Hosting A Summit – One of the first things that hold people back from hosting a virtual summit is time. Summit is a big project, and when you already have a lot, the idea of fitting everything into one summit can seem impossible.
Run 2 businesses, host at least 1 summit/year and have two children under 4 at home with only part-time childcare. Usually, my answer to “how do I do it all” is that I don’t!
Hosting A Summit
But I know there are many of you who want to host a summit without putting your whole life on hold, so today, I’m going in-depth and hosting a summit when you have limited hours. I’m sharing what actually goes on. on hosting.
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I know there are all kinds of reasons you don’t want to host a summit or can’t dedicate a ton of time. So whatever it is for you, keep reading to find out how you can fit the summit into your schedule without it taking over your life.
This week I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the key things that allowed me to host my virtual summit in so many part-time hours, like…
Let’s start by diving into what my schedule has been like for the past few months to give you the full picture. In June 2021, we welcomed our second daughter into the world and I planned to take three months of maternity leave, then send her to daycare part-time with my sister and jump right in. I like to work. So when I was planning my maternity leave, that’s what struck me.
I’m sure many of you parents can relate, but things don’t go as planned when kids are involved. I got to that three month mark and had no interest in sending him to daycare. Less than zero interest in reality. I was totally against this idea.
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My four-year-old son, who was three at the time, was going to full-time daycare during this postpartum period. Instead of sending the kid to daycare with her, I switched gears completely. I dropped my older daughter off at part-time preschool and decided to keep my younger daughter at home with me until it was appropriate to send her.
As the 3 month mark approached and my planned maternity leave neared its end, I decided I wasn’t ready to go back into full-on work mode. I had no interest in doing that, and luckily, I didn’t have to. Things were going well at Evergreen. Kate steered the ship. We did a quick flash sale in September to bring in some additional revenue from the emails we had already written.
We started a failed workshop, probably the most I had done during that period. It went through the pre-sale phase only in October. It didn’t go well, so we scrapped it.
And then, I started a simple challenge in December because we had done this challenge so many times before we started. And it was really the only thing I did for the first six months of having a new baby. Some of you might be saying, “Wow, that’s a lot!” But it wasn’t really, because all we did was rinse and repeat with the things we had already done and were good to go.
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I was keeping very, very short hours in my business at the time, which is not like me! Usually, if the girls are busy or sleeping or whatever, I’m on my computer every spare second, just motivated. And I didn’t have it.
It wasn’t related to depression or anxiety or anything like that, which I struggled with after my first pregnancy. I didn’t like it then. I think once you get a taste of freedom, it’s hard to come back.
Honestly, I think it’s important as business owners to give ourselves that freedom. There will be seasons of feeling super inspired, and seasons of just wanting and needing rest.
Things will come up that force you to take time off. Such as having a baby, perhaps health issues, family emergencies, or the need for a mental break. And we didn’t start our businesses to be forced to sit at our desks all day.
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This is my story, but I think everyone’s story of needs, wants and finding a little freedom is different.
I honestly would have been more than happy to keep this momentum going for much longer, but it was time to plan the sixth leg of our annual summit.
But I still wasn’t ready to get childcare to do it. So I had to balance keeping both girls at home and working part-time on summit preparations and races.
It made me loathe the summit work here and there, which basically meant going into naptime hustle mode!
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And that comes out to about 22-ish hours per week, give or take a couple. By the time this episode airs, that may have actually changed a lot. I’m recording this before we take our oldest daughter out of daycare completely and get someone she can see 15 hours a week from church. Which I am very excited about.
But I was working about 20-22 hours a week while planning this summit. And doing so many other things in my business that I won’t sit here and list them for you.
So let’s get into the four keys that made it possible for me to pull off everything that goes into session hosting while working only 22 hours/week.
So firstly, I couldn’t organize the summit in the time frame I did without the team at part-time hours. Can I extend my timeline by a few months and finish it myself? Yes, maybe. But I have a good team and I think that’s important as you grow. And they were a big reason it was possible.
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I can say that Kate was the key to me being able to do that. He can take our processes, which we also provide to our clients, and implement those processes.
They were probably the biggest time savers. Things related to your speakers are where the biggest waste of time is because it has to be done with every speaker.
If we assume that each speaker takes 30 minutes, and it was that long from start to finish, it would literally be a week of work for me that I don’t have to do. And obviously it must have taken me more than a week to be able to put in a week’s worth of hours for the summit, because that’s not the only thing I have on my plate!
So, having an incredible team was a big key for me to be able to host the summit with part-time hours. I recommend having at least one VA or assistant on your team to help you run your summit. It makes things so much easier, and while I had limited time for this event, it wouldn’t have happened without my team.
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Number two is the timeline. People always come to me wanting to host a summit in 4-5 weeks. And I honestly have to laugh just thinking about it. That timeline will give you a week or two to do all the planning, positioning, copywriting, tech setup, speaker pitching, and more two to three weeks before the promotion opens.
That being said, I don’t care how experienced I am at the summit or how many times I’ve run the same program over and over again…we give ourselves at least 90 minutes to prepare for the summit. That’s what we’ve done here.
Scrolling back through my asana calendar, my days were full! Not only the work of the summit, but also other things we are doing:
You can allow yourself to slow down the 120 day process and release more stress. I promise, you won’t regret doing it. An extended timeline is really helpful when you’re trying to host a summit with limited hours.
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I’m interested in trying to run without something telling me what tasks need to be completed and how to do them each step of the way. And of course, after running the 7 peaks and teaching others how to do it, we have!
I literally go to my Summit on a Box Accelerator course platform, follow the same steps our clients take to get started, download a project plan, use our tool to calculate due dates, and load it into Asana.
I really don’t want to try summit planning without it, despite my experience. I would miss 100% of things if I didn’t have something to do with me in the past. is
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