With 2017 in full-swing and the world of work changing faster than it ever has before, it is no surprise that the tools we use to communicate are changing equally quickly.

E-mails are dying as fast as Facebook. Slack is rising like Snapchat, and speed and simplicity are always something we try to improve on.

Think of the last time you wrote a letter. Even an email that was longer than a couple of paragraphs. Although these don’t take too long, every minute counts, right?

Now think about the last time you went to a conference so you could hear that one speaker you’ve been reading about and following for years. How long did it take to get to the conference? How much planning went into it? How many hours were spent so you could hear that 45-minutes of gold material? How much money did you spend?

Don’t think for a second I’m advocating against this. There certainly is value in bringing people together, having in-person meetings, and connecting the ‘old fashioned way’. Conferences will never die, and in my opinion, nothing beats a great face-to-face conversation.

With that said, though, conferences cost a lot to host, take a ton of resources, and take weeks, if not months to plan. A lot of us simply don’t have the ability to host one.

But what if we want to make a big impact, showcase incredible talent, get to send a message to our network and connect with like-minded people that want to learn about, and share, a similar idea?

Well, the answer is an online summit.

My case study for understanding the online summit came from Jules Schroeder and her upcoming Unconventional Life Summit on January 15-17th. Jules hosts Unconventional Life on Forbes and has brought together 25+ all-star Millennials in less than a month to teach how to level-up every area of your life and accelerate your business. By focusing on her message and bringing together people that share a vision and can mutually benefit from her objective, she was able to have her summit span the continent—and world for that matter—virtually, in no time at all.

Before you consider hosting your own online summit, getting clear about what value your summit will provide is vital. For Jules, she knew she wanted to bring in expert entrepreneurs and thought-leaders to share what she calls ‘living a life on fire’, one that lights up the people around her.

Whether planning a conference or summit, the key is to reach out to an audience that sees value in the content. After talking to Jules, I learned that she got a couple of ‘big fish’ on board right away that she knew would draw a crowd, and leveraged the network of others to spread the word. She got people like John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur on Fire, which reaches over 1.2 million/month, people like Brian D. Evans of Influencive, which reaches 1 million readers/month, and people like Jared Kleinert of 3 billion under 30 who had the #1 entrepreneurship book last year. I even got invited!

For the Unconventional Life Summit, there is a lofty goal of having literally tens of thousands of people tune-in. Amazingly enough, though, her overhead is almost nothing. She isn’t bringing food, doesn’t have a venue to worry about, isn’t paying speakers, and has all of the marketing taken care of from the people that she is hosting. She is also able to leverage her speakers’ audiences to create more reach than she could do alone.

What might be even more amazing though, is that she did all of the planning and organizing in a month.

One month.

Conferences. Love them or hate them, they are expensive and take a ton of time and resources. Yes, they are valuable in that there is human connection and interaction, but they are a beast to produce and pull off. If impact and the spreading of a message is the goal, consider hosting a Summit to develop your network, be positioned better as a thought-leader, and provide tremendous value to your clients and network. Remember, too, quality isn’t at all compromised. Take it from Jules Schroeder and the incredible Summit she is hosting January 15-17. If you want to follow all of the behind the scenes action, make sure to register.

Did I mention it was free?

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Follow Eric on Twitter, LinedIn, or Facebook. Check out his TEDx video here.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Eric Termuende is founder of the DRYVER Group., a consultancy focused on the the attraction and retention of top talent. In 2015, Eric was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovators under 35 globally by American Express. He sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum. Eric is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014. In 2016, Eric spoke at TEDxBCIT in Vancouver giving his presentation entitled ‘Bigger than Work’. Eric has worked and spoken with clients across the world for the National Speakers Bureau, and was VP Operations and Finance for the University of Calgary Students Union and Class Ambassador for his graduating class. Finally, Eric currently sits on the Vancouver Board of Trade Company of Young Professionals Board.