What to expect at SubSummit

SubSummit 2018

If you've never heard of SubSummit before, it's the first and only conference devoted exclusively to the subscription commerce industry in the world.

Each year it brings together partners, business owners, and industry leaders looking to grow their existing subscription businesses, or just soak in the knowledge from those around them.

Last year, our very own Ryan McDermott, Business Development Manager, and Leanne Lucas, Account Manager, Bold Subscriptions, made their first appearance at SubSummit 2018 held in beautiful Denver, Colorado.

Here's what they had to say.

There is so much to learn at SubSummit!

There were over 70 vendors at the event, chatting with merchants about what services they offer and how they can help subscription businesses with everything from software solutions, fulfillment, custom box printing, marketing, and much more.

And I know we're biased, but our booth was giving away some of the coolest swag thanks to some of our awesome merchants, and our visitors loved it! 

20180530_105106Some of the subscription box companies that attended SubSummit 2018.

There were nearly 70 speakers over the three day event, covering topics such as shipping, platform needs, fulfillment, networking, data insights, and many other issues which can be unique to the needs of subscription-specific business models.

Learning is great, but you want to have some fun at these events too, right?

Well not to worry with SubSummit! There are sponsored events each evening so you can network with your peers. Tacos and margaritas with a side of table top hockey, anyone?!

20180601_103351Leanne enjoying some of the events after the conference.

On the last night, the industry’s only subscription box awards, the CUBE Awards, are handed out over dinner in categories such as Best Food Box, Best Customer Experience, and Best Start-Up Award to name a few. Winners, nominees, and conference attendees get a chance to mingle and get to know each other better as they danced the night away at the afterparty!

Why you should you attend SubSummit 2019

If you have a subscription business, or are thinking about starting one, we HIGHLY recommend attending this conference.

After arriving back home and taking some time to reflect on our first SubSummit experience, there were a few things that stood out to us, so we put together this list to help you prepare for next year.

  1. Don’t be shy: Visit as many booths as possible! Companies like Bold set up at these events to get to know merchants better. We want to get honest feedback and hear about the day-to-day problems and pain points that merchants are dealing with. 

  2. Keep an open mind: Maybe a speaker is talking about a business that is in a different class than yours. Perhaps a fellow conference attendee deals in a totally different product or industry. Try to absorb as much information as you can and consider how you can apply those learnings to your business. There are all kinds of valuable tidbits of knowledge floating around at these events.

  3. Know what you’re wanting to get out of the event: If you're wanting to find a new eCommerce platform - cool! Find out who’s going to be there and make sure to connect with them. If you’re having issues with your shipping or fulfilment company, make sure you circle those types of companies on the map and find them. Preparation will make sure that your time is well spent.

    SubSummit has a great app that allows you to prep before and network after the event, including the ability to join discussion boards, make a list of attendees you’d like to meet, and make notes to follow up with afterwards.

  4. Connect with other merchants: With each new connection you make, you'll be able to share some of their experiences and learn from each other. Who knows what types of partnership opportunities can come up! Featuring products on each other’s sites, co-marketing by writing on each other’s blogs, or special discounts for mutual customers? There are so many possibilities.

  5. Go shopping: Make sure to take the next step and shop some of the the websites of attendees before and after the event. Looking at their sites from a customer’s perspective before the event, and then connecting while  you're there can lead to some great insight on their business. After the event go back and review and see how your perspective has changed.

  6. Never settle: At an event like SubSummit, you'll quickly realize that everyone from industry heavyweights to start-ups is constantly improving their business and growing. The industry is growing a mile a minute and you’ve gotta stay on your toes to be competitive.  

Don't forget to have fun! Take the time to network, enjoy the events, and connect with other business owners who can become long-lasting industry connections.

Final thoughts

What a blast it was to chat with so many people involved in this growing industry!

It was a delight to meet some of our users face-to-face and to get some great feedback on our Bold Subscriptions app for Shopify.

The event sharpened our focus on what's driving the rapid evolution of how consumers discover, buy, and experience new subscription products, and we couldn't wait to get back and share what we learned with the rest of the team.

We certainly had a few takeaways to bring home with us - along with the goodies in our SubSummit welcome box!

A special thanks to some of Bold Subscription's merchants!

We can't forget to give a special shout-out to some of Bold's amazing merchants that gave us swag for our booth at the event including V-Dog, Nutrient Foods, Dr. Anna Cabeca, Fresh Patch, Perky Jerky, and JoJo's Bow Club.

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John Bruce

Written by John Bruce

John is a full-time copywriter, part-time boxing coach, and former cable-access host.

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