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Sept. 7, 2021

223: Virtual Summits: Why and How to Launch Your First One and the Newbie Mistakes to Avoid [Rob Gelb Interview]

223: Virtual Summits: Why and How to Launch Your First One and the Newbie Mistakes to Avoid [Rob Gelb Interview]

The world of marketing is continuously changing, especially during this time of the pandemic. Virtual summits are now becoming popular and the most effective digital lead generation tools today.

If you are to start your first summit – or even thinking of creating one, this episode will surely help you understand the basics and elements you need for your own virtual summit. So come and listen as we learn “Virtual Summit 101” with the CEO of Hey Summit, Rob Gelb.

Key Highlights

[1:37] What is Hey Summit?

[4:35] How Rob Started Hey Summit

[10:44] Hey Summit Case Studies Success Story

[12:28] Different Types of Events

[16:50] Should I Go for A Broad Topic or Niche Subject?
Choosing a subject or topic to discuss in a virtual summit can be challenging. Should I go for a broad topic or a niche subject?

[21:05] Categorizing Subject and Topics

[25:21] How to Create a Summit
Learn the steps and important elements when creating a summit.

[28:10] Rob's Advice to Companies Doing Webinars/Virtual Summit

[31:21] Mistakes to Avoid When Launching Your First Virtual Summit

[33:23] The Importance of Creating Attendee Persona
Why is the process of understanding my target audience critical? How can it help me give value to them?

[35:08] Final Tips from Rob

Notable Quotes:

  • One is, thinking about what it is that your objective, what is your objective with writing an event.
  • The second thing is that like, getting back to the why, like, why are you doing this in the first place is super important. 
  • And we say to everyone, build your attendee persona first, just anything else that you're doing with digital marketing? Who are you selling to? who aren't you selling to? If you can't answer who you're not selling to, that means you're trying to make something for everybody. And that means you'll end up serving nobody.
  • So, I think that when you're thinking about virtual events, no virtual fences are no two ones are the same, nor should they be. But you also should be understanding like, what is it that you think when it comes to engagement? Like, why are you doing this?
  • Don't assume that you have to be everywhere to all people makes you that authority. Adding your very specific bit to the conversation as a starting point. It's a step. It's not a winner-take-all-in-one event type thing.
  • I think you do, what you do need to do is make sure that if you're creating, are you thinking about creating a summit, that it's work that it works for your webinar strategy, and that your webinar strategy works for the summit
  • Not worrying too much about trying to be everything to all people at one, you know, at the same time. Also, being clear about the speakers that you're bringing on about the expectations.

Links & Resources

Free Trial and 15% Lifetime Discount for HeySummit:
https://nealschaffer.com/heysummit (affiliate)

Learn More:

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Are you looking for new ways to generate leads for your business? Perhaps you want to find a way to include your customers, your partners, in your marketing efforts, maybe you want to provide unparalleled value and become the thought leader in your industry. The key to doing all this is something you've probably already heard of, maybe participated in, or maybe even spoke at a virtual summit. today's podcast is all about everything in anything you want to know about virtual summits. And I am interviewing the CEO of the leading platform in which you too, if you so desire, can launch your own virtual summit. We're going to teach you how, in this episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Well, welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer here. Welcome to episode number 223 of the maximize your social influence podcast. Well, this is going to probably be the last time I say that the next podcast episode, this podcast is going to be completely re branded content, make sure you subscribe, so you don't miss out. If you don't subscribe, you might be freaked out by what you hear next week. But I guarantee you, it's all about really aligning my podcast with what I deliver with how I can help each and every one of my listeners. So I am genuinely excited. And hopefully, when you hear the new name, and the new intro music, etc, you'll be excited as well. Alright, so the world of marketing continues to change whether we have a pandemic or not. There are new ways in which we're consuming information we're learning. And video, without a doubt, it has become one of these key things that we've just seen explode, especially when we think about zoom, and webinars. And as part of that, we have virtual summits, which are really becoming you think, aren't we virtual summit it out. But virtual summits have been around for a few years, but it's just become so easy to create your own that I'm looking to do a digital virtual summit for my own digital first group coaching members of community that I actually talk about in this interview that I have with Rob Gallup. Rob is the CEO of hate summit, they are the definitive platform for those of you who want to create a virtual summit. And in fact, if you want to check them out, make sure you go to Neal Schaffer calm slash, hey, summit, h e y su m MIT, if you do that, hey, someone has been really kind enough to partner with me and offer you not just a free trial, but 15% off lifetime. But you have to join through that link. Yes. It's an affiliate link. If you ever want to pay me back for any, any bit of knowledge that you learn from my podcast, that's a great way to do it. Neal schaffer.com, slash Hey, summit, we'll put that in the show notes as well. You know, I'm really excited about this episode. I know that as I was interviewing Rob, I myself was learning and visualizing how I am going to launch my own virtual summit in the near future. And I hope you will be able to do the same as well. So without further ado, let's get to the interview with Rob gab, CEO of Hey, summit. Hey, everybody, I would like to welcome Rob gelbe, CEO of Hey, summit on to the maximize your social influence podcast. Rob. Welcome. Thanks very much. Thanks, Neil. Thanks for having me. You know, hey, summit is a company name that I don't know how many of you know, it was a few years ago, where I was looking into doing my own sort of one day series of webinars, we call it virtual summit. And there was this relatively new company in some called Hey, summit that I found. And I realized that in this space, there's a lot of people who I don't know a lot of consultants out there, and they maybe try to make things a little bit over complex. And it's like, boom, I can do it all on this one platform, and they have this concierge service. That can also help me out as well. So I've always sort of had Hey, someone on my radar. And it's really funny. Rob, I was mentioning just before we started recording that in my digital first community, one of my members give a shout out to Melissa green, she posted Pat Flynn did this awesome interview on his Smart Passive Income podcast I had to share. I also have a newsletter that I'm looking to add more subscribers, and that obviously was the link to your interview with Pat that just launched like, I don't know, a week or two ago. So hey, Pat, I'm catching up to you. But it's always good to know that I'm not alone in thinking about just the value that hey, summit can have Rob, why don't we start with and I know obviously, hey, some it's a lot more than just increasing your number of subscribers just you know. And you know, just for those of you that are listening and don't really know about, hey, summit or virtual summit, why don't we start there? Just a, you know, a brief introduction about your technology?

Rob Gelb:

Yeah, sure. Absolutely. And thanks for that. That was Yeah, that was a fun chat with Pat. He's great. So yeah, whatever community member you had, that that found that clearly has great taste. So So I guess to start off with, like, this whole idea of virtual summits, I think, is interesting. Because, you know, back in 2015, I think it really kind of started and virtual summits is this buzzword of what we call, you know, skeuomorphic, Klee representing real things, but in a way that works for content marketing. And that's how it really started, it had this, this idea of pitching something as a summit, that means it's a big deal. It's a group of content. And it's, it's there to activate a certain audience or to get people excited and engaged. And you're right. And so beforehand you're having to deal with, how do I actually organize that because organizing an event is complicated. If anyone thinks that it's that simple, you just have to start just thinking through all of the multiple times, you have to do the exact same thing to realize that you actually, you're going to need a team pretty quickly. And as you said, kind of before we came along, there were a couple things out there, but most of it were quite expensive WordPress templates, and you really did need to know what you're doing from a from a development perspective, if you want to customize anything, or you're very limited in terms of what it is that you're you're wanting to do. And so part of the reason why we kind of came about was to try and focus on that on the types of issues that you might have organizing a virtual summit, or conference or talk series. But that really shouldn't be that hard to automate. And so that's why, you know, a lot of people use us for all the marketing and the organ organizing when it comes to, you know, multi talk events. And that's kind of where we got our start. And it's kind of it's grown from there.

Neal Schaffer:

So yeah, just for those of you that are on my list, and you might have seen me or see me promote events from like agorapulse summits, or wishpond. has these acimex growth summit that I've been on, those have all been using that hey, summit platform in the background, FYI. So you've probably already experienced it without even knowing. But Rob, I'm just curious, when you started the platform, were you also trying to do a virtual summit yourself, and found that the tools just out there didn't exist? or What was that? That impulse is the impetus.

Rob Gelb:

So it was actually started by my great friend, Ben, Ben Dell, who if folks are familiar with missing letter, or help shelf, he is he's a serial maker, he loves building things, pushing them out there solving problems. And Ben wanted to create a virtual summit. And he made the some would say unfortunate decision, but in retrospect, obviously brilliant decision to decide on a date before deciding on a platform. And so he decided that he's going to build this run this summit in six weeks. And then he went out there and he looked, and he couldn't find anything that he liked. So he's like, Oh, well screw it, I'm just gonna build it myself. And it was great. It went very well, I think it was 4000 attendees, 100 speakers over two weeks. So it was it was a pretty massive thing. And because it was such a massive thing, at least to him at that stage, he had to figure out ways he was doing it all himself. So he had to figure out ways of automating a lot of these common things that you needed. And it was it was more than just a bunch of zoom rooms with duct tape. But it wasn't far off that and from that point on, people started to want to know what platform he was using, and were interested in, in it for their own purposes. And when they realized that actually, the thing that that he was using, even though he's obviously a maker and and and a developer, and an amazing one at that the thing that he was building required no development skills to use. And and the focus was very much to allow that that group of people who aren't necessarily technically proficient at that kind of no coder type mentality of you're able to poke around, you're able to tweak things, but you don't need to have technical knowledge in order to run something that looks quite technically complex. That's that's kind of how it all started. And since then, I think we've hosted about 7000 events. We've served over 3 million, you know, attendees, our customers have made over $12 million using us. So we're pretty excited by the impact that it seems like it's had for people wanting to run these. Yeah, that's

Neal Schaffer:

amazing. It's good to hear as you were speaking, I was nodding my head, as far as you know, no coding experience, you know, easily get the setup. Obviously, there's some complexity, because the more speakers you have, obviously, the more complexity that brings. But yeah, having been on the back end of a summit, I can attest to the fact that it really is easy for anybody without any technical knowledge to really plan and implement. And it's great to hear that it started with that your own problem that Oh, totally.

Rob Gelb:

And I also will say that the internally, we think our back end is still a more complex than it needs to be. We're trying to make things simpler, we're trying to make it so that you can customize things without knowing a lot of a lot of advanced skills. But you're right, in terms of level of complexity, I think that that there's I think a lot of people are afraid to, to jump into something, if they think that it's going to be too daunting, but daunting versus complex or too different for two different things. And I think that part of one of the reasons why people might be hesitant to start exploring the idea of a summit is because of the name itself, a summit, that means it needs to be a massive thing. That means I need to have a team of 10 people, and the people that have used us, you know, the vast majority of those who use us are on teams of three people or fewer. Or it's one person and a virtual assistant, or it's completely solo, it's just them. And I think that the idea of it being a summit and packaged as such, that's a digital marketing term. It's not the same as you organizing a conference like an in person conference. It's a different type of complexity. And so so yeah, there are definitely some tactics that I'd suggest when you're thinking about organizing your first online summit. But people also use us Hey, summit for much more than that. They use it for talk series, video, podcast series, cohort based courses, video resource libraries, all sorts of different things. I know that it can sound daunting, but it's kind of our mission to D daunted d donta. Five D down to five. Yeah, we'll go with that. D Don, to fight folks.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And yeah, I would I would also add just as user feedback, Rob, I think the complexity and user interface comes from the just the full feature set that you have,

Rob Gelb:

there's so much stuff you can do. Yeah, we we maybe need to maybe to pare that down and separate it into like some advanced sets and symbols that we enter mode.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, and I want to give a shout out the bank as missing letter is a great platform for those of you that I'll put a link in the show notes as well. But that's it still comes up on like top content marketing and social media scheduling tools posts that I right, so definitely check that out. So I'm just curious, I want to let people know that are listening that I recently did a webinar where after this is published, obviously the actual webinars today with sem rush on SEO, and a lot of people may be thinking and you might be thinking about virtual summits as well, people with Coronavirus, there's zoomed out, they don't want another webinar. And I think people have been saying these are dead for quite some time. But I can't test the fact the number of attendees for this webinar that I'm doing with sem rush over the last four or five years, I've done a few dozen from my own platform. And this is a second or third most in terms of numbers of attendees. And I also know from joining these virtual summits of the agorapulse is in the wish ponds, that there's a tremendous number of people that are interested in them. So I'm just curious now it's 2021. We're going into 2022. Rob, for the entrepreneurs, the business owners, the marketers that are out there listening to this podcast, what are some, you know, I'd say that the most popular use case scenarios and maybe a case studies success story to show the impact, you know, obviously being powered by Hey, summit, but that these types of virtual events can have from a marketing perspective for businesses that want to grow brand awareness, grow their list, obviously grow their grow their business, any few that come top of mind.

Rob Gelb:

Yeah, absolutely. It's a great question. And I also will say that, like, hey, summit is not the right choice for any for everything that you're wanting to do. And there are some things that don't work very well. They're just and forgive me, I think there are a few things that I want to kind of talk about with in trying to answer this one is, is thinking about what it is that your objective, what is your objective with with writing an event, and also thinking about an event from a digital marketing perspective is a little bit different than figure than thinking of an event for a in an in person, you know, context, fundamentally, a virtual summit is several different things. One, it's an excuse for people to get together. And it's an excuse for a bunch of content to be created. And that excuse allows for a build up a ramp up of that generating excitement generated interest activation. And then also on the flip side, whether it's whether you want to call it retention or or having all of this content that you can repackage and leave available for people to discover later. If not, we're all meeting at 7pm on the seventh of July. And then that's it. And I think that that's the that's the thing that sometimes people miss is that of certainly a virtual summit is that there are three parts to it. 75% of the people who create summits on or events on a summit, leave them open after the summit is done. It's definitely something that we recommend that you think as part of your strategy. The second thing is that like getting back to the why, like why are you doing this in the first place is super important. We talked about like a few different types of events. You have awareness building, you have activation, you have conversion, you have nerve So what are you? What's the purpose of this event? Is it And usually, it shouldn't be all all four of those things, you really want to focus on one or two things. So in terms of the responsive, okay, everybody's zoomed out. Absolutely, everybody's zoomed out, I guarantee you that you've been to zoom two webinars that you have slept through, right. And, and I also, but I bet the people listening can think over the past maybe four months or so, you've probably been to one or two zoom, like webinars on zoom, that were really good. And, and they were really valuable. And I think what's happening is a time and tried and true thing that happens when something blows up, is that with with a huge explosion of activity, mediocrity, spreads very quickly. And so the format isn't necessarily the problem. Like, you know, a lot of people use a summit with zoom. A lot of people use a summit with Remo or team flow, or some of these other cool cool tools that are out there. But just because you're running something on zoom, doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna be dull or boring. It is about how you approach it. And we have this term, this thing called attendee persona, and we say to everyone, build your attendee persona first, just as anything else that you're doing with digital marketing, who are you selling to? who aren't you selling to? If you can't answer who you're not selling to, that means you're trying to make something for everybody. And that means you'll end up serving nobody. So like, having a few of these these concepts in place, will be really helpful, because it's going to guide you when you're thinking about what is the right format? Do we need to do these as live sessions? Or can we do them as pre recorded sessions, not everybody needs a live session, if you're coming to we have a great example of a summit that that's done amazingly well, they run this every quarter is, you know, face painters, a kid's birthday parties, right? So there's this group of people that they teach face painters, all the different techniques. And so they have a virtual summit, every quarter, about different techniques for you to learn. And whatever it is, let's say it's 25 bucks and gets you access to 30, different techniques. All of it is pre recorded. And, and all of it is super valuable, it is very clear why you're going to be attending this thing. And you will pay for it because of the value that it's giving you. And so, you know, they don't have networking sessions, they don't have, you know, interactive panels, they don't have any of that, because that is the right setup for their community. So I think that when you're thinking about virtual events, no virtual events, or no two ones are the same, nor should they be. But you also should be understand, like, what is it that you think when it comes to engagement? Like, why are you doing this? Is it just a lead gen thing, in which case, you could have a pre recorded summit, and you don't really care if people tune in live, you just want their email address, and you know that they have access to the content and the actual sale sale doesn't necessarily need to be money, but like getting the ticket is the success the success metric here because they feel like they've gotten value just because they have access to your thing. If that is your goal, great. Don't be afraid to design the event around that if though your goal if your community is craving interaction, maybe the reason why you you have a community is because these people want to network, if you try and do a pre recorded summit, with that community, it's gonna fall flat people are gonna hate it, because they're gonna be like, Well, where's the networking? It's it's a very one sided, you know, experience. The last thing I'd say and just with another example, is the temptation to broaden things out versus going niche. And this is a really common thing. And I'm sure that you can identify with it as well. But if my audience is digital marketing, do I run the digital marketing con 2021? Or do I run the Facebook ads summit? I don't know, to start off with. And the temptation is, well, I don't want to I don't want to turn anyone off. I want to make this as big as as broad as possible. What ends up actually happening is you don't qualify yourself in the minds of your your attendees. And so they don't engage if I have a very bad metaphor with when it comes to water. You are not wanting to create a very shallow and wide Lake, right? you're wanting to create Loch Ness, and Loch Ness is both wide and incredibly deep. In order to start to get there, build wells don't build like, you know, thin or shallow lakes. The example that I give this guy named Daniel Wallace, I'm sure he doesn't describe himself like this, but I will an author coach or an author like a fiction author, coach, and he was debating do I create the author summit 2020 or do I do my niche and luckily, he decided to niche and he created an event all around plot, I think it was called escape the plot forest. So with that he was able to create, he was able to go quite deep into the subject matter of plot it was going to be valuable because most authors in his audience are still interested in plot, and because of that he could flesh out a whole bunch of different talks around the subject. So there's a lot, a lot of value. But he wasn't saying no to any part of his audience. It also allowed him to then do his next summit on, I don't remember what it was, maybe it was setting. And now he's doing his third one on editing. So it's fantastic because you can create multiple deep dives in terms of content, while also taking advantage of stuff like cross pollination, which we could talk about, but still serving the same audience, but showing value in different ways. So I don't know if that answers your question, but it certainly was a nice little way to give. But yeah, like I think that the answer of is everybody's zoomed out is everybody summited out? I don't think I would approach it that way. I think everything's gotten more crowded. Therefore, you need to make doubly sure that what you're doing matters, but if it does, we're seeing a hell of a lot of success.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, no, that was a great answer. I think it really opened. It opened my mind. But I think it really opened a lot of people's minds as to the potential that's out there, and what you can do with it, and to area. So the broad versus niche. I mean, that's just every influencer and I wrote a book on influencer marketing the idea of the niche and being found for something and building from there. That's, that's like a universal thing. Right, then I think a lot of people listening to this podcast I've heard a lot about. I'm curious. So I was taking notes here. And that broad versus niche, I think also applies in terms of I see, you know, two different types, if I was to categorize and I'd love to get your input on this, you know, so people out there this is what kind of do I think it comes down to how, what are your objectives? How do you want to serve your community, right. And on the one hand, I see you call them General, like, you know, the digimarc, on 2020, whatever, I look at it as and I have a client, and they're sort of a niche b2b software product. But I'm like you the whole idea of like inbound marketing, and all this is like you, you become like the channel that people tuned into. So if you want to become the channel, you have to include others. And a virtual summit gives you a way to sort of put a stamp out there, right of representing this industry, including others. And it's more of I mean, it could be a niche subject, but it is, you know, a little bit broader, versus that really narrow, where it could be a very, very narrow topic. But the more narrow the topic, the less subject matter experts, there are on one if the narrow focus is most appropriate, when you want to engage your community to like you, one of my clients in Japan, they do virtual summits for their clients, right? They service a few 100, you know, a big b2b firms. So they want to give them the latest information on what's going on, stick it up 10 internal speakers, I'll touch on different subjects that are relevant to their customer base. Do you see sort of this this big split in this way? Or how would you categorize?

Rob Gelb:

Well, I think you hit on something at the beginning of that, though, is, look, what's the point? Is it a brand positioning play? Is it a lead generation play? And I think there are a few different ways that you can you can look at that, do you have a track record, you've been building things for years, you know what your community, you know that your community has exactly five problems. And you know, all of those five problems intimately. And you know, what depth you need to get to, for those five problems, sure, have a broad general event that focuses on those problems, because you know, that you're going to be delivering really good quality. But if you don't know that, a really good way to start is by testing, but also focus on one of those problems. First, you're still speaking to the same audience and the depth of the subject matter. So I get what you're saying. there's not as many subject matter experts, but you can but but you can provide more value. And that's the flip side. So if you are wanting to position yourself or your brand, as an authority in a broad variety of areas, you can still use niche ification. In order to do that, you just need to be thinking of it as more of a continuous thing, not like a one time I only have one shot at this, the closer you are to positioning to a positioning summit, the less the less concerned you probably are in terms of conversion, you're probably like, just in general, if you're looking at it to position yourself as an authority in a particular space. You want someone to see reels logo, along with other logos that everyone already knows, that's basically the point of the whole thing. So if that if that's the case, you probably don't care about charging a lot of money for it, maybe you'll get some sponsors or whatever, you don't really care. It's really just an excuse. It's a portfolio piece for you to kind of track out there. I know I'm oversimplifying it, but like, that's where that's where it starts. I think that that's quite that's good. If that's clear, that's really really good. But if you're thinking you know what, I really want to assemble a community that is really tight around a particular subject area, like let's say digital marketing, you're probably wanting to cater to those people who get super excited about deep diving into Facebook ads this time and and content marketing next time. An example is actually so we have one one creator, he has a podcast around a consumer venture capital and so consumer venture capital pretty big space, and he runs summits on specific subject matter areas. his audience is investors in consumer capital. He'll do Want on ecommerce, he just did one on stigma tech, so like femtech, sex toys, things like that he might do another one on China, like the the China retail, all of these subjects are still of interest to his target market. It's just that he's allowing, he's focusing the conversation so that people can excuse themselves from their other activities, to jump into focus. Rather, if he had just a consumer summit, you run the risk of people maybe signing up but not really engaging. And so that's, that's just the balance. So you're right, like, it's definitely possible to do a broad summit. But there, you just need to know why you're doing it. So as you're not setting yourself up for disappointment.

Neal Schaffer:

Gotcha. So what you're really talking about is this thematic approach. It's almost like Hey, your company, or your consultant or, or what have you, but you you have a few different angles. with digital marketing, you could break it down into, you know, social media, marketing, SEO, email marketing. And it's really having a systematic approach, since every quarter, we're going to deep dive into one of those areas, the deeper dive, the more niche you do it, the more you attract people that are really, really interested in that really, really passionate about it. And it's going to be a very, very different outcome than just going broad.

Unknown:

Yeah, and again, this is all generalizations, which is ironic, I think that the Nisha vacation does not mean you're, you're reducing the size of your audience. And I think a lot of people see that. And it's also a, it's also something that we all fall into, right? You if you're creating your summit, first off, we say make your attendee persona and create a fake summit on paper, or I like to use whimsical or mirror or something like that, and come up with fake talk names, and know that, okay, they're these TED Talks, I have these TED Talks, this would be amazing. This would serve my community really well. use that as your Bible to go off and then find the speakers that would slot in and we all go through this, but you will then find the speaker that wants to speak at your event. And they don't actually fit into your attendee persona. And then you're thinking, Oh, but I really want them maybe they could expand my audience, they could really get me in front of people, but they don't really fit with it within this thing. You find yourself saying, Okay, yeah, cool, you're going to be a speaker. And then you end up kind of you have event creep, and it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And that's diluting it more, more and more and more, you end up having this, this thing that's like, full of maybe like inspiration and light touch stuff, but doesn't actually give people any meat and engagement suffers. It really does. It really does. We made this mistake ourselves. We ran a positioning summit. But we ran one that was super, super broad, focused a lot on like inspiration. didn't really work. It just didn't work. And so it didn't work how we were thinking, and we did this really early on, but it was it was still an interesting exercise to go through. So if you're sitting there and like thinking, you know what, I have this consultancy business that I want to do, or I'm building this community, I want to run the big sub, the big summit that makes me an authority in the space. Don't assume that you having to be everywhere to all people makes you that authority, adding your very specific bit to the conversation as a starting point to step. It's not a it's not a winner take all in one event type thing.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I love that approach of sort of writing out what the ideal summit looks like. It's almost like, hey, I want to write a book. These are 12 chapters, I'm going to be the forward introduction, the opening keynote, what are the 12 things I think need to be covered to do this subject, you know, service justice? And then who are the people that I think could best talk about those subjects? That makes a lot of sense. So I know, we don't have much time left. Rather, there's still a few more questions I want to get to really quickly. So I guess the first one is for those companies out there that are already doing webinars. To me, if and I'll talk about my own plans in a bit, you know, I see this concept of a thematic quarterly summit. I don't think it's something you can do monthly because it requires a lot of work. I think I think quarterly is enough time to get people to breathe and to implement what you taught them and then move on. There are other companies out there that are already doing weekly, or maybe monthly webinars. Do you see your clients stopping to do webinars and doing virtual summits? Do you see them continuing to do both? What would be your advice,

Rob Gelb:

it is a mixture, most of the time they are separate things just because of the way that they're used. Usually, webinars are a little bit more sales focused, the point of it is to either convert or sell a workshop or something like that. Whereas a summit is a little bit more marketing focused. It's more about, you know, either establishing credibility or something akin to that, or maybe converting on a different on a different level. So I don't think you necessarily need to stop doing it. I think you do. What you do need to do is make sure that if you're creating Are you thinking about creating a summit, that it's work that it works for your webinar strategy, and that your webinar strategy works for the summit, you can use the summit to test out a whole bunch of titles like this is something that people don't think of, but you literally can start a summit from nothing. And the next day, you don't have a track record yet. You've decided what the summit is about. You can reach very high profile speakers just off the back of this is the subject matter that we're doing. You can test a lot of stuff out. You can create a whole bunch of different talks literally create a bunch of different talks. see which ones people We'll sign up to maybe that'll tell you something in terms of what you might want to run your own webinar on. We had one customer who we were in Australia, and they were a farmer. And they wanted to build a business. And they want to decide whether or not they wanted to focus. I don't remember what it was on insurance for farmers, we selling like a specific type of tractor, or some other service. And they literally just made a virtual summit. And they invited people to talk about each of those three, and they look to see which one was the most popular for farmers to sign up to. And then they were like, I'm going with that I'm that's going to be my business, then. Yes, it was super interesting.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, for those of you that don't know, when you register for one of these summits, if they're that scenario of having 12 different speakers, you can actually register for each one independently. And you get the data. So you will see very clearly which ones are more popular than others. I think that's a great idea to sort of gauge the interest. I also wanted to say, Rob, didn't you at a summit start a virtual speaker sort of have a virtual speaking directory? Yeah. Well, I don't think marketplace directory right

Rob Gelb:

through Yeah, it's a directory. So you can go on there and find a whole bunch of people that are opted in to being speakers that want to be speakers, we're actually going to be in the next few months adding services to that, too. So you know, if you're looking for a virtual assistant or anything like that, so like, yeah, a good way to source people that that seem to be that are eager to speak at your event. So we'll put that

Neal Schaffer:

link in the show notes as well. As you know, having written a book on influencer marketing, I do believe that you should take that influencer perspective, bring people in as speakers that are true influencers or people that you want to engage with. But hey, that's a subject for another podcast. So Rob, I've talked about this in my community. But and I want to announce this because I think when I say things publicly on my podcast, it allows me to be accountable that I plan on finally launching my first virtual summit with hate summit, and really featuring all the great people we have in our digital first community. So for those out there that want to do this for the first time, what are some things that you recommend we do mistakes that we avoid? And

Rob Gelb:

well, first off, that's, that's awesome. I'm looking forward to it already, I think in terms of things to avoid is kind of like what we talked about, like not not worrying too much about trying to be everything to all people at one, you know, at the same time, also being clear about the speakers that you're bringing on about the expectations. I think a lot of people who are doing their first summit, think, Oh, my God, I got Neil to speak at my summit. That's, that's a huge coup, you know, that's great, I lucked out, and then they forget to Like, set the expectation that you should be sharing it, or that you should be here, you should be reaching out to people. And I think that some of that is like our own sense of like devaluing our ourselves, that we need to kind of just rise up and get over. But at the very beginning, when you're talking with with speakers, make sure that they understand what the expectation is, you don't need speaker agreements, you don't necessarily need all that kind of stuff. But understand, like, you know, and I always say, if you want to talk about us, we can but like getting them to opt in. If you were speaking at my summit, I might, I might say, hey, Neil, I'd love you to speak my summit. Would you be up for doing that? Just to let you know, the expectation is that this like, the reason why the way that we're going to get people on here is each of the speakers are going to invite their audience, and they're going to do some work there so that we can cross pollinate, we can get your audience in someone else's audience, etc. What is what are you most comfortable with? How often are you going to email out? What can I help you with? make notes of all this stuff so that your speakers are opting into all this stuff? They are that they are setting the expectation to you. What I do sometimes see is people like get I asked you to speak at my summit, I don't actually mentioned that. I want you to email and then I start sending you like prompts, here are 20 emails that I'd like you to send. And here's all the copy that I like you to use. It's like what the heck, ma'am? You know, you never asked me to do this in the first place. So So setting that expectation really early on, that's a that's a very common thing that frustrates people when they're just starting off because this is a symbiotic relationship. So there's some mutual benefit here. I think that that's, that's But yeah, I think if you make your your attendee persona, if you're clear about what is value to your your attendee, and what isn't doesn't mean that you won't necessarily work with that speaker that you're that won't like, quite fit. It's just it won't be this time. And I think if you go on it with that perspective, that that will that will stand you in good stead.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. Those of you who read the age of influence, I'm sure, hopefully, you're nodding. It's the same approach of influencer outreach. It's all about wi I FM, what's in it for me? What are their expectations? What will they offer to do? Some of these speakers just like influenced by say, Hey, I'll do it if you pay me a nominal speakers fee, right? Or, you know, I'll send out once but you need to supply me all the copy or everyone's gonna have their own. I mean, there are people right, and they do this for various reasons. And unless you have those conversations, you won't know. So thanks for that great reminder hub. It's all about, you know, people to people and understanding what makes them tick and how you can help them right, what are they in it for, and how you can deliver on that in finding the right match and maybe that influencer that you really wanted, maybe they're not the right match because of their requirements. And that's great, because for everyone that wants, you know, $10,000 there's others up and coming. You know, we'd call them nano influencers and influencer marketing that would love a chance to speak and they're really solid. They have great experience. They just don't have the Speaking experience and not as well known, but they can deliver on the value that you promised your audience. So thank you so much for that, Rob.

Rob Gelb:

Yeah, absolutely. Your positioning is not just for you. Everybody else who is coming to speak has an opportunity, this is a product for them. This is something that they can show. If I'm talking with Neil, if I'm on the same, you know, speak, speak, I think that's a big deal. That's great. You know, that's, that's something that they can use in their own outreach.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. Any other final tips for our site,

Rob Gelb:

don't be afraid to include your community in the process. So I think a lot of people think, well, I got to make this perfect, I got to make this this pristine, I got to get all my speakers on before we launch. Don't worry about that, launch it, launch it with only a few speakers, ask your community who should I look to Who should I speak with, get really excited and use every opportunity that you land another speaker as an opportunity to reach out to people and get them to buy tickets or get them to to register? I think this whole building and public thing is is is powerful, but I think a lot of people, especially when it's your baby, you don't want people to judge it. And, and I guess just remember, they're not judging it, they're just getting excited. So give them more opportunities to get excited. And I guess the final thing is design the event so that you can leave it open afterwards. It's great for SEO, it's great for awareness, it does work for you after the event is over, think about the way that you might repurpose some of this content. For example, let's say it's just gonna be you organizing the thing you want to all pre recorded. Or you could do a hybrid, which is where you have pre recorded content, but you have the speaker live in the in the chat, so they can still answer stuff, but the stuff is pre recorded. If you're going to pre record an interview, let's say with me, and it's going to be a pre recorded presentation. First off the kit your speaker to pick a time on the calendar to present to you that means that they won't procrastinate. They'll have to show up with a presentation. If it's a 45 minute presentation, book an hour, have them present the presentation, stop the recording, start a new recording and ask them to explain what they're going to be talking about for five minutes. Then ask them to explain what they're going to talk about for two minutes. And then ask them to explain what they're talking about for 30 seconds. And in an hour you've already gotten you have a 32nd teaser, a two minute teaser and a five minute teaser that you can then pull out and you've taken the same amount amount of time for the speaker. Think about how you might be able to repurpose it in terms of you know, you have 30 speakers 30 talks, you might have 30 blog posts out of that you might have 30 podcast episodes to lead up to generate excitement for the next one. There are a whole bunch of different ways that you can use this content. I try and open up your mind in terms of what the possibilities might be.

Neal Schaffer:

Your Rob, have you been on? Amy Woods content and x podcasts before? No. Okay. It's a podcast all about content repurposing. Oh, there you go. Yeah. And I'm not telling you anything you don't know. No, I'm sort of surprised that you haven't been out to her. But we know that that's such awesome advice. It really got me thinking that, you know, there's a lot of people that are into creating courses these days, you could use Hey, summit, it doesn't have some of the, you know, bells and whistles that a teachable or Thinkific has. But if it's mainly about delivering video content, and having handouts and PDFs, that's obviously all doable.

Rob Gelb:

Yeah, you can certainly do that. It's also a great way to test again, if you're thinking about creating course deep diving, you know, that is monetizing your expertise. A summit is monetizing your expertise and monetizing your network. It monetizing might be different for whatever it is that you're thinking. But yeah, there are people that use a summit for courses, I wouldn't recommend using a summit as like a teachable replacement teachable is amazing what they do for a reason. But also people use it for like cohort based courses that are, you know, time based or time restricted courses. So yeah, you could definitely, definitely use it for that. And again, it's a great way to test the test subject matter.

Neal Schaffer:

And then just to be I know that you also do offer the ability to monetize, we see this very commonly, hey, you know, it's either free for lifetime or free for the first 72 hours. And after that you pay money. So

Rob Gelb:

many options. Yeah, so many options. Yeah, the first five talks are free, but you have to pay. You have an early bird price, the countdown and then it's going to go up in price, you have access for only a week you have access for a year, you can get quite complicated in terms of the the ways in which you you want to monetize it.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. So for all of you listening, hopefully this has gotten you really excited about the technology. Rob and the folks at Hey summit have been really kind in offering something very special for you listeners and everybody in the community, which is a free trial and a 15% off lifetime deal. If you subscribe using the link Neal Schaffer comm slash Hey, summit. So even if you just want to, you know, kick the tires, check it out. Neal Schaffer comm slash sign up. And you know, Rob, thank you so much. I've been following your you know, hey, someone for a few years. And this opened up my mind to the potential and all the ideas. It's getting me more excited about my own summit, which I hope you yourself are sold from, hey, someone will be able to speak on as well. But you know, thank you so much for your time. And I know this is going to help a lot of people and hopefully a lot of people reach out to you. Ask him for that free trial. No worries. Absolutely. We're excited about it. All right. Thanks, Rob. Thanks very much, Neil. All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview. Rob really answered all my questions and really relieved all the doubts that I had about just the different ways in which you can use virtual summit. Hopefully, it was an eye opener for you as well. Once again, if you want to try out Hey, summit makes you go to Neal Schaffer comm slash Hey summit at y su m MIT to get your free trial and 15% of lifetime it is an affiliate link. But it all helps me in being able to spend the time to create these podcast episodes for you. Well, that is it. For the last episode of The maximize your social influence podcast don't cancel, I'll be back at you. Within a week with a new episode. It's just gonna be a different name. You'll still recognize my picture on the podcast our cover, so don't freak out. But make sure if there's never been a better time to subscribe. It is now so that you continue to be able to get these podcast episodes, as always, reviews, mentions on social media, make sure whatever you do, you tag me leave your name, send me an email, go to podcast, Neal Schaffer calm, which is the official website for every podcast episode, all the show notes are there. transcripts are there. Images are there if you want to share them in social media that is sort of the central hub. And that's it for the last episode of The maximize your social influence podcast will be up to you again soon rebranded, but until then, make it a great virtual social day. Bye Bye everybody. And Sayonara