How Joe Slack Generated $10k in Revenue and 500+ Email Subscribers with a Simple Virtual Summit

Virtual summits have always been a phenomenal way to build your email list.

  • You invite a bunch of experts in your niche to participate
  • You record an interview with each of them
  • You release those interviews over a 5- to 10-day period as a virtual summit
  • Each participant invites their audiences to register to attend
  • This brings a ton of new subscribers and customers to your list in 1 fell swoop

I’ve seen people 2x and even 3x their list just from a virtual summit.

The only downside?

All the planning involved makes them a massive pain in the butt to pull off.

At least, that’s what I used to think.

But then I talked to Joe Slack.

  • Joe is the founder of The Board Game Design Course
  • He helps people design games and get them published
  • He recently ran a Board Game Design Virtual Summit after a few weeks of low-stress planning
  • It brought in $10,700 in sales and added 550 of his best fit customers to his email list

Best of all, when I asked if he planned on doing the summit again, he IMMEDIATELY said yes—the #1 sign of a strategy worth copying 🙂

Want to see how he pulled it off?

I hopped on Zoom to get the full scoop from Joe so you can copy his approach and quickly add a big chunk of leads and customers to your business.

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In this interview, you’ll learn:

  • 3:39 – The basic structure Joe used to simplify his virtual summit and reduce moving parts
  • 5:34 – The nitty-gritty numbers behind Joe’s virtual summit, including revenue, pricing tiers, sales via partners, and more
  • 7:14 – How Joe identified partners for the summit and convinced them to promote it
  • 11:27 – 3 specific changes Joe is planning to make the next virtual summit even better
  • 20:40 – Joe’s #1 piece of advice for anyone planning a virtual summit
  • And more!


Want to Execute a Virtual Summit Like Joe’s? Here’s a Closer Look at How He Did It…

Let’s zoom out for a sec and review the high-level mechanics of the partnership.

Type of Partnership: Virtual Summit — Joe reached out to dozens of experts in his niche of board game design to participate in a series of pre-recorded interviews on different topics, from game design best practices to pitching board game publishers and beyond.

He ended up with:

  • 18 expert participants
  • 6 days of interviews
  • 1 day of Q&A

People could register for free to get access to the interviews during the 7 days the summit was scheduled to take place.

During the summit, 2-3 interviews were dripped out each day, with each day organized around a particular theme or topic:

Wait…How Did the Virtual Summit Make Money?

In addition to the free registration option, Joe also created premium packages that gave attendees lifetime access to the recordings and a variety of bonus resources.

This is another underrated aspect of running a virtual summit. It automatically creates another product for your business! All you have to do is package the recordings together and offer lifetime access to everyone that signs up.

The top package also included Joe’s online course, The Board Game Design Course. (I’ll go over more details on these premium tiers later.)

Joe then offered every participant in the virtual summit 20% of any sales they generated (and 25% if they generated 10 or more sales). This gave them an extra incentive to promote the summit to their audiences.

The Results:

  • Joe added 550 new email subscribers to his list
  • Over 100 of those people bought a premium version of the summit, for a total of $10,700 in sales
  • 83% of people said they would definitely attend another summit like it again (Joe sent out a post-event survey)
  • Joe established or deepened relationships with key influencers in the game design niche, setting the table for future partnerships and collaborations
  • He now plans to run the virtual summit at least once per year going forward

Now, let’s take a closer look at the assets Joe created to build and promote his virtual summit.

The Pre-Summit Campaign Joe Used to Validate His Virtual Summit Idea

The beauty of virtual summits is that you don’t need to have much of an existing audience in order to attract people to it. All you have to do is get the participants to promote the summit to their audiences, which isn’t difficult to do.

However, if you DO have an existing audience, you can take an extra step in the early stages of planning your virtual summit to make it even more successful:

Run a simple validation campaign.

A validation campaign allows you to:

  • Get feedback on how to make your virtual summit even better
  • Create excitement for the summit before registration is open
  • Generate early revenue through pre-sales

The best part? It will be the easiest email sequence you ever create. Your validation campaign only needs 3 emails to work:

  • Email 1: The “Are You Interested?” Email
  • Email 2: Survey Delivery Email
  • Email 3: Early Bird Pricing Email

Check out Joe’s versions of each email so you can see how simple they are to create.

Email 1:

Creating your own version of this email is literally as simple as swapping out the virtual summit name.

It’s quick, to-the-point, and personal. It feels like an email you’d get from a friend, which is part of what makes it so effective.

All you have to do after sending Email 1 is send the next email to everyone who replies with “yes.”

Email 2:

Again—pretty simple, right?

This email includes 2 key components:

  1. A link to a simple description of your virtual summit
  2. A link to a short survey that allows people to give you feedback

Pro Tip: I recommend sending Email 2 as a manual reply to everyone who replies “yes” to Email 1. It might take a little more time, but you’ll end up with way more survey responses if you reply individually.

The virtual summit description you link to can be as simple as a Google doc, or you can flesh out a basic landing page like Joe did here.

Whatever you provide, don’t worry about including every last detail. Include enough to give people the basic gist, and mention that they will be able to purchase lifetime access to the summit.

Your survey doesn’t need to be complicated either. Create it for free with Google Forms and use the questions Joe asked as a template for your own:

Pro Tip: Be sure to ask for name and email in your survey so that you can follow up with each person.

You’ll send the third and final validation email to everyone who submits the survey.

Email 3:

Like Email 2, you should also send Email 3 as a response to the email chain you’ve already established with everyone who takes the survey.

This is the only email that will take a little bit of extra attention. You should use the highlighted section to directly address each individual’s survey responses and answer any questions they had.

If all you got out of the validation campaign was feedback, it would still be super helpful. The survey responses will often give you insight into simple ways to make your summit more appealing to your target audience.

But it also gives you an opportunity to generate more than just feedback—you can also generate revenue before you even open registration.

All you need to do is offer every survey respondent the chance to buy your lifetime access deal at a special “early bird” price (just like Joe did in the above example).

Positive feedback is great, but actual sales are the ultimate validation. There is no better proof that you’ve landed on a winning concept than people paying for access before it even exists.

How to Price Your Virtual Summit

Pricing the lifetime access packages for your virtual summit will vary a bit depending on your industry and best fit clients, but you can use Joe’s structure as a rough guideline for your own.

He featured 3 tiers:

  • All-Access Pass ($60):
    • Lifetime access to all interviews
  • Platinum Pass ($67):
    • Lifetime access to all interviews
    • Lifetime access to bonus interviews not aired during the summit
  • Ultimate Pass ($117):
    • Lifetime access to all interviews
    • Lifetime access to bonus interviews not aired during the summit
    • Lifetime access to Joe’s course, The Board Game Design Course ($99 value)
    • 6 free months of membership in Joe’s private community for game designers

Like I said, use this as inspiration, but you don’t need to copy the structure and pricing exactly.

For example, if you sell a course that normally costs $999, it might not make sense to include it in your third tier without significantly raising the price. Since Joe’s course normally costs $99, it made sense to include it in his $117 package.

If you don’t have enough additional resources to create 3 tiers, don’t let that hold you back from launching. But I highly encourage you to at least create a second tier, as tiered pricing almost always results in more revenue.

You can always copy Joe’s idea of recording a series of bonus interviews with a handful of your participants if you need an idea for what to include in a second tier.

How to Get Your Participants to Promote the Virtual Summit

Although virtual summits require a decent amount of legwork, it’s easy to get partners to promote them because of their “give, give, give, ask” nature:

  • You’re giving by inviting them to participate.
  • You’re giving by organizing and doing the legwork to execute the summit.
  • You’re giving by promoting them every time you promote the summit.

So when it comes time to ask them to promote the summit, the odds are stacked in your favor—especially if you choose to offer them a percentage of sales they generate like Joe did.

You don’t need a dramatic pitch or anything fancy to get participants to tell their audiences about the summit. However, Joe did offer one central piece of advice in our interview above:

Make it easy for your partners to promote the event.

That means:

  • Give them a swipe email they can use to promote the summit to their email list (use the email you’re sending to your own list as a template to create this)
  • Give them some swipe social media posts they can use (same principle as the swipe email)
  • Ask each partner to promote it—yes, that sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people just wait around for partners to do it on their own

Also, don’t forget that you can go beyond the people participating in your summit when recruiting partners to promote it.

For example, Joe said that 71% of the sales that came in via partners were generated by ONE person who wasn’t even a participant in the summit.

Even though the guy wasn’t interviewed for the summit, his audience was still a great fit and he happily promoted it when Joe reached out to him.

Here’s an example of the type of pitch email Joe used for partners like this:

This can also work as a great “Plan B” pitch whenever someone declines to be interviewed for your summit. Just because they don’t have time to participate doesn’t mean they don’t have time to promote—especially if you incentivize them to do so.

A Simple Email Sequence for Promoting Your Virtual Summit

In addition to getting your partners to promote the virtual summit, you’ll also want to promote it to your own email list (even if your audience is small).

Know what that means?

Yup, you’ll need to write an email sequence.

*cue horror movie sound effects*

Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

Instead of writing from scratch, Joe used one of our proven email sequence templates to create the promo emails for his virtual summit.

Now you can do the same thing. 🙂

We loaded up Joe’s sequence into DripScripts, our free tool that lets you customize proven email sequences, so you can quickly adapt it to promote your own virtual summit.

All you have to do is click here to get free access to Joe’s Virtual Summit Promo Sequence.

So—Should You Do a Virtual Summit?

Still mulling over whether a virtual summit would be a good investment of your time and energy? Ask yourself this:

If you knew a virtual summit could generate $10k in revenue and add 500+ perfect leads to your email list…

…would you mind spending a few weeks putting it together?

Almost every course creator or coach I know would say, “Sign me the heck up!”

Plus, with all the resources available to you in this post, you won’t be starting from scratch.

Want to Become Our Next Case Study?

I’m looking for 15 course creators and coaches who want my team and me to personally help them get results like Joe’s. We’ll find out what a dream case study would look like for your business, create a custom plan to help you reach it, and then coach you through the implementation step by step.

Interested in learning more? Click here to schedule a time to chat with us.