10 Design Elements That Every Virtual Summit Needs

summit basics Aug 29, 2019

Visuals play a huge part in branding your virtual summit. In this episode we'll cover mistakes to avoid with your visuals, individual visual elements you'll need, and resources to make it easy.

Transcript

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 branding your summit today in episode seven we're breaking that down to chat about visual elements to consider. So we're going to talk about mistakes to avoid with your visuals, individual visual elements your summit will need, and resources to make creating these great visuals easy.

Before we dive in, I want to let you know about a resource I have that can make a lot of your summit's visuals far easier. The Summit Host Vault, my monthly membership just for summit hosts, has all kinds of graphic templates to make a good portion of your visuals so easy. You can save yourself countless hours finding the graphics on your own or hundreds of dollars hiring someone else to make them for you. Join the Summit Host Vault today and get all of my graphic templates. Learn more and see what's currently included summitinabox.co/vault. So let's dive in to mistakes to avoid with your visuals.

Mistake #1: Not using them

I say this is a mistake because people are visual, but visuals add more work for us. So they're easy to kind of try to skip by. But it's really important that if you're going to go through the work of hosting a summit, that you use them to your advantage. It's great because you can actually draw attention where you want it to go and give people the feeling you want them to have just through your visuals. Use the look and feel of your visuals to start kind of telling the story of your summit and don't just kind of skip over them.

Mistake #2: Not taking visuals seriously

This is a chance to give a really professional first impression both to attendees and to your speakers. I don't mean professional like in terms of like the corporate meaning of it, but just the fact that it will help you look like you know what you're doing, what you do and your originals can help with that. You want your summit to look professional and well put together. This can really be the difference between someone landing on your registration page and immediately clicking away versus kind of, you know, getting caught up with the initial aesthetic they're getting from your website and taking the time to see what it's all about. The same goes for your speakers you're reaching out to. It can be the difference between them clicking on a link in your pitch email and being impressed with the website versus going, no, I'm not going to waste my time on that. Right? So that's the second mistake.

Mistake #3: Not considering your audience

For me, I have to say this for myself because it's easy for me to be guilty of this. I love pink. It's what I'm always drawn to. I have to be like really careful, and I'll always have a little pink infused, but it's really important for me to not necessarily exclude men or not just drive people crazy who don't love pink as much as I do. But this kind of thing carries over to everything involving visuals, so colors and fonts and overall what people are doing in pictures. Those are all things you want to consider your audience for and think about what they're going to be drawn to and what they're going to relate to. Yes, you want to resonate with it too, but your audience is just as, or probably more, important when we're looking at the success of your summit.

Mistake #4: Neglecting diversity

We all want to host events that people from all walks of life feel comfortable and welcome at. You know with your summit, maybe it's a more specific walk of life, but I know you never want to make someone feel left out or like an unwelcome guest because of something like the color of their skin. And yes, this does happen all the time. When choosing your graphics specifically, just ensure that you're getting a good mix of people. So everybody feels welcome. It's really as easy as that. A couple of extra minutes of making sure your graphics and the photos you use are diverse.

Visual Elements Your Summit Needs

But now let's talk about the actual visual elements your summit is going to need.

Color Scheme and Fonts

To start off with, we will go into color scheme and fonts. This is step one, and these things can also be the same as your main main brand if you want them to be. So don't feel like you have to invent a totally new brand for your summit. A lot of people choose to, but you don't have to. If you are going the route of a new brand, figure out that color scheme, your fonts before you dive into anything else. Another thing you might want to think about it as a logo.

Personally, I don't think a logo is absolutely required, but I will say from having one for my summit, I do think it adds a fun element to your website and your graphics and it makes you stand out a little bit. Next week on the podcast we will have Kory Woodard from Coded Creative on to give us her take on this as well as some really great tips related to your branding and visuals. If you don't have a logo, if you just write out the name of your summit in plain text, that is totally fine too, but it's just a decision that you want to make early on in the process.

Website aesthetics

The next visual element you want to think about is just your website aesthetics or the overall look and feel that your website is going to give. Of course you want it to look professional, but you also want it to support the message you're trying to give through your summit's messaging. Another visual element to think about are icons, and again this is another one that's optional but they can add a lot of visual interest to your registration page and your sales page.  If you can break those up with graphics and icons, that's a great way to keep people's attention. I definitely recommend it. I'm going to have resources for this at the end of the episode.

Facebook Group Banners

Another visual element to think about is your Facebook group banner, both for your attendee group and your speaker group if you choose to have one. This is something I almost, or you know, I didn't almost forget but I saved that until the last minute with my first summit because it's not something I considered. I went and set up my Facebook group, was ready to send the link to some speakers, and I was like, oh you know, I forgot a group banner. It's just something simple and small to think about.

Facebook Group Prompts

The next thing I have here is graphics for your Facebook group prompts. If you have a community for your Facebook group and you want to keep people talking have prompts for them to respond to and things like that. Having graphics that go along with those is a great way to grab their attention if they're scrolling their news feed. These are things like daily prompts. If you just kind of post random questions, maybe call reminders, maybe you post the schedule or each day's speaker lineup as a graphic along with plain text. Think about what you want that to look like in your Facebook group.

Social Media Promotion Graphics

The next visual element I want you to think about are your social media promotion graphics. Think of things like initial graphics to announce the summit, general promotional graphics for different platforms. I usually have graphic sized square for Instagram and Facebook, longer for Instagram stories and Pinterest, and then horizontal for Twitter. I also make graphics for each speaker. It has their headshot and their presentation title. Graphics that have your daily schedule on them are great as well. And I want you to consider here that just because you don't use a platform, it doesn't mean your speakers don't. So let's say you're only on Instagram, I still suggest making all of those different image sizes for speakers who have large followings in other places so they can share as well.

Upsell Promo Graphics

The next set of visual elements I want you to think about are your upsell promo graphics. These will probably mostly be used in your Facebook group. Once people are already registered for your summit, you can use these graphics to promote your all access pass or whatever you're selling. But you might also choose to promote your upsell on social media after the summit has started. Keep that in mind and have graphics plan for that as well.

Facebook Ad Graphics

The next type of visual, I want you to think about are Facebook ad graphics. If you have run ads before you know how they work, running them to your summit is a great idea, so you'll want to have some graphics made for those.

PDFs

Something else to consider are PDFs. If you are going to make worksheets to go along with each presentation or some kind of worksheet or presentation notes to add to your access pass, you'll want a PDF template that follows along with your summit's, overall visuals, a template to use for that.

Video End Screens

And then the last thing I have here is a video end screen for the presentation videos. I host my presentation videos on Vimeo, and that gives an option to have like a set end screen, and I take that opportunity to promote my all access pass. Whenever a presentation video ends it goes to this screen and that promotes the all access pass and has like a button for people to click. That's one more visual element you'll want to consider for your summit.

I know that was a lot to process, and this definitely isn't an exhaustive list, but these are the biggest things that stick out to me throughout the summit planning process. It sounds like a lot, and it is. But let's talk about some resources to make it all easy.

Resources to Make Making Visuals Easy

Graphic Templates

So first are graphic templates. Templates make it a whole lot easier to do all of this than having to start from scratch or hire someone to do it for you. In my Summit Host Vault, you will get all of my graphic templates. Depending on when you joined, there might be just a few or we might have already added absolutely everything I just listed. My graphic templates are made for both Photoshop and Canva, and they are made especially for summits, the type of promotion you need to do, and the types of visuals you need to have. You can check out the Summit Host Vault.

Coded Creative is another. Like I said, Kory is coming in in the next episode and talk about branding your summit. But she has beautiful Instagram and Pinterest templates. Her templates are created for blog posts, but it's a great start if you're comfortable kind of customizing things in either Canva or I believe she uses Photoshop as well. You can use her gorgeous templates as a start and just kind of customize it for your summit.

Of course there's Creative Market which has graphics for absolutely everything. That's another place you could look at for those graphic templates.

Icons

For icons, there are two places I recommend. First is Icons8. They do have a free option, but I believe if you use the free option you have to like give them credit on your site somewhere. Otherwise you can pay and not give them credit. Of course you can use Creative Market, again, for those icons.

Images

For images, the only place I use and recommend is the Styled Stock Society. This is where I get all of my photos, both for my brand and for my summits. They are really great with providing diverse imagery in terms of people represented, colors, topics of the image, images, all of that stuff. A lot of you could probably use that as kind of a one stop shop for everything you need.

When you decide to plan a summit it's really easy to just kind of dive into planning without realizing that visuals are something to consider until you're kind of in a time crunch already. But it really is an important part of drawing your audience in and communicating the feeling you want them to actually have.

Action Steps

  • Start small
  • Decide whether you're going to use your main businesses, fonts, colors and aesthetic, or if you're going to create something new for your summit.

In the next episode, we will be chatting with our first guest, Kory Woodard, from Coded Creative, to bring in a designer's thoughts and experience on branding a summit. She's actually working on her own summit right now and she's seen me launch all of mine, so it is bound to be a great conversation. So tune in for that.

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

Resources

 

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