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AP 0943: Are Virtual Summits Still Viable?

AP 0943: Are Virtual Summits Still Viable?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 943 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 943 of AskPat and the last episode here in August 2017.

If you’ve been listening for a while, thank you so much. I appreciate you. Make sure you hit Subscribe and if this is your first episode, you are awesome. You should also subscribe if you haven’t already, so click that Subscribe button. You’ll get these episodes to you five days a week, and you can go in the backlog too and listen to anything that’s relevant to you. That’s how I would I recommend going through the show, not just listening to every single one of them. I know there are a lot of you who do that and I love you for that, but I would listen to the ones that seem to be relevant to your situation, your business, your life.

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Today, we have a great question coming in from Kate, but before we get to that, I just want to say one more time: Just hey, thanks. It’s been an awesome year so far. A few launches in the bag, a couple more coming up, and we have some event-related things coming up too. I’m just really excited and can’t thank you enough for it. Okay, that’s all I wanted to say. Now, here’s today’s question from Kate.

Kate Doster: Hey Pat, Kate Doster here from and I’ve got a question for you about virtual summits. I know in 2015 and 2016 virtual summits or virtual conferences were all of the rage, because it was the quickest way to build your email list, earn extra revenue by selling the replays and additional bonuses, and of course connecting with implementers and your heroes. But I’m wondering, now in 2017, do you still think that virtual summits, especially in the marketing and business niche, are viable? Or do you just think that they’re overplayed and overdone? I would love to hear your response and I can’t wait to send you an Instagram pic of me and the kids wearing the AskPat teeshirt. Bye.

Pat Flynn: Hey Kate, thank you so much for the question today. I appreciate you and we’ll definitely get that AskPat shirt to you. I’ll tell more about that in a little bit, but to answer your question—virtual summits and conferences. In many niches, they are still going very well. I have done some interviews with people who have done them in the scrapbooking niche, other people who have done them in the fashion space and they are going really, really well because a lot of people aren’t really used to seeing those things and a lot of things are now going online that weren’t there before. However, in the entrepreneurship online business, be your own boss, and even the personal development space, it is kind of slowing down it seems.

That being said, I do know a couple that are coming up, but only big names are kind of putting them out there. I know before, it was kind of a thing that anybody could do and put together and get influencers to come on and kind of be a part of it and to share as an affiliate and to grow your list and to even make money at the same time, and that would be a great way to pay your speakers or be influencers who come in and talk, but it’s becoming harder and harder. I think a lot of people aren’t getting as much value out of attending them and I don’t know if it’s our short time spans of if people are just now realizing just how great it is to go in person, and when you think about it, conferences are great not only for the information, right, but for the networking, for the interactions, for the drinks at night with the people you hang out with and the people who you’ve just met who you get a vibe with and the dance parties, or at least that’s for me, but you don’t get that in the virtual summit, so you lose that really important part of why people come together.

Even Social Media Examiner, they used to put on a virtual summit every year and they don’t do that anymore. They’re focusing on the in-person conference now. I used to speak at that virtual event and now because they don’t have that, I’m still speaking for them, but only at the live conference every year here in San Diego. By the way, hope you can all attend next year. Social Media Marketing World is the name of the event. It’s here in San Diego. I’m gonna be doing some special meetups and stuff for all the SPI crew, and it’ll be a lot of fun.

So anyway, are they viable? Yes. Are they as strong as they were? No, and I think they’re kind of on the way out, but like a lot of things that are on the way out and kind of go away for a while, they could come back, and I imagine if I were to predict in the future, say five years, virtual summits and conferences are gonna come back because there will be ways to implement that social aspect into it. Virtual reality or augmented reality will be a part of that and we’ll see where it goes from there, so don’t count it out for good, but right now I wouldn’t focus on that.

Now, that being said, the cool thing about a virtual summit like a conference is it’s . . . Excuse me, unlike a conference, it’s easy to test. Well, they’re both easy to test. Sell tickets ahead of time: If you get people interested, awesome. If not, well, you know that that’s not gonna happen. Now, unlike in-person conferences, you don’t have to book a room and have people travel and book a block of hotel spaces. Virtual summits are much easier, and so therefore you can probably, Kate, validate this first upfront and see if it’s actually something people want by selling tickets for it, and if you get to a certain amount, move forward. If not, pull back. There you go.

So, there you go, Kate. Thank you so much for the question today. Regarding that teeshirt, I don’t know how many kids you have, but let us know and maybe we can get a shirt for each of them, even if you have twelve kids or Jon and Kate plus . . . You’re not the Jon & Kate from Jon & Kate Plus Eight, right? No, you’re not, but anyway, we’ll get a shirt for yourself and your kiddos, and we’ll make that happen. My assistant who hears this and who will contact you will work it out together, but anyway, thank you again so much for the question and for those of you listening, if you have question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat, and we got a really cool quote today from Miles Davis. I used to listen to him all the time. Anyway, his quote is “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” So deep. All right, guys. Take care and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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