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The Start of SUBTA

The start of the Subscription Trade Association.

The New Year is here, and we are kicking it off with a commitment to provide more value and growth opportunities for the industry than ever before. We have been hard at work prepping new events, creating membership features and determining new directions.

As we think about where we want to head in the future, it is only natural to reflect on how our organization came to be.

Before they co-founded SUBTA and the SubSummit, John Haji, Chris George and Paul Chambers were three friends (running separate businesses) who wanted to launch a monthly subscription box that would guide men to look, feel and act like a proper gentleman. They hit the ground running with the concept and established Gentleman’s Box in 2014.

Collectively, the three had plenty of business experience, but no background in building a brand within the subscription space. Eager to learn from other subscription boxes, they started searching for networking events. Surprisingly, there were none. They realized a community was needed to bring the growing industry together.

The Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA) was established in 2015 with a mission to connect, educate and inspire all the subscription boxes, vendors and thought leaders in the space.  Born out of the three co-founders’ need for a community in the subscription space, it became the first and only trade association in the industry and inspired today’s largest subscription conference, the Subscription Summit.

The first SubSummit was held in Detroit, Michigan in 2016 with over 200 attendees. The second conference was hosted in Austin, Texas in 2017, and featured an exhibit hall with double the attendance. Then, SubSummit 2018 took place in Denver, Colorado and welcomed more than 750 attendees, 75 speakers, 70 exhibitors and two tracks of sessions. In three short years, the conference saw a 366% increase in ticket sales.

SubSummit 2018’s theme was Elevate Every Experience. The idea was to focus on how businesses can take everything — such as company culture, operations and the customer experience — to the next level. Speakers discussed what it takes to start a subscription box from scratch and scale up. Most importantly, it gave the community a chance to share the triumphs and troubles everyone experiences when trying to climb to the top.

Now, SubSummit 2019 is well on its way. The conference is New Orleans-bound and has a new theme: Beyond the Box.

  • What is the next move when business is starting to plateau?
  • How do you increase the value of your business?
  • Where do retailers start when they want to add a subscription component to their existing model?
  • What’s the true difference between male and female subscribers?
  • What kind of partnerships should you start looking at?

These are the kind of questions we want to answer next. SubSummit 2019 will inspire attendees to think beyond the physical package and products to focus on next steps, big ideas, the future of the industry and the overall subscription experience from all angles.

SUBTA and the SubSummit have grown tremendously, but we are still just getting started! We are grateful for the community’s support and look forward to educating, inspiring and connecting the industry more with each day.