You don't have to spend a fortune to host a virtual summit. But if you've got a bit of a budget, it's nice to feel confident that you're using it where it will have the biggest impact.
Today, we'll cover the top 4 places to save and splurge when putting together your event.
Heads up that this post contains affiliate links for some of the tools I recommend. Of course, I'm only recommending tools that I use and love myself and the affiliate links don't add any extra cost to you.
I want to invite you to grab a fun new freebie we have that goes along with this episode, which is our Virtual Summit Buyer's Guide.
In it you'll find all our recommended tech options and resources. Each option has three versions: free, low cost and higher cost. We also indicated which option is our top recommendation and which option is our second choice. We directly linked to each piece of software, to make it nice and easy and quick for you.
Let's dive in first to four places I recommend you save, and then we'll go into the four places I recommend you splurge.
The first place I recommend you save for your summit is your community. Building an engaged community is a hugely important part of hosting a successful impactful event, but it doesn't need to be expensive.
In fact, I recommend creating a free Facebook group. It's free, people know how to use it, and it works.
The next place you can save for your summit is your email marketing platform.
Many first-time summit hosts use a basic email marketing platform, and feel they need to upgrade to something else when it’s time for a summit.
This could potentially make things easier with more options, but could also be a major headache and leave you doing tech troubleshooting on a new platform you don’t totally understand.
You straight up don’t need to switch platforms to host a successful event. Even if you're on MailChimp, it will work!
The next place you can save for your summit is live calls and interaction. Zoom is my recommended option here for $15 a month. (You can even just have it for the month your summit happens and then cancel it.)
With Zoom, you can host everything from live trainings to ask me anything sessions, co-working calls, and networking sessions.
There are more and more live, interactive, fancy platforms popping up for hundreds or thousands of dollars, but you straight up don’t need them. Keep it simple and inexpensive.
The final place I want you to consider saving is for your design and copy. You could easily spend $5000 on design and another $5k on copy. You have two options to save this $10,000.
You can do it yourself, which will take quite a bit of time, or get our Summit In A Box program where we have hundreds of design and copy templates for you.
If you're interested in saving in this way, when we aren't publicly open for enrollment, join in our free masterclass, which you can watch here.
I like spending money where it’s going to make my job easier, faster, or elevate the experience, whether that's for me, my speakers, or attendees.
If you have money to spend and want to know what’s going to be the most impactful, there are my top 4 recommendations.
First, I recommend putting some budget towards hiring a virtual assistant.
There are a lot of aspects of your summit, especially things related to customer service and your speakers, that you’ll find yourself doing on repeat. Since they are repeatable tasks, it makes them very easy to outsource.
This will save you a lot of time, you can focus on other aspects of your event or have a little more downtime in your planning process.
My next recommendation for where to splurge is the software you use for your cart.
If you are already on something great and flexible, I’m not recommending that you switch. For example:
If you’re using a platform that doesn’t have anything flexible, grab ThriveCart (affiliate). It’s a one-time cost that you can use over and over again for everything throughout your business. And it integrates with everything!
Video hosting is another place that can be worthwhile for splurging.
Technically, you can host your videos for free on YouTube. But with Vimeo, you can customize colors, control what shows up after a video airs, and even include a custom call-to-action after the video is over.
And last, your tech platform is another place to consider splurging.
If you’re on an awesome tech platform, stick with it. However, if you’re not convinced that you want to stay there, and you have room for what will initially feel like a splurge, give Kajabi a try.
In my episode with Jaime Slutzky, she actually doesn't recommend Kajabi, but the longer I use it, the easier it seems.
My favorite part of Kajabi is that everything you need for a business and summit is built in. It includes video hosting, affiliate software, cart software, course hosting, email marketing, limited-feature countdown timers, and website hosting. All for no extra cost.
I didn't count it in my original four places to splurge because it is a shameless plug. If you have a little extra money to splurge for your summit, I really recommend that you consider grabbing Summit In A Box.
This program has literally hundreds of proven resources to make your summit hosting process easy. We walk you through every single strategy you need, and give you hundreds of copy templates, design templates, website templates, tech tutorials, and more to make the process so quick and easy. It removes any doubt or questions you have throughout the process.
If you're here to learn what's worth it to splurge, you will not get a better return on an investment then you will with joining Summit In A Box. Learn more about it in this free masterclass.
As a recap, you can host a summit on a tight budget, if that's what you're dealing with. However, if you have a little money to spend, focus on the tools that will make your job easier and increase the likelihood that you'll see a return on your time spent on this event.
Figure out what your actual summit hosting budget is. Don't just go throughout the process and wing it. Figure out your budget upfront and map out what will go into that budget. If you can leave yourself a little wiggle room, do that, in case you run into something cool down the road, but map it all out in advance.
Grab our Buyers Guide to help see your options of what can go in to what you're willing to spend.
Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.