8 Ways To Monetize A FREE Virtual Summit

8 Ways To Monetize A FREE Virtual Summit

Virtual summits can be free or paid to attend. But I love running free ones.

The only thing an attendee needs to give you to attend, is an email address. Meaning its great for generating free leads.

So you might be wondering, if you’re only  growing your list, but HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?

I’ll let you into the secret of free online summits…the money is in the follow-up!

One of the top questions I get from clients is how to effectively monetize their virtual summit.

There are endless options for how to make money through a summit, but today we'll cover 8 of the most common and widely effective ways.

1. All-Access Pass

  • The All-Access Pass is the main way in which virtual summit hosts earn revenue from their event.
  • The All Access Pass is a membership area containing all the video content, which usually provides participants lifetime access to a virtual membership storage of all the event’s interviews.
  • By broadcasting your guest speaker interviews to free ticket holders for only a limited period of time, the host is encouraging attendees to upgrade their ticket and purchase the All-Access Pass so that they do not miss a single interview due to busyness or personal scheduling conflicts.
  • The all-access pass can also include other perks such as discussion transcripts, downloadable audio and/or video clips, and others.
  • All-Access Passes lend themselves very well to price increases, too.
  • This means you can encourage more people to buy if you increase the price when your summit starts and when it ends.

2. Order Bump

  • An 'order bump' is an additional product that you can offer as an 'add-on' to purchasers of your summit All-Access Pass.
  • Usually this is done by prompting the buyer to check a box before they complete their order which asks if they want to add an additional product to their cart.
  • This could be a product you already have, or something you created specifically for your summit which complements your All-Access Pass.
  • It could be something as simple as early access to a certain event or on-demand access to a certain presentation.

3. Upsell

  • An 'upsell' is a product that is offered to a buyer after they have already completed their purchase.
  • In other words, it is when you attempt to persuade your prospect to buy an add-on, an upgrade, or an additional related item.
  • You see upsells every day if you go to sites like Amazon which will show you other items that people purchased with this particular item.
  • So how do you use an upsell?
  • After someone buys your All-Access Pass, you can automatically redirect them to an upsell page that asks if they want to add a product to their order, whereupon they have the choice of clicking 'yes' or 'no'.
  • Some common locations for upsells include:
  • Thank you pages
  • This is the page registrants will see after opting in for your free virtual event.
  • This page tells them what to expect next (dates and times of your event, where to log in, etc.) and like your confirmation page, should also include something for readers to buy.
  • Email Sequence
  • Once someone is registered they should start receiving emails from you about the summit.
  • In those emails, you should be offering options for sale.
  • You could offer a transcript, workbook, or other downloadable items, remember to include an advertisement for a related product or service.

4. Affiliate Commissions

  • Do you feature tutorials or demonstrations of software or other products people can buy on your virtual summit?
  • Sign up to be an affiliate partner for those companies and use your affiliate link when promoting them during the summit!
  • You can earn affiliate commissions when your summit attendees buy or register for their free trials of the product.
  • Similarly, you can ask any of the guest speakers being featured on the summit if they have affiliate programs for the products, services or courses they are selling / promoting during your event as well.

5. Existing Courses

  • If you have existing online courses that are available for purchase during the time of your virtual summit, let your attendees know.
  • While you don't want to promote too many things at once, mentioning that you have courses for purchase when an applicable topic comes up in discussion during the summit is more than reasonable.
  • Make sure your courses are easily able to be found on your website so that when summit attendees go to research and learn more about you they will see them.

6. Coaching / Services

  • Depending on the event, if you’re still trying to figure out how to make money with a virtual summit, you might be able to bring in some added revenue through the sale of coaching or courses that you have already created.
  • If you’ve got an existing online course, you can use the email list that you’ve created from the sale of summit tickets and other products to promote your course or coaching services to this audience.
  • Audiences that attend summit and conference style events are often willing to purchase course add-ons or coaching services to help them gain more out of their attendance to the event itself.
  • If someone reaches out to you proactively to learn more about your summit topic, they may be the right person to sign up for your coaching or VIP services.
  • Keep in touch with those individuals, and find ways you can support them.

7. Sponsorships

  • Many virtual summit hosts will make the bulk of their revenue off sponsorships and the sale of advertising space within their event summit platform.
  • If you’re hosting your event entirely online, sponsorships can be as simple as including the logo or advertising material for another sponsor or vendor on your event homepage, inside your event platform, or in your event emails.
  • Keep in mind that many sponsors are looking for more than just a logo plug when they pay for sponsorship of an event, so again offering tiered sponsorship opportunities in which varied levels of advertising and additional sponsor benefits can help to seal the deal.
  • If you tell sponsors that there are limited sponsorship opportunities, you create a sense of urgency to increase the likelihood of securing the sponsorship revenue you need!

8. New Product / Service

  • Another upsell option is to sell your own product or service.
  • This can be a great fit if you have something to sell that's highly related to the topic of your online summit without a big barrier to entry (aka super high price tag).
  • With this method, you have a couple of options:
  • Sell your product or service directly, during the summit, in place of an all-access pass.
  • Don't sell anything during the summit, focus on nurturing the audience, and sell your product or service afterward in a proven webinar or funnel.
  • Sell your all-access pass during the summit and then sell your product or service soon after.
  • After your summit is complete, you will have a brand new email list of followers eager to learn more about your topic as well as consume the content you have to offer them.
  • This may be the perfect time for you to leverage this warm email list to launch a new product or service to them.
  • In fact, many infopreneurs view their virtual summit as the list-building marketing technique they will use to grow an audience of interested people in a new product or service they are developing.
  • They will specifically create a virtual summit on the topic most relevant to that new product or service.

So there you have 8 ways you can monetize your virtual summits, which is why I think they are one of the best ways to grow both your list and your revenue.