The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Virtual Summit

A step-by-step guide for freshers to plan, organize and host a virtual summit online at a virtual events platform.
virtual summit

With the advancements in digital technology, in-person business events have shifted to online events platforms. People are now gathered in a safe virtual environment joining the event from the comfort of their homes. If you wish to grow the audience body for your events in a pandemic-stricken world, then a virtual summit or conference is the answer. Nowadays, online summits are the talk of the town and for all good reasons. It is a cost-effective and time-efficient way to generate more traffic, confirmed leads, and enhanced sales for your business. We have devised a step-by-step guide for freshers to plan, organize and host a virtual summit online at a virtual events platform. Let’s check in detail: 

What is a Virtual Summit?

A virtual summit is also known as a virtual conference, online conference, or summit. It consists of multiple talks and sessions held online and accessible to people joining from all over the world. Here, businesses get a chance to present their work and talk about important topics. Usually, it goes over the same theme for different speakers at different times throughout the day. Many virtual summit ideas now govern on a single-day or multi-day event principle. It can be a combination of different panels, single panels, or workshops. 

The idea is similar to an in-person conference held at a physical location. Now, the only difference is that the speakers and presenters talk over an online platform attending to audiences joining in the visual summit. Interested people register for the event and join in from anywhere in the world. This feature makes these events exciting and helps generate leads for entrepreneurship and stakeholders to grow their businesses. These online summits are considered an easier approach to hunting new clients. It is today’s most effective lead-generation tool. In fact, it is a powerful tool for marketing businesses, be it a fresher or an old horse. 

Why Go Virtual?

2021 has shifted the interests of individuals towards online or virtual platforms. Event organizers had to move their business events online; that is how they achieved global attention. However, it took a long time for businesses to finally move to an online platform. They understood that online events delivered the same level of engagement for the audiences compared to on-site events. In addition, these events are easier to organize, execute and attend. Here’s why summits are taking place virtually. 

  • Virtual events bring global reach for businesses 
  • It offers a greater chance to gather a large number of audiences in a safe space.
  • Attendees need not travel to a physical venue
  • Event organizers save on traveling and catering costs
  • Online sessions and webinars can run for a longer period 
  • Audiences can easily attend the summits from the comfort of homes or offices 
  • Fortunately, people with disabilities can quickly join in the events

If you are still wondering why businesses resort to a virtual platform, check out the following benefits of hosting virtual summits. 

How Beneficial are Virtual Summits?

To create an unmatched summit experience, join a virtual summit platform and welcome global industry professionals.

Immerse Yourself in a Realistic 3D Environment

Virtual platforms help create a realistic 3D environment. Without a doubt, an immersive environment enables attendees to relate better to the event and enjoy it. Here, the booths, lobbies, and halls are displayed with visually rich graphics. Moving about the space, attendees experience a real-life environment with company branding and culture. Users easily navigate their way through the virtual space interacting with the animated moving avatars.

The best thing about hosting summits through virtual platforms is the ability to fully customize the environment. For example, you can recreate your office space for the attendees to easily join from anywhere in the world.

Multiple Webinar Hosting Options

The main reason attendees join the event is to attend the speaker sessions and interact with experts. Therefore, the webinars need to be highly interactive and engaging. Thus, the platform extends multiple webinar hosting options, such as:

  • Host pre-recorded or semi-live sessions 
  • Host live sessions with quick speaker/attendee interaction
  • Upload pre-recorded sessions for attendees to access with ease 
  • Make sessions available on-demand for a longer time

Virtual summits also attend to audience queries through live Q&A sessions or polls. Therefore, it offers a wholesome experience to audiences attending the event remotely. 

Installation of Breakout Sessions

At the end of each speaker session, the virtual summit organizers arrange for breakout sessions for employees. These additional sessions bring people closer in an intimate gathering and help bring the best ideas to life. Moreover, these sessions can be arranged at the start and end of each event to offer a wholesome experience. 

Advanced Networking Solutions

Another obvious benefit of hosting a summit at an online platform is that it offers immense networking opportunities. Virtual summit platforms go the extra mile to help businesses easily engage and connect with audiences joining in from afar. For instance, audio/video chat and private or group meeting rooms exist. In addition, there are matching algorithms for people from diverse backgrounds and regions to develop meaningful connections.

Likewise, a meeting scheduler option is available for the attendees and representatives to connect individually and attend to their reservations.

Grow Your Influence in Global Marketplace

An underrated advantage of a virtual summit is the impact your business leaves on the industry globally. When you bring many people together in an online gathering, then there’s a good chance for you to be considered an influential expert or leader. Moreover, if you create a networking opportunity to help others, it will be a win-win.

  • You win the loyalties of audiences with a remarkable event experience
  • Your audience appreciates the remarkable content you share
  • Once you let the speakers and audience win, your event wins
  • Your speakers reached brand new audiences and won at the summit

How does a Virtual Summit Benefit the Speakers?

You must be wondering what is in it for the speakers. They are doing most of the job, and how do they benefit from this? Well, virtual summits bring tons of benefits for the speakers joining in from across the globe. Some of the benefits include the following; 

  • Online summit events help speakers make a standing before industry professionals.
  • Speakers can grow their business profiles 
  • Each speaker achieves a greater reach of audiences 
  • It is an easy win when speakers score the loyalties of audiences
  • Speakers are able to grow their email lists
  • Once the sessions are live, featured speakers receive global attention
  • Get influential speakers onboard

One point to note is not getting caught in enticing celebrity speakers to come and present at your event. Instead, get influential people who have expertise in the industry and can influence the masses. 

Now, considering the benefits of virtual summit events, businesses have turned to create memorable virtual event experiences for their industry peers and attendees. So let us check how a virtual summit platform aids in organizing a successful summit.

Before creating an online summit, consider the following guidelines. Also, check how does a virtual conference work?

How to Create a Virtual Summit?

Organizing a virtual summit for the first time can be a tricky business for freshers. That is precisely why we have devised this guide to assist businesses in creating an online summit. It will brighten your name in the business marketplace and promote your products and services to potential leads. An online platform works wonders when all your essential summits are taking place before a global audience. 

Wondering how to set up a perfect virtual summit for your business? Once you have made up your mind on hosting a summit. Get down to planning and organizing your summit events.

Plan the Event Well Before the Time

When hosting a virtual summit from scratch, you need to set a date for the event 4-6 months before. Then, use the time wisely to recruit speakers and turn them into potential partners. However, your first step is to look for a virtual events platform that is well-equipped to host a special virtual summit for you. Once the platform is decided, you will need to streamline the content for your events like landing pages, promotional content, e-books, email marketing campaigns, and guidebooks for your promotional partners. 

Virtual summits allow you to bring together global industry professionals to an online business event. Therefore, it is wise to create a professional atmosphere to make a lasting impression on your attendees and special guests. 

Reach out to Your Project Manager

Before starting with the final decisions for your event, hit your dedicated project manager. They are available to assess the demands of your event, and together you can decide on the features to be incorporated. The call shall also explain how the event will be run as well as how the integrations will improve the overall summit’s look.

Moreover, the project managers focus on personalization for your event to represent the company culture. Therefore, they will work on features to help make the event yours. You will have the option to fully customize your summit event halls, lobbies, standees, booths, visuals, and company representative avatars. 

Design a Compelling Landing Page

The first step for you is to welcome the attendees to the event. For that matter, your virtual summit needs to have a compelling landing page for interested individuals to register right at the spot. This process will help you secure more registrations right from the landing page. Although it is up to your event to keep the landing page descriptive with benefits of attending, speaker bios, event agenda, FAQs, or attend to queries at the landing page. Information about the speaker sessions, webinars, and seminars can be presented with timings. Again, it is up to you, however, you make the event interesting for audiences to register quickly.

An important tactic suggested by the virtual events platform is to keep your event landing page precise and informative. Make sure to include calls to action that are convincing and not too overwhelming for people. 

Set up Webinars for Summit Events

The next step to creating a memorable event is to set up webinars at virtual summit platforms. You can either do this through a webinar module or get your project management team to do it for you. Each speaker session can be designed uniquely from a list of webinar options available. The quickest and easy approach to set up webinars is through zoom. You can set up the breakout sessions just by setting up zoom webinars in the zoom application. 

Moreover, you can set up automated zoom webinars that start automatically as per the scheduled time. Most businesses prefer setting up embedded zoom webinars within the event, so you do not have to click away from it and customize it as per the branding. 

The platform also allows you to set up semi-live, pre-recorded webinar sessions for your summit events. Likewise, on-demand webinar sessions can also be set up for the attendees to view whenever and as many times as they want.

Set up Chat Rooms and Networking Lounge

The most important reason for businesses to resort to virtual summit platforms is its immersive features. Connecting and easily interacting with audiences from different parts of the world on an online platform is undoubtedly the greatest innovation for businesses. Networking is considered the major part of online summits. Therefore, networking rooms are set up with massive care with many options for attendees’ interaction and engagement. Multiple chat room options are available at the virtual events platform to set up at the online event, such as; executive rooms, community chats, experts, or speakers from the event.

Connect with Partners for Exhibit Halls

A successful event is characterized by the customization of its booths and exhibit halls. Therefore, it is necessary to connect with your partners for the customization of booths. Further, exhibit halls offer customization options that enable organizers to put branding up at the event.  

You can set up custom standees, videos, logos, and documents for each exhibitor residing at the exhibit booths. Or you can let the partners design stalls however suits them. You can use a virtual summit platform management team to set up the floor as per your requirements. 

Add a Meeting Scheduler Option for Attendees

Another important feature of summits is the option of meeting schedulers. This enables attendees to set up meetings with representatives without having to wait for the representatives to get free. These schedulers also work best to have a private chat with the representatives instead of waiting for a group chat’s answer. Likewise, it works best for representatives who do not want to attend to multiple attendee questions all at once.

The scheduler is easy to set up for the attendees and representatives, catering to the needs of individuals.

Use Immersive Features of Virtual Summit Platform

Virtual platforms come with an array of features that make an overall wholesome event experience. Let us explore a list of features that work best in favor of online summits hosted at a virtual summit platform.                     

  • Make the most of the visually rich features in a 3D Virtual Environment       
  • Create an attractive landing page to receive registrations               
  • Get live statistical insight data about user interaction
  • Engage audiences in live polling                                                     
  • Set up informative webinar/speaker sessions
  • Get live attendee status to gauge at current engagement 
  • Offer immersive experience through immersive exhibit halls 
  • Use customized layout options for exhibitor booths 
  • Personalize the event with your own branding 
  • Maximize networking experience with live private or group chat
  • Get event ROIs reports 
  • Use live Q&A features to engage with audiences 
  • Use help desks with customer support options
  • Get help from reception desks when lost                     

 Create a Remarkable Event Launch

Before your event is ready to go live, schedule emails to notify the attendees, and keep them updated about the event with details about the speaker sessions and webinars. Similarly, it would help if you kept your speakers informed with updates on the event. Keep your instructions simple and clear. You do not want to confuse the attendees with mixed messages, so better be concise and precise. Likewise, your communications before the event should be concise and clear. 

An important factor to consider is that your live speaker sessions should not collide with semi-live or pre-recorded sessions. To overcome this, you can schedule the sessions and share the schedules with attendees and speakers alike. However, the best practice is to add a keynote speaker address before and after the event. If you plan on broadcasting a recorded summit, your opening and closing speech should be live to engage audiences in your event.

Post-event Marketing Strategies

After running a successful event, organizers can share their success stories over the internet. This is to keep industry professionals impressed and interested in your online summit. Your summit conference will be a talk of the town when you pair up with a virtual summit platform. Use your social media platforms and official website to spread the word about the event. 

Nowadays, powerful marketing runs through social media and website ads. It establishes a standing for your business in the marketplace. Let people know about your event and how it is incorporated in the image of your company before the world. 

In Conclusion

With years of experience in the field of virtual events. Our reputed virtual summit platform covers each expectation of clients. Likewise, our expert team knows what features work best for each event type and business. Virtual recruitment days extend their seamless networking and interactive webinar features to ensure the success of your events. Moreover, our experts share their virtual summit ideas with businesses to follow the best practices working in the year 2021.

With our platform, creating a virtual summit is incredibly simple. Come to us with clear goals, and we will take it forward!  

Author | Mubashrah Rahim

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