What is an online summit, and why should you attend one?

Have you seen people talking about or promoting an ‘online summit’ and wondered what it was? Louise Brogan from Social Bee NI explains how they work and why you should attend one. 

An online summit, or virtual summit, is like a conference you can attend from the comfort of your own home. A summit usually takes place over at least three days with each day bringing new speakers and guest experts to the audience.

As with any conference you may be interested in, online summits usually have a theme and are designed for a particular audience. Some summits are run by large corporations and some are sponsored by software companies.

For example, a summit on how to create an online course could feature 15-20 experts who are able to share their knowledge on how they created online courses within their business – this type of summit may be sponsored by or even arranged by one of the course creation software companies such as Teachable.

How do online summits work?

Summits can be set up in different ways. I prefer to run a summit where all of the training is pre-recorded and scheduled to be released each day. Other summits can be based around live interviews – with Digital Olympus summit, each speaker is given a timeslot to log on and wait for the host to ‘switch’ over to start their presentation.

With a pre-recorded summit, the viewer logs on each day, and will see the training or talks available for the day. The next day, a new set of talks or training videos will appear.

Most online summits will give you access for free to the talks for 24 hours. Some summits then create an all-access pass for sale, which the viewer can buy and have access to the whole summit for as long as they want. Other summits may use the content as a lead magnet to their ideal client and access remains open and free forever.

How do you attend an online summit?

Usually the host of the summit will set up a sign up page and start to advertise the summit to their ideal client. If the summit looks interesting to you, you put your name and email address down in order to ‘attend’. The host then sends you a reminder when the summit is about to start, with a link to allow you to access the training.

What happens during a summit?

If a summit is running for three days, it might look like this:

  • Day 1 – the first set of speakers talks are released for 24 hours.
  • Day 2 – the next set of speakers talks are released for 24 hours.
  • Day 3 – the final set of speakers talks are released for 24 hours.

So by Day 4 you will may still be catching up on your final Day 3 talks!

Each day, the host will send you an email to remind you of the day’s talks and why you should watch them.

How can you find time to attend an online summit?

There are few of us who can afford to take three days out of our working week to watch experts speak online. However, through an online summit, you get access to training from some of the world’s experts on a topic and it would be a great idea to try and plan ahead, so you can learn from the ones you most want to see. Especially while it is free!

By watching the summit online in your own home, you can also have it playing on your laptop or phone while you get on with some of your more mundane tasks in your business. Although I have been to some in-person conferences where some delegates sit and work through on their laptops as well!

What are the benefits of attending an online summit?

Usually the host has taken great care to find really good quality speakers for their summit. In the Social Bee Online Summit, I invited speakers who I have seen performing on stages around the world including Kate Erickson of EOFire and Jessica Lorimer of SmartLeadersSell.

When you attend an online summit, you don’t have to worry about flights, hotels and finding the venue. You get up, logon and choose which speakers to watch and learn from. You can even watch it from your smartphone.

With my online summit, I also create a pop-up Facebook group for all the attendees which brings a great opportunity to network with your fellow entrepreneurs without again, having to leave the house.

I’m hosting the Social Bee Online Summit

This is the second year I have put on my own online summit. Both years, the theme has been ‘Raising Your Visibility Online’. I choose speakers whom I have connections with, and who I have experience of hearing or learning from. I watch during the year for people who are doing great things in their businesses and reach out to ask if they would like to join my summit as a speaker.

My goal is to bring world class experts to my audience over a three day period. I have speakers on creating events, becoming a speaker, making money in your business, mindset for entrepreneurs, how to start podcasting, how to sell in your business – all topics which are aimed at helping my audience to think about how they can raise their profiles and grow their business online in 2019.

This year, the summit begins on 28th January and runs for three days. Each talk will be released and available for 24 hours. Following the summit, all of the talks will be housed inside my monthly membership site, the Social Bee Academy.

I would love for you to join me and my speakers – to find out more, go to Raise Your Visibility Online.

Louise Brogan is the owner of Social Bee NI, where she helps women entrepreneurs understand how to use online marketing to grow their business. You can ask find Social Bee NI on Facebook.

Photo by Paige Cody