You have two options: free vs. paid summits.
In this episode, we are going to cover the main differences between free vs. paid summits and our generally thoughts on the matter.
The difference between free vs. paid summits
A free summit consists of an opt-in page, a period of 24-72 hours to catch the content for free before they expire, and then usually an option to upgrade for lifetime access to the content and more.
A paid summit usually requires a small upfront fee of between $17 – $27. And then the structures tends to differ. Many times with the fee you get access for a week and then they expire, unless you upgrade.
The main thing to remember is how you structure it is really up to you.
We however, love and prefer the free summit model. And at this time, all of our summits have been free.
Paid summits are rarely called summits.
We’ve noticed that paid summits are usually called online conferences.
Our thoughts are if you are going to go the paid route, it should include more opportunities for networking and connection.
Benefits of hosting free summits
A free summit is a great way to go, we’ve seen benefits such as:
- A bigger list build (because it is a free event!) – the downside is not all of them will be your ideal audience and will just be freebie seekers, but that’s okay
- A summit is basically a lead magnet with a lot of upfront value
- You normally don’t pay speakers for a free summit – it is a trade off, they get exposure, grow their audience, etc. with little to no effort since the hosts handle the coordination, planning, main promotion push, etc.
- There are normally less customer service issues because not everyone purchases (though that isn’t to say there is none)
Benefits of hosting paid summits
Just like free summits have their benefits, so do paid summits. We’ve seen benefits such as:
- Your attendees have more skin in the game because they paid you, they are more invested
- The majority of the attendees are your target audience (if you pick a relevant niche of course!)
- Your speakers also have more skin in the game because they know that they will get paid for every attendee they send over
A quick free vs. paid summit test
Is your summit more focused on the presentations and providing value to as many people as possible?
Then free is probably your best bet.
Is your summit more focused on networking, connections, engagement, and is more like an in-person conference just brought online?
Then paid is probably your best bet.
The experience of a free summit is still important, but the expectations of the experience for a free summit is very different than a paid summit.
So tell us, do you prefer a free or paid summit format?
- Take our fun quiz “Is hosting a virtual summit right for you?” to discover is a summit should be in your future!
- Download our free Summit Planning Blueprint to learn more about our signature 5P Summit Planning Framework™ today.
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