How one Ecommerce SaaS CMO put on a virtual summit that landed 400 attendees, 20
speakers, 18 partners, and 2 sponsors

On my podcast (withholding the name to avoid self-promotion), typically my
guests discuss using cold outreach for direct selling. They’re starting a sales
conversation with a potential customer using email, LinkedIn, direct mail, etc.

Natalie Luneva

used an approach that allowed her to tap into large audiences with much less
effort than it would take to have sales calls with every potential customer.
She’s even leveraging the authority and credibility of others to attract more
customers to her brand while making sure that everyone wins in the process.


Natalie provides consultative growth to early-stage SaaS founders - whether they
have a little traction or are looking to scale up to $100k MRR,

She's the fractional CMO of Wiremo an Ecommerce SaaS platform that provides
product reviews

Several weeks ago she knew that she wanted to take advantage of Black Friday and
wanted to get more exposure, build their list, and develop partnerships so she
set out to do outreach to potential partners.

*The Challenge*

When Natalie started reaching out to potential partners she found that it was
difficult and consuming to make meaningful connections. Many tactics were taking
a long time and not a lot of companies were looking to partner. After sending
100 messages she got 0 responses.

*The Strategy*

Natalie took a step back and thought - "What do they (people I want to partner
with) want?"

She determined that all of her potential partners would be open to collaborating
on a speaking engagement.

It's a low-risk way to provide the other person with a platform, allow them to
maximize their time, and start a relationship.

To get the most exposure in time for Black Friday Natalie chose to put on a
Virtual Summit

She didn’t think about the number of attendees. Her main KPI was the quality and
quantity of potential partners


Step #1 - Identify small to medium-sized potential partners

Natalie built a list of small to medium-sized companies and then started
reaching out to them to gauge their interest.

These included a good mix of large enterprise customers, agency partners,
industry experts and leaders, and other SaaS companies.

These companies shared the same customers as Wiremo but did not offer competing

Step #2 - Create a landing page for the summit

Natalie used HeySummit to host her summit. Hey Summit has a landing page builder
that has a learning curve but they offer great support.

Step #3 - Identify large partners

Now that she had secured a group of speakers and a landing page she was ready to
find larger partners to offer a spot in the virtual summit.

Reaching out to them was different. They are the big fish that drive attendance.

She knew there would be more constraints to working with larger companies and
influencers so she tried to make things as easy as possible for them. For
example, she offered them a quick 15 min. Q&A instead of requiring them to
create a whole presentation (unless they wanted to create one).

Her outreach email was short, to the point, and value-laden (not taken

Hey {Name},

I'm organizing a live virtual summit that will take place on DATE and would love
to have you as a speaker.

Here's what I have so far:

# of attendees registered (I will share the attendee list with you)

# of speakers

# of sponsors


Would you like to join?

Step #4 - Promotion

Natalie ran ads and promoted it to the Wiremo audience by leveraging the
authority and credibility of her speakers to attract more attendees.

Natalie also asked the small and medium-sized speakers to send an invite to
their audiences at least three times before the event. She prepared a handful of
email examples, gave the speakers their pages to share, and she tracked the
volume of attendees.

Ask all of the speakers to send the invite to their audiences (for
small-to-medium) least send 3x to their audience...prepare a bunch of email
examples, give them speaker pages to share...Track the volume of attendees


400 attendees

20 speakers (2 large, 18 small-to-medium).

30% - 30% - 30% - potential partners, customers, and SaaS companies

A mix of panels, solo, and Q&A

Prep time - 1.5 Months

# of attendees - 90% agreed to be speakers, shared it with friends (potential

2 paid sponsors - These people were also speakers. They got a logo placement,
mentions during the event, and access to the entire attendee list. The sponsors
were most interested in sponsoring to gain exposure, authority, and access to
the attendee list.

12 months worth of content

Natalie ran a networking session with add’l speakers after the event which was
well received. After the networking event, she asked about partnering and.

90% of speakers agreed to be partners for email exchanges, webinars, co-branded
events, etc.

*Wrapping Up*

If you want to get a maximum amount of awareness in minimum time. It's hard to
beat a virtual summit.

One thing that I've noticed from podcasting which Natalie's experience reminded
me of is that it's much easier to get responses from your outreach efforts when
you're offering someone a platform Natalie's event was free but you can also
charge for attendance if you want.

She mentioned that you could even keep the event free but upsell attendees on
notes from the event or a paid workshop. During the event, you can upsell your
tool/product during the presentation. Natalie mentioned that putting on a summit
is a ton of work so plan accordingly - anywhere from 1.5 - 3 mos. before the
event. But, the results are worth it!

Posted by Morgan Williams on Facebook