It was two and a half months in the making! And today, Kendra Perry shares the behind-the-scenes of the Wealthy Health Biz Virtual Summit—from the first time she realized she wanted to host years ago, coming up with the concept, interview shoots, scheduling presentations, and mechanics of the games, to the post-summit webinars. Listen in and learn more about how having the Summit In A Box program, teamwork, and good research has helped her not only to launch her first Virtual Summit in record time but made it a summit to remember.
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Behind-The-Scenes Of My Virtual Summit
Way back in the day, this was probably 2013 or 2012, is when I was getting fired up about health and wellness, and I was trying to figure out what was going on with my own health. I had reconstructive ACL surgery on my knee. After that surgery, I started experiencing a lot of health issues. I do believe that surgery was a trigger for what I ultimately ended up dealing with for the next seven years.
How Summit Came To Mind
There was a lot of stuff going on in my body up until that point. I had struggled with acne. I was super hard on my body with partying, drugs, and not loving myself. I don’t believe that was the one thing that caused it, but I do believe it acted as a trigger for what ensued after that, which was about seven years of chronic fatigue, insomnia, and overall feeling like a bag of crap.
I do remember attending Sean Croxton’s online summit. I believe it was a paleo summit. I might be wrong. It was a gut summit. It was something like that. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but he had a whole bunch of different speakers talking about a whole bunch of different topics under the umbrella of paleo or gut or something like that. I remember thinking how cool and fun it was. At this point, I was toying with the idea of having a business. I was like, “Would it be cool if one day I was able to do something like that?” Guess what? I did it.
As you may or may not know, I ran my first online summit, the Wealthy Health Biz Summit. You may have attended it. If not, no worries. I will tell you at the end how you can get ahold of the presentations from that summit. It felt like a full-circle moment because I remember over several years ago, thinking how amazing that was and how cool it would be to be able to be a part of something like that and to run something like that.
It has always been something that has been in the back of my mind since I started my business. I think what has held me back from not doing it is it felt like a lot of work. I also know that an online summit is a great way to build your email list, and it’s a great way to collaborate with other people in the industry. I believe it was in about January of 2022. You may or may not know this, but as time goes on, it gets harder and harder to grow your email list. Mostly this is because of the way in which people utilize email these days.
The inbox is generally a stress for people. I don’t think anyone’s excited about getting emails these days. I personally hate email. I would be embarrassed to show you my inbox because I don’t answer anything. This is why I have a team because I literally can’t answer emails. I can’t manage my inbox and it’s a total disaster. It annoys me that you literally get an email for everything like sign up or buy something. You get like five emails, and then you get an email for this and a warning for this. It’s easy for our inboxes to get overloaded.
I totally understand why people are hesitant to give up their email addresses and why they are more likely to unsubscribe from things they are not using for. When I first started blogging in I believe 2011 or 2012, people would literally sign up to get updates on my blog. It was an automated message to remind people that I had dropped a blog post. I got hundreds of people on an email list for that, but that would never happen these days. No one wants updates. No one wants to be notified that you posted a piece of content.
The Benefits Of A Summit And Using Summit In A Box
I have been seeing how it’s much harder to build an email list, and I wanted to see some big growth in my email list. I know I could do that with Facebook ads, but I wanted a different way that wouldn’t cost me so much money and would perhaps bring a more engaged person to my list. I started thinking of the online summit. I was like, “Maybe this is something I should consider. I have heard that it helps you build your list.”
Online Summit Strategy
I started doing a little bit of research on it and I found this program called Summit in a Box. It is an online program that essentially gives you everything you need to run an online summit. You get the calendar and the tasks. They tell you what to do and when to do it. You get all the templates like the graphic and email templates, like literally everything. I ended up buying it. I was like, “I think I’m going to do a summit. I want to and I feel like I’m probably going to procrastinate, but if I buy this course, I’m going to do it because I’m going to want to get my money’s worth.” I ended up buying that program and it’s amazing. I highly recommend it.
My big intention with the summit was to grow my email list. I wanted to see some big traction on my email list. My other intention was to collaborate with other experts and coaches. There’s something that I have been dealing with. You might deal with this too. I call it lone ranger syndrome. I haven’t traditionally collaborated with a lot of practitioners over my business. There’s a little bit of imposter syndrome there. I’m feeling like I don’t bring enough to the table or I don’t have a big enough audience for people to care.
It has been easier for me to just do things on my own. This is something I teach inside Health Coach Accelerator. I call it win-win intentional collaboration because when you collaborate with others, not only do you build relationships with people that can serve you. Not only from a business perspective but from a mental health perspective because you can make a friend, which is important.
It’s something that I teach my students, and so I have started to see the power of collaborations when it comes to organic marketing. Social media alone isn’t enough to get fast growth unless you are one of those special people who blow up on TikTok or Instagram, but that doesn’t happen to most of us. I have learned that collaborations are a big part of organic marketing.
In 2020, my first step to trying to be less of a lone ranger was to join a group mentorship program. It was the Thought Leader Collective with Ruby Fremon. She doesn’t run this program anymore, but it was amazing. I made lifelong friends in that program. I’m very grateful for that. Since then, I have been trying to get booked on more podcasts and I have been trying to invite more guests to this show.
You’ll notice that over the past couple of months and coming up that there are more guest interviews. This is trying to challenge myself by collaborating with others. Not only to get access to other audiences but also to connect more deeply with other people. That was the intention of running the summit.
The strategy with an online summit if you’ve never attended one before, what happens is it happens over a series of days. There are a bunch of different speakers and they all give presentations on a topic that falls under a bigger topic. My topic was how to build your health business. I wanted to give new practitioners and coaches ideas, tips and strategies on how to build their business.
The strategy is that you have the speakers promote to their audience. A condition of being a speaker is that they are going to send out a certain number of emails, social media posts or whatever you decide, and that helps you promote the summit to their audience as well. In my case, I had people send out 2 emails and 1 social media post. You then give limited access to all the presentations so people can get a free ticket, which means they get access to all the presentations, but they only get a limited amount of access.
In my case, I gave everyone 24-hour access to each presentation. You can also allow the attendees to upgrade, and this is what helps you make money off your summit. This wasn’t my primary intention. This is extra but I wanted to grow my email list, but you are going to sell an all-access pass because you can make money on the back end, which helps pay for all the work that you put into it. People can upgrade and get lifetime access to all of the presentations. That’s one of the benefits. They don’t have to watch every presentation within 24 hours. They can watch the presentations whenever they want, or they can come back and watch them.
I also offered some extra bonuses to make it a little bit more juicy. I also gave them audio downloads so they could listen on the go. We created cheat sheets for each presentation to summarize everything and help them save time. We also gave them access to three VIP calls with me. These were live calls. We did one on niching and writing content, and we did a bonus Q&A.
The strategy with this is not only to make the all-access pass more enticing, but it’s also to introduce the summit attendees to me because I want to warm them up and build relationships with them as well. I don’t want them to just see all the speaker presentations and not get to know me because they are probably not going to stick on my list for very long.
They might join my list to see the summit, but I want them to stay on my list. I wanted to add something that would help them connect a little bit more deeply with me. We had those live VIP calls, which was fun because all the presentations are prerecorded. That’s the live aspect of the event, and then I also asked the speakers if they wanted to contribute premium resources.
Some people gave a free month into their membership. Some people gave content calendars or cheat sheets. Some people gave masterclasses, and extra things to beef up the all-access pass, and then it gave the speakers an extra opportunity to create deeper relationships with the people who were in the all-access pass. That’s essentially the strategy. The primary strategy is to build the list and then collaborate with others, and then make a little bit of money on the side to help pay for all the work that you put into the summit.
How I Managed
I have to give a shout-out to Summit in a Box. It was a total lifesaver. I don’t think I would recommend that anybody attempt a summit without that program or a program like it. It gave you everything. If I tried to do this on my own, it would have been a total gong show. I would say the most work that you spend when you are planning a summit is managing the speakers because this takes the most time.
Summit in a Box, it’s Krista who runs the program. She recommends 90 days. I think we ended up doing it in a little bit less than that and probably about 2.5 months. I felt like we were cutting things a bit close because we had to have people editing the videos. We had people doing graphic design for the summit and the social media posts, and then there was the scheduling of the content. I think we did it in 2.5 months, but 90 days is better. I would say if you don’t have a team, I would give yourself even more time.
It was a lot of extra work. It wasn’t quite as much as I thought it would be, and I’m lucky to have Elise who’s my online business manager, and a good team who supported me through this. There was a lot of work on top of what I already had to do in my business. I ended up working a few weekends. I ended up working longer days than I usually would, which isn’t my jam, but I can figure out how to do that better next time.
What mostly took up a lot of my time were the interviews. I gave people the option to submit presentations, or they could do an interview with me. I would say at least half if not more people booked interviews with me. That was 10 or 15 hours of interviews. That was a lot. That interfered with me getting my content done and doing my YouTube videos and recording for this show. That’s why I ended up having to work on the weekends.
I was writing a ton of emails. I probably wrote 30 to 40-plus emails because you have to write all the promotional emails. You have to write the emails that go out during the summit and all of that. It was a lot of emails, and then we ended up launching Health Coach Accelerator on the backend, so there were more emails in that regard.
The good news with this is that if we decide to do this again, and I would love to make this an annual thing, it’s going to be significantly less work because we have literally created everything. We have the graphics and the templates. We have all the social media posts for promotion. We have everything that got posted into the Facebook group, the copy, the emails, literally everything. The landing page, the all-access pass sales page, the speaker page, we have everything. Next year, it will be easy to edit what we already have.
The thing that we did a little bit differently that wasn’t recommended by Krista in Summit in a Box was we ran the entire summit out of a Facebook group. Typically, what people do with summits is they have each presentation on its own page with some redirect. Like a timer and a redirect, so that when the 24 hours is up, the page automatically redirects to a page that says, “This has expired by the all-access pass.” Typically, you’ll still have a Facebook group alongside the summit but obviously, everyone doesn’t join because some people don’t want to be in there.
The reason why we decided to fully do it out of the Facebook group was based on an experience that both I and Elise had. I was in a summit, I believe it was in April, and one of the requirements was to hang out in the chat box when the presentation went live. How this was set up was the host had this third-party chat software that was next to the video, but because the video doesn’t happen live, people are watching it all at different times. I ended up hanging out for an hour on my presentation and nobody was on the chat box.
There were maybe a couple of people and it wasn’t very engaging. That was boring for me and it felt like a waste of my time. Elise also had the same experience when she was a presenter at another summit. Part of why this happens is because it’s not live, so there’s no incentive for people to show up as soon as this summit goes live. They can watch it whenever they want, and it’s this third-party chat software that people might not know how to use and that sort of thing.
I thought that was not very cool, and I didn’t want to run a summit where my speakers were required to show up, and nobody was there asking them questions and engaging with them. Elise said, “Why don’t we run it fully out of the Facebook group because everyone is already on Facebook. It’ll be easy for people to comment on the videos, and then the speakers can all be in the group and we can tag them so they will get the notification. That will be valuable for the attendees who will get to engage with the speakers throughout the day in the chat box.” I thought that was a great idea.
It did lead to a lot more manual work because when you set this up on a webpage, you can make everything happen automatically. There will be a timer, and when the timer runs out, the page will automatically redirect to the page that says the presentation has expired. In the Facebook group, we had to manually delete all the presentations and manually pin them all to featured so that people could find them.
It was a little bit more manual work but overall, we were able to make it work. We had different people on different days with timers, and I was in the group mostly on and off throughout the day. We were able to pin them to feature and put them in the guides and all of that. I think that worked well and I would 100% do that again.
Exciting Prizes And The Daily Kick-Off Call
We also ran prizes in the group and there were a couple of different strategies behind the prizes. We ran daily prizes. Every day someone could win a $50 Amazon gift card. All they needed to do to win that was to engage with one of the videos or write a comment on one of the videos. The strategy behind that was to get people to engage so that those videos would keep getting pushed to the top of the feed for everyone that was in the Facebook group, and just to make the group more engaged, and to get more engagement for the speakers.
I also gave away a grand prize which was a full scholarship to Health Coach Accelerator. The strategy for this was to create awareness. I wanted to put Health Coach Accelerator in front of people so they would know it was there, they’ll like me, they knew I had a program, and it was a great way to create awareness around the program.
Something I did a little bit different than what I did when I did the five-day challenge in February is that I made people apply. In the five-day challenge that I did, I had a grand prize and I basically picked anyone who did the proper things. They posted with the hashtag and they engaged. In the end, what I didn’t love about it was that someone could win who wasn’t interested in Health Coach Accelerator. They were just engaged in the free challenge. I wanted to be intentional with who won that because it’s a massive value. It’s a huge prize and I wanted the person who won to be committed to Health Coach Accelerator and willing to utilize it.
What we did was we had people apply. They had to go to a Google form and it was three questions. It asks for their name and email and asks them why they wanted to win and what they would achieve with Health Coach Accelerator. It didn’t take people much time to fill out, but we wanted to make sure that if we were going to award an amazing prize like that, the person who was getting it was wanting to get it and going to use it.
The other criteria we put in is that they had to be engaged in the summit. We told them that what we are going to do is we are going to draw a winner from the applications, and then the next thing we are going to do is we are going to go into the group. We are going to search for your name and make sure that you’ve been involved in the summit. We want to reward people who’ve benefited from this summit and took advantage of it and have some skin in the game. That was the criteria. Ultimately, the woman who won was so excited. She was super engaged throughout the summit. She was someone who wanted to be a part of the Health Coach Accelerator, and who I feel is confident and is going to utilize it properly.
The other thing we did was we had a daily kickoff call. This was a live call that I did every morning at 8:00 AM for the group. The whole strategy for this was to showcase the speakers to give people a little bit of information about each presentation, and why they should attend to help attendees choose the right presentations for them, and also to get people excited and again, to nurture them and warm them up to me. I want them to stay on my email list after the summit. I don’t just want everyone to unsubscribe. This is a way for them to get a little view of my personality, to hang out with me, to connect with me, and we can start to build those relationships. I did a daily kickoff call for all five days of the summit.
Something I decided to do, and this wasn’t my original plan but about a couple of months or so before the summit started, I thought this is going to be an engaged audience. They are going to be a targeted audience, meaning that it’s going to be full of practitioners, coaches, and people who I could help inside Health Coach Accelerator, so I decided to launch Health Coach Accelerator on the back end.
I didn’t want to launch to everyone at the summit because they just met me. They literally came onto my list. I don’t want to hammer them with promotional emails. What I did was I decided to run two webinars the week after the summit. The summit ended on a Friday and I did the webinars on a Monday and a Tuesday. I only promoted Health Coach Accelerator to those who attended the webinars and to those on my list who had joined my list prior to the summit. Everyone who had joined my list prior to May 30th also got the promotional emails even if they didn’t sign up for the webinar. In this way, I didn’t piss off the people who still needed nurturing, but I gave everyone the opportunity who was interested in what I offered an opportunity to invest in.
Within Summit in a Box, Krista recommended that you launch your course on the last day of the summit. That didn’t feel super good to me because I was like, “The speaker presentation is still going live. It feels a bit too much. I’m going to do it the week after so that I don’t interfere with the promotion of the speakers.” I think if I was going to do this again, I would probably make it a four-day summit and then have Friday be the bonus training. I would run a webinar in the morning and the evening for those who were interested.
With the webinars, I decided to test out something I haven’t done before and that was to give two different time options. Typically, I only run one webinar but I decided we are going to have a lot of people from all over the world. Why don’t we do one in the evening and one in the morning? I ran one on Monday at 4:00 PM Pacific and I ran one on Tuesday at 9:00 AM Pacific. I do believe this worked well because we had an incredibly high live show-up rate for these trainings.
Typically, with a live webinar, your good to get about 25%. What that means is if 100 people sign up for your webinar, if you get 25 people showing up live, that is good. Twenty-five percent is a benchmark for a live show-up rate. I had over 40% for both webinars, which is huge. That is almost double what I would usually get.
If I had one webinar and 350 people registered, I had more people on each of the webinars for half the people. Overall, we had about 350 signups, so there were over 150 on each webinar and we had significantly more people showing up live. I do believe that’s because we gave people time options, and I also believe it was due to a very engaged audience coming off the excitement of the summit.
Other than that, I didn’t change anything. We always do text reminders. We always do lots of email reminders and we always give people the opportunity to add the event to their calendar. That was a big part of it. I also believe that the title of the webinar was sexy and people were into it. I decided to call it The Quickest Way to Making $10,000 Per Month Every Month in Your Wellness Business. The title probably had something to do with it too because the speed of getting to $10,000 is something that everybody wants.
I tested out an entirely new webinar where I focused on the framework only versus all the action steps that I typically give, which I find was leading to a lot of overwhelm rather than helping people make a decision to move forward in their business. I was a little bit nervous. I’m like, “I wonder if people are going to think it’s valuable if I give the framework only,” but people were stoked. People loved it. They also felt a lot overwhelmed and they felt more inspired to take action in their business, so that worked well.
When all said was done, 1,300 people signed up for the challenge. I added 900 new subscribers to my list. We generated about $11,000 on the all-access pass sales. I made some amazing new connections with the speakers. At the time of this recording, I have enrolled ten new beautiful students into Health Coach Accelerator, but the deadline is still in a couple of days so that isn’t the final number, and most people do tend to sign up in the last two days.
What went well? The thing that worked so well for this event was obviously Summit in a Box because we had all the resources and templates. It would have taken so much more time to do this all on my own. It was great to have my amazing OBM, my Online Business Manager, Elise, who was heading up all the event planning. She took care of all the speaker management, which takes up most of your time. I love that we ran the summit out of the Facebook group. I was a little bit skeptical at first, but I’m glad that Elise suggested it because I would do it again every time because it made for a way more engaged group. It gave our speakers the opportunity to connect with all the attendees at the summit.
It worked well to have the speakers in the group answering questions. It was fun to see all the engagement back and forth on each of the videos. It gave me the opportunity to highlight all the speakers so that they felt like they were getting a lot of benefits out of being a part of the summit. Our live show-up rate worked well. I think in the future if I do a webinar launch, I’m going to offer two times and I’m probably going to stick with that webinar title. I do think that the new webinar landed well with our audience. Overall, I was able to grow my email list by 22%, which is massive. That’s huge and generally for free.
My time went into it but overall, it was mostly for free. We did invest a little bit into the summit. We paid for affiliate software. I hired my video editor to edit the posts. I had my graphic designer. I had someone write up the cheat sheet. Overall, I probably invested a couple of thousand dollars into the summit, but $2,000 for 900 new email subscribers is pretty amazing.
My Personal Takeaways
Some lessons that were learned and some things I would do differently for next time is I would give myself more time for planning, especially when it came to reaching out and confirming speakers. That was the part that felt a little bit stressful and rushed and chaotic because we gave ourselves a little bit less time than 90 days. There was a rush to confirm speakers so that they had enough time to get in their materials.
Next time, I’m going to start confirming speakers five months in advance. If I do this next year, I will do it probably in mid or end of May. I will start reaching out to people in December or January and get those people confirmed so that we have lots of time to get everything from them, and then if somebody drops out, we can always get someone at the last minute because we did have a few people cancel last minute.
The other thing I would do differently is I would remove the option to do an interview for the speaker presentations. I had about maybe 12 to 15 interviews on my calendar and it was pretty exhausting for me. I’m a minimalist and I am very cautious with how I use my time, and that made me feel a little bit burnt out. The next time, if people were going to be presenters for the summit, they would just submit presentations either with slides or a direct camera, and that would essentially create more time for me which is always a good thing.
Overall, the summit was a huge success. I’m so grateful for all the people who attended and all the speakers who gave their time and delivered amazing value. There was so much value in this summit. It was insane. There was way more value than I ever could have imagined and people were happy. Overall, it was a huge success and I will do it again.
If you missed the summit and you want to get access to all the speaker presentations, plus the recordings of the VIP calls that I did, plus all those premium resources, I’m going to allow you to purchase the all-access pass. If you are interested, this isn’t something I’m offering anywhere else right now, but if you are interested and you want to grab those, visit KendraPerry.net/episode128.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. It was super fun as always hanging out with you. If you love this show, please do leave me a five-star review on iTunes. I read them all and it’s a great free way to support me if you love everything that I bring to you on the show. If that seems too much effort, no worries, if it does. I know you are busy. You could just make sure that you are subscribed to the show and hit download for the last three episodes because that alone helps the show get out to more coaches and practitioners. I will see you again, same time, same place where I help you become wealthy AF.
- Wealthy Health Biz Summit
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