May 05, 2019


#004: How to Build Your Summit

What is the one question to ensure you don’t get screwed by a Virtual Summit consultant, plus how to remove 90% of the time needed to build out a summit with one single solution.


If you are just joining us on The Virtual Summit Podcast, I highly recommend that you go and listen to the first three episodes to get yourself acquainted with the podcast.


Remember, you can get the show notes and resources at: and


This is going to be a little bit longer of an episode but could possibly be one of the most valuable episodes you could listen to.  We are going to be talking specifically about the different ways you can build out your summit, what that looks like, and how to avoid a complete disaster.   It’s an episode you want to listen to till the very end if you are serious about hosting a summit.



Four ways to build out your summit:

  1. Pay someone else to build it
  2. Custom build it yourself (Wordpress)
  3. Use a generic tool or software (ClickFunnels, Kajabi, Thinkific)
  4. Use the Virtual Summits Software  - Makes hosting a summit easier than ever before


Physical Components of a Summit:


👉   Landing Page

👉   Thank You /Upsell Page

👉   Summit Home Page

👉   Individual Speaker Pages

👉   Bonus/Gifts

👉   Sponsors/Resources

👉   Sales Page

👉   Thank You Page



Additional Aspects


✔️   FAQ Page

✔️   Support Page/Help Desk/Contact Page

✔️   Group Area for group conversation



What is the difference between a Summit Coach and a Summit Consultant?

☑️   Coaches typically sell online programs that give you the information to host a summit. 

☑️   Coaches typically don’t do anything with you or your summit other than give you the online trainings and sometimes answer ongoing questions.

☑️   Coaches are going to be much less expensive as you are paying for a program & no assistance. You still have to build it all yourself.

✅    Consultants typically create most of the platform for you and are responsible for running the summit. 
✅    Consultants don’t typically do anything outside of the summit platform creation and live summit tech support

✅    Consultants are going to be much more expensive depending on the caliber of consultant.



Let's Dive Into The Four Areas Of Building Our Your Summit:


Pay Someone Else To Build It   
Only really recommended if you have disposable resources, or you have done several successful summits & know your conversions & can make it profitable.


What The Process Looks Like

  • Find a consultant or coach – They will do an in depth consultation.
  • Understand what you want and are looking for and when you are looking to launch.
  • They tell you the amount you need to pay them and then you agree
  • They handle most of the heavy lifting as far as building out the site – usually with pre packaged templates they have created.
  • You will still have to do all the speaker, affiliate, & sponsor recruiting, management & interviews.
  • You will have to pay for all of the materials being built (usually software that they are an affiliate for)
  • They will help guide you and advise you on insights into the marketing & launching
  • You will have to create all the marketing materials, ads, emails, copy, and  paid advertising.
  • They will handle any technical aspect or issues that arise during the summit.
  • Once the summit ends your arrangement is finished and they are done
  • You will still have to pay the monthly fees for all of the softwares & plugins they used to build your summit. (Usually generating them ongoing revenue until you stop paying).


How Long Does It Take

  • Typically a summit consultant can get most of the summit up and built within 2 – 3 months
  • If they have the ability to work on it full time probably in 1 – 2 months. 
  • However, you will still need the extra 2 – 4 months for speaker recruitment, interviews, and marketing creation.   
  • In total you could most likely launch your summit within 3 months based on your speed of speaker recruitment.



How Much Does it Cost

  • Most good summit consultants are going to cost between $7,000 - $10,000. 
  • High end consultants (or speciality niches) can be upwards of $35,000 - $50,000 & require profit sharing from the earnings of the summit.   
  • Consultants below $3,000 are most likely less experienced or not high quality. 



What Are The Downsides

  • The obvious downsides are going to be the costs.  Summits typically don’t have huge profit margins from the summit. (Most profits come from post summit income – check out episode 003 for more information on this  
  • So when you are paying out a lot of money to build your summit you are
  1. Decreasing your ability to take home the cash
  2. Increasing risk of actually losing money if your summit doesn’t do well
  • Consultants will typically remove themselves from the direct relationship of the success of the summit (mainly because they can’t guarantee it’s success and  don’t want to be held responsible).  So they will only take responsibility for the creation of the structure, not whether the summit succeeds.  Which means you are ultimately still solely responsible for the success.
  • This is why I typically don’t recommend consultants for your first summit.  I think they are a great opportunity after you know you can generate results.  But before then you run the risk of paying a lot of money and ultimately not making it back.
  • Ultimately the downside is the financial costs and the risk.  If these are non issues for you, either because you have the disposable finances, or you are confident in your abilities to create success then this can be a great option for you.


What Are The Upsides

  • You don’t have to do any of the work building the summit. 
  • Allows you to move much quicker in launching your summit
  • You have someone with experience who can help guide you
  • You can stay in your zone of genius and let someone else handle the technical aspect
  • You have someone to turn to when something goes wrong or if you have questions.


What Should I Know (or Ask)

Before you ever agree to pay anything with a consultant here are the things you should know and ask.


1.  How many summits have you run before (and provide some examples)?

  • Do your research.  Reach out to these summits and ask the hosts about their experience.
  • This could save you from disaster in the long run
  • If they have run less than 5 summits they are newer and pose more risk
  • If they have run more than 10 summits they are most likely experience
  • Anything over 25 is a well experienced consultant.

2.  What are the average results you typically get from your summit?

  • If they can’t give you an estimate or average that means they haven’t generated any decent results.
  • Find out what summit they got good results with and check with that host.  If they won’t tell you which summit then they are lying.  RUN!  Always confirm this with the summit hosts.  Many times consultants will “exaggerate” their results. 

3.  When was the last summit you helped create?

  • If it’s been more than a few years that is a red flag.  It means this is probably not their main expertise and are just trying to do it on the side to generate extra income.

4.  Where did you learn to create summits?

  • This is more in relationship with question 1.  If they have minimal experience, then how do they know how to run a summit?  If they have had training, then maybe it’s worth it, if not then they are just guessing and it’s your money that will be the gamble.

5.  What exactly are you going to do and what are you not going to do?

  • Always very important to have in writing exactly what they are responsible for doing (and not doing) to hold them accountable. 
  • This should be done before you pay them anything
  • Afterwards they will opt out of doing more work
  • Additionally this is just good to know so you are aware of what you need to be ready to do.

6.  What happens if for some reason this summit bombs?

  • This is a tough question that no one wants to ask, but honestly is something that needs to be asked. 
  • Are they holding any of the responsibility for this summit to perform well?  If not, then that is a LOT of risk on your shoulders.  
  • They should be willing to at least provide guidelines and agreeables to what is a successful summit, an ok summit, and a “bomb” or bad summit. 
  • They should be able to offer you some kind of peace of mind that they have a little skin in the game.

7.  Will you allow me to pay you partially upfront & the rest from the results of the summit?

  • This right here is a huge tell and also relates to the question above.  If they are confident in their abilities to help your summit be successful then they can at least put some amount (even a tiny amount ) 10% -50% of their payment could be taken out of the summit results or profit
  • If they are completely 100% against this and don’t even at least consider it, then watch out.  That means they already believe the summit isn’t going to do well.   If they don’t think it’s going to do well then you really don’t want them consulting. 


How To Get Started?

  • Easiest way is to go to our resource area over at and see the list of our approved consultants that we have vetted & recommend.  (if you are a consultant and want us to check you out then get in touch with us.)
  • Additionally you can reach out to our team and see if you qualify for our Virtual Summits Immersion Programs.   We typically only work with clients we know we can get great results with and we definitely take responsibility for the success of the summit, but we have a limited number of spots we work with each quarter.  You can send us a request for more information to



Build It Custom Yourself (Wordpress) 

This will be a much shorter version to get through. 

  • This is only for the bravest of entrepreneurs
  • Ones that have either great knowledge & skill in building websites and landing pages. 
  • Have a lot of experience in creating items from scratch using wordpress.   
  • So most likely the entrepreneurs like myself that were out there creating before things like clickfunnels, kajabi & Thinkific were around. 



What The Process Looks Like?

  • You map out what you want your summit to look like. 
  • How many speakers, how many pages.  What color schemes, fonts and special items
  • You then begin building it using wordpress and plugins like wishlist member, deadline funnels, thrive cart, disques chat box, and every other technical tool that goes into building out a 100 page event like a summit
  • Then you pray nothing breaks and you linked all your links correctly. (which you didn’t, I can already tell you that) ;)


How Long Does It Take?

  • If you have never done this type of thing before, you can plan on it taking you roughly 4 months of non stop (30+ hours a week) of creation for about 2 – 3 months.
  • That’s not counting the interviews which will most likely take another 1 -2 months of part time (15 – 20 hours a week) 0f time.
  • If you run more than one you can reuse your original (clone it) and it will save you about 1/3 of the time.  You will still have to spend a lot of time because you have to edit everything inside of the pages.


How Much Does It Cost?

  • If you are someone that knows how to do this you will probably have some specific tools that you want to use, so the cost might be different
  • When I built my first summit – it had 7 softwares & 26 plugins all frankenstined together
  • It cost me roughly $6,700 in total
  • I was able to streamline the process (after I created the first one) to about $2,500 - $4,000.  Because I could reuse a lot of the same tools I had already paid for. 


What Are The Downsides?

  • It takes forever
  • It typically doesn’t look as professional
  • It still costs a decent amount for the first one.
  •  It will 100% for sure have tech issues.


What Are The Upsides?

  • Total Control & Customization – make it exactly as you want it.
  • If you plan to run more than one.


What Should I Know (or Ask)?

I would not recommend this option unless

  1. You are super skilled & knowledgeable in wordpress creation.
  2. You have no other option., which really there is always the Virtual Summits Software option which honestly you couldn’t pay me to go back to doing it the wordpress built from scratch way.  (and I’ve done probably 10 summits this way before).


Use A Generic Tool Or Software (ClickFunnels, Kajabi, Thinkific)

  • This is honestly the most commonly done way for people hosting summits.  Either because their coach, consultant, or someone they know told them to just use one of these funnel/course building tools to try and host a summit on it.   
  • Most of the people that are advising people to do this are doing it because they get a paid affiliate commission if you click their link and sign up for any of these tools. 
  • With that being said it is much much cheaper, & easier to do it this way than paying a consultant or building it from scratch.


What The Process Looks Like?

Typically 1 of 2 ways:

  1.  If you are being referred by someone who gets affiliate commissions, they will typically have some kind of template or generic format that you can download and use to template out your summit.
  2. If you are just doing it on your own then you have to figure out how to build it out yourself. 

Either way it looks like this:

  • You sign up for one of these tools.  The most common are (Click Funnels, Thinkific, & Kajabi). 
  • They will have pages that can be built.
  • You build a landing page, a sales page and all the speaker pages.
  • You have links for all the pages.
  • When your summit goes live you have to figure out how to turn on or off the links to the pages that they should not have access to yet.
  • This usually requires going into every speaker page for that day of the summit and activating the link, then at the end of the day you deactivate the link. 
  • You do this every day for 3- 14 days twice a day for up to 80 speakers and again pray you didn’t miss something . (Trust me you did,  everyone always does).  When that happens you generate typically several hundred to several thousand emails from attendees complaining.
  • At the end you drive all the traffic to the sales page and try to generate sales.
  • Then after it’s over you have to duplicate everything (If you really are trying to be ethical) so that the original attendees can’t still access the recordings, and give the new duplicated version to those who upgraded and paid for the recordings.
  • Another way is to shut it down , take all the presentations and put them on a membership platform and give all those who paid access to that membership platform.
  • Or the lazy way is to shut it all down and just give those who paid a link to your dropbox with all the videos.  (Don’t do this)
  • Overall, this is honestly for the costs one of the best ways to run a summit, if the virtual summit software didn’t exist.


How Long Does It Take?

  • Typically this will take roughly as long as it does to set it up on wordpress because you still have to go through and build everything.  It’s just much more user friendly and won’t look like a 3rd grader built it. (or maybe it will I guess I’ve never seen your page building skills.
  • So in general you are looking at probably 1-2 months of solid work to build out the summit at a minimum putting in 20-30 hours a week & then another 2-3 months of interviews & marketing creation. 


How Much Does It Cost?

  • Costs are much more reasonable here. 
  • You are probably looking at around $1,000 - $3,500 upfront costs & around $600 - $1,000 of recurring costs depending on what tools and additional fancy software you add into it. 
  • Also if you are getting this from a coaches program you should factor in the $1,000 - $2,000 you paid for their online course.


What Are The Downsides?

  • Its still a small investment. 
  • You still have to build it all which is going to take a lot of your time.
  • Things will break and not work (always happens)  links not connected correctly, etc.
  • It won’t look or function great because it’s built on something that isn’t really designed for summits. Meaning the functionality won’t feel perfect.  It will work, but trying to do a summit on a course software, or a landing page software just doesn’t function the way a summit is truly suppose to be run.


What Are The Upsides?

  • It’s much quicker than building it custom
  • It’s much cheaper
  • It will look better than building it yourself
  • It lets you create a summit which will greatly benefit you and your business.


What Should I Know (or Ask)?

  • Honestly , there is nothing super negative to this approach.
  • I’ve done the same. My progression went from building them custom on wordpress, to using Thinkific or clickfunnels, to now running them on Virtual Summits Software. 
  • The only real thing to know is if you are going to build a summit on one of these tools then for the same or less cost you can have it built and run quicker, cheaper, and with better functionality on Virtual Summits Software.


How To Get Started

Go to the show notes at and we will have links to all these tools like Thinkific, click funnels, etc. 



Use The Virtual Summits Software


👉  Virtual Summit Software Makes hosting a summit easier than ever before.  It is the only software designed 100% specifically for running summits which means every aspect about it is ideal for summit hosting & creation


👉  It has literally changed the game when it comes to summits.  The power that use to be reserved for those already successful entrepreneurs with big budgets, teams, and resources has now been given to everyone of us.   You don’t need a team, you don’t need any tech skill, you don’t need a big budget or resources.


👉   You can literally have a summit up and ready to launch in a matter of hours, not months.


***A little history on the virtual summits software.  As I had mentioned I have been running summits for about 4 years now.  I’ve been involved in around 25 summit creations.  I use to build them by hand painfully.  After a few years of wishing there was an easier way to run summits, I finally found the number one development company in the US and we set out to build the perfect solution to hosting a summit. 


We started out by doing a product discovery where we interviewed 50 some summit creators asking them their pain points and solutions.  We found that there was a massive pain in this area and NOT a single solution available to accurately solve it.


We then set out on the next year building what would become the number one tool for hosting a summit.   It literally makes the process so easy that everyone can quickly and simply run a successful summit.



What The Process Looks Like:

  • Head over to Virtual and you can sign up for a free trial.
  • Click “Host Your First Summit”
  • You then type in your summit details
  • Go to the landing page builder and choose a template customized from the top 100 most successful summits ever run.
  • Fill out the information you want on the landing page.
  • Go to the speaker section and start recruiting your speakers.
  • Speakers will get the request & they fill out their information and it is auto populated through out the whole summit saving you at least 25 – 40 hours of work.
  • Decide what levels you want in your summit, like free, vip, and elite. 
  • Attach your email software to the membership with one click of a button and you now have all the attendees being signed up to your email list automatically.
  • Drag and drop those speakers into the summit scheduler and poof you are done!
  • Your summit is ready to collect leads to run automatically without you having to do anything and of course collecting you the cash generated from the summit purchase.


How Long Does It Take?

  • I’ve created summits in under an hour
  • My partner in my other company runs a one-day summit at least once a quarter. She is probably the least techy person you will ever meet & she can have a summit up and ready in a matter of 2 hours. 
  • Obviously your first time in the software it might take you a few hours, but no matter how you look at it, the other alternative is 100+ hours or 2 – 5 hours.  Pretty awesome.


How Much Does it Cost?

  • This is the insane part.  It doesn’t cost $10,000.  It doesn’t cost $5,000.  It doesn’t even cost $1,000.  The highest offering that is available for fully unlocked, unlimited summits with the Ever-Summit Feature is the same price as any of the other software solutions we were previously talking about.  Or even less if you take the standard option.  It’s really a no brainer.


What Are The Downsides?

  • Really there are very few downsides if any. 
  • If I had to really try to make something for this I would say in terms of software it is still relatively young.  Which is actually kind of a positive because every week there are new and cool features being released, but at the moment of recording this episode there is not as much customization options as there could be.  They are coming, but that would probably be the top downside.


What Are The Upsides?

  • Essentially everything. 
  • It’s cheaper, easier, faster & less tech problems to host a summit. 
  • It is designed specifically for hosting & running summits.
  • Everything about it is seem less and the way a summit should run. 


What Should I Know (or Ask)?

  • There is a feature called the Ever-Summit feature which is exclusive to Virtual Summits Software.  With one click of a button the software will automatically rerun your summit as if it was live on going forever. 
  • What is so cool about this is that human nature has us subconsciously think that anything that is old is no longer good.  Even though you and I know that those videos are still good, people who see that it’s over will choose not to opt in for it.
  • The Ever- Summit feature allows anyone who comes to the landing page to see that the summit is set to run next week for example.  They opt in and then the software automatically unlocks and locks each day & session appropriately and correctly and then when it’s over it locks it down again.  If that attendee tries to go back to the landing page it shows them that the summit is ended and they need to upgrade.  But for all new traffic that goes to that landing page sees that the summit starts next week! 
  • It allows your summit to become the beginning of your customer journey and allows you to scale your business quicker.


How To Get Started


Head over to and you can sign up for a free trial to test it out and get started building your next summit.


***In closing here, there are no necessarily right or wrong answers to these options.  My goal was to shed an in depth light into the options that are there, what is great about them, and the not so great. 

It’s up to you to decide which option is the best option for you and your situation. 

No matter what you are (Summit Host, Speaker, Affiliate) you have a message that needs to get out to the world.  Don’t wait, choose whatever option makes the most sense to you and is the easiest to get started and just start moving forward!



My Request

  • I’m going to give away all the best insights and gems, I just need YOUR HELP?
  • First subscribe & leave a 5 star review on this podcast
  • Second, share this podcast with anyone you know who has done, or wants to do a summit.
  • That’s all I ask. 


How To Get In Touch

  • I am always looking for feedback. 
  • If you have questions send them to me.  (I’ll start doing a special Q&A monthly episode)
  • If you want to be a guest reach out and let me know
  • If you know someone I should interview please put me in touch with them.

Email me at:



Resources You Can Get:

✔️  ODS Guide,

✔️  VS Framework,

✔️  Plug & Play,

✔️  Free Trial Virtual Summits Software


I want to end this episode by saying,


I believe in YOU & YOU can do this."


Summits are by far one of the most powerful ways to quickly grow your list, launch your platform & make more money! (Even if you are just getting started).

Don’t get caught up in Analysis paralysis, because the world needs to hear your message & there are people who are waiting for you to help them. 


So just get started.  Imperfect action is always better than doing nothing!

Thank you & see you on the next episode!

Dr. Mark T Wade went from brick & mortar to multi-million dollar online business using a strategy called the "One-Day Summit".
Having created 6, 7 & Multi 7-figure businesses in the Brick & Mortar, Online (Education) Business, & Software As A Service space (Virtual Summits Software), Dr. Mark now helps entrepreneurs scale their online businesses with proven strategies such as the One-Day Summit Formula. 


Table of Contents    


📄   4 Ways You Can Build Your Virtual Summit

  • Pay Someone Else
  • Customize Yourself
  • Use Generic Tools
  • Virtual Summit Software

📄   Physical Components of a summit

  • Difference between a Virtual Summit Coach and a Virtual Summit Consultants


📄   Build it/Custom Yourself


📄   Using a generic tool or software


📄   Using Virtual Summit Software





   🔗   Virtual Summit Podcast Episode 01

   🔗   Virtual Summit Podcast Episode 03

   🔗   Virtual Summits Software

   🔗   One-Day Summit Training

   🔗   Virtual Summits Software Free Trial

   🔗   One-Day Summit Starter Guide


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