March 5, 2020


#125: 15 Specific Session Styles You Should Be Using In Your Summit



Why is every summit just stuffed full with information Q&A style interviews? It’s so boring. There are 15 different session styles you could be implementing and it will make your summit stand out above all others. Let’s take a look at those right now!

About Dr. Mark T. Wade


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.

Reach Out To Dr. Mark T. Wade

The Viral Summits Done For You Summit Service

     ❇️     Our Goal - Reinvent how virtual summits are done

Key Aspects To Focus On This Year

  1. Theme or type of summit

  • We want to get away from the traditional “Information” based Q&A style summits

  • We will have an entertainment style event, with information or story woven through it

  1. Engagement 

  • We have to move away from passive sit back and watch style summits to active engaged events

  • We are going to do that with specific engagement strategies paired to the style of summit chosen, also by incorporating a physical component

  • We want to add physical deliverables that are given to the attendees who purchase the summit offer

  1. Session Styles or Types

  • The actual way the information is distributed

Traditional Interview Sessions

     👉     2 Types of interviews:

  1. Traditional Q&A style 

  • The host simply asks each speaker questions and the speaker simply answers them

  1. Hybrid style

  • This is a hybrid between Q&A and a presentation

  • The host intros the speaker, the speaker presents like a masterclass, and then the host asks some questions at the end

Additional Types Of Sessions

    ✔️     Panel

  • These could be live sessions, or pre-recorded

  • It’s 3 or more topic experts that answer questions, or give information based on a topic mentioned by the host

  • Another option with the panel is instead of bringing actual speakers is to bring students of your program on to talk

  • This highlights your expertise, makes you look good, and gives credibility to your program & ability to get results

     ✔️     Debate style session

  • This is where you have 2 – 3 speakers with completely opposing viewpoints, or conflicting opinions debate each other on why one is correct over the other

  • There is nothing that gets an audience riled up more than seeing a little controversy

  • The challenge with this is you have to find speakers who are willing to oppose a separate view point, and at the same time not be unprofessional or mean

  • You also need to have well thought out questions or topics for them to debate, that will give each speaker an opportunity to have an upper hand

  • During the debate the host needs to stay neutral and maintain order

     ✔️     Keynote

  • The main speaker presents a topic or information for 20 to 60 minutes

  • This is not a Q&A style interview

  • This is a straight up presentation or masterclass style session

  • The main point is to present a topic or information to the audience and teach them something

  • You need to be careful with choosing the right speakers for this

  • Ensure they are engaging and entertaining and not put your audience to sleep

     ✔️     Workshop Style

  • Excellent for creating engagement

  • The speaker will be doing an interactive or done with you style of session

  • This does not need to be live streamed all though it is even better when they are

  • Typically you will give your audience an advanced notice of this session and anything they need to have ready or prepared in advance to participate in this workshop

  • These sessions are typically a little longer, anywhere from about an hour to four hours, with 2 hours really being the sweet spot

  • It needs to be a workshop style where they are actually creating something

  • It’s good to have worksheets, or downloads that go along with the session so that the attendees can follow along

  • These style sessions have some of the highest attendee satisfaction ratings when done well

     ✔️      Live Q & A Session

  • This type of session is specifically to answer questions from the audience

  • Most typically this is done with just the host and the audience

  • You could bring on a special speaker and let the audience ask them questions

  • You can do this simply by having them type questions in the comments, you can even bring the audience member on camera and have them ask and talk live on camera

  • This creates the most engagement in this type of session as the audience feels a moment of prestige or value when they get to actually have their voices heard and be seen by the other attendees

  • You could do this completely at random, or you could have some pre chosen attendees lined up for this session 

  • Be clear with the audience before they hop on with what is acceptable and unacceptable while they are live

     ✔️      Fireside Chat

  • This can feel similar to a Q&A style session so it’s important to make it look and feel different 

  • It would be the best if you have the opportunity to record this in person with your speaker

  • If you are doing it virtually add a more laid back component

  • These are typically less teaching and information and more backstory or inspirational in nature

  • Usually reserved for important or noteworthy speakers

  • It’s a great way to get a speaker who speaks regularly to break away from their standard presentation and get some original content and information out of them 

     ✔️     Meet And Greet

  • This is a live component and can be done in a variety of ways such as a Zoom meeting, or a webinar that allows for break out rooms

  • This is a great benefit for your sponsors as you can give them a specific breakout room

  • It takes a little pre planning and ensuring your audience knows when these are happening so that you have a group of people available live to interact

     ✔️     Round Tables

  • Round tables is a breakout session where a couple of speakers are live and they are teaching or answering questions for the audience

  • You would typically have 2 – 3 of these going at the same time and allow the audience to choose which break out room they are going to attend

     ✔️     Group Share

  • Similar where they go into a break out style setting, but you allow for your attendees to interact with each other

  • You would typically select 1 or 2 attendees to lead each group and they would simply share their story or their experience

  • This is really good if you want to highlight some of your students who have had success with your program or product while they answer questions from your potential clients. 

  • You can also use the group share style session as a networking aspect to meet the other attendees which builds rapport and typically leads to the audience staying with you and your community longer

     ✔️     Mastermind Session

  • The mastermind session is very similar but is more focused on building their business or improving something

  • You would keep these into smaller groups of 4 – 8 persons

  • You should assign one “table leader” who keeps the order and ensures everyone gets a chance to participate

  • And each person gets the opportunity to ask a question or ask for help

  • There would be a set amount of time each person gets, with the table leader keeping track, and then the other members would get to provide feedback and suggestions on how to help solve the problem

     ✔️     Pitch Your Business Style

  • Very similar to the mastermind and group share but is more focused on letting the attendees talk about themselves and their businesses

  • The main purpose is it allows for the audience to engage, participate and meet other attendees

  • This is more difficult and definitely takes some planning, and can become a problem if there are any technical issues, but when executed correctly it really creates satisfaction and engagement

  • It is very different from your typical information based summit

     ✔️     Performance Entertaining Session/Storytelling session

  • It’s based more about telling a story which is focused on creating emotion

  • Not so much like a presentation or keynote, think more about reading a kid a bedtime story at night

  • It should be 100% entertaining and story focused

  • It should be short, anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes maximum

  • Should be used primarily to create emotion and entertainment with your audience

  • It’s best to use this only with a presenter who knows how to tell stories

  • It’s great for embedding yourself long term into your audiences memories and thought processes

     ✔️     Hot Seat

  • This can be done as a singular person with one speaker and can be live or pre-recorded, or can be done in similar fashion to the round tables

  • The main difference is that it is focused not on teaching a specific topic, but instead focused on that one person who is in the hot seat

  • The speaker would help them work through that problem while the rest of the audience learns from listening

  • These are great to raffle off or to increase participation in something

  • It definitely helps get more participation when they know they have the chance to get personal attention from the host or speaker in a hot seat

     ✔️     “Picture With The Influencer”

  • Not really a typical session but more an event that you can do which is outside the box, and like the last one, is great to increase participation

  • This takes a little planning but essentially you would say that on the final day at a specific time

  • Anyone who has purchased the all access pass can come on live and get a quick picture with a specific person

  • It could be one of the speakers or the host, but it needs to be someone that they want to have a picture with

  • You need to plan appropriately for the amount of time

  • It helps to increase sales from the lower tier to the higher tier

  • Again, it needs to be a person they would want to have a picture with, and you need to be clear up front of how it works

  • You don’t want them each talking for 3 – 5 minutes with the speaker or it will take all night.

  • It’s a really cool way to increase engagement and give them all something from the summit (those who purchased) as well as increase purchases to the highest tier



I’m going to give away all the best insights and knowledge but 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...



   👉   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.


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    ✔️   Plug & Play

    ✔️   Free Trial Virtual Summit 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 and 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. 



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