A digital summit is similar to a live event therefore, it requires a great deal of planning and organization.
Check out these simple yet powerful steps to create an effective digital summit for your digital evangelism outreach program.
1. Planning Stage
Every successful event requires some level of planning and a online evangelism webinar is no exception. Before you start the planning process, it is vital that you revisit your organization's mission and goals.
Having your organization's goals at the forefront will ensure that your Summit aligns with the goals and objects of your organization and your audience.
2. Choosing A Topic Or Theme For Your Digital Summit
Before choosing a topic for your digital summit, you have to remember that the internet is where people go to look for answers. Unless your digital ministry is in its infancy stage, it is important to make sure that you involve your audience in choosing topics or theme for your summit.
Collecting topic ideas is fairly easy and you can do whatever is convenient for you and your team. Here are some easy ways to collect feedback from your audience.
1. Ask - Asking your audience is probably the most effective way to get topic ideas. You can ask your physical audience at church for feedback or you can use some survey or email tools to get feedback from your online audience.
There are so many digital tools to help you with this exercise but here is what we recommend.
- Response Suite - is the easiest way to collect feedback.
2. Research - Depending on your target audience, you will have to do some research to find out what people are talking about.
If you are running an in-reach campaign, then the best way to research is to ask your members. However, if this is for outreach And your target is the wider audience on the web, then you will need to do some basic research online.
There are several great resources for research including Facebook groups, forums, Quora and google search.
Searching online groups will give you a good idea of what people are struggling with.
Another great way to get ideas is to use web scrapping tools that go out and scrap the web for a particular keyword or topic.
One such tool we recommend is Awario a tool that allows us to monitor a certain word or phrase on the internet.
For example, if your digital summit presentation is geared towards fundraising for nonprofits, you may use Awario to monitor mentions of ‘fundraising for nonprofits‘ across the internet.
Once you have the topics or themes for your digital evangelism seminar, it’s time to organize your event.
3: Deciding Which Webinar Format Is Right For Your Digital Summit
Depending on the scope of the topics, you want to decide whether to have a single presentation, a series or a summit.
A single presentation is similar to a sermon. It has one title and presented by a single host. It may also be a discussion if you have several presenters.
A Series is similar to a crusade where the presenter has several presentations that span across several days at a set time.
A Summit is a presentation or event that involves several speakers presenting different topics at different times. The Summit can also span across several days.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing whether to have a single, series or summit.
A webinar presentation should be between 30-60 minutes but it all depends on what you’re presenting.
A sermon should not take more than 30 minutes because it is usually a one-way communication and the speaker may not engage much with the audience. You don’t want your audience to get bored.
If you are teaching something and you are going to engage with your audience then it’s ok to go for one hour. But remember to ask a lot of questions and feedback from your audience.
This is when you have more than one presenter at the same time. This type of presentation is usually very interactive and so you can go a little over the 60 minutes.
If the topic at hand can be covered within 30-45 minutes, then your best format would be the single webinar presentation.
If the topic cannot be covered within 30-45 minutes, you must consider spanning it across several presentations into a series.
So what happens if you get several important topics from your audience and you want to present them all?
Well, that’s when a summit comes in. With a summit, you will be able to have several hosts or presenters to talk about different topics.
Choose the right format to make sure that you deliver the message and meet your audience's needs.
It is also important to listen and observe how your audience responds to the presentation. Sometimes you may have to span a single into a series based on the response.
Webinar software has come a long way and there's no shortage of great platforms. Lucky for you, we went ahead and tested some of them so you don't have to.
If you are running a series and want people to register once then your best solution will be BigMaker. It is an all in one webinar solution that will allow you to run Meetings, Bible studies, webinars, and whatever digital presentation you want.
Here is a video to help you get more information about BigMarker.
If you want to run a summit with several presenters, you will need a summit landing page and the best all in one-page builder and streamer is Heysummit.
Heysummit is a simple no-code solution that will allow you to create your summit landing pages in no time.
4: Assembling The Right Speakers and Support Team For Your Digital Summit
Remember that a digital summit is just like a live event and you must take the task of choosing the right speakers just as seriously as you would in a live event.
The best part is that digital outreach is not confined to distance and it is cheaper to get a speaker because you don’t have to pay travel costs.
Therefore, you must have an open mind and making sure that you find the best person and team for this special task.
5. Finding Speakers for your digital summit
Before you go out to look for speakers for your digital outreach campaign, you must first define or re-define the purpose of your event. This is the time to bring out your ministry's goals and objectives.
Here are a few points to consider:
- Your organization's mission and goals
- Your audience's needs
- Objectives - what do you hope to achieve at the end of the presentation?
Now that you have a clear path and objectives for your digital event, you can then set out to find a speaker/s
6. Getting Your Support Team
The support team’s job will be to make sure that both the speaker and audience have the best experience before, during and after the presentation. You can think of a support team as a group of deacons or deaconesses in a church setting.
Even though members of the support team don’t have to be experts in a given topic, it is important that they have some knowledge of the topic so they’re in a position to answer simple questions.
Let's look at the work of a support team during the presentation
Your Summit Host
The Host runs the webinar and will make sure that the stream is working as it should.
The Host should be the first person to login to the webinar room and make sure to set the mood. The host will welcome the audience, make sure that the video and audio is clear and introduces the topic and presenter/s
The Host is supposed to stay on for the duration of the presentation observing and making sure that the video and audio are working as it should be.
Basically, as a Host, you are the ears and eyes for the Presenter and you may have to jump in from time to time to correct something that’s not going well.
During the main presentation, it is important to have several members of the support team initiating conversations in the chatroom and attending to the audiences’ needs and queries.
The Digital Summit Presentation
There are three main parts to a digital summit presentation. Please read How to structure a Digital Evangelism Presentation article to get an in-depth guide.
Even though this is a digital presentation, you still have to treat it as a live presentation.
People will decide whether to stay or leave within the first few seconds of your presentation. You must strive to make a connection with your audience quickly.
Unlike a church service where most people know what to do and what’s going on at any particular time, your digital service is a little different.
Things to Look out for and Avoid
- Never assume that everyone knows what to do and where to go if they need help in the webinar room. Make sure to show people around the webinar interface.
The presentation is the main part of the webinar. ( please read ...... on how to structure a successful webinar presentation)
Question and Answer Section
Assuming you had a great support team that engaged with the audience throughout the presentation. It is possible that a few questions came up during the presentation.
The Host will manage this section by reading some of the questions in the chatroom and allow the presenter to address them. This is probably the most important part of the presentation because you’re dealing with people’s questions directly.
When done correctly, this section should give you ideas on what people want to talk about next. If this was a single presentation, depending on the questions you get, you may consider a series or even a summit.
When creating content for your online community, it is important to validate your topic. People will only attend digital events only if they care about the topic.
So before you go out and spend time and money, make sure to go through the Del Method process. It will help you figure out what topics people want to talk about and how to give it to them.
Hope this information helps you plan and execute the most powerful digital summit for your digital evangelism and outreach program.