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SubSummit 2019: Beyond the Box

Category: Events

A meeting place for innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in the subscription box industry.

What started as an exhilarating disruption to the world of e-commerce, the subscription box industry has grown to become a consumer-centric leader in the space. Devoted to the subscription commerce economy, known for their insatiable growth, the Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA) hosts events that promote a community of co-opetition, a high level of ethics, and performance standards for companies in the subscription industry. At their 3rd annual SubSummit event, targeted to subscription box companies and companies that serve the subscription box sector, held in New Orleans this year on May 29-31, 2019, the stage was set for unparalleled networking and knowledge-sharing, Beyond the Box.

As the largest event dedicated to the subscription industry, SubSummit presented an event to support the rapid evolution of the subscription box industry with three ambitious days designed to provide value and opportunities for the 1000+ attendees.

As the first keynote speaker to take the stage, Jeff Heyman, Vice President, Product Management and Business Development of FedEx echoed the Beyond the Box theme and began a conversation that rippled throughout the event. “It is the long-term relationship that truly builds our brands.”

Motivate. Inform. Inspire. Challenge.

Resonating the importance of customization in the industry, the SubSummit agenda included four parallel tracks providing attendees the opportunity to custom-build their experience. To keep pace with an industry that has quickly grown from a small core group of subscription boxes to over 7,000 businesses globally, Beyond the Box shared knowledge to inspire entry-level entrepreneurs all the way up to enterprise powerhouses in 50+ compact sessions. Topics focused on the building blocks that make up the core of businesses including data and analytics, culture/HR, compliance, growth and marketing, operations/fulfillment, and finance.

The delivery of sessions was equally as calculated to make sure the information being provided by the leaders and experts helped attendees to see Beyond the Box and into the future.

Some sessions were presented in either a speaker or panel style, while others could best be described as a fireside chat. In The Art & Science of Partner Compensation, fireside-style, Scott Brazina, CMO of Impact connected with David Bakey, VP, Direct to Consumer of Harry’s. In this intimate conversation, Bakey talked about Harry’s partner compensation philosophy and approach along with some next-step opportunities.

Speaker-style sessions like Enterprise-level Reaching the Next 2 Billion Consumers with Eric Rosenthal from Rapyd, opened up conversations to the floor with Q&A, while fast-paced panel sessions kept conversations fun and moving along with one facilitator asking questions to three experts, allowing attendees to get a snapshot from multiple viewpoints on one subject.

Keynote speakers were no exception to the rule when it came to variety in both topic and delivery. One inspiring keynote panel was Change the World: How 3 Female Entrepreneurs Use the Power of the Subscription Economy to Shape Our Future, while a fireside chat let the audience in on thoughts from Jesse Horwitz, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Hubble Contacts, on Market Disrupters with Jon Oberlander from Ampush Media.

Day three of SubSummit featured a phenomenal keynote from Mahesh Ram, CEO & Co-Founder of Solvvy who brought some mind-blowing market insight to the audience. “The subscription business revenue overall is growing 8x faster than the S&P 500! Public markets are valuing the revenue of companies with a subscription model 2-3x higher than traditional or one-time, transactional sales businesses.”

Interactions: No Screen Required

With the customer at the heart of all subscription businesses, how brands choose to interact with them is the lynchpin of their survival. The businesses selected to partner with to provide customer service support, and for every other supportive aspect from packaging to shipping, play an integral role in making the industry possible. The Beyond the Box Exhibitor Hall with 100+ sponsors gave attendees the opportunity to connect with these businesses face-to-face, adding an immeasurable value to their relationships.

Represented in this charged room were companies from shipping, customer service, tech support, and packaging all the way up to platinum sponsors including Pitney Bowes, who as one of the keynote speakers on day two, carried the torch on the conversation about the purpose of the industry being to sell experiences that go beyond products. Along with their interactive space in the hall were dozens of booths showing off their customer-centric culture with games and high-end tchotchkes to keep the environment light and fun, while providing direct and impactful information on how they could leverage subscription box businesses.

A Red Carpet, Roaming Pirate, and Screaming Fans: The 2019 Cube Awards (You Had to Be There)

Knowledge sharing, relationship building and business growth aside; the SUBTA Cube Awards on the evening of the event’s Day 2 were undeniably the buzz throughout the two-floor SubSummit space. The entrance to the ceremony was a heart-racing red carpet complete with paparazzi, cameras flashing, fans screaming, and interviews being given; followed by an awards ceremony, celebrating subscription box companies in 14 categories honoring the world’s best and brightest and those that continue to push Beyond the Box.

While the list of nominees and winners can be viewed by all, only those in attendance were able to enjoy the acceptance of many awards by Captain Jack Sparrow himself from the event’s sponsor, Pirate Ship, for those not present to accept their own awards.

SubSummit nourished the expectation for event attendees to network with each other throughout the week with events from morning yoga to “fun” runs to happy hours and a pub tour culminating in the after party to the Cube Awards sponsored by Innovio, truly celebrating all attendees one last time before the last day of SubSummit.

Challenge Accepted

The mission of SubSummit to support and leverage the relationships that make up the subscription box community echoed throughout the event. Challenged to think Beyond the Box and envision the future, the experience inspired innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders to continue thriving and anchor themselves in the e-commerce world as leaders. As a dedicated and leading resource for the global subscription commerce economy, the Subscription Trade Association, SUBTA, welcomes the industry to their next world-class event, RECUR 2019 in Chicago, for more collaboration, sharing and learning in the recurring revenue space.

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