Let’s go behind the scenes of the Expand Online Summit!
This is the third year that I am running the summit and be sure to go to expandonlinesummit.com and get yourself a free ticket which gives you access to the sessions for 48 hours. There is also the option to purchase extended access through April 30, 2023 right after you register.
My first task was to figure out how this summit is going to be different from last year’s summit and from the summit before that. It came down to the state of the world.
When I did the first summit, it was 2020 and I had started sending out invites before the pandemic. But I recorded the very first session when my kids were already home because school had closed down. We were in a state of uncertainty and closures and unknowns. The sentiment of that summit was “you can do something online and be successful and you can do something to sustain yourself through the uncertainty that is coming.”
Last year, I really wanted to focus on doing better and putting down roots online so we weren’t feeling like a fly-by-night operation anymore. We were really saying yes to online
For this year, I realized that the people who wanted to come to the summit this year have said yes to expanding online. It’s not a matter of if they’re expanding, but how they’re expanding. And so I put the theme together of scaling beyond sessions. What can we do beyond flipping on the Webcam and getting out in front of the computer screen and teaching a lesson through videoconferencing. We gotta do better than that! It’s 2022, the Internet has gotten faster, the tools have become more robust and so on and so on. S
Next for this year was sponsorship opportunities.
My summit is extremely focused; it is geared 100% towards music educators and I know that there are some amazing companies out there that cater to music education and helping music educators to do more, bigger, better, faster. I created some really great sponsorship packages which yielded four incredible sponsors.
- Muzie.Live (Sam Reti)
- The SpeakEasy Cooperative (Michelle Markwart Deveaux)
- Duet Partner (Neylan McBaine)
- The Cascade Method (Tara Boykin)
Their sessions are not to be missed and the cool thing is that two of these sponsors signed up as sponsors after we had recorded their sessions. They said, you know what, I’m fully invested in this summit. I want to be a part of it, I want to promote it, I want to sponsor it and kind of just have a ringing endorsement.
One of the reasons I felt it was important to bring sponsors this year was to add a little bit more authority to the event. I want the Expand Online Summit to continue going on for years and years to come. I want to make it into the premier event for online music educators. That is my goal, that is where I want to take it and I feel like we are getting there now that we’re in year three and we have solid sponsors and we’ve got great registration and all of that stuff,
My first step this year was to look at the amazing folks who spoke on the summit previously. I then reached out to some of them and invited them back. Once I had my “yeses” I looked at the topics we were going to be able to cover and identified holes that I wanted to fill within the theme of scaling beyond sessions.
Then I reached out through Instagram and email with the ask. The best part is that some of the people that said yes to attend have never done summits before. They have great products, great services for music educators, but they just haven’t played in this arena and I feel so privileged and honored that they said yes to participating in something that is so new and so different from anything that they’ve done before.
Recording and Producing the Summit Content
I recorded most of the sessions on Zencastr. A couple were recorded on zoom. Then I use Camtasia to edit and Vimeo to host. This is what takes the longest – from here I also pull together session highlights which I use to create the playbook (more on that later!)
I keep track of everything in a Google Spreadsheet although I actually prefer using Airtable, I just didn’t get organized with it this year.
Summit Buildout and Testing
The speakers provided free gifts for the attendees (with email signup) and/or discounts/offers/coupons for the All-Access Pass holders. It is my responsibility to make sure that the links they provide work and do what they are supposed to. This takes time but I need to make sure that whatever link someone provides me works and it delivers the content that they said, it’s going to deliver and that that experience is on par with everything that I am putting together in the summit. It doesn’t make me look good or make the attendees feel good or the speakers if I put a wrong link in or if things don’t work smoothly. It is on me!
One of the discounts inside the All-Access Pass is 10% (that’s $600) off the Online Music Course Accelerator program that I run with Brocha Kahan. The All-Access Pass is as low as $67 and will go up to $297, so if that’s the only offer you take, you’re still ahead $303 🙂
The total value of the All-Access Pass is over $3600!
Now onto the tech stack…
- WordPress website
- Deadline Funnels
- Gravity Forms
- Beaver Builder / Beaver Themer
That’s a lot but I’ll tell you that it was SO MUCH EASIER this year, because I already had so much in place and ready to use from last year… Especially the emails that I needed to write for my automations and swipe copy for the speakers to promote the summit.
Most of it just went so smooth. I didn’t have to do that much and I am so thankful. I mean obviously there’s still a ton of work but I didn’t have to write a ton of copy from scratch.
I feel strongly that that is the reason why this year’s summit is going to be even more successful because I didn’t have to focus on those little details. I just had to go and plug and play and do the work, which is actually probably one of the reasons why I was so excited to record this episode for you!
Gamification and Engagement
The final elements of the summit that I feel is crucial to share about are the BINGO board and the Playbook.
The BINGO card makes it fun to show up and attend/participate in the summit. There are pre-recorded and live elements and the BINGO board is helping people get into it. And the Playbook is all about making the most of the content. I say this in several of the sessions – the summit is not for entertainment purposes alone, it’s a motivation, inspiration, education tool.
The Playbook helps to take the ideas from the sessions and make them real and tangible.
I am working to make the Expand Online Summit the premier event for music educators who are expanding online, creating online products and services.
This summit is part of the launch strategy for the 2nd round of the online music course accelerator which is starting later this month. If you are interested in creating an online course and you want strategy support, camaraderie and hands on assistance making that happen, the online music course accelerator is absolutely for you.
There’s so much opportunity for music teachers to double down on what you’re creating online. I wish you all the best, look forward to seeing you at the summit and connecting with you to see if OMCA is right for you and with that.