Conferences and summits are a fantastic way to continue learning while staying connected to the wedding community. In fact, Timeline Genius was built on the opportunity to connect with planners at large in-person events. But now that safety has required a little more distance between us, we’re grateful to still have the opportunity to connect virtually with our current customers and with other valuable members of the wedding industry through online events. Choosing the right virtual conference or event isn’t always easy, so we spoke with wedding biz guru and all-around awesome person, Heidi Thompson to get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your next virtual summit.
Oh and P.S. Heidi has an opportunity for you to put these tips into practice, keep reading to find out more!
Team TG: What things would you recommend someone consider when choosing a virtual summit to attend?
Heidi Thompson: I think education is incredibly important, but it’s important to put what you’re learning into action so I’d suggest focusing on choosing a virtual summit that aligns with the problems you need to solve in your business right now. Be prepared to take what you’ve learned and put it into action immediately!
TG: When creating a summit, what factors do you consider when choosing the content?
HT: When choosing the content and the speakers for my virtual summits I really focus on the questions I’ve been asked most and the problems I know my clients have or have had in the past. I’m all about solving problems. I also make sure the content is well-rounded so that attendees aren’t getting too much on a single topic. My goal for the Wedding Business CEO Summit is to help wedding professionals go from overwhelmed & overworked to streamlined & more profitable than ever so all of the content falls into categories like time management, team building, legal, money, and building additional revenue streams.
TG: How can someone make the most of their attendance?
HT: The most important thing someone should do when attending Wedding Business CEO Summit is to review the presentation schedule and identify which presentations are going to give you the best return on investment for your time. If you aren’t interested in a topic, don’t guilt yourself into attending.
I’d also recommend picking up the All-Access Pass which has ongoing access to all of the presentations so you can tap into them later, worksheets, transcripts, 3 VIP Networking Sessions during the summit, and over $4000 of speaker bonuses that will help you implement what you’ve learned and take the next steps. Every time I host a summit, I get so many comments about the speaker bonuses and the networking sessions. Attendees find a lot of value in those so be sure you don’t miss out.
TG: What key items should they have ready prior to the summit starting?
HT: The first thing to have ready is dedicated time to learn. These presentations and panels aren’t going to do you any good if you’re just passively consuming them. The more you participate the more you’re going to get out of the event.
You’ll definitely want to have a way of taking notes whether that be pen and paper or a Google Doc. Be sure you use that space to map out action steps for yourself so you actually implement what you learn! Each presentation has a worksheet to help you implement what you’re learning so you’ll want to make sure you download those and fill them out.
TG: Do you have any tips for networking during a virtual summit?
HT: The place where most activity happens during the summit is our Facebook group. I love connecting with wedding pros from around the world in that group but it’s also a great way for the attendees to connect with each other. If you want to connect with people in a similar geographic area to you or a similar state of business to form a mastermind group after the summit finishes, just create a post!
I’m also hosting 3 live VIP Networking Sessions during the summit to help wedding professionals connect and network with one another. People absolutely LOVED these sessions last time and great connections and having learned a lot from their fellow wedding business owners. These networking sessions are only available to those who purchase the All-Access Pass and they’re the perfect way to meet other wedding pros who have similar goals and want to be held accountable to them.
TG: Tell us a little about the Wedding Business CEO Summit.
HT: The Wedding Business CEO Summit is an all-new, free, 5-day event that helps wedding professionals go from overwhelmed & overworked to streamlined & more profitable than ever. Running a wedding business can run you into the ground if you let it and that’s something I’m passionate about helping wedding pros avoid.
I’ve assembled 25 amazing speakers for this 5-day event specifically crafted for the wedding industry because we have different needs than other industries. The summit runs from January 25th-29th and it’s totally free to attend. If you’d like to get even more out of the summit, you have the option to purchase the All-Access Pass at a massively discounted price and that includes those 3 VIP Networking Sessions and more than $4000 of bonuses from the speakers.
TG: Who would you recommend attend this event?
HT: I created this summit to help wedding professionals to step into their role as CEO so that they can grow your business without burnout, become more profitable, and know exactly what they need to do to create the business they’ve always dreamed of having. If that sounds like something you want, you should definitely grab your free ticket at www.weddingbusinessceosummit.com!
This summit is designed for you if you want to…
- Take your business from overwhelming and all-consuming to streamlined and simplified.
- Reduce stress and have a strategic plan for building a wildly profitable wedding business so you don’t always feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants.
- Have the freedom to run your business YOUR way so that it supports the life you want to live while working with clients you love and making the money you want.
- Create a 6 figure wedding business without working all the time.
TG: What tips would give someone who wanted to take what they learned from the summit and put it into action in their business?
HT: I would recommend writing down 1 immediate action step you’re going to take from each presentation you attend and the additional steps that need to be taken at a later day. Then, set deadlines for those action steps in your project management tool so they actually get done.
When it comes to deciding what to implement first, there are a few ways to do it depending on how you like to work. You could work in order of either what’s most important to you, what will make the biggest impact, or what you’re most excited about.
Some people would say to always start with what will make the most impact, but I’m one who prefers to work where my motivation is, so I’ll leave that choice up to you!
Now, based on the presentation content and the notes you take on your worksheets, break each item of your list down into small action steps. Each action step should be small enough for you to complete quickly and something that can’t be broken down into smaller tasks.
And most importantly, give yourself due dates for each task. Be realistic, based on your current workload and life outside of work. If you’re anything like me, it’s tempting to try to squeeze everything in as soon as possible, but the goal here isn’t to overwhelm yourself.
Even if you just check off one item on your main list per month (a couple of smaller tasks per week), you’re making progress towards going from overwhelmed & overworked to streamlined & more profitable than ever and you’ll see it start to pay off.
When it comes to giving myself due dates and tracking projects, I personally use ClickUp, but I know a lot of people love Asana or even use a Google Calendar. Do what works best for you, as long as it keeps you on track and helps you move forward.
TG: The most important question: what’s your secret for keeping a virtual event running smoothly behind the scenes?
HT: Funny enough, it’s stepping into my CEO role which is exactly what this summit is all about. I’m not flying by the seat of my pants for this or any summit I host. I have a very detailed plan in my project management tool that I use to stay on track and make sure I’m focusing on the most important thing at a given moment. Running virtual summits has forced me to step up my game when it comes to planning, strategizing, organization, and delegating.
My team is incredibly important for these events. I have a small but mighty team made up of my awesome husband and my virtual assistant and the 3 of us divide and conquer so I can focus on doing the things that are in my zone of genius and where I get the best return on investment. I could do this alone but I would hate my life for months on end and that’s just not something I’m willing to do.
Heidi Thompson is the best-selling author of Clone Your Best Clients and the founder of Evolve Your Wedding Business where she specializes in helping wedding professionals build 6 figure businesses without working all the time. Heidi is also the founder of the Wedding Business CEO Summit happening January 25th-29th 2021. You can learn more about Heidi and the summit at www.weddingbusinessceosummit.com.