What To Expect The Week Of Your Virtual Summit

summit basics Jul 21, 2020

The week that your virtual summit is actually happening can feel crazy. You might even find that it flies by, leaving you wondering what in the world just happened.

To help, we'll cover exactly what to expect the week of your summit. We'll talk about everything from registration and sales patterns to the hours you'll be working, and more.

What to Expect the Week Your Summit is Live

Expect to Work Longer Hours

The week that your summit is live, plan for putting in some extra hours. That may mean someone else cooks, orders in meals, or does extra childcare. It most certainly means that YOUR schedule is clear.

What you can expect:

  1. Be around while presentations are going on, especially if your presentations are live or if you have a live chat box.
  2.  Monitor your chat box, Facebook group, and inbox.  You'll be handling everything from customer support, to tech issues, to speaker support throughout the event. Canned responses are a life-saver and you can choose to outsource this if you have the resources to do so.
  3. Tech issue can and probably will arise. Plan for this in your schedule and if something does come up, keep cool about it. Alert your attendees to the fact that you know what is happening, close down your inbox and Facebook group so you can focus, and get to work on the problem.

Even if you've done your planning correctly and have all the important work done before your summit begins, you'll be "on" much more than you're used to during the week of the event. Because of that, don't be surprised if you find yourself a bit exhausted by the end of it. Build in some time to relax, reflect, and regroup once it's all done.

Registrations shouldn't stop once your summit starts

Day 1 of your virtual summit will likely be one of your biggest registration days. Speakers will share one last time, attendees will share how excited they are, and people who wait until the last minute to sign up for things will jump in. 

While I'm often asked if you should disable registrations once the event starts, doing this will cause you to miss out on a ton of registrations and sales.

Instead, leave registration open until the all-access pass cart closes. Attendees who sign up late may want access to the videos that they missed and have to buy the all-access pass to get that. 

The bulk of your work is customer service

If you can outsource your inbox, do it! Have someone else field the questions and emails with the help of canned responses you create. Let them tell you when something needs your attention so you can focus on other tasks.

The most common questions are:

  • Where do I find the videos?
  • Can I have an extension on the video availability?
  • I can't login to access the all-access pass.
  • Can I get a discount?

For the most part, everyone means well and is just excited for the event. Keep this in mind if you're managing your own inbox and find yourself answering the same questions repeatedly, even when the answers are clearly listed elsewhere. 

Also take repeated questions as an opportunity to make improvements. For example:

  • Can you make it easier to find presentation links?
  • Can you add the schedule link anywhere else?
  • Can you add the presentation links anywhere else? (For example, right on the Schedule page)
  • Do you need to consider alternate time zones?
  • Do you need to add another login link anywhere?
  • Could there be a tech glitch?

Helpful Hints for Summit week 

If you do find that summit week is stressful or you run into tech glitches, it's totally okay. We had a huge tech glitch in my 4th summit, but our attendees were extremely understanding once we communicated the issue to them and we still came out with $60,000 in revenue.

A few of my top tips to reduce stress and tech issues include:

  • Test, test, and test again. And then have a friend test.
  • Choose tech that's easy for your attendees to use.
  • Repeat instructions everywhere.
  • Create canned responses to the most common issues.
  • Make a plan for how often you check email and outsource it if you can. I suggest no more than once per hour if you're managing it yourself.
  • Make a similar plan for your Facebook group so you don't get stuck in a cycle of constantly responding to notifications.

Remember, summit week is a little crazy for everyone and that's okay. You are taking on a lot to manage hundreds or thousands of attendees, a group of speaker, and all kinds of new tech. You can do it!

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