Did Your Virtual Summit Flop? Turn It Into a Win Instead

summit success Oct 12, 2021

Was your virtual summit a total flop? Maybe you didn't hit your registration goal or made less revenue than you expected. Here’s how to turn it into a win.

Was your virtual summit a total "flop"? Maybe you didn't hit your registration goal, you made less revenue than you expected, or you're frustrated that your speakers didn't promote.

I know it's not fun to think about. You put in way too much work for it to be a total flop.

But what if you could turn it into a win instead?

I promise it's possible. There are two ways you can look at a "failed" event. Let's dive into them both and how you can move forward.

Where to start: Why do you think it flopped?

Before we go any further, stop and think about why you're considering your summit a failure

What are you using to judge that?

Are you basing it on realistic expectations or on what you saw other people doing?

For example, if you're a first-time summit host who expected to make six figures right out of the gate, or you're someone who started with no email list and expected 10,000 subscribers…that is the problem, not the actual results you got.

Many summit hosts set unrealistic expectations with their events. That could be why you see your summit as a total flop when it might’ve been a big success.

Take a minute to look back and make sure you had reasonable expectations set from the beginning. If you still think it was a total flop, there’re two ways to look at things.

Two Ways to Look at a “failed” summit

Option 1: You can look at it as a total failure. You can say, “This whole virtual summit idea didn't work. I'm never doing it again. Summits don't work and are a terrible strategy.”  

Option 2: You can look at it as a chance to learn and improve.

Where Each Option Gets You

Think about where each of those options will get you. If you decide it was a failure and summits don’t work, then that’s a guarantee that summits will never work for you.

But what if you look at it as a chance to learn instead?

For example, my 2nd summit made less than $3000. If I look at just the numbers compared to what I was expecting, it was a failure. But looking at the lessons learned, it was an opportunity instead.

Instead of deciding that summits don’t work, keep going.

Since that little $3k summit, my summits have made $22k, $60k, $78k, and $92k. They grow every single time based on what I learn each time, including the one that I considered a failure.

If I would have stopped with that failed event, I wouldn't have gotten to any of those other ones...and I certainly wouldn't be writing this to you.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at my April 2019 summit, March 2020 summit, and March 2021 summit to see the growth and adjustments.

Amber McCue’s Planathon

I also want to use Amber McCue’s Planathon as an example. The Planathon is one of the most popular events for online business owners with a lot of the biggest names in the industry speaking every year.

The Facebook group for this event alone has over 20,000 people in it as of writing this. And it grows every year! Amber uses this event as the way to launch her year-long program very successfully.

But did you know that this big, huge, successful event only had 300 attendees the first time it ran? How many of us would’ve conserved 300 attendees a failure and just quit after that? Instead, Amber was excited about those 300 people she got to serve.

She kept going, and now she has one of the most popular events in the online business space.

So what's it gonna be for you?

Look for the Success and Lessons Learned

Instead of looking just at the numbers and the parts you're not happy with, look for the success. It’s not all about the registrations and revenue.

Consider questions like...

  • What speakers did you connect with?
  • How can those connections grow and benefit you from here?
  • How did you impact your attendees?
  • What testimonials did you get from them?
  • What did you learn about your audience, your offers, and your messaging?
  • What did you learn about what does and doesn't work?
  • Most importantly, how will you use all that information to improve next time?

Go through those questions and use this “failed” summit as a learning experience!

Consider Other Things We Do In Business

Another way you can look at this’s to look at other things we do in business. We don't go out and launch our very first digital product and expect it to make tens of thousands of dollars. (Mine made $97!)

We don’t expect to be a wizard at Facebook ads right when we launch them. We know that it’s a learning experience and it’s going to take some time.

Why do we expect something as complex as a virtual summit to be a huge success right away?

I think, in part, it's because we compare ourselves to everyone else. So instead, focus on you and your audience. Just because your numbers tell you that you failed doesn't mean you actually did.

Reflect On Your Event

Your first step is to reflect on your event

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What were my original goals?
  • Were they reasonable or not? Why?
  • What worked well? (spend some time here!)
  • Based on that, what will I keep the same next time?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What can I change next time?
  • Does my messaging need to change?
  • What are my new goals?

Use those questions to move forward, improve your next event, and turn what would be a “failure” into a win instead.



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Was your virtual summit a total flop? Maybe you didn't hit your registration goal or made less revenue than you expected. Here’s how to turn it into a win.Was your virtual summit a total flop? Maybe you didn't hit your registration goal or made less revenue than you expected. Here’s how to turn it into a win.

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