Automating an Online Summit

If you follow the work that we do at ConnectedPE, you may know that each year we host the world’s largest Physical Education event in the ‘ConnectedPE Online Conference’. This week long FREE event comprises 21 webinar sessions running over 7 days jam packed with experts and thought leaders in the field.

The goal of the online conference is to share best practice to a global audience & generate a tonne of content for the ConnectedPE Community that is then made available to attendees via annual membership.  This has directly resulted in the largest influx of new members into our program in both of the times its ran making it a highly successful event on many fronts.

While this has been an amazing event to organise, the problem has been that I’ve only really been able to the event once per year. The reasons for this include;

  1. Keeping it prestigious
  2. 3rd party presenters donating their time to present, running it twice would mean I need to get twice as many presenters yearly.

Given these reasons, I’ve been resigned to the fact that it could only really run as a very special yearly event.  Then I had an idea….

….How about an automated summit shown just to people who’ve never attended…..

Here’s what I did

1. Went through my list of session recordings from the previous LIVE conference & picked out 12 of the best sessions that would work well on automatic.

2.Picked a specific week that I wanted the event to take place in the calendar & created a landing page on leadpages using an event template

3. From here I went into the amazing automated webinar software ‘Everwebinar’ & used the recordings from the 12 sessions to setup 12 webinars.

4. At this stage I decided on a schedule of sessions, with each of the 3 days airing 4 of the recordings. One of the amazing features of Everwebinar is the ability to show the webinar in the attendees own timezone. This means that a webinar showing at 8am on the 5th of July, would be the same for all people regardless of their timezone. They rock up at 8am their timezone.

5. Once all 12 sessions had been scheduled at their specific time, it was time to generate the ‘one click’ registration links that Everwebinar makes possible. This means that people inside your email system can simply click a link to be auto registered without needing to re-enter their details.  The links appear like the following;

6. After creating all of the one click links, I got started promoting the online conference to the thousands of people on my email lists who had never participated in previous online conferences. Achieving this was simply a matter of sending the invitation email to those people who were not present on the list ‘online conference attendee‘.

7. At this stage I sent an invitation email directing people to the landing page to register for the conference taking place from the 3rd to 5th of July.

 

8. I now sat back and watched as people began registering for the upcoming conference, which was taking place in one weeks time from the initial email invite.

9. Once registered the attendees we’re sent an email that invited them to select, with one click the sessions they wanted to participate in. Once clicked they were immediately sent an email from Everwebinar confirming their place in that session.

10. I also utilised ‘ActiveCampaigns’ inbuilt CRM to create a deal worth the value of membership for each attendee. This would enable me to see the potential value of the entire online summit & work out the conversion rate to membership following the event.

 

11. The week went passed really quickly with over 600 registrations for a combined potential value of $89,400 USD if 100% of people purchased membership (hahaha).

12. The conference started and I used the opportunity to jump into the everwebinar chat box while the sessions were running and run a hybrid model. This enabled me to create more value for the attendees by answering their questions during the presentations.

 

13. Throughout the automated sessions we made available a special discount offer to join membership via an offer popup that ran at the 20min & 40min marks of each of the 12 sessions. This offer took $50 off the price for those quick enough to secure it & brought in 10 new members over the course of the week.

 

14. As the conference wrapped up we we’re bombarded with praise and thanks from PE Teachers around the globe who had used the 3 days to access certificates of attendance for their professional development records.  The creation of these certificates was also automated using a combination of Everwebinar to tag people who completed 90% and Google Forms.

 

15. After the week expired all of the 600 attendees we’re added to an automation that offered them ongoing access to the session recordings & the 100+ other sessions that make up the community.

16. Over the course of the next 4 days the attendees received a number of emails offering them the chance to continue their learning.

The Results

I was a little unsure of what to expect with the event, however, had placed a conservative conversion estimate of 3% for all attendees to the paid annual membership. So I was very happy to see a final conversion of 4.8% which equated to a little over 30 new members or just under $5,000 USD.

So what next?

Now that the automated conference has been a major hit amongst the attendees & has proven its worth, I plan on running it each and every month using the exact same format.  The secret of it’s success will be to ensure that we only show and promote it to people who’ve never participated in the past, ensuring that people are able to enjoy the sessions for the first time.