Innovate, Explore, and Dream: How to Get the Most out of skucon 2018

7 min read

Ready to step boldly into 2018?

What do you need to focus on the most? Sales? Marketing? Strengthening your team?

Skucon was created to inspire entrepreneurs and give you practical tools to build a better business. To get the most out of your action-packed day, we’ve created this brief guide to help identify the best sessions for you:

 

Are you an Innovator?

 

You’re ready to kill it next year, but you’d like to get additional ideas on how to expand your business. Have you considered engagement commerce? Anita Emoff, CEO of Boost Technologies and Joe Drayer, Vice President of Boost Rewards and Ignite, who have built a substantially successful business in the motivation industry, will talk about how to profitably capture this market segment and how to grow from incentives to engagement.

Or maybe you want to embrace the agency model? Janie Gaunce, founder of Grapevine Designs, is one of the pioneers who first began to position her company through an agency concept and will be sharing from her experience what works and what doesn’t, how to build an ace-team, what fee structures can look like, and more!

Perhaps you want to inspire and motivate your team? UK-based distributor Outstanding Branding has already become an iconic brand (no matter which side of the Atlantic you are on) and they are known for their keen culture, join Andy Thorne and Sarah Penn as they talk about the core values that drive the growth of their organization.

Are you doing enough importing? If so, are you doing it correctly and as profitably as possible? Join importing impresario Russ Mogell from Seven Sourcing as he talks about how to make creativity the commodity killer and how to deliver “wow!” and “a-ha!” moments with custom projects!

Are you a supplier looking to build faster, better, and higher quality lead generation on commonsku? Samantha Kates, Vice President of Sales at commonsku, has over 15 years experience as a successful distributor and supplier and is known as a catalyst for sales growth. In Sam’s session, she’ll walk you through the little features that can make a big difference on your bottom line.

Ready to innovate through operational excellence? Join Brandon Mackay as he walks through the principles that have helped grow Snugz from a 6-person company to a $40 million, profitable powerhouse. Learn how to move from chaos to systems, and from disorder to discipline, a session dedicated to process improvement, helping you work smarter, grow your net profit, and enjoy your work more! 

A critical problem facing every distributor today is one of uniqueness: building a business that customers recognize as immediately different and one that provides obvious value. Join Stephanie Leader, respected innovator with Leader Promotions as she helps you determine your unique value proposition by creating value through innovation.

 

Are you an Explorer?

 

Maybe your innovative breakthrough for 2018 is to instill in your team the priority of making new business development a habit. Join Catherine Graham, President of RIGHTSLEEVE and CEO of commonsku, as she talks about how to make small shifts in your daily habits, creating organization and structure that will make pockets of time efficient, and open up opportunities to land new business!

Ready to move beyond catalogs, websites, and email? Join Lee Strom, Vice President of Marketing and CMO of SanMar, who, through his experience with SanMar, REI, and Eddie Bauer, honed the foundations of his marketing craft and continually works to innovate through stories, product inspiration, and imaginative ideas.

Want to learn how every brand can become a lifestyle brand? Brands like Red Bull, Harley Davidson, and Porsche couldn’t be more different, yet they have one critical thing in common: they have each grown from mere products with logos to lifestyle brands that represent a movement. Kathy Cheng, whose experience includes manufacturing for global trendsetters such as Roots Canada, J Crew, and Billy Reid, will help you learn how to turn every brand -including your own and including your customers- into a lifestyle brand.

Tired of social media bullshit? Ready to learn how to leverage social to drive real engagement that leads to sales? Join Ria Lupton, Community and Marketing Manager for RIGHTSLEEVE, as she helps you learn how to harness social that leads to deeper engagement and significant growth

Want to explore how to build a kick-ass brand that attracts kick-ass clients? Companies like Pepsi, Trident, RayBan, Sundance, New York Fashion Week, SXSW, The Grammy’s, and Levi’s, have turned to Renya Nelson and her team at Brand+Aid to build powerful promotions and create killer campaigns. Renya will share her experience working with these brands and reflect on tools that you can use to position yourself to work with the right kind of clients.

Curious about navigating through digital options and trends? Join Jake Malishkevich, Rich Patterson, and Bobby Lehew as they answer 30 questions in 30 minutes on topics related to e-commerce driven sales, company stores, adclick campaigns, and more. From platforms to contracts, and our best 401 tips, you’ll discover how to navigate the digital landscape with key revenue drivers. Join us for the challenge and the fun!

 

Are you a dreamer?

 

By popular demand, we’ve brought back our wildly unpredictable Entrepreneur Jam that allows three young entrepreneurs to pose their unique challenges to a panel of pros and to you, the audience. Emi Larkin (BrandMe Co.), Sam Kabert (Value BP Marketing Group), and Cola Svec (Soul & Swag) will present their concepts to our panelists, Chris Ferriter (SoBe Promos), Anita Emoff (Boost Technologies), and Brandon Mackay (Snugz). This is an inspirational session that unlocks the tomorrows of the dreamer by thinking through current business challenges and overcoming through imagination and actionable advice.

Do you dream big enough? Have you mapped out all the possibilities that can make your company obviously awesome? April Dunford, former VP Marketing with IBM, Nortel, and Siebel, and a Market Positioning expert, will help you explore how to use context to stand out in a crowd and get your company noticed beyond your wildest dreams!

Are you thriving amidst the chaos or simply surviving? Despite the sometimes tumultuous and often unpredictable nature of a deadline-driven business, Roni Wright will help you master your mindfulness over the ups and downs of the profession, transforming stress-filled moments into mindful opportunities.

Last but not least: Scott Alterman and his team at The Icebox have earned a reputation for being the most innovative and edgy swag fanatics on the planet. Join Chief Swag Officer Scott Alterman on a ride through their crazy journey as he shares lessons learned on how to build a swag empire while constantly evolving.

And if that isn’t enough to make you dream, join co-founders Riley Goodman and Jake Director who, in eight years built Strideline, a 100-employee company who makes the socks that adorn the feet of stars, from Snoop Dog to Antonio Brown. Riley and Jake will reflect on their journey from becoming a trendsetter to the challenges faced, and opportunities ahead, for a retail brand entering the promo space.

And the most powerful way to maximize your time at skucon?

Hang out.

The secret of skucon becoming the most innovative and freshest conference in the industry is the community itself: You!

The community is a growing gathering of the freshest, most innovative thinkers in the industry and we’ll not only connect throughout the day, but we’ll hang out after the conference for cocktails overlooking the downtown city lights, soaking in the vibe, sharing our best take-aways, enjoying the perfect nightcap for a madhouse day!

Get ready to innovate, explore, and dream big!


commonsku is an effortless business management platform that empowers you to process more orders and handle more business. To learn more visit commonsku.com.


Also published on Medium.