, so be sure to tune in for that.

What we talked about in this episode is a secret to success you do not hear much about and guess what? There are more. In fact, I've put together a PDF with my 12 best summit hosting tips, and you can get it today.



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