Industry News | January 12, 2021
commonsku Hosts Record Breaking Attendance at skucon
Image credit: Brian Stidham of EMT
commonsku, a promotional products business and sales software, kicked off the year by hosting over 1,000 attendees at its all-day virtual event, skucon.
The day began with MarketingProf’s Ann Handley who spoke on the “Big, Bold, Brave New World of Content and Storytelling.” The event then launched right into a panel conversation hosted by Denise Tascherau of Fairware on the topic of advocacy, activism and transparency, featuring Chris Miller, head of global activism and strategy at Ben and Jerry’s, and Kierstin De West, who was recently Lululemon’s global vice president of brand management and strategy.
Bobby Lehew, commonsku’s chief content officer then led a discussion with Fast Company Senior Staff Writer Liz Segran on the topic of sustainability and trends while also discussing the article she wrote, “It’s time to stop spending billions on cheap conference swag.” Sam Kates, commonsku’s vice president of sales hosted an emerging voices panel featuring sales tips from the next generation of salespeople which included Alyssa Inkrott with Raining Rose, Porshia Carter with Intandem Promotions and Alex Branstrator with Bagley.
Jonathan Isaacson, chairman and CEO of The Gem Group, then gave a presentation defining the macro trends driving innovation today entitled, “Acceleration in the Age of Deceleration.” And Catherine Graham, commonsku’s CEO, led a discussion on the future of the industry with Paul Bellantone, PPAI’s president and CEO, and Tim Andrews, ASI’s president and CEO.
The day’s keynote speakers were enhanced by two breakout groups on subjects ranging from strategic positioning, led by Dominique Volker of Whitestone Branding; successful e-commerce and shops by Tracey Clingen; how to host a virtual conference by commonsku Marketing Director Kate Masewich; optimum operations by Britney Godsey of Gold Bond; influencer marketing by Quianne Savoy of Moore and Moore Merch; and how to design merch for purpose, mission and values by Maria Corpuz of Soul and Swag. A lightning round of one-on-one networking also ignited attendees to share their best stories from 2020 year in sales.
LA Creative Director and Brand Strategist Mitra Khayyam from Midnight Rider joined Lehew on stage to chat about creating merchandise experiences that connect, and from Brussels, Belgium, Simon Polet with Merchery talked about the surprising magic of authenticity.
The day’s event was capped with two epic experiences. First, marketing luminary Seth Godin closed the day’s lessons by inspiring the artist within every entrepreneur to rise to the level of their craft and professional ambition. Second, an evening networking session allowed all attendees to break into small groups and share their insights from the day.
Mark Graham, commonsku’s president and chief brand officer said, “We were stunned by the response to this conference. Not only did over 1,000 industry professionals attend the day’s event, but they stayed throughout the entirety of the conference — a testament to both the ambition and resilience of this industry, and also the very generous insights shared by our amazing speakers. We are so thankful for everyone who joined us to kick off 2021 with passion, inspiration and energy!”
Sponsors of the event included Spector & Co, SnugZ USA, Goldstar, Outdoor Cap, SanMar, Numo, Logojojo, BamBams, Chameleon Like, Hit, EMT, Maple Ridge Farms and PPAI.
To learn more about commonsku’s events, visit commonsku.com
commonsku was featured in the October 2020 issue of PS Magazine. Learn more and read the article in the PS Magazine Library online here.
commonsku virtual events