Here are some key aspects to consider when building your first summit.
Written by Maddie Manoliu
Updated on June 29, 2021
Set your summit up for success with this handy guide. From customisation to attendee management, if there's one HelpDoc you read before setting up your event, this is the one!
1. Your brand: front and centre
You've spent so much time building your brand, and naturally, you want to showcase it. The first thing to consider is how that's going to look when building your summit. Here are some of the settings you'll want to take a look at to create the branding and customisation of your summit.
1.1 Branding & content
Start here: Event Setup > Settings > Branding and Content. You can add your logo, as well as remove any HeySummit branding.
Please note that you can only remove HeySummit branding if you are on our Business plan.
Branding and Content also hold the key to even further customisation. This is the place where you can also add your strapline and any social hashtags.
Make sure you check how your strapline fits within the auto-generated banners for your event. Longer straplines might be cut off within the image.
Branding and Content is also where you can customise the terms and conditions for your event. If left blank, the HeySummit versions will be used.
1.2 Set up a promo banner
You can set-up a promo banner to be visible at the top of your summits page. You could use this banner to promote your summit ticket page, or promote an external page (like a website).
You can always change how we refer to certain aspects of your summit if you go to Content > Translations.
Here are some of your options under Translations:
Change Speakers to Experts, Masters or anything that you think sounds better.
Don't like Category? Change it to Topic, Section or whatever term suits your audience best.
Change the phrasing on sign-up buttons (pro-tip: always make sure to check Widgets).
Don't forget to Save all your work by pressing save for each wording you change.
1.4 Assets and swipe copies
By default, HeySummit generates speaker and conference banners for you. All auto-generated banners are available to your speakers in their speaker dashboard.
All information from the banners is pulled from the site, which means that if you modify a speaker headshot (for example)- that change will also be reflected in the speaker banner. You can't currently edit the banners.
It normally takes around 30 minutes for pictures on the banners to update, so give it some time and avoid changing pictures very last minute to make sure you have the right images showing.
You can also update your own swipe copy and assets by clicking on Promoting > Assets or Promoting > Swipe Copies.
Assets are banners that speakers could use to promote their talk/the event. If you'd rather replace the auto-generated banners, you can take matters into your own hands and upload your own creations.
Swipe copy is the text that you can make available to your speakers so that they can easily copy and paste to share information about the event. You can add images within swipe copy and personalise the message for different platforms. You can construct Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn posts and totally own that marketing phase with some well-placed posts. Please note that all swipe copy and banners will be made available to all your speakers. While this means you cant upload an individual banner per person, its going to be great for promoting your summit, especially if your speakers can share each other's talks (and use the appropriate banner).
One aspect you might consider is setting up an affiliate scheme. You can open your affiliate scheme to the public (and it will be shown in your website footer). You're responsible for paying your affiliates, so make sure you're familiar with how to handle affiliate payments.
Please note that if you choose to Set your Speakers as Affiliates, that action applies to either all of them or none of them at all. If you only want certain speakers to be your affiliate, direct them to your affiliate program sign-up page.
If you set up an affiliate scheme, the percentages have to be the same for your public/ speaker schemes.
Finally, if you want to add sponsors to your summit, HeySummit offers two options: you can either add them as a Main or a Category Sponsor. Heres the small (yet very impactful difference) between them. Hint: it's all about visibility.
Main sponsors appear on the landing page of your website, as well as within any of the automated emails HeySummit sends. Main sponsors also appear on all speaker and talk pages.
Category sponsors only appear on speaker and talk pages when the category matches.
When we talk about talk pages, we are referring to each individual talk page (not just the Schedule tab- main and category sponsors don't appear there).
HeySummit automatically advertises sponsorship opportunities on your summit. If someone clicks on Contact us (see screenshot below), that message is going to go to the address you set under Event Setup > Settings > Event Basics. If you'd like to stop advertising sponsorship opportunities you can click Revenue > Sponsors > Settings and untick Promote sponsor opportunities.
2. Let's talk about talks!
There are two types of videos you can add to your summit: pre-recorded and live. Before picking one, here are some things worth considering. Remember - all summits are different, and you can choose whichever best suits your summit needs.
When we refer to a talk as being live vs. replay, we mean that...
On your public-facing summit, a live talk is the first run of your talk - when your talk first airs to the public. Live talks appear on the Schedule page
If you set up your talk to start at 14:30 and it is 25 minutes long, that means that your talk will no longer be live at 14:55
After a talk has finished its live run, it turns into a replay
Once the talk becomes a replay, it will appear on the Replay page of your summit
Most of the time, you will have to upload your own replay link to HeySummit
2.1 Pre-recorded videos
You can add pre-recorded videos to HeySummit. These are invisible to your attendees until the time you have scheduled the talk. A pre-recorded video is one that you have already recorded and uploaded prior to your event going live. If you are using pre-recorded videos, you don't have to worry about adding a replay video - HeySummit will automatically use the link provided and create a replay for you.
You can always test how a pre-recorded video looks by going to Preview/Post after you've uploaded the video URL/ID. This is especially useful with pre-recorded videos, as you can have the peace of mind that you have set up your video correctly (if it displays in Preview, it is ready to go).
You might want to send some questions to your attendees before you record a video for uploading.
This way, you can incorporate questions that your attendees might have, creating a better connection between speakers and attendees.
You can use your own email provider to do this. All you'd have to do is export your attendees' email address.
No need to add a replay
You can upload on popular hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo or use your own link
You definitely know how the video will look to your attendees
You'll have to upload the video to a hosting website as the process is not automatic
Your speakers will not be able to interact with attendees live (as they could do with one of our live integrations)
2.2 Live videos
Unlike pre-recorded videos, for all live videos you (as the event organiser) are responsible for recording and uploading the replay to HeySummit. HeySummit doesn't automatically pull the replay from the link you set up in Video Settings as it would with pre-recorded videos.
If you opt for our live video option, there are two ways to do so:
You could use a custom stream to allow your attendees to access the live talk. At the moment, we offer embeddable custom streams for Vimeo and YouTube. Any other custom stream that you enter will take your attendees away from the HeySummit site. If you use Vimeo/YouTube, the live video will be viewed on HeySummit.
No need to film in advance, as you just have to add the custom stream ID/URL
Not dependent on you having a paid account with one of our live integrations
You first need to create the live-stream on your chosen platform
You will have to record and upload your own replay
Finally, you could use one of our powerful webinar integrations to take full advantage of all the live-goodness. With our live integrations, all you have to do is connect a host to your HeySummit account and the platforms will do the rest. However, keep in mind that you will still need to record and upload a replay for LiveWebinar and Zoom. BigMarker is the only integration which automatically records and uploads the replay.
You don't need to film in advance
When you create a talk in HeySummit and set up your host webinar provider, HeySummit automatically creates a talk within your chosen webinar provider
You can use the live webinar platforms features to interact with attendees (polls, Q&A, etc.)
You will need a Zoom, BigMarker or LiveWebinar paid account
Not all live integrations are created equal. For Zoom and LiveWebinar, you'll have to record and upload your own replay using either an in-built screen record function or other software and host that recording on a video platform of your choice like Youtube or Vimeo
Ultimately, don't feel like you have to choose one or the other. You can have an event that mixes both pre-recorded and live videos. For example, you might want to have pre-recorded videos for smaller talks, and a live video for a keynote speech - it's up to you to evaluate what your audience will get the most value from.
3. Speakers, tickets and payments
Now that you've got your talks set up, it's time to think about speakers, tickets and payments - all integral parts of your budding event.
3.1 To give or not to give?
After you've set up your Categories, Talks and Speakers, it's finally time to ask yourself: should you give your speaker access to their Speaker Dashboard?
You can preview and edit what the speaker login email looks like by clicking on Event Setup > Email Templates. Click on Manage Templates under Speaker Emails. You can edit the speakers' permissions by clicking on Content > Speakers > Settings. Consider what aspects of your summit you want your speakers to be able to access and edit.
Your speakers can access all promotional materials/swipe copy you make available
Your speakers can add and edit their speaker and talk details
Speakers can access their talk for free. This allows speakers to be able to comment under the video, logged in and labelled as the speaker, not just a regular attendee
Speakers can see their affiliate account for your summit
You will have to monitor speakers progress by manually checking if they updated their talk/speaker details
You will have to support your speakers in how to log in and use the Speaker Dashboard which adds to your amount of communication and troubleshooting
3.2 Tickets, please!
It's important that you think about your tickets when creating your first summit. Will you have a free event, a fully paid one or a mixture? You can use our ticket configuration tool to impose attendee limits on many aspects of your event. Check out our help doc on setting up tickets.
Please note that we currently show all tickets that are available on the site. You can't create a ticket and only have it appear for a certain segment of your attendees but you can limit the time that it is shown.
Make sure you always check your ticket permissions before your event goes live.
Always Sync Edits to All Purchases after making any changes to your tickets. This way, both new attendees and previous ticket-holders will be affected by the changes.
3.3 Pricing options
Finally, you can think about how you would like to handle payments by attendees. If you are on our Business Plan, you have the option of linking a custom Stripe account However, by default, HeySummit will be the one processing all payments made by attendees.
Please note that HeySummit is automatically set up to help you sell access to your conference. On our Basic and Professional Plans we have a HeySummit transaction fee (5% and 1.5% respectively) on top of any PayPal/ Wise fees. On our Business Plan, there are no extra HeySummit fees, but the payment processor fees still apply.
We are based in the UK, and therefore aren't allowed to have US Stripe accounts, meaning that all money has to be converted into GBP. When we pay-out, depending on the target currency and method selected, there are other charges that are outside our control. We offer detailed payout reports that you can find on your ticket page to help set expectations, plan your budget and explain relevant fees.
4. All about attendees
Now that you've had a think about your event set-up in terms of talks, speakers and tickets, its time to think about how to enhance your attendees' experience. Here are some of the tools that can help you engage with, reach out and market to your audience.
4.1 Set up additional registration fields
We all know how important it is to find out as much info as possible about your attendees, especially when you have an awesome marketing plan in place.
You can view the answers to your registration questions in the Attendee Report. Simply go to Activity & Reporting > Attendees. To export the list and see all of the data, you want to click on the Export button located above the list to the right.
4.2 Set up email
It's important to get those communications up and running so that you can be in touch with your attendees as efficiently as possible. This is why you can
Configure your event support email
If your attendees have any issues during your Event, you can make sure that they can contact you. This way, you can report any issues to us and we can do some problem-solving together. Your communications with attendees should be kept separate from discussions with HeySummit support, as a lot of the time we will give advice on the event's set-up (which your attendees don't need to be explicitly informed about).
Make sure that you record any screenshots/ additional information from your attendees before reporting an issue to speed up the investigation process.
Change your event email address
By default, all HeySummit automatic emails get sent are from an email address generated especially for your summit. Normally it would look something like this: firstname.lastname@example.org This displays in attendees' inbox as being from the Event Owner and the Event Name. The email address is only visible if they click into it to directly look at the email.
If you'd like the automated emails to come from a specific branded address, you can change the settings by going to Event Setup > Settings. Click on Update under Custom Email Settings and enter the desired email address. You can also change the name of the event owner (i.e change it to someone from your team whos going to be writing and sending out emails to your attendees). To do this, simply head to Event Setup > Email Templates and click on Settings. By default, all emails are sent from the Event Owner (most likely you). If you'd like to make those emails look like they're from someone else, enter the new name under the Email From Name field.
Count the emails that get sent
Make sure you actually count how many emails an attendee would get in a day, especially if you:
Opt to automatically sign-up all attendees to all talks, or
If you have many talks
One thing to consider here is the number of 1 hour and 10 minute reminders that get sent. For example, if you have 10 talks and an attendee is signed up to all of them, they would get 10 '1 hour' reminder emails and 10 '10 minute' reminder emails if you have both of the email reminders set to Active. You might consider turning off both (or one), depending on how necessary you feel those reminders are.
Remember that your attendees always have the option of unsubscribing from email communications at the bottom of any email sent from HeySummit. They can choose to unsubscribe from all or per type of email so that they have full control.
4.3 Set up feedback questions
You can get further value from your summit by asking your attendees the right questions about their experience. Any feedback questions you set-up will be shown to attendees while the summit is live. Make sure you set up your questions in a yes/no format, as those are the only options your attendees have. These are designed to be low friction, high response, finger-on-the-pulse questions.
Example: "Did you get value from the event?" NOT "What was the most valuable part of the event?"
To set-up feedback questions you can click on Engagement > Feedback Questions. Click on Add and ask away.
4.4 Think about your offers & giveaways
To further increase the excitement around your event, you can also set up some giveaways and offers.
Remember to think about how each is made visible to attendees. While offers only appear in the emails sent out to attendees during your event, giveaways appear under the Perks page of your summit.
4.5 Set up coupons
You can also create and share coupons with your audience, speakers or affiliates. Have a think about their limits and restrictions and you're all set in offering your audience the best value.
You're all set! Nail these basics and summiting should be a breeze. Naturally, bumps along the way will occur. Fret not - HeySummit are on hand to help. Check out our knowledge base or hit up our support squad for all your summit-related queries.