Virtual Summits Online – How to Host a Profitable One? (Part 2)

Virtual Summit Online 2

How to Choose the Right Virtual Summit Speakers

Now that you’ve chosen your topic, it’s time to find the right virtual summit speakers or presenters. It’s important that you don’t fill the spots with just anyone. You need to find just the right speakers who will present about topics that your audience cares about. In addition, you need to ensure that the speakers you choose aren’t in competition with you directly. They should instead serve your same audience, offering complementary products and services. If they have an affiliate program so much the better.

In addition, you want presenters who know how to engage the audience, tell a good story, be vulnerable and even be humorous if the occasion calls for it.  All while delivering their message without sounding like an infomercial. The point of the talk should not be to make a sale but to give valuable information to the attendees. If you want these types of speakers, you’ll need to tailor the information when you do a call for speakers toward that type of speaker.

There are a lot of places you can find virtual summit speakers:

  • Speaker’s Bureau
  • Popular Podcasters
  • Podcast Guests
  • Famous Blab’s
  • Awesome Bloggers
  • Well-known Google Plus Members
  • Large Facebook Group Leaders
  • People Who Say They Are Speakers
  • Those You’ve Seen Speak
  • Folks Who Speak at Live Events

You can find all of these types of people within your niche by doing a simple Google Search. You can also search on various platforms. For example, you can go to iTunes and find podcasts in your niche and listen to some. From each area, make a list of potential speakers. Don’t worry right now if they’ll be interested or not. Make a list in order of desirability with the most wanted at the top and the ones that are acceptable at the bottom. Try to find at least two to three times the number of speakers you think you’ll need.

Group them together in terms of followers, audience engagement and talent. This means you must watch them for a while and listen to them speak in order to know whether or not they can do it. As you order them on your list, that’s the order you’ll invite them. You already should know how many speakers you need, and what topics need to be covered so that you don’t have repeating and competing guests. You won’t invite them all at once. You’re going to take your time to fill the spots and have alternates on standby.

But first, you must work on your pitch, which starts with creating an awesome virtual summit page just for speakers to apply.

First, Create an Awesome Summit Page to Attract Speakers

There is a lot of competition to get really awesome, well known, keynote virtual summit speakers, even more, to get good speakers for a multi-speaker event. Some speakers will require payment, so if you have a high budget you’ll be able to get the best keynote and other speakers without a problem. But, if you do not have a budget for speakers, then you have to get more creative. That starts with the sales page for seeking speakers for your summit.

You’ll get the best virtual summit speakers if you start this part six months out, nabbing the keynote speaker first so that you can use that keynote speaker as a draw for other speakers to present. So, consider, even if you have no budget to pay all speakers, try to come up with a couple grand for the keynote speaker if possible. But, if you have no budget, again, you can try these other methods that we’ll discuss.

The summit page should answer the question to the speaker:

What’s in it for me?

Obviously, they want to be assured that they’ll have a large audience of willing participants because even if their speech isn’t a sales speech, they will hope to earn money on the back end even if they are being paid.

Speakers can make money in a variety of ways such as:

  • Charging a Fee – This can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the type of event. All you can do is ask to see any speaker’s “one page” to find out what they charge.
  • Finding a Company Sponsor – This works great for some niches and not as much for others, but using our coaching audience perhaps or would want to sponsor your keynote speaker.
  • Ability to Enroll Audience Members into Their Marketing Funnel – Some people will willingly speak just for the opportunity that attendees will enter their email lists.
  • Sell Services from Stage or After the Event – Usually, at some point in the event, either before or in the follow-up, the services that the speaker offers are mentioned as a special offer.
  • Sell Their Books / Programs – Same type of special offer for their book or program either during the event, or after the event, or in the event program guide.
  • Sell a Product – Often event speakers like to be able to put an image of their product on the sales page for the event or within the newsletters about the event.
  • Affiliate Sales from Event Tickets – For people with low budgets, this ability might be one of the best yet. Give every speaker the ability to earn most if not all the money from each ticket sale that they refer.

What your speakers will get

On your sales page, you should make it clear what the speaker will get. If it’s any of the above, say so clearly on the speaker sign up page. In addition, make it clear what audience the event is for, and the topic that you’re going to be promoting. You should already have a title for your event by this point and put it on that sales page.

The moment you get new speakers, make them part of this speaker’s sales page for your event. The more known the speakers are, the more other known speakers will want to participate. Ensure that you list every last benefit that you can provide for anyone who wants to apply to be a speaker.

In addition, stress on the sales page that opportunities are limited, and that there is a deadline for applications. On the back end, you’ll need a speaking contract, with everything spelled out, including benefits and responsibilities for the speakers. After all, not only are they going to get something out of speaking at your event, but you’re going to get something from them, as well.

What Your Speakers & You Should Provide Each Other

Now that you have your awesome sales page to attract speakers to your virtual summit, you’ll need to set up the back end of things so that you are positive that you’ll get and deliver what you’re expecting and promising to your audience.

  1. Signed Contract – Create a contract that spells out the responsibilities of you, the host and the speaker for the event. Leave nothing out of the contract. If you’re supposed to provide an email for them to edit and send out, put it in the contract. Include all deadlines, emails, and information for everything needed to make the event a success for each individual speaker.
  2. Copy of Presentation – You’ll need to get your speakers to provide you a copy of their slideshow. Even if your technology allows for them to put up their own slides, it’s better that you see it first so that you are sure it meets your guidelines. Plus, if there is some sort of technical glitch, there is more than one copy to use.
  3. Affiliate Program – If you’re offering affiliate links to the speakers for promotion, ensure that this is set up well before the event so that you can be sure that all links work, and that branded graphics are created.
  4. Timeline – Provide all speakers with their timeline, where to show up, whether it’s a phone number they call or a website they click through to. Include troubleshooting information. Explain anything you can, and answer questions promptly.
  5. Set Aside Practice Time & Provide Step-by-Step Instructions –You may not be able to get everyone together at once for practice on the technology but try to practice with each individual when possible. Otherwise, provide step-by-step instructions and what to do if they’re having problems. For example, your system may need people to be hard wired and not use wireless, or you may need them to use earphones and not their computer microphone to avoid background sounds. Be specific.
  6. Share Phone Numbers – Things happen, accidents happen, technology goes haywire, provide each speaker your cell number and ask for theirs so that on the day you can text a reminder and they can also let you know if something is going wrong.
  7. Information About Recordings – You can allow your speakers to keep a copy of their speech so that they can use it for other purposes, but also keep the rights to use it for your purposes. Spell that out in the contract.
  8. Don’t Make It Too Hard – You want to reduce the amount of work the speakers need to do in order to make the event successful. Too much responsibility on the speakers and you’re going to lose out.

Finally, be prepared for any eventuality. Technology doesn’t always work but you can still offer an amazing event that gets results for both speakers and attendees.


To be continued…


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