What To Outsource In Your Virtual Summit

summit basics timeline Sep 08, 2020

There's a lot that goes into hosting a virtual summit and the best way to lighten the load is to outsource. Let's cover what to outsource in your virtual summit!

There are a lot of tasks that go into hosting a virtual summit and one of the best ways to lighten the load is to outsource where you can. To help, today we're covering what to outsource in your virtual summit.

Specifically, we'll cover whether you have to outsource, what the summit dream team looks like, what I recommend you do and don't outsource, and how I create systems for my team to follow.

The summit dream team

You can outsource as much or as little as you are comfortable with.  And you can absolutely run a profitable summit as a one woman or man shop! 

Outsourcing will mean less work for you if you go about it the right way and have team members who know what they’re doing.

As for the summit “dream team”, there are two team members that I’ve found are incredibly helpful to have:

  1. Virtual Assistant (VA): Someone who is good with your main tech platforms, good with your audience, and who can follow a process and instructions quickly and accurately.
  2. Designer: Someone who can make a sub-brand for your summit, if you want one, and make a whole lot of graphics and probably some PDFs as well. 

If you have our Summit in a Box program, these positions can even be filled by the same person. We have all of the processes and design templates you need to make it nice and easy.

If you don't have templates, I do recommend a trained designer to ensure your summit looks professionally put together.

Also, if you're thinking of hiring a copywriter and someone to set up your website, Summit In A Box will pay for itself several times over easily, versus paying a designer AND a copywriter.  (Shameless plug) 

The best parts of your summit to outsource

Since there are many pieces of a summit that are done on repeat (thanks to having a group of speakers), there is a lot of opportunity to outsource. Those things that need to be done over and over are perfect to get off your plate.

Do it once, create a process, and hand it off to someone else.

Let's go over the best pieces of your summit to outsource.

Outsourcing Design

The first thing that's easy to get off your plate is design. You can either hire a designer or, with Summit in a Box, use our templates and have a VA take care of customizing them for your summit.

The design pieces you need include:

  • Brand Creation: You don't need to create an entirely new brand for your summit, but I tend to have a new logo and color palette that compliments my brand. It's totally optional. 
  • Promo Graphics: Graphics that you, speakers, and affiliates can use to promote the event on all kinds of different platforms. 
  • Facebook Community Graphics: Graphics to encourage engagement in your Facebook community. These include things like Daily Prompts before the event starts, Daily Updates during the summit, and a group cover photo.
  • Worksheet Templates: If you’re going to make worksheets, checklists, or workbooks for your presentations, you’ll want a template your VA or designer can use to create whatever it is that you need.
  • Speaker Resources: Creating presentation guidelines, a speaker checklist, slide templates, and things like that so speakers can effectively and easily do what you need them to do.
  • All-Access Pass: Having a visual mock-up of what's included in your All-Access Pass on the sales page is a great way to increase your conversions.
  • Course Graphics: Depending on what platform you're using to host your all-access pass, you may need a course graphic or featured image. 

Overall, I encourage you to outsource design, whether you have a designer or use a combination of our templates and a VA. Design doesn't need to be on your plate. 

Outsourcing Speaker Management

If I had to choose ONE thing for you to outsource, it would be speaker organization and management. And I say this because, for speakers, you end up doing the exact same thing over and over for every speaker you have.

Tasks to outsource related to your speakers include:

  • Onboarding: After a speaker agrees to participate, you shouldn’t have to do anything else for that speaker. Have your VA collect the information you need and keep it organized.
  • Follow-up:  When it comes to collecting presentation material from your speakers, there will be a LOT of follow-up involved. I recommend outsourcing this to Content Snare, which will automate follow-up for you as your speakers approach and go past deadlines.
  • Registration page: Your VA should automatically add your speaker’s information to your registration page, schedule page, and anywhere else you need it.
  • Presentation pages: You do not want to have to go in and create 20+ presentation pages for each speaker. Do the first one, record yourself doing it, and outsource to your VA from there. 
  • Scheduling reminder emails: If you're doing any kind of live sessions, or you need your speakers to show up for an hour in the chat box when their presentation goes live, have your VA schedule reminders to go out to them the day before, and an hour before.

Social Media + Email Scheduling

There's a lot of scheduling involved when it comes time to promoting and hosting your summit. 

This includes things like promotional posts on social media, promotional posts to your email list, and updates to attendees once the summit begins.

 

Week of Summit Support

The week of your summit is going to be busier than you think it is - plan to have some help!

My favorite things to outsource include:

  • Inbox: Have your VA help in your inbox with canned responses you create ahead of time, or as you go throughout the week.
  • Community engagement: Have your VA help, engage, answer simple questions, and approve new members.

Speaker Wrap Up

Your VA can also send the thank you and wrap up emails to your speakers.  This can include letting them know how much they made in an affiliate income and giving them any information or feedback they need from you.

Your VA can also send gifts or at least build your cart for you to then finalize the payment and check out.  

Affiliate Payouts

Generally, do the calculations for what should be paid out or review what your VA did, and have them make those payments. 

What Not to Outsource

The list of what to outsource is long, but there are several things that I don't recommend outsourcing.

All attendee interaction

While outsourcing some interaction with your attendees is totally okay, you still want to show up for them and build a connection. You don't want to look like you're "too good" to be in your community offering support. Jump in your Facebook group a couple times a day to interact and answer questions. 

Speaker pitches

While speaker pitches can be tempting to outsource, it removes too much of the personal aspect. 

A big benefit of hosting a summit is that now you're connected to industry leaders, with complimentary audiences. This can lead to great opportunities and collaborations down the road.

If you don’t build a connection with them, they'll feel a disconnect.  If you can at least do the initial connection and outreach, I recommend doing that.  If you can do a majority of the communication with them throughout the process, even better.

Creating Systems for Outsourcing

If you're new to outsourcing, I can't stress enough how important it is to create systems.

We have an entire section in our systems playbook just for the summit and I recommend that you do the same!

To create your summit systems effectively:

  1. Use a project management tool. Use a project management tool like Asana, Trello, or Clickup to keep your project and team organized. (If you have Summit In A Box, you have this template.)
  2. Create a step-by-step process for repeatable tasks. For all speaker related things like creating presentation pages, getting speakers onboarded, and collecting speaker information, have a step-by-step process that is easy to follow.
  3. Record yourself doing it the first time, and never do it again! Take care of the entire process one time, and pass that recording to your VA.  Have the VA write out the steps for themselves and take care of it after that.

Final Thoughts about Outsourcing

Overall, if you don't have to host a summit by yourself, don't.  Enlist help where you can; whether it's a couple tasks here and there, or it's the entire thing

Start with what you're most comfortable with, and what you can outsource easiest, and then outsource more and more for each summit you host.

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There's a lot that goes into hosting a virtual summit and the best way to lighten the load is to outsource. Let's cover what to outsource in your virtual summit!There's a lot that goes into hosting a virtual summit and the best way to lighten the load is to outsource. Let's cover what to outsource in your virtual summit!
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