Set Realistic Virtual Summit Goals - No Matter Your Audience Size

summit success Mar 31, 2020

You know you're ready to plan a virtual summit, but where do you even start with setting goals? It's important to have a baseline goal for things like number of registrations, income, and your impact so we'll get started with setting those goals today. 

We'll cover the biggest mistake you can make when setting goals for your summit, the 6 pieces that have the biggest part to play in your success, and how to set goals for your summit based on a little math and your current audience size.

The biggest mistake I see in setting summit launch goals

The biggest mistake I see with setting virtual summit launch goals is setting your own goals based on what someone else's results were.

You can absolutely not judge the success of your summit based on someone else's, even if you copied their exact marketing plan and have their exact speakers (p.s....don't do that).

The biggest pieces that come into play with goal setting

Since you can't look at other people's results to determine your own, let's talk about what you should look at instead. 

Niche and topic

First, is the niche and topic you've chosen. I've said it before, but the more specific your audience is and the more your summit topic solves a problem for that audience, the better results you're going to see. 

You can see this really easily by comparing registration page conversion rates. The registration page for my last summit, which has a very specific niche and topic topic converted at over 80%. That means 80% of people who saw my registration page signed up, which is insane.

The broader your audience is and the less attention-grabbing your topic is, the lower that number is going to be.

Your Audience size

The next part that comes into play is your audience size.  If you're listening to this and don't have much of an audience right now, please don't worry. When I started planning my first summit, I had about 400 people on my email list.

Obviously, if you have 10,000 people on your email list, you're going to host a bigger summit than someone starting from scratch.

Your speakers' audience size

If you don't have an audience, your speakers are where the magic happens. Honestly, for everybody, the speakers are where the magic happens.

The audience size and engagement of your speakers' audience has a huge part to play in the success of your summit.

But keep in mind, bigger audiences aren't always better when it comes to speakers. They have to be people who are willing to share.

Effectiveness of your marketing

And no matter what you do, you have to have an effective marketing strategy .This comes down to the promotional copy you write to where you promote and how you get your speakers to promote.

Paid advertising

Your willingness and ability to do paid advertising will affect your results as well.

If you have thousands of dollars to spend on Facebook ads, of course you'll be able to get more registrations and therefore more sales. But keep in mind that a Facebook ads budget isn't necessary for a successful event.

Your offer

If you are judging your summit success based on the income you make, your launch goals should definitely include the sales you make. And with that, it's important to realize that what you're selling will make a difference in the success you see. 

Are you selling presentation replays? Are you selling replays and some incredible bonuses? Are you promoting your course or membership site?

The effectiveness of your offer, how closely it relates to your summit, and how badly your audience wants that thing are going to be important pieces in your summit success.

Setting your summit goals

Goal #1: The number of attendees you will impact

Looking at the number of people you impact is a great way to measure your summit's success. But this is not impact in that they watched a single presentation. This is impact in that they watched a presentation, took action and saw the transformation that you promise them.

I'll admit, this is hard to measure, but you can do something as simple as saying, I want to get 10 emails from attendees who were able to “blank”.

  • For Liz in episode 35 it might be to have 20 attendees start living in their RV full time.
  • For Hannah in episode 47 it might be to have 10 attendees take their photography business full-time.

What could that look like for you and your attendees?

Goal #2: Your email list growth

The goal you set for your email list can generally be about 2-3 times your current email list size.

If you're starting from scratch or super small, set a minimum goal of 500 people.

If you have a larger audience with more than a couple thousand people on your email list, I'd recommend having your goal be to grow by a lower amount of 1.5-2x.

A few other things to consider include:

  • What is the audience size of your speakers?
  • How engaged are those people?
  • Are you doing paid advertising?
  • How specific is your summit?

Goal #3: Income

This is where I like to do a little bit of math. You can calculate your income goal based on the goal you just set for your email list and the price you'll sell your all-access pass for.

For example, if you set a goal to have 2000 summit attendees and your all-access pass will be $97, you can say your income goal is $19,000; which would be a 10% conversion rate.

A 10% conversion rate is going to depend on how niche your summit is, how good your offer is, etc. Industry standard seems to be about 5%. Myself, and the people following my strategies, are getting 10 to 20%.  

If you don't like where that formula gets you, do some brainstorming about how you can increase your conversion rate or get yourself started with more registrations.

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