banner for wake up online summit

Banner from an online summit that I participated in a year or so ago.

What Is An Online Summit?

Being an online summit organizer is only for the uber-organized, very energized women who know their field leaders reasonably well.

An online summit is like a conference with lots of speakers, all generally on the same topic.  But it is all conducted online, so anyone in the world can participate.

What Fields Of Expertise Work Best With Summits

Most fields are excellent candidates for summits.  I typically participate in ones geared to entrepreneurs online.  There are, however, lots more.  There are summits for beauty, for exercise and diet, for natural health, for arts and crafts.

If yours is a topic that is online, odds are that there is a summit for it somewhere.

What’s The Advantage For Speakers?

Speakers present, typically at no charge.  It is usually a one hour presentation of some sort.  Many are audio only.  Some are video.  Some are demos.  It is an excellent opportunity for introductions to new potential clients.  Remember, not only are your peeps invited, but everyone who is participating in the whole summit has invited her peeps too.  That’s a lot of potential new clients.

Sometimes the speaker actually sells something during her presentation, but more often she presents an idea and gives away a freebie.  The goal here is to get people interested in learning more.

When people click to get her freebie, they are entered onto her email list.  It is an opportunity to grow their mailing lists, which is no small accomplishment in itself.

So the key advantages are (1) Introduction to new potential clients, and (2) Opportunity to substantially grow your own mailing list.  She also has the opportunity to network with others on the speakers panel, a major plus in marketing.

The Organizer For An Online Summit Gets A Lot More

First, when all the speakers promote to their lists, people come to the Summit and register to get in for free.  When they register, they are entered onto the mailing list of the organizer.  This is JUST the organizer’s mailing list, NOT the mailing list for each speaker.  This can be a very substantial number of new people on the organizer’s list, perhaps even thousands.

Then the organizer has the option of recording the sessions and SELLING the whole set of presentations.  She promotes these recordings both to those who registered for the Summit, and to those who may not have registered for the Summit.  It is entirely up to her how much promotion she wants to do here.

The sales from the presentation can range from $20 each to several hundred dollars each, depending on the topic and the calibre of the speakers, so the opportunity for income can be quite substantial.

The organizer gets (1) Substantial new people on her mailing list, and (2) the opportunity for substantial sales during and after the event.  And she is building a strong rapport with her speakers, which is also a major asset in her own business building.

The Responsibilities of The Summit Organizer

Since she is getting a huge boost to her mailing list, and substantial income from the sale of the presentations, we might expect that the organizer has some pretty big tasks.  And she does.

  • She is the one who comes up with the idea.
  • She contacts notable people in the field and gathers a group of speakers.
  • She designs the web page and promotional materials.
  • She sets up the technology to make it all happen.
  • She ensures that all speakers have their presentations completed in time.
  • She typically acts as the Host for the whole event, introducing each speaker and perhaps even interviewing some of them.
  • She does all the follow up work, both with the speakers and with the participants.

A good summit can easily take two or three months to get together.  There is a tremendous amount of detail that goes into it.  And the rewards are substantial.

Things To Watch For When Participating In A Summit

While this can be a great win-win opportunity for the speakers, the organizer and the participants, as always there are a few things to watch for.

Make sure you can speak on topic.  If you teach yoga, and the summit is about starting a small business, this is not a good match.

Watch the requirements for number of people on your mailing list.  Everyone will have the same requirements.  If you have 10,000 people on your list, but if those with only 300 on their list are also accepted, it is pretty lopsided.  Odds are that you won’t generate the amount of new clients that you would expect if everyone were required to have a mailing list of 10,000.  This is not a deal breaker for some web pros, so decide how important it is to you.

Look at the promotional materials.  Is this something that you could proudly present to your list?  If not, back away.

Note who else is presenting.  Are these pros that you know of, or ones you would like to get to know?  If not, step aside.

Are you being asked to pay a large fee to participate?  Run away and slam the door behind you.

The Bottom Line for Online Summits

This is truly a great model for generating new clients, and making good money, especially for the organizer.

Search out some summits in your field and participate in two or three before you attempt to put together your own.  Discover what the quirks — and rewards — might be.

If you settle on aiming at new businesses, let me know — I just may be able to participate too!