If you’re asking what tools you need for summit speaking or so that you can host or evergreen a summit… you’re not alone. That’s a question I get asked. A LOT. 😅 Sooooo I figured it was worth writing up a roundup of all the tools that I use in my summit speaking system and when I host and evergreen my summits. And if you can get a great deal on them, all the better, right? 😃

We’re just going to jump right into it, so hop straight to the section that’s most relevant for you:

Summit Speaking Software Deals

Summit Hosting Software Deals

Evergreen Summit Software Deals

Some of the deals overlap categories, so you may see them in multiple sections… but that just means I use them all over the place in my business. 😉 I only recommend tools that I use or have used in the past (or, occasionally, tools that I’ve worked in with clients or friends). Total transparency: a lot of the links are affiliate links, so I’ll get a small commission, but that helps us keep the lights on here at Virtual Summit Search, so thank you!

Summit Speaking Deals

Here are the software tools I use in my summit speaking strategy and system.

Email Marketing: Encharge – Encharge is my tool of choice at this point when it comes to email marketing! I’ve used several other email marketing tools for summit speaking in the past, and this is the most powerful tool I’ve used. I was a loyal ConvertKit user for a long time, but I wanted more than their automations and such could do at the time. (They may be better now, but last I checked, there were still things I wouldn’t be able to do as easily as I want to. 😅) I still love ConvertKit, but I got a KILLER lifetime deal on Encharge and at this point, if I had to upgrade my account and pay monthly, I would. Their support team is also TOPS – they’re always great anytime I need some help with something and quick to respond.

If you’re looking for an email marketing tool that’ll give you a lot of flexible power in your automations, but still let you create solid segments and that gives you good stats, Encharge is where it’s at. I can do a lot with this tool for my post-summit automations and I LOVE it.

Encharge is currently 30% off the first 6 months for new customers when you use the code BF2022MA

Alternatives I’d recommend: ConvertKit

Email Opt-ins: Convertful – One thing Encharge doesn’t have (and honestly, I’m okay with it!) is opt-in forms. You’ll need a good opt-in form tool, and I found that in Convertful. While it doesn’t integrate directly with Encharge, because Encharge lets you create automations with webhooks, it’s been super easy to integrate these two tools – and I can actually do a lot more through that webhook integration than I could through a typical integration. 🙌

You want to have a good opt-in for your summit speaking engagements, so you want to make sure you have a good form to usher them into your community. I got a lifetime deal on Convertful, and they were worth it, but if I was getting this kind of tool now, I’d probably go for a lifetime deal on ConvertBox (mostly just because I’m a lifetime deal junkie 😂). They’re VERY similar tools, and ConvertBox is now part of the ThriveCart family, which we’ll talk about in a second, so win-win.

Alternatives I’d recommend: ConvertBox (obviously)

Checkout Tool for post-summit offers: ThriveCart I’ve tried a lot of things in this department, and there’s only one tool I can wholeheartedly recommend at this point: ThriveCart.

It’s just so easy to use, it looks good, and it integrates with a lot of tools, making it very versatile. You want to make sure you have a way to make money when you speak at a summit, so a tripwire offer (can we please find a better term for that offer??) on the thank-you page when the attendees opt in, or inside your email welcome sequence is a must-have. ThriveCart delivers on just about everything you need in a checkout/cart tool. If you want great affiliate tools so you can let other people promote your offers too, make sure to get the Pro version of ThriveCart – it’s worth it!

Alternatives I’d recommend: Honestly, nothin’

Summit Hosting Software Deals

There’s a lot that goes into hosting a summit, so let’s dive into the tools that I’ve used to host my summits.

Summit in a Box: This is quite literally everything you need to equip you to host a summit, all in a box (virtually AND a real box!). I cannot imagine hosting a summit without Summit in a Box at this point. Krista has created such a wealth of resources for summit hosting – including things I wouldn’t have even thought of, but am so glad SHE did! – and it’s something I can come back to to add new strategies for future summits. I can’t say enough good things about this program, so just go check it out!

BONUS: you can currently get your free ticket to Sell With a Summit: Course Creator Edition​, which is happening Dec 6-8! Krista has gathered some of the best folks in the biz to teach us advanced strategies for launching a course through a summit. You won’t want to miss this!

Alternatives I’d recommend: There aren’t any. Just join the Launch with a Summit Accelerator (the program that Krista offers through Summit in a Box) and you’ll be glad you did

Countdown Timers: Convertful/ConvertBox – This is a crucial part of a summit, since you need to “expire” the sessions, and trust me, you DON’T want to be doing that manually! (Been there, done that.) Having automated countdown timers in place is worth investing a little time and money into them to get everything set up. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options out there, so I’ve got two that I’d recommend:

1 | Convertful or ConvertBox – While these tools aren’t made just for this application, they’ve worked great for me! I started using Convertful for my evergreen summit countdown timers for Sell With a Summit: Membership Edition​ and it’s been great. ConvertBox is extremely similar and I have friends who’ve used it for countdown timers, so I’d just go with whichever one you end up liking better. 😜 Convertful is currently a monthly/annual cost, while ConvertBox is still a lifetime deal, in case that helps.

2 | Deadline Funnel – The big player in the game is Deadline Funnel. They’re king for a reason, too! Deadline Funnel has mastered a lot of the things that you won’t get from Convertful/ConvertBox, like tracking across devices and locations, and so much more. That does come with a commensurate price tag, though. I highly, highly recommend Deadline Funnel, but unless you’re planning to use it in other areas of your business that will justify the price tag (which is you can do that and get a good ROI on it, which you probably can, go for it!), I would probably start with Convertful or ConvertBox until you can afford Deadline Funnel. Then upgrade away. 😉

Deadline Funnel currently has a killer Black Friday deal going on – check it out!

Alternatives I’d recommend: Those three are about it. I haven’t found alternatives that work well enough to recommend them… and I’ve tried quite a few!

Summit Audio Feed: Hello AudioThis is a newer summit tool, but it’s one that I hope will become standard going forward. I started using it for my summits in 2021 and I had such a great response from the attendees (some saying that it was the only way they were able to attend!) that it’s become a staple in all of my summits since then.

The idea is that you load the videos of the summit sessions into the private audio feed and folks get access to that once they register for the summit. They can download the “episodes” into their favorite podcast player and listen on the go. Even if your sessions have a lot of visuals, it can be a great way for folks to absorb the basic ideas and then go watch the videos when they’re in front of a computer.

I create my summit audio feeds through Hello Audio. It’s SO easy to use, both for me and the attendees, and it gives you insights into who’s actually listening, which can be helpful. I use Hello Audio in a lot of other areas of my business, such as private audio trainings that grow my email list outside of summits. You can do a lot with this tool, inside AND outside virtual summits!

Hello Audio is currently 25% off for Black Friday. You’ll also be locking in that discount for LIFE – it’s a steal! Use the code AUDIOBF22 if you’re a new user or MOREAUDIO22 if you’re upgrading your account 🎉 (Normally the code SUMMIT10 will get you 10% off, but 25% is a WAY better deal! 😉)

Alternatives I’d recommend: There aren’t really a lot of viable alternatives, honestly. If you really want an alternative, I guess you could go for my regular podcast host, Captivate, which has private podcast options.

Email Marketing/Automation: Encharge – There are a LOT of emails that you’re going to send when you’re hosting a summit. Like… a LOT. You want a really solid email tool, and my tool of choice is Encharge. It’s like the ease and simplicity of ConvertKit married the power of ActiveCampaign’s automations and had a baby… and that baby was Encharge. (Okay, maybe that’s a weird analogy, but it’s true!) Encharge has enabled me to do things that I just couldn’t in my previous email platforms. The webhook automations alone have been worth it!

Encharge is currently 30% off the first 6 months for new customers when you use the code BF2022MA

Alternatives I’d recommend: ConvertKit

All-Access Pass Sales: ThriveCart – In order to make money at a summit, you’re probably going to have to make some all-access pass (AAP) sales! You want to have a solid tool in place for that, and that’s where ThriveCart comes in. I’ve tried a number of different tools for this over the years and at this point, I won’t use anything but ThriveCart. I’ve actually lost money by trying to go the cheap route. (Oops!) Don’t be me.

ThriveCart makes it easy to set up your different AAP options and make bump offers and upsells (aka letting people add additional offers, like past summit replays, to their purchase). It also integrates with a lot of top tools, so that also makes it a slam dunk. Not to mention it’s currently a lifetime deal, so you won’t be paying every month or year, making it a SERIOUS steal!

Alternatives I’d recommend: None. Everything else I’ve tried pales in comparison. If you really don’t have the budget (but I’d urge you to make the budget – it’ll probably pay for itself), you could use WooCommerce on WordPress. It’s a lot more complicated, though. 😅

All-Access Pass Hosting: Learn+ – Over the years, I’ve tried a number of solutions for hosting my AAPs, which is typically done in learning management software (LMS). I’ve finally landed on my Forever Tool here: Learn+. It’s a simple platform, which is great for both me as the creator and the attendees as the customer. It isn’t the most fully-featured tool yet, but Learn+ makes up for it in a couple ways: the price tag (it’s about $200 – for life!) and the fact that it’s part of the ThriveCart family, which means it integrates directly with ThriveCart​ – always a win in my book.

Learn+ also made it a lot easier on me as the summit host to not clutter up my behind-the-scenes with a bunch of “courses” inside the LMS. With Learn+, I’ve been able to create ONE version of the all-access pass, rather than four (yes, FOUR) versions – the regular AAP, the VIP version, the replays-only evergreen AAP, and the VIP evergreen AAP. Instead, I just apply tags when someone purchases the AAP through ThriveCart and make certain portions of the “course,” like the speaker bonuses, accessible to folks with those specific tags. It’s been SO great having that simple system in place, and the customers have liked their side of things too. The basic version of Learn comes free with ThriveCart, but it’s worth the $200 upgrade to Learn+.

Alternatives I’d recommend (with caveats): LearnDash and/or Wishlist Member (LearnDash is a bit clunky, but does have some nice features); Teachable (though it has definite limitations too)

Audio/Video Editing, Transcripts, Closed Captions, and More: DescriptWhen you’re hosting a summit, you’re going to be processing a lot of videos (and/or audios)! You’ll also probably be looking for somewhere to get transcripts and closed captions so that you can make your summit accessible for those who need them. I was so psyched when I found Descript, because it can do all of this – and more!

With Descript, I edit the summit videos – everything from dropping in a little animation of the summit logo, all the way through editing out unnecessary bits like “um”s and “uh”s. It generates a transcript, which I can easily edit, and which is also what I use to edit the videos (just highlight the words you want gone, click Delete, and that section of the video is clipped out). It’s like magic. 😍 You can export the video, transcript, and even closed caption files, all in one place. The icing on the cake: you can even create audiograms (little animated text graphics) that you can share on social media and give to your speakers to make it easy to share.

Best of all: Descript is a FRACTION of the price that you’d pay to go to a service like Tev or Remi and just get the transcripts. This tool can save you buckets of time and money.

Alternatives I’d recommend: I haven’t found anything that can do what Descript does, especially at the price point it’s at!

Speaker Management: Dubsado + Airtable You’ll need a place to wrangle all of the info you’re getting from your speakers, and to track who still owes you what. I’ve done this with Dubsado – to collect the info and automate the process – and Airtable – to store all the info in one place. I use Dubsado in a lot of other areas of my business, so that works best for me (mainly because of the automations), but you may have another tool that works for you, and that’s totally okay!

Dubsado is currently on sale for $15/month for the first time since 2017!! Lock in this deal while you still can…

Alternatives I’d recommend: ClickUp, just Airtable by itself, or whatever project/task management tool you’re using

Evergreen Summit Software Deals

Some of these are going to overlap with the summit hosting tools, of course, but there are sometimes different use cases, so let’s talk about those!

Countdown Timers: Convertful/ConvertBox You really can’t have an evergreen summit without countdown timers. You do need some different timers than during a live summit, though. Since each attendee will have a different start time than the rest, you won’t be gating the sessions with a countdown timer that has a specific date and time. Instead, you’ll need a tool that counts down based on each individual attendee. This is a bit of a rehash from what we talked about in the Summit Hosting Tools section, but here are the only options I’ve found to work the way we need them to for evergreen summits:

1 | Convertful or ConvertBox – I started using Convertful for my evergreen summit timers after Sell With a Summit: Membership Edition and it’s been working great! I’d been using another tool before that that kept glitching, and I finally gave up and switched countdown timer tools. I wish I’d done it sooner. ConvertBox is essentially the same concept as Convertful, and while countdown timers aren’t the main focus of these tools, they work the way we need them to for evergreen summits. 🙌 Which one you use it totally your call. Convertful is currently a monthly/annual cost, while ConvertBox is still a lifetime deal, in case that helps.

2 | Deadline Funnel – The big player in the game is Deadline Funnel. They’re king for a reason, too! Deadline Funnel has mastered a lot of the things that you won’t get from Convertful/ConvertBox, like tracking across devices and locations, and so much more. That does come with a commensurate price tag, though. I highly, highly recommend Deadline Funnel, but unless you’re planning to use it in other areas of your business that will justify the price tag (which is you can do that and get a good ROI on it, which you probably can, go for it!), I would probably start with Convertful or ConvertBox until you can afford Deadline Funnel. Then upgrade away. 😉

Deadline Funnel currently has a killer Black Friday deal going on – check it out!

Alternatives I’d recommend: Those three are about it. I haven’t found alternatives that work well enough to recommend them… and I’ve tried quite a few!

Summit Audio Feed: Hello AudioThis is a big one for evergreen summits, since folks can take it on the go. It’s not a standard summit feature yet, but I hope it will be soon! I started using summit audio feeds for my summits in 2021 and I had such a great response from the attendees (some saying that it was the only way they were able to attend!) that it’s become a staple in all of my summits since then. It’s also a must-have for my evergreen summits now.

I create my summit audio feeds through Hello Audio. It’s SO easy to use, both for me and the attendees, and it gives you insights into who’s actually listening, which can be helpful. I use Hello Audio in a lot of other areas of my business, such as private audio trainings that grow my email list outside of summits. You can do a lot with this tool, inside AND outside virtual summits! You can also drip and undrip episodes, so you can automatically remove access to the sessions around the limited timeframe you’ve given evergreen attendees, too. 🎉

Hello Audio is currently 25% off for Black Friday. You’ll also be locking in that discount for LIFE – it’s a steal! Use the code AUDIOBF22 if you’re a new user or MOREAUDIO22 if you’re upgrading your account 🎉 (Normally the code SUMMIT10 will get you 10% off, but 25% is a WAY better deal! 😉)

Alternatives I’d recommend: There aren’t really a lot of viable alternatives, honestly. If you really want an alternative, I guess you could go for my regular podcast host, Captivate, which has private podcast options

Customizing Page Content: If-SoThis isn’t a necessary feature, but it’s something that does make my evergreen summit life easier. 😅 If an evergreen attendee is coming to a session and they’re redirected to the “Session Expired” page, I only have to have one page. I can use a tool called If-So (and you can too, if you’re using WordPress) to customize what they see based on the page they came from, for example. That means I can have just one “Session Expired” page, but they’ll see a link to the pertinent evergreen all-access pass (since I have multiple evergreen summits).

I’ve also used If-So to customize speaker and summit sponsor info pages and even opt-in pages when I’m speaking at summits. There’s SO much fun stuff you can do with this kind of customization!

If-So is currently 30-50% off, which is a great deal, so jump on this while you can!

Alternatives I’d recommend: I’m sure there are some, but I haven’t looked into any since this works for my use cases

 

There are more tools that I use inside my virtual summits and evergreen summits, and inside my summit speaking system, but those are the big ones! Hopefully this is helpful, and if you have questions about anything I mentioned (or didn’t mention!), feel free to email me at hello@virtualsummitsearch.com and I’ll share whatever resources and tools I have. 🙂

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