059: Set Realistic Summit Launch Goals - No Matter Your Audience Size

Mar 31, 2020

Set goals for your summit's impact, number of registrations, and income with the help of this episode.

In it 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 on your success, and how to set goals on your summit based on a little math and your current audience size.


Hey, Hey, welcome to the Summit Host Hangout podcast where you'll 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're currently in a series about some of the things I see as most important in hosting a successful summit. And talking about a "successful summit" we need to know what success looks like for us. So today in episode 59 we're going to talk about how to set realistic summit launch goals. And yes, this is for you whether you have no audience or a huge audience. This is going to be I think a nice and short episode, but full of good stuff and we're going to cover the biggest mistake in setting launch goals, the biggest pieces at play, and how to get those goals set for you.

I'll give you a disclaimer right now, though, this is not an exact science. There might be some guru out there that has you take your audience size, that combined audience side of your speakers audience or ratio based on their engagement or specific conversion rate of your registration page, sales pages, all that stuff. Do a couple of back flips and come up with a number. That's not what this is. I don't have that for you. I want you to be able to listen to this episode, do a couple of simple estimates in your head and have a starting point for your goal setting. So if you want something complex and exact, you might want to skip this one.

the biggest mistake I see in setting launch goals

But let's dive in with the biggest mistake I see in setting launch goals, and that biggest mistake is seeing what someone else's results were and basing your goals on that.

You can absolutely not judge the success of your summit based on someone else's, even if you copied their exact marketing plan, have their exact speakers. I don't recommend that, by the way, but even if you do that, things are going to be different. Don't look at the fact that my first summit with my little email list brought in $16,000 and make that your goal or set a goal half that or three times that. Some of you will be below that. Some of you will be close. A lot of you will be above that number and blow it out of the water.

the biggest pieces that come into play

Since you can't look at other people's results to determine your own, let's talk about what you should look at. I want to talk about a few of the biggest pieces that come into play when determining what your summit success is going to look like.

Niche and topic

And first, is the niche and topic you've chosen. We've said it before, the more specific your niche is and the more your summit topic solves a problem for that audience, the better results you're going to see. It's as easy as that. 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 74% that means 74% of people who saw my registration page signed up, which is insane. The broader your niches though, and the less attention grabbing your topic is, the lower that number is going to be. Could be like 20%. Honestly, it could probably be lower, so right there in the most simple example, you can already see how there is such a huge difference in possibilities, and that's why I can't give you an exact formula for this. It's something you're just going to have to kind of think about all the pieces that you have at play and guess at what your number is going to be, but we can help you make a more educated guess here.

Your Audience size

The next part that comes into play is your audience size, and 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, and I still did just fine. Obviously, if you have 10,000 people on your email list, you're going to host a bigger summit than someone starting from scratch, right? And you know, unless that person lands these crazy, awesome speakers, that person with a bigger audience, it has a bigger place to start from. So that's another piece that goes into it.

Your speakers' audience size

The next piece is your speakers' audience size. If you don't have an audience yourself, 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. And it's another part of why I said I don't have a complex calculation for this. You could have a speaker with a huge audience, but what if that audience never opens an email from that speaker? Or if it's engagement that happens for that speaker on social media instead of an email list, meaning conversion rates will be lower. It's nearly impossible to get a good estimate for that. And that's why I'm not giving you that formula to even try. You're welcome to and give that formula to me, but you know your speakers' audience size is another big part to play in it as well as the engagement of their audience.

Effectiveness of your marketing

Another thing I want to talk about is the effectiveness of your marketing. Of course that's going to have a big part to play in your summit success. A mistake I made with my previous summits is only giving speakers swipe copy that was directly pitching this summit. A lot of speakers don't want to send a promo email that just pitches the summit to their audience. They work hard to create those email lists. They don't want to just send a big straight promo, but what would have happened if I would've given my speakers value add copy that mentions the summit here and there throughout? I bet that would have been more effective. The day this episode goes out will be the week after my fourth summit. So I'll have an update for you about how that went and you know, if giving them value add copy really made a difference, but I am guessing it did.

Paid advertising

Two more pieces here that really go into the success of your summit. Next is any additional paid advertising you do. Your willingness and ability to do paid advertising will affect your results. 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. Again, this isn't something I can give you a formula for, but it's something else I want you to keep in mind.

Your offer

The last thing I want to talk about is your offer. If you are judging success based on the income you make, your launch goals should definitely include the number of registrations you get. But I'm sure a lot of you are kind of more interested in seeing how much money you can make instead. What you're selling will make a big 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? I don't know the answer to that. I don't know what you're promoting, but the effectiveness of your offer and how closely it relates to your summit and how bad your audience wants that thing, it's going to be another important piece in your summit success.

Those are all the big pieces that go into the success that your summit will have. As a quick recap, that's your niche and topic, your audience size, your speaker, audience size and engagement, the effectiveness of your marketing, the additional paid advertising you do and then the offer you make.

Setting your summit goals

Now let's move into how to actually set your goals. There's a couple of goals I want to touch on here.

the number of attendees you will impact

And the first one is something I don't think many of you will think about on your own. And that is the number of attendees you will impact through your summit. Personally, I think that's a huge way to measure success. And 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. And 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. Maybe that's land their first client, from Liz in episode 35 for her summit it might be start living in their RV full time, for Hannah in episode 47 it might be take their photography business full time. Whatever that result's going to look like for you, whatever you promise them, getting some emails or hearing some feedback that you helped them even get closer to that. It's a great way to measure this goal. And like I said, maybe you want to say, you know, you want to get 10 emails and that's going to be hitting your goal and impacting your audience members.

your email list

Now let's move on to some things that you were probably expecting starting with your email list. Like I said, these are probably the goals you were thinking about. Again, I don't have that exact science for you, but I want the goal for your email list to be about two to three times your current email list size if you have 500 people on your email list. That's what I did when I planned my first summit, aim for 1500 registrations. If you have 10,000 people on your email list? Maybe 20,000 is the number you go for. You don't have anyone on your email list? I want you to set a minimum goal of 500 so decide whether you multiply by two or three or more. Look at the pieces we talked about before. What is the audience size of your speakers? How engaged are those people? Are you doing paid advertising? How specific is your summit? Look at those things. Work backwards and decide if you're going to double, triple, quadruple, whatever it is. For me, I've been consistently tripling my email list with my summits.


Let's move on to income. I told you I was going to keep this simple, but this is where I do actually 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 be set at selling your all access pass. For example, if you set a goal to have 2000 summit attendees and your all access pass will be $97 or you have a few different offers, but you expect the average price people purchase that to be $97 you can say your income goal is $19,000 which would be a 10% conversion rate. And your conversion right there, I said 10% that's going to depend on how niche your summit is, how good your offer is and stuff like that. I think industry standard seems to be about 5%. Myself and the people following my strategies are getting 15 to 20% so that can really fluctuate a lot. But the formula I used was that attendee goal times your average all access pass sales, and then take your percentage of that. If you don't like where that formula gets you, do some brainstorming about how you can increase that conversion rate or get yourself started with more registrations. Our summit promotion series, starting with episode 37 will help you there by increasing the amount of registrations you get.

Again, very simple math. I'm not doing anything super complicated, but it's a way for you to get an idea of what you should set your goals at. Don't put pressure on yourself to get this just right. Give yourself a starting point and give yourself something to aim for and see what happens after your first summit. You'll be able to reflect on what worked and what didn't and do some better goal setting based on those results.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. In the next episode we'll be chatting about how my fourth summit went. So be sure to tune in for that.

If you're interested in a high converting registration page like mine, I have something for you. Like I said, my registration page converted at 74% for my last summit. Your summit's registration page is responsible for convincing people that your event is worth them time and money. If it misses the mark, they're not going to sign up. They're not going to buy. Those numbers you just calculated are going to be lower. Rather than focusing your registration page on the fact that you're running a summit, focus on the items in this cheat sheet. Inside you'll find a checklist of each important piece to include for easy access plus detailed on each item. You can get that at summithosthangout.com/registration.

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




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