When I decided to host my first virtual summit, “From Chaos to Control: Mastering the Art of a Culinary Business,” I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought, “Hey, how hard could it be? I’ll just gather some experts, talk about streamlining and creating systems, and voila! Instant success.” 

Boy was I unaware! So if you find yourself wanting to start your own virtual summit, hopefully, these takeaways will be helpful! 

Lesson #1: Technology is not your friend.
As we all know, technology has a mind of its own. During our first live session, the audio decided to take a vacation, leaving our viewers with a view of our panelists mouthing words in silence. Luckily for me, I had my team member on hand to help with the technical difficulties. So remember- ALWAYS have someone on standby to help. 

Lesson #2: Don’t let time limit the learning!
I had grand plans of sticking to a strict schedule, but our experts were beyond knowledgeable, and I couldn’t limit them.  Give yourself some grace with the timing. While a schedule is important, the learning should always take center stage. 

Lesson #3: Marketing mishaps happen.
I learned the hard way that even the most well-intentioned marketing efforts can go awry. While preparing promotional materials, I decided to wear my favorite “butter” shirt to showcase my love for all things culinary. However, my hair had other plans and decided to cover the “-er” part of the word, leaving me with a shirt that simply read “butt.” It wasn’t until after I shared these pictures with my marketing team that I realized I had inadvertently created a cheeky marketing campaign. On the bright side, it certainly got my team laughing!

Lesson #4: The power of community.
The most valuable lesson I learned from this summit was the incredible power of community. Bringing together experts and passionate individuals in the culinary world created a stage for collaboration, support, and shared knowledge. 

While it may not have gone exactly as planned, my first virtual summit was a success. With dozens of attendees, and an incredible panel of speakers, it was an unforgettable experience that taught me valuable lessons I’ll carry with me into the next one!

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