Can you organize or participate in virtual summits as an effective list-building tool, even if you're short on time?

Let's dive into this important topic today.

What is a Virtual Summit?

A virtual summit is essentially an online conference where speakers and experts from a specific industry gather to share their knowledge through presentations, interviews, and live Q&A sessions.

You can either host a virtual summit or speak at someone else's summit and build your email list.

As a host, you provide valuable content to your audience, who in return, provide their contact information to access this exclusive content.

As a speaker, you will provide your expertise and grow your authority.

And typically, the host allows speakers to give away something of value to all summit participants (in exchange for their email address, of course).

Thus, there's usually a built-in mechanism for speakers to build their business email lists during the summit promotion period.

Use Virtual Summits for Effective List Building

7 Steps For Using Virtual Summits for Effective List Building

For those who wish to organize their own virtual summit in their niche in order to build their brand and their email list, here are 7 steps to doing so:

Step 1: Define Your Niche and Target Audience

Start by pinpointing the niche that resonates with your business and expertise.

Are you in the health and wellness space, or perhaps you focus on digital marketing strategies?

Once your niche is defined, identify your target audience.

Understanding their interests, challenges, and pain points will guide you in selecting topics and speakers that will draw them to your summit.

Step 2: Plan Your Summit

Planning is key.

Decide on the length of your summit—will it be a compact one-day event, or will it span several days?

Then, begin the exciting part: speaker outreach.

Aim for thought leaders whose followers align with your target audience.

This alignment not only increases the value of your content but also amplifies the reach of your summit through cross-promotion.

Step 3: Set Up Tech and Tools

For a seamless execution, choose a reliable platform that supports webinars and live streaming.

Tools like Zoom, GoToWebinar, or even specialized platforms like HeySummit can do the trick.

Also, integrate email automation tools such as Aweber or Active Campaign for managing registrations and communicating with attendees.

Step 4: Promote Your Summit

Promotion is where the magic happens in list building.

Use a multi-channel approach:

  • Email campaigns: Start by announcing your summit to your existing list with a clear call to action to register.
  • Social media: Leverage all platforms by posting regular updates, teasers, and speaker announcements.
  • Affiliate marketing: Encourage or even require speakers to promote the summit to their lists, with incentives based on sign-ups.  THIS IS KEY to the success of your summit.

Step 5: Offer a Freebie

People love freebies!

Offer free access to the summit for those who sign up or provide their email addresses.

This can significantly boost your sign-up rates.

Consider providing lifetime access to the recordings for a premium or as part of a package to entice sign-ups and generate revenue.

Step 6: Follow Up Post-Summit

After the summit, your work isn’t done.

Send out a thank-you email to all participants including links to session recordings (if available).

Use this opportunity to introduce your products or services and turn those leads into customers.

Additionally, gather feedback through surveys to improve future summits.

Step 7: Monetize and Measure

Finally, analyze the performance of your summit.

Look at metrics such as total sign-ups, attendance rates, and conversion rates to gauge the success and profitability of your event.

This data will be invaluable for refining your future strategies.


I recently did a 30-Minute Marketing Hacks training on this very subject.

I interviewed someone new to the virtual summit arena and got her perspective on the experience of hosting your own virtual summit and the time required to do so…

Virtual summits offer a unique and effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche.

Whether you host your virtual summit or participate in someone else's summit, there are great opportunities to grow your email list and make a name for yourself.

If  you choose to host your own summit, the key lies in meticulous planning, robust promotion, and continuous engagement.

Start small if you need to, learn from each experience, and scale your efforts as you grow.

With each summit, your list will become a stronger foundation for your business’s growth.


It's Your Time to SHINE!


Dr. Bob Clarke


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This post may contain affiliate links to products or services that I trust.  This means that if you make a purchase using the links included in this post, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for the support!

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