10 Design Elements That Every Virtual Summit Needs

summit basics Aug 29, 2019

As much as I wish it weren't true, visuals play a huge part in branding your virtual summit.

The way things look can be the difference between someone taking action on a social media post versus scrolling by. Or deciding that your registration page is worth reading versus closing the tab the second they see how things look.

Since visuals are worth paying attention to, today we'll cover:

  • Mistakes to avoid with your summit visuals
  • Individual design elements you'll need
  • Resources to make it all as easy as possible.

Top virtual summit design element mistakes

When talking about positioning your virtual summit for success, design elements play a big role in letting a cold audience decide your event is worth their attention. Let's start by breaking down 4 of the biggest mistakes you might be making with your summit's visuals.

Mistake #1: Not using them

The first mistake you might be making is not using any design elements. People are visual.

However, visuals definitely add more work for us. Because of that, they're easy to skip. But if you're going to go through the work of hosting a summit, it's worth taking the time to use them to your advantage.

Visuals are powerful because you can draw attention to exactly where you want it to go and give people the feelings you want them to have. Use the look and feel of your design elements to tell the story of your summit.

Mistake #2: Not taking visuals seriously

Your summit's visuals are a chance to give a professional first impression both to attendees and speakers. You want your design to say that your summit is professional and well put together.

This can be the difference between someone landing on your registration page and immediately clicking away versus 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 the 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 deciding that it's not worth their time.

Mistake #3: Not considering your audience

I love pink. It's what I'm always drawn to and, because of that, I have to be careful. While I'll always have a little pink infused, it's important to me to not drive people crazy who don't love pink as much as I do. 

This carries over to everything involving visuals: colors, fonts, imagery, and more.

Consider your audience for each decision you make. Think about what they'll be drawn to and what they'll relate to.

Mistake #4: Neglecting diversity

We all want to host events that people from all walks of life feel welcome at. With your summit, it may be a more specific walk of life, but I know you never want to make someone feel like an unwelcomed guest because of something as simple as the color of their skin, their age, a disability, the way they identify, or anything else. And yes, this happens all the time.

When you choose your graphics, specifically, ensure that you're getting a good mix of people so everybody feels welcome.

Visual Elements Your Summit Needs

Now that we covered the top mistakes, let's talk about the visual elements your summit will need.

It might seem like a lot, but we'll have resources to help next!

Color Scheme and Fonts

Your color scheme and fonts will likely be the first thing you tackle. The good news is that they can be the same as your main brand (if you want). 

Some hosts choose to, but you don't have to invent a totally new brand for your summit. If you are going the route of a new brand, figure out the color scheme and fonts before you dive into anything else.

Logo

A logo isn't absolutely necessary, but it certainly adds a fun element to your website and graphics and helps your event stand out.

Website aesthetics

The next visual element you want to think about is the overall look and feel of your summit website. You want it to look professional, but it should also support the message you're trying to give through your summit's messaging.

Icons

Icons are totally optional, but they're another fun way to add visual interest to your registration and sales pages. 

If you can break those longer-form pages with graphics and icons, it will help keep peoples' attention.

Facebook Group Banner

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). It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it's an easy thing to forget until the last minute.

Facebook Group Graphics

Next are graphics for conversation prompts you'll post in your Facebook community. 

These are technically optional, but they're a great way to grab attention and stand out in the Facebook feed.

For example, you can have prompts for:

  • Daily conversation questions
  • Call reminders
  • The daily schedule
  • Each day's speaker lineup
  • Games and prizes

Summit Promotional Graphics

Graphics to use along with social media promotion are vital. This is what will catch the attention of potential attendees and allow you and your speakers to promote on different platforms.

You'll want to make your graphics in various sizes for platforms like: 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram (feed and stories)
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook ads

Even if you don't use a platform yourself, still make graphics in that size. You never know when a speaker uses something you don't as a primary platform.

All-Access Pass Promotional Graphics

Just like having graphics promoting the summit registration, it can also be helpful to have graphics to promote your all-access pass.

You can use them both within your summit Facebook group as well as to promote the all-access pass by itself. You never know when someone who wasn't interested in the free event will want in on the all-access pass!

Video End Screens

And last, consider making an end screen for your videos - it's a great way to promote your all-access pass!

Whenever a presentation video ends, it will show your end screen graphic, and, depending on the platform you use, it will allow you to have a button or people to click. 

Resources to Make Making Visuals Easy

I know that feels like a lot...and it is. So let's talk about some resources to make it all easy!

Graphic Templates

Graphic templates make it easy to do all of this versus having to start from scratch or hire someone to do it for you. Summit in a Box® has summit-specific graphic templates made for both Photoshop and Canva in every size you'd need.

Coded Creative is a great option for beautiful Instagram and Pinterest templates. These templates are created for blog posts, but it's a great start if you're comfortable customizing things in either Canva or Photoshop. 

And of course, there's Creative Market which has graphics for absolutely everything. 

Icons

For icons, there are two places I recommend. First is Icons8. They have a free option, but you have to give them credit on your site somewhere.

Of course, you can also look around Creative Market.

Images

For images, I absolutely love the Styled Stock Society and Color Joy Stock for beautiful, diverse images. They both have graphic templates available as well!

Get started!

When you decide to plan a summit, it's easy to dive into planning without realizing that visuals are something to consider. Before you know it, you're in a time crunch and tempted to skimp on a tool that can draw your audience in and communicate the feeling you want them to have. 

To begin...

  • Start small - you don't need to do it all at once!
  • Decide whether you're going to use your main business fonts, colors, and aesthetics, or if you're going to create something new for your summit.

Resources

 

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