Getting started on your first virtual summit? Here’s a tip- don’t pick your topic until you’ve read this article.
We are going to break down everything you need to know in order to come up with a winning virtual summit topic. You will learn how to:
- Align your vision and goals
- Emphasize your authority
- Use analytics to narrow down topics
- Utilize your sales team to find the opportunity
- Pick the right scope
- Incorporate strategic takeaways
Ready to take your virtual event topic to the next level? Let’s get started.
1. Start with Your Vision, End with Your Goals
Let’s make this clear. Vision and goals are different.
Goals produce short-term ROI, vision produces long-term ROI.
Everything you do at a company should be about advancing your vision in the long-term.
Our vision at 6Connex, for example, is to realize the potential of virtual environments globally. The vision at a company like HubSpot, on the other hand, is to transform the way businesses market and sell- for the better. These are long-term visions.
Here are some examples of how virtual events help you achieve your vision:
- They bring brand awareness to your company.
- They associate your company with thought leadership in your industry.
- They allow you to make close connections with other influential people in your industry.
Whereas visions feed our souls, goals feed our bank accounts (someone has to!).
Some examples of goals for a virtual summit might be to:
- Hit 10,000 attendees
- Make $10,000 in revenue
- Sell 500 all-access passes
Get the idea?
The key takeaway here is it’s important to be strategic with your goals while still remaining true to your vision.
Focus on something that happens to be relevant and trendy in your industry but also happens to falls within the trajectory of your vision!
Once you have your vision and goals aligned, it’s time to hone in on a topic.
2. Use a Topic in Which You Have the Most Authority
It’s simple really.
Your marketing team spends all of their days working on building brand authority for your product or service. Your virtual event is the time to showcase it.
Honestly, there should only be 2-3 potential topics that come to mind. Your virtual event topic should accomplish two things:
- Tout the brand authority you’ve already built (subtly)
- Position you in a market that you want to be
FOR EXAMPLE: If you offer an AI-powered sales service whose greater purpose is to innovate and automate the worldwide sales industry, your topic might be “The Future of Global AI for Marketing and Sales”.
Not only will your brand be forever associated with the title of the summit in your attendee's minds, but it will also position your company as an innovative thought leader in the matter. Win-win.
But just because you have an authority on a topic doesn’t mean it will convert attendees. That’s where the analytics comes in.
3. Use Analytics to Choose a Topic that Converts Attendees
Choosing a topic that converts starts with empathy.
What are your readers searching for? Where is there an information/content gap that needs to be filled?
The internet is swarming with data to help you locate where the current interest of your readers is lurking. Some examples of analytics you can use are:
- Buzzsumo: See what articles are trending and what topics are being shared most frequently on social media.
- Google Trends: Get side-by-side comparisons of search traffic for certain topics.
- Your Own Blog: Search through heat maps of your site to see what articles are ranking the highest, or which ones have comments by readers asking you to elaborate.
- Social Media Polls: Poll your company's social following with several topic ideas to see which ones rank highest.
- Brandwatch: Analyze billions of digital conversations to find out what people are saying about and asking of your brand.
- Past Webinar/Virtual Event Data: Check questions from attendees of past webinars and events you’ve hosted.
4. Ask Your Sales Team Where They Lose Clients
During virtual events, you have the (somewhat) undivided attention of your attendees. Use it to your advantage!
Your sales team knows better than anyone in what part of the funnel they lose clients.
This falls back in line with empathy. Utilize your sales team to understand what your clients are searching for.
Answer the following questions:
- What are our potential client's questions?
- What is it that clients just don’t seem to get about our product/service? (Where do they fall out of the funnel?)
- Do they not see the necessity of our product/service?
- Do they not see the functionality?
Use this opportunity to find a topic that allows you to better explain your product and its results.
5. Don’t Be Too Broad
Focus is your friend.
Just like choosing a niche for your business, make sure your topic is niche and showcases the fact that you are highly specialized in your area.
FOR EXAMPLE: If you sell an invoice automation software, imagine you make your topic “The Most Transformative SaaS Apps”.
Everyone’s app wants to be seen as being “transformative” and “innovative”, but if your speakers offer a bunch of services that you do not, you will lose the potential business (and attention span) of your attendees.
Instead, cast a smaller net.
“The Digital Transformation of Accounting/Financial Services”. This is a good way to attack one subject from various angles: AI in accounting, automation, impact on bottom lines, extraction of big data, etc.
If you give your virtual event the niche topic it deserves, virtual events will do what they do best: generate qualified leads.
Finally, don’t let your attendees go without giving them this...
6. Offer Tangible Skills that Attendees Will Remember
Since you can’t hand out branded T-shirts and mugs like you would at a normal event, you must make sure your attendees don’t walk away empty-handed (or empty-minded in this case)!
Ask yourself “What are the tangible skills I want my attendees to walk away with?”
Why is this important?
Because people can forget up to 50% of new information within one hour. That number escalates up to 70% within 24 hours, and 90% within a week.
The solution is to pick 2-3 tangible skills (i.e. research-backed tips on closing or top-notch SEO hacks) that you want your attendees to remember and associate with your brand.
The ideal scenario would be for your attendees to then implement these skills/professional hacks and remember (most likely out loud) “Oh hey, I learned that at a 6Connex virtual event!”
Your name and topic should become synonymous with the value you are giving away, and should thus be associated directly with the product or service you sell.
Simple as that.
Now You’ve Got Yourself a Winning Topic!
Now you know the ingredients that go into a winning topic, but the buck doesn’t stop there!
Great topics will only take you so far. Make sure you’re using a virtual event platform that will offer strategic guidance to help you reach your goals and nurture your leads. Get a 6Connex demo today.