Scaling Your Business

How To Host Your First (Profitable) Virtual Summit with Kyrsten Sherwood

Episode 258: Show Notes

Hello all you wonderful entrepreneurial unicorns and biz badasses! We have a really kickass buddy on the show today to share some great information and inspiring stories. Please help us welcome Kyrsten Sherwood from Copper Kettle! Kyrsten is here to tell us about her experiences hosting virtual, online summits and hopefully help you think through how you could possibly do it in the future! Isn’t that fun? This episode will get you started on thinking about how you can setup and run your own events and there is a ton of valuable information for those interested. So if you have ever wondered about doing something like this you will love what Kyrsten has to say!

We have a really kickass buddy on the show today to share some great information and inspiring stories. Please help us welcome Kyrsten Sherwood from Copper Kettle! Kyrsten is here to tell us about her experiences hosting virtual, online summits.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

We also believe that online events, like Kyrsten’s summit, are a great stepping stone to bigger, in person events, so who knows what you could be achieving in next to no time! In our discussion, we look at the differences between these types of events and which parts of the online overlap with real world hosting. Kyrsten gives us some insight into Copper Kettle’s business plan and how her virtual summit now fits into that. From there she takes us through some of the setup procedures and how you might go about getting ready for an event before talking about the monetization of free online video summits. You are not going to want to miss this one! We promise!

Comparing in Person Events With Online Ones

Kyrsten believes that in person events are almost completely different to online or virtual ones but there are some ways in which you can learn lessons about what events are like. You can think about it as sort of testing the waters but remember there are much less overhead costs online and you do not have to reserve a hotel! Kyrsten and her team hit $24k for their first event which is pretty crazy, well done Kyrsten! They built a community and received so much enthusiasm as a response to their first and second summits and the next one is just about to go live. Emylee and Abagail took part in the second on last January and had a blast so we cannot say enough good things about a well run online summit!

Copper Kettle’s Business Plan and The New Online Event

Our guest had been thinking about an online event for a long time and knew the benefits that could result. When she finally got around to hosting one last August she raked it in, making great connections, money, building her contacts and audience and of course provided smaller businesses with a great platform on which to build. This is one of the great joys of creating a space for other entrepreneurs and giving out good will and opportunity, everyone will appreciate your work so much! At first this summit did not really fit into the Copper Kettle business plan but it has slowly found its way to a home and is now a functioning part of their internal economy. A big part of what Kyrsten likes to do is give the spotlight to others and these summits are perfectly crafted for exactly that, go Kyrsten!

The Event Setup and All The Things That Go Into It

When considering launching an online summit like this, people often get stuck on the topic of their relatively small following. But it is not necessarily so important, Kyrsten held her first event with only 400 people on her email list and couple thousand followers on Instagram. So you really do not need a huge following to get things off the ground, and that was the event at which they brought in over $20k, so you can see what’s possible. Kyrsten recommends that you start planning 10 to 12 weeks before the scheduled date so as to give yourself enough time for everything that needs to be done. She lays out the first 3 weeks for inviting speakers, content curation and getting the tech in order. The next 3 weeks are for the recording of the video content and last 4 weeks for the promotion and email funneling. Copper Kettle has decide to host their summits on their own website because it is great for SEO and they are able to control and curate it much more finely, keeping everything on brand, which we think is a great idea!


We seem to be a pretty atypical example of how summits have gone, as far as I have seen in the creative community.
Tweet This via Kyrsten Sherwood

How Do These Events Make Money?

Since it’s a free event there must be a way to make money from it, right? Copper Kettle offers attendees an all access pass that you pay for and has different tiers according to when they are bought. They also include lots of freebies and giveaways for these passes and the videos are then available forever. These exclusive offers make the event profitable but it also means that others can enjoy the free version and still get something from it. Kyrsten recommends keeping the prices quite low and using sponsors and a bit of up-selling to boost your income. For their events the bulk of the money came from the all access passes and the next biggest income came from sponsorships. Another helpful tip is to use smaller sponsors and collaborate with audience members who need visibility. Great advice for getting people on board and money in your pocket!

The Ideal Audiences for Online Summits

There are obviously a lot of different types of businesses out there and each can get different things from online events such as these. Kyrsten believes that almost all are suited to summits but that some personality types might benefit more from the event format itself. There is a lot going on during the event and if you are easily overwhelmed you might find the busyness of the days can be quite lot to take in. That being said, there will be ways for everyone to get involved and enjoy the time spent together. If you enjoy collaborating and networking then it is a great way to make money, increase your email signup, exposure and credibility. Another great benefit that Kyrsten notes, is that when people build relationships at these events, your work will be associated with those relationships!

Building Relationships When You Are Starting Out

Copper Kettle chose to make their first summit very specific and curated the content very closely. It was just part of what they were trying to build and the experience they were hoping to manifest for the audience. Her advice for reaching out to participants and speakers is to slowly build a small relationship, maybe over social media, so that when you ask them to participate they have an idea of who your are. Maybe reply to some of their newsletters and comment on some of their posts so your name is familiar. Another good way to approach people and get them involved is to tell them the impact they have had on you and your business. However, you must be careful to make sure this a genuine and tasteful communication and not come off pandering or fake, which is a real danger when attempting something like this. We know you got this! At the end of the day everyone’s audiences will benefit. Mostly it makes sense to collaborate with like minded individuals, so if you can find a way to communicate that clearly you will most probably have a lot of confirmations from people. This can also be a bit scary but literally the worst thing that can happen is that they say no, so get asking sister!

Contracts and Agreements with Speakers

Kyrsten has a policy of minimal serious contracts with those involved and just likes to have a small written understanding of what is going on. Not everyone is that big on helping to promote and that is okay but it is nice to let them know that the event is, in essence, a collaborative project. The more they can get it out there the better for everyone. She does like to try make sure they know to get their videos in on time otherwise everything gets held up. Also, make sure they know that backing out at the last minute is quite a big deal and should really be avoided if at all possible. The curation of these events is essential to Kyrsten and adding their own touch to the videos is one way in which they keep everything on brand. They use Samcart and then Think It BIG for this purpose. By the end they have beautifully edited, uniform video content for their audience. Ultimately it is about getting as many people involved as possible and creating a sense of excitement! The next summit that is just coming up is going to be more exciting than ever before! There are 43 speakers, 19 of which are keynotes and 25 hours of great content for everyone. All access passes will be able to watch another 8 hours of extra content and there will tons of freebies, too. So if you are interested in seeing a summit run really well, learning some things and maybe getting inspired for your own event be sure to check it out!


  • Comparing in Person Events With Online Ones.  [0:04:40.2]

  • The First Event That Kyrsten and Her Team Hosted. [0:06:05.6]

  • Copper Kettle’s Business Plan and The New Online Event. [0:07:44.9]

  • The Event Setup and All The Things That Go Into It. [0:10:18.9]

  • How Do These Events Make Money? [0:13:21.8]

  • The Ideal Audiences for Online Summits. [0:17:41.2]

  • Building Relationships When You Are Starting Out. [0:21:53.9]

  • Contracts and Agreements with Speakers. [0:25:01.3]

  • Affiliates and the Tech that Supports These Links. [0:25:01.3]

  • The Upcoming Summit That Copper Kettle is Hosting. [0:30:40.3]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:45:10.6]

  1. Social Ahead of Time

  2. Remember All Benefits

  3. Community Involvement!

  4. Prepare Your Tech

  5. Recuperation Time!



Kyrsten Sherwood

Copper Kettle Co

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Kyrsten and Kelly Sherwood are a wife and husband team who help creative entrepreneurs worldwide to start and scale their small businesses. 

The Modern Conference program helps creative entrepreneurs to create truly engaged and enthusiastic communities, network with influencers and create profitable and educational online conferences to boost their business's credibility, marketing reach and authority in their market!

Kyrsten, Kelly and their 3 (going on 4!) kids are from rainy Seattle, WA and are currently living in Chandler, AZ after traveling the states full time for for most of 2017.


  • Summit.

  • Online Events.

  • Tech.

  • Email List.

  • Funneling.

  • Community.




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