I’m been watching and promoting summits for years. It’s one of the reasons this website exists. Here’s some of what I’ve learned:

1. Scheduling

Due to busy schedules, interviews and presentations are often recorded several months before the event goes live.

calendar

2. Pricing

Often times there are multiple pricing structures based on when you buy.

Typically, the lowest price is before the summit.

For the summits that are produced by Health Talks Online, which are one week, there are usually two price increases: One when the summit begins, and then another one after it ends. I have yet to see a Health Talks Online summit that didn’t follow three tiers of pricing. It might always be like this, but this is how it is now, on April 3, 2016.

I’ve also never seen another affiliate be transparent about the pricing schedule, but I don’t think it’s secret either.

I posted this in January when I was promoting the Heal Your Gut Summit. It’s a screenshot from email.

Summit pricing schedule

This is how it works with most of the week-long summits that I promote, though prices vary!

Again, this information is subject to change.

Once you own the expert talks, you can listen to the audios on your computer or mobile device, read the complete transcripts.

Here are some pros and cons about buying summits before the summit starts, vs. during or after the summit.

Buying before the summit starts During the summit or after
 Pros
  • Lowest price.
  • You don’t have to be available at all to watch while the summit is on. This takes less pressure off your schedule.
    (+ when you buy, regardless of when & how much you pay, you get MP3 audio, MP4 video and PDF transcripts. I’m very much a visual learner, so the transcripts help, but I also like to listen while walking my dog.)
  • Sometimes you’ll get immediate access to the entire summit, other times you’ll have to wait until after the summit. Immediate access means that you can start watching days before the event.
  • Try before you buy: You’ll have watched some or all, so you’ll know what to expect. P.S. In some cases, if you watch live you can join the discussion, if such a feature exists for that event.
  • If you like a particular talk and watch it again, you can do so after the 24-hour viewing period. Also, see notes about multiple file formats.
 Cons
  • Although you get the speaker list and topics in advance, what if you buy it, start to watch (either the purchased downloads or flash drive, or online each day) and decide you don’t want it?
  •  Higher price.

3. Many 7-day Summits are actually 8 days

The 8th day is “encore day”. It’s the worst kept secret. It’s supposed to be the surprise bonus day, but once you consume a few of these events you know how it works. Here’s an example:

LYME16_banner_day-8-encore

 

4. Promoters (affiliates) are paid for every sale

Most of us who promote the event get a commission for doing so. 50% is standard, but may vary. I say “most of us” because I sometimes promote events even if I’m not an affiliate. Because I usually am an affiliate I generally point out when I’m not.

5. Affiliate resources are awesome, but most affiliates say the same thing

(I don’t)

In many cases, the summit producer helps their affiliates by providing suggested Facebook posts, Twitter posts, and emails, along with banners and other images and suggested schedules. This is fantastic, it’s hard to start from scratch. However, while these could be treated as templates or guides and not used word-for-word, most affiliates simply copy/paste into their emails to newsletter subscribers.

It sometimes annoys me to see the exact same wording in multiple emails.

I wrote this on my other blog in November 2014:

Every other week, it seems, I get emails about another summit and a lot of the people whose newsletters I subscribe to are affiliates so I get basically the same email from different people through the lead up and duration of these events. Everyone’s trying to make some extra income.

I will admit, I do often copy and past suggested newsletter text for the event calendar on this website.  It takes time to sit and think of how to make it different, especially when I’m not familiar with the subject matter. I do usually change up the copy for newsletters, and always if I write a blog post about it.

Reasons I know better than to use the provided text:

For websites

Search engines penalize duplicate copy. This is bad for Search Engine Optimization. This affects everyone promoting an event. Basically, Google thinks you’re stealing someone else’s copy. Also, there’s an advantage to using unique copy. The advantage being, I can create a different focus keyword and optimize it in a unique way. So, I might use the prepared copy in my event calendar because I’m trying to get it up quickly, but if I do a blog post about it I personalize a bit more.

For newsletters

There a 3-word phrase that makes me cringe when I read it in prepared copy and repeated in newsletters: “My dear friend”. It’s usually “My dear friend [organizer’s name]”.

In the blog post referenced above (before I had a website with an event calendar), I complimented Sean Croxton in his outreach to affiliates of The Digestion Sessions. Because it’s a quote within a quote, I’ll color it:

…props to Sean for telling his affiliates,

Recently my inbox has been loaded with word-for-word, copied-and-pasted sample email copy for another affiliate launch. Honestly, it feels a bit yucky. I would MUCH rather you write something in your own voice and really connect with your readers.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the guidance, but I always reword them into my voice. Some of the pre-written copy is dripping with the same fake familiar tone. I feel yucky any time I read “my good friend” or “my dear friend” in relation to the person running the conference, as if that kind of connection would boost the host’s credibility because if you’re reading one person’s newsletter and they associate with someone else, clearly that person is in high esteem. I read it and wonder, “Do does person even know the person they’re talking about?” It feels disingenuous.

I would rather use my voice – at times critical, at times snarky, often attempts at wit – and for an online event that I feel connected to and am passionate about, I will. Sometimes I promote events that I’m not so into myself because I recognize that you might have different interests than me. I promote harder, and more openly, when it’s an event I’m passionate about.

Another note regarding “My dear friend” feeling disingenuous: Yesterday I nearly emailed a response to Nick Orter of The Tapping Solution to thank him for qualifying his use of the phrase. After stating ” my dear friends”, he added “by “dear” I mean I went to high school with Kevin, no joke!” in parentheses. See, that qualifies. Being friends online too qualifies, if you feel a kinship. That online friend who invited you to her wedding but you’ve still never met in person because you couldn’t go counts too.

So, those are my 5 Summit Insider Secrets.

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