Your job is NOT done when your summit goes live! During your summit week, your BIG job is to engage your audience, make them feel seen, and encourage them to grow into a community that trust and loves what you’ve got.
We’ll talk about some engagement techniques we’ve seen, ones we want to try, and ones to stay away from… so you can make your event your own.
The Summit Series:
Episode 144 – The 6 Steps to Take To Prepare For Your Next Virtual Summit
Episode 145 – Your Virtual Summit Speaker Search (How to start & what to avoid)
Episode 146 – Virtual Summit Setup: The Tech Essentials for a Successful Summit
Episode 147 – The Dos and Don’ts For Your High-Converting Summit Opt-in Page
Episode 149 – Your Post-Summit Sales Plan
Check out the entire library of list building & summit episodes here.
Alyson Lex 0:02
Okay, so you have planned your Summit, you have found the most amazing speakers, you've recorded some incredible interviews, you have promoted your little heart out. works done right. Buzz killer, it's not. Now it's time to engage your attendees to get them involved to get them to know you to get them to buy that dang VIP. Because Jenny said something right before we started recording, the secret sauce is not baked into the interviews. It's not pre-written emails. It's not all of that the secret sauce is you and the interaction that you are going to create with your attendees. So in this episode, Jenny, and I want to talk and rapid-fire some strategies that we know will work to help increase that engagement, increase those VIP sales, increase that interaction, increase the value of the leads that you've gotten from your event, with one caveat. Don't do them all. Don't do all of them.
Jennie Wright 1:27
An intro was by the way, total chef's kiss. Yes. She
Alyson Lex 1:30
was just kissing me on.
Jennie Wright 1:33
Like, oh, my god, so good. Yeah. Don't do them all. Because if you do, you're, you're going to cause yourself an issue. But he also caused like it just gets too busy. But it would be chaos. Yeah, it'd be pretty chaotic. And honestly, if it's your first summit, it's going to feel overwhelming. Anyways, these might feel super overwhelming. And yeah, so. But everything that we're talking about today, it should increase your VIP sales. In addition, it should also help you sell your thing post Summit. So the goal here is to reduce the amount of time it takes to build up you know, the phrase we all know like and trust, it's to build up that connection with people so that they're more engaged and more willing to buy from you. So before your summit actually launches, like and when I say launch, I mean it goes live, interviews come out things like that. This is where you want to be organized, it is not the time to go, oh, I should start a bingo game. Or oh, I should do gamification, or oh, I should do fireside like all this stuff that we'll talk about later. The night before your summit launches is not the time to be doing that. Think this stuff out have a rough plan. Like some of it, like our son likes to be a little bit fluid with how she likes to do things. And I like to be rather buttoned-down, we find a rarely wonderful marriage in between of these two things where we both end up living. But doing something the night before is not going to service your event. So don't do it.
Alyson Lex 3:21
I am absolutely one of those winging it people. And what it means is that you're not going to get the quality that you want to hold yourself that that's that standard of quality that you want to hold yourself to. So get yourself together, create whatever assets you need to create, do not wait until the night before your summit begins. Do not wait until the week of your summit to try and do this stuff. You're just going to stress yourself out. Okay. Jenny is all about communication with the speakers. And I asked her about this before we started recording. And I know she's gonna chime in if I don't do a really good job explaining this. So I'm gonna give it my shot. But sugar, the more involved you can get your speakers to be, the more engaged your audience will be. If you can get them to participate in whatever kind of community you're creating if you can get them to show up on some of the panels that we'll talk about in a couple of minutes. If you can get them to do those things and be involved in your event. There people are going to be involved. It's that transference of credibility. And so Jenny does this through leaderboards or kickoff calls and all kinds of speaker engagement strategies. So the engagement actually is not just for your audience. It's for your experts too, which is always really interesting to think about.
Jennie Wright 4:57
Yeah, it's proven. We've done To test you and me and the more you engage those speakers, the more they'll engage the registrants. And it's a win-win situation for them. And you like, you might ask the question, Why would my speakers want to be engaged? Well, if they're engaged, they get to connect with the registrants more, which will get them more registrations to their freebie, which will get more eyes on their thing, which helps them if everybody just comes into a summit, I'm just going to this is my one, I'm going to get on my soapbox once, and then I'll get off a promise. If everybody's got a note to announce knows I'm not. But that never happens. If everybody's goal on a summit is just to show up, and build their lists. And that's the only thing, then you're also doing it for the wrong reasons. And you have to create community, and you have to engage, and you have to create a sense that people are there for a reason, or nobody, it's just gonna, it's gonna go flat like it's gonna be like you're standing on, you know, it's open mic night, and you're standing there and nobody's laughing. It's just, it's really bad. That's all I'll say. I'm off my soapbox. Thank you all.
Alyson Lex 6:10
We'll get back on it later, I'm sure. So you, the other thing that I really like to do is make sure that I know how my audience is going to get the information they need. To show up where I want them to be. I love to have a pop-up Facebook group for my events. And my audience is encouraged to join that. But in order to do that, I have to tell them via email, I need to tell them on the confirmation page, I need to tell them to join the Facebook group. Because that's where the engagements going to happen, that's where it becomes a two-way conversation, instead of me emailing them, or me being on a video to them, or me hoping that the words on the page are resonating. Your goal is to make it a two-way conversation.
Alyson Lex 7:20
What you do with that two-way conversation, or that's where we get to have some fun, and this is where you get to make it yours.
Jennie Wright 7:33
Yeah, if I've always said this, if you're a yogi, and you want to do sunrise yoga, or early morning meditation, before your speaker sessions come out, do it. We did that with a summit, it was fabulous. So many people showed up for this early morning, sort of like the Sunrise yoga experience, it was awesome. If you know, you want to insert yourself in terms of your personality into your event, this is where you can do it. So things that are going to help. And by the way, the more you insert your own personality into the event and make it your own, the more niched it becomes, and the more you'll attract your ideal potential client, or somebody's going to purchase your product. So how to make it your own. These are, there's no fast and you know, ready rule on it. But you can add things in that make sense. I love personally adding live panels. I love being the master of ceremonies. It makes me It gives me happiness, it creates joy, that I can get up in front of a group of people. And I can stimulate a conversation to happen and ask pertinent questions. And live panels with your speakers is like you being you know, on the view, and you're the host, and everybody else is on your panel, and you're asking questions and things like that. Not everybody loves it. But every client that I do with sees the hate of it. I know you do.
Alyson Lex 8:59
They stressed me out. But I do them because they work.
Jennie Wright 9:04
So you're like, Oh, that was fun.
Alyson Lex 9:08
Yeah, I'm like, No, it is fun. Once I get into the lead up, stresses me out. I know. But that's like the one concession that I make as far as making my stuff my own. Because it is like, what works. So I do it. And I mumble the whole time but I do it. You complain
Jennie Wright 9:29
the whole time. Some of these things, by the way will pull you out of your comfort zone. Yeah, but they're they're really important like Alyson and I are pretty much both the same in terms of like we're a little bit of a homebody you know, we like to we like our creature comforts. If we could show up in a T shirt in a messy bun. We would like those types of things, right? That's just kind of our realities. We're both rocking T shirts and you've got the messy bun and I've got like just like the hair out of the shower kind of thing going on but we're all good. And it's a makeup and makeup free day. But makeup If we could show up to our panels like that, we'd be super happy. But we can't. And I think the point that I was trying to make which I slightly forgot, before I tangent in a little bit, was that adding these things to your list of things that you do? Adds to the event. And it helps create that secret sauce? Well, yeah, it turns it from,
Alyson Lex 10:24
here's a collection of pre recorded videos into something that people want to show up for, because there's a live element. And that is the difference. Because otherwise, it's a collection of pre recorded
Jennie Wright 10:37
videos. And there's no OMO there. There's
Alyson Lex 10:41
no FOMO. That's right. So it creates those elements that they can't get with just those videos. That's why the videos and the automations and the pages are not. We call it the special sauce, the secret sauce, whatever, the saucy part of your event,
Jennie Wright 10:59
will you sauce, whatever the sauce is,
Alyson Lex 11:01
make your event saucy. So there are a lot of other things that I've seen people do. Some of which work, some of which are not worth the time or financial investment.
Jennie Wright 11:15
You mean like virtual speaker booths,
Alyson Lex 11:19
virtual speaker booths or you know, special platforms? I don't find those to be worth the investment for a summit that isn't anticipated to get under 10 to 20,000 people. I mean, that's, it's just not that kind of, if you're trying to create the community, create the real personal community, not the overly produced community. That's my personal I agree with you expert opinion.
Jennie Wright 11:49
Well, we were both on a summit. I think it was two years ago where the host had a DJ. And you'll your memory will kick in. I know. Yeah. So there was a DJ number. And every live session, had a DJ on it. And it was like, you know, there was like a bunch of music happening. Just to kick off these things. And they paid for our frickin DJ. That's an expense you can go without it didn't really I mean, it was fun add to it, but it sure as heck didn't translate into VIP sales. Right? Right. Because it didn't, it doesn't translate, right. So these Yeah, so anyways, so live panels, speakers, I think is a great idea. q&a sessions can be a lot of fun, especially if you have your topic is something where people are trying to solve a big problem. And they've got a lot of things to talk about, right? So they're like, Well, how do I do this? But, you know, what's the next step? And what do I do next? And what do you think of this, and those types of q&a sessions can be really, really fun to do, I like them. They can be added in at any point during the when the summit is technically technically live, during those three or four or five days, q&a sessions can be really, really cool. You can, by the way, also use those, those FAS, you can use that as as peppering techniques for your program, product or service. So you can use that as a sales opportunity as well.
Alyson Lex 13:13
I really like the strategies that get your people to talk to you. And this is going to kind of go to copy. But the more you can get your people to talk to you, the more you can understand them, even if it doesn't feel like they're answering relevant questions. And so one of the things that I'm going to be doing for my upcoming event is testing out light hearted engagement, where there's going to be, it's going to be gamified. So there's going to be a prize offered, I haven't figured out exactly what that prizes yet. Probably should get on that. But if you answer these questions, you'll get entered to win. And every answer is an entry like that kind of thing. So I'm incentivizing the engagement. But what I really want is the answers. So some of some of the questions are going to be like light hearted, right? Beach or mountains, right? That kind of thing. But that also gives me insight. Because you can make conclusions based on what they choose, right? And maybe I say beach or mountains and why? Well, I want to be on the beach because I really value XYZ. Well, now I'm getting values from my people. Right? So you see how I'm collecting data while I'm engaging them. This is my hypothesis. I will report back because that is what I really want to have happen. But think about how you can get your people to talk to you remember, it's that two way conversation. How can you encourage that. icebreakers net working opportunities if your audience is appropriate for it, especially if you if your Summit is for other business owners, what, what kind of stuff even like, hey, help me build the buzz, refer a friend, bring a buddy in? What can you do to help encourage your people to get involved in the community?
Jennie Wright 15:22
I agree 100%. The way that that can be used to the dark side is creating too much of it so that people feel over committed to doing all these things, and then they show up for none. So when you're when you're kind of creating these extracurricular activities to create connection, realize that and this is why we said don't do them all. Because you're gonna, you're gonna mess people up, and they're just gonna be like, I'm sorry, there's a panel for this, there's a q&a session for that there's a hot seat for this is this further that, like, I can pull it back a bit, and focus on the things that are actually going to make a difference. And quite honestly, it's going to be trial and error. Like Alison said, she's going to go and do something, and she's going to go this way. I love Alison, she goes, and she gets creative. And she goes and does something fun. And then she reports back, and sometimes they work. And other times, they don't. But she's more adventure. But when you're more adventurous that way. And I and I just I commend you for being that. And sometimes I have to pull you back to some of your ideas are crazy fun. But for the most part you have awesome, awesome, cool, fun things to try.
Alyson Lex 16:30
Well, and that's that's the fun about these kinds of engagement strategies, right? Is it's, you get to just think of something like, Hey, you know, people play bingo. That's a pretty popular Summit. Bingo is a pretty popular gamification, or engagement strategy. What other games can you play? instead? That feel better?
Jennie Wright 16:56
I saw somebody try a summit Twister game once.
Alyson Lex 17:00
That one might be tough, but I was thinking like Tic Tac Toe, you get a marker for every answer, or a scavenger hunt.
Jennie Wright 17:08
Or I wonder how it would be cool, right?
Alyson Lex 17:12
Either and make it personal and related. So let's go back to the yogi, right. It doesn't
Jennie Wright 17:18
all have to be yoga, and meditation. No, it could be something different.
Alyson Lex 17:23
But you know, hey, take a picture of you in the most comfortable place in your home. That's kind of related. Right? What's your comfort food? Cook it and take a video is not related.
Jennie Wright 17:40
No. Fun. It's well, it's
Alyson Lex 17:43
ancillary. Right? So maybe the theme of the scavenger hunt is comfort. Right? What's the most remarkable yoga pose? Take a picture of you in it. So they're like, if you are yoga person, what I'm even yogi is nothing like the actual name for every yoga teacher, but whatever.
Jennie Wright 17:59
Not all, but that's, it's uh, yeah, anyways,
Alyson Lex 18:02
if you teach yoga and have a summit about it, then you now have three scavenger hunt ideas. You're welcome. There you go. and off you go. Yeah. But think about what you can do with an existing strategy you've heard a lot about, shift it, make it your own. That's the fun of owning your own business. Yeah, you get to try these things. Think of it as fun. If you want to follow proven stuff. Fine. Awesome. Please do
Jennie Wright 18:31
I saw a travel Summit. And what they had people do is create a bucket list travel mood board, take a picture of it, and submit it for a prize. So you and then by the way, that informed the host of where people want to travel, high data,
Alyson Lex 18:49
data, everything is an opportunity for data.
Jennie Wright 18:53
Alright, so fireside chats. Those can be really really cool to do where you just get online you know, and you have a conversation with people. hot seats are really really cool to do too because then you can actually show your your ability as a maybe a coach like a hot seat is where you know, you get on you do some actual coaching are some actual problem solving with people on a call and everybody can kind of listen in or you do have them listen in later. It makes people feel heard and seen. And again, it really showcases your abilities. I think those are really good ones. Those are some commonly used ones.
Alyson Lex 19:32
I really, I like the fireside chat idea. I think fireside chat and q&a can kind of be combined or it could be a fireside chat panel with your other experts. Right. So again, you're not doing a q&a, a hot seat, a panel, a fireside all in one day, that's too much. If people wanted that much they would go in person but right so pick something if you want to combine them you can again Make it your own. I saw an I don't know if I was an attendee, or I just knew her was so long ago. But it was Fireside Chat. But it was pajamas and wine. And everybody showed up on zoom in pajamas with a glass of wine, because that was the target audience. So she took the concept and she made it her own. That's going to be the running theme for this episode, make it your own? Yeah,
Jennie Wright 20:30
that's majorly the theme. There's a lot of connection strategies you can do, we've given you a handful. And you can kind of pick and choose what you like, you can also look elsewhere and see what else is out there that would make it your own, you can come up with your own. You know, maybe it's a Star Wars theme. I don't know, like, figure out what makes things feel good and also encourages people to hold goal being encourages people to participate, the more participation you have. And here's the funny part, we've barely actually talked about VIP. We've actually not even said you should be selling your VIP because the result of everything you do here is VIP sales. Now, make sure that you bake in to your stuff that you're creating these engagement opportunities and bake in the fact that you do talk about your VIP like that should be I mean, like, understood that you say, Hey, make sure you got the VIP package and make sure you send them to the link like Don't, don't make me people guess, as Alyson says, like, you know, show them how, right?
Alyson Lex 21:43
They think too. And, you know, this is something that just kind of popped into my head is now the VIP, like, don't get me wrong, I want to see everyone sell the heck out of their VIP. That's not where the big money is. The big money is in this now engaged, excited list of buyers for your next thing. We're going to talk about post summit sales next week and all that, but you are setting yourself up for future success. The VIP is the instant gratification, we want to get that we want to get that dopamine hit, yes, sell it. But also recognize that the engagement you're creating now goes a lot lot further than that. So it's okay, if they're not buying your $47 thing. Because they might buy your $4,700 thing in 60 or 90 days.
Jennie Wright 22:44
Absolutely 60% of the sales from a summit come within the first 90 days. So that's, that's where the money is going to be made. But having a VIP is great. Getting some of those sales is great, you know, having a charitable cause, by the way, great. These are all, you know, awesome things to do. But also it's 100%. Right? That that is not the reason why we're doing this over there to build a list. So Allison was, you know, talking to me earlier, and she was saying that the key to all this is the intentionality, the the intentional aspect of actually encouraging engagement. If you don't encourage engagement, you won't get engagement. And then that's where that you know, you have that flat event right that like crickets in the crickets at the you know, on the stage kind of thing we've talked about in this series. So far, we've talked about preparing for your event, and planning for events. So if you haven't heard those episodes, go back to Episode 144. That's preparing for your summit, the planning stage or the prep, like the prep stage. Episode 145, we talked about planning for your event, I thought that was a really important episode. You know, 146 was building. And that was all like the tech and we didn't actually talk about the specific Tech, we talked about the tech that you would need, and then you can go figure it out which one that you think is a good one. I liked that episode a lot. And then 147 was promoting it. So go check that out. And then this one, obviously, is about hosting. And we have one more in this series, which is our post summit event, because you've got to talk about what to do after the summit to like really take advantage of every all the work you've put in. So that's going to be next week. So I want you to check that one out. Make sure you do and head on over to system to thrive.com check up the show notes from all these episodes. And we're also marking other episodes that we think are important that you could like just listen to for a little bit more detail. So go and do that as well. All right. Thanks so much for being here, everybody. We really appreciate it. If you haven't already. Leave us a review wherever it is that you listen to episodes, make sure you're following or liking our podcasts so we can keep creating amazing content for you. And we'll see y'all soon