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Virtual summits have become increasingly popular in recent times, especially as remote working and dispersed teams have become more commonplace. Hosting a virtual summit can be an excellent way to bring together remote teams, provide opportunities for learning and collaboration, and foster a sense of community within an organization. So what goes into planning and hosting a virtual summit for your remote teams?
Step 1: Define the purpose and goals
Before you begin planning your virtual summit, you need to define its purpose and goals. What are you hoping to achieve by bringing together your remote teams? Are you looking to provide training and development opportunities, foster collaboration, or build a sense of community within your organization? Clearly defining your summit purpose and goals will help guide the rest of the planning process.
Step 2: Determine the format and schedule
Once you have defined the purpose and goals of your summit, you can start to determine the format and schedule of the event. Will it be a one-day event, or will it span multiple days? Will it include keynote speeches, panel discussions, or workshops? Will it be a live event, or will sessions be pre-recorded and available on demand? Answering these questions will help you create a clear agenda for the summit.
Step 3: Identify and invite speakers and presenters
The success of your virtual summit will depend on the quality of your speakers and presenters. Identify individuals who are experts in their field or have unique perspectives to share with your remote teams. Consider inviting speakers from within your organization as well as external experts. Be sure to send invitations well in advance to allow speakers enough time to prepare.
Step 4: Choose a platform and technology
Choosing the right platform and technology is critical to the success of your virtual summit. Look for a platform that can accommodate your desired format and schedule, as well as the number of attendees you are expecting. Consider the features you need, such as live-streaming, interactive chat, and breakout rooms. It's also important to choose a platform that is user-friendly for both hosts and attendees. Zoom is always a popular choice and with GreenRope’s native integration, you can synchronize your CRM to your Zoom meeting to manage attendees beforehand and follow up after the summit has concluded.
Step 5: Plan and Promote the Summit
With the format, schedule, speakers, and technology all in place, it's time to start planning and promoting your event. Create a detailed digital agenda that includes session titles, descriptions, and speaker bios. Make sure to include time for breaks and chat-based networking opportunities. Promote the summit through email, team chat, team calendars, social media, and other channels to ensure that remote teams are aware of the event and can plan accordingly.
Step 6: Host the Virtual Summit
On the day of the virtual summit, make sure everything is ready to go. Test all involved technology to ensure that it's working correctly, and have a backup plan in case of any issues. Start the event on time, and make sure to introduce speakers and presenters. Encourage participation through interactive features such as polls and chat. Provide opportunities for Q&A and collaboration throughout the event.
Step 7: Follow Up and Evaluate
After the virtual summit, follow up with attendees to gather feedback and evaluate the success of the event. Send a survey to gather feedback on the content, speakers, and format of the event. Use this feedback to make improvements for future virtual summits, this is particularly important if you plan to make the event an annual occurrence. Evaluate the success of the event by analyzing attendance numbers, engagement, and feedback from attendees.
Hosting a virtual summit can be an effective way to bring together remote teams, provide learning opportunities, and foster a sense of community within even a worldwide organization. By following these steps, you can plan and host a successful virtual event that achieves goals and meets the needs of your remote teams.
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