May 21, 2020

The conference for innovators, explorers, and dreamers in the promotional products industry is coming to your home.

About skucon at home

The conference for innovators, explorers, and dreamers in the promotional products industry is now coming to your home!

No matter what - market uncertainty, seismic shifts in buying habits - the thrivers are those who, despite adversity, never stop dreaming, never stop exploring and never stop innovating.

To this end, we wanted to create a virtual conference that would mirror our in-person events, with intimate connections, real conversations, while bringing together the brightest minds to ideate over the biggest challenges.

skucon at home is a virtual conference for anyone in the promotional products industry who wants to connect, learn, and re-energize alongside other progressive, like-minded pros. It’s a unique, interactive experience with breakouts, keynotes, and real connections.

Come think, explore, and dream with us.

Now is the time.

And there’s no place like home.

About commonsku

skucon at home is hosted by commonsku, cloud-based software for the promotional products industry. commonsku was created to empower your business: to streamline your workflow, connect your team, impress your clients, and allow you to close deals faster. We believe strongly in the power of events - in person and virtual - to connect and inspire professionals in the promotional products industry.

Learn

Through main stage presentations, tactical breakout sessions, 1-on-1 networking, and stories from the trenches, you’ll experience a virtual conference unlike any other.

Connect

Connect virtually with distributors and suppliers from all over the world. Interact with speakers and socialize with the commonsku community in a fun and engaging way.

Network

Connect to skucon at home attendees online with ease through one-on-one video networking to form genuine relationships.

Schedule

1.5 CAS credits and 1.5 MAS credits will be granted to each skucon at home attendee

1:45 - 2:00pm

1:45 - 2:00pm

Get ready to innovate, explore, and dream!

Hop on about 15 minutes before the conference begins so you can quickly get set-up and ready to learn! Just like at an in-person event, once you’re all set up, you can hang out in the reception area and chat with the entire community!

2:00 - 2:10pm

2:00 - 2:10pm

Welcome!

Join us as Mark and Catherine welcome you and help you get oriented for an afternoon of learning and connecting.

2:10 - 2:35pm

2:10 - 2:35pm

The New (Supply Chain) World Order

Last fall, David Nicholson gave a very highly regarded talk at skucamp on the subject of “a supply chain in distress,” sharing a broad overview of the issues facing us that would reshape how we source, buy, and sell promotional products. In this session, David will share more insight as he looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the industry’s supply chain and the macro-trends emerging through this experience that might impact our businesses, plus, suggestions on how we can navigate our way through these tumultuous times.

2:35 - 2:40pm

2:35 - 2:40pm

skucon Story

Big order fails. Brillant client saves. Narrow margin orders that went south. Product disasters. Embarrassing client moments. We've all had them. Most of the stories in the industry are normal, the simple price we pay for being in a crazily-adventurous, anything-can-happen, deadline-driven business. But these stories? The best of the best of them. 5-minute promo tales to put a smile on your face. Make you think. And mostly, to remind you ... you are not alone.

2:40 - 3:05pm

2:40 - 3:05pm

An Exclusive Interview Between Jamie Mair and Barry Deutsch

As the Chief Sales Officer for BDA, one of the industry’s largest distributors with nearly $500 million in revenue, Barry Deutsch has a unique perspective on the current state of the industry, from shifts in sales, to how customers are thinking, to how buyer demands and needs are changing. As a company that works with some of the world’s most notable brands, Jamie and Barry will discuss how large buyers are shifting their spending, the challenges with sports and events clients who are now in paralysis, and ideas on how we can approach the market with alternative ideas.

3:05 - 3:10pm

3:05 - 3:10pm

Break

Hit the washroom, stretch your legs, grab a drink and get ready for our upcoming skucon Story and breakout sessions

3:10 - 3:15pm

3:10 - 3:15pm

skucon Story

Big order fails. Brillant client saves. Narrow margin orders that went south. Product disasters. Embarrassing client moments. We've all had them. Most of the stories in the industry are normal, the simple price we pay for being in a crazily-adventurous, anything-can-happen, deadline-driven business. But these stories? The best of the best of them. 5-minute promo tales to put a smile on your face. Make you think. And mostly, to remind you ... you are not alone.

3:15 - 3:40pm

3:15 - 3:40pm

Breakout Sessions (Round One)

Growing Sales Through Adversity
Despite massive declines all across the industry, there are fascinating opportunities popping up with distributors and suppliers, and many are seeing success in places they have never fathomed. And even if opportunities are not landing in people’s laps like before, there are ways you can still grow sales through adverse times. In this session with sales powerhouses Renya Nelson of Brand Aid and Tom Rector of Screenbroidery, we’ll have an open dialogue about the kinds of new actions they have implemented and new opportunities they are uncovering at this time that are leading to sales.
Creative E-Commerce Ideas to Drive Sales
Online shops are seeing a resurgence in demand and activity. Social distancing has put a spotlight on ecommerce solutions and opened up new opportunities. Join Brian Gill and Rich Patterson as we talk through the new types of opportunities they are working on as well as discuss best practices around building shops.
Preparing for “Day One” (Supplier Session)
As states begin to open back up again, many suppliers are beginning to think of their reopening plan. In this session, Pierre Martichoux, CEO of Chameleon Like, and Kate Plummer with Clearmount welcomes other suppliers as they have an open chat about the challenges of reopening their business. What should the day one plan look like? How are you successfully handling manufacturing with the new distancing rules? And how do we get back to a fully operational status in as short a time as possible?
Marketing Matters
It has never been more apparent that sales is marketing and marketing is sales. In this breakout discussion, two of the industry’s marketing leaders from two of the most imaginative distributor brands, will talk about where their marketing focus is going and where they are looking to see results. This will be a highly tactical conversation about the kinds of activities Hayley and Anna are focusing on now and how marketing is supporting and driving sales efforts in a time when marketing has become the new selling.
Leading Your Sales Team Through Tough Times
Creativity and innovation thrives with constraints. How do you inspire, motivate, and challenge your team through tough times? How do we redefine success by setting relevant and realistic goals? Whether it’s leading a sales team through a decline in sales or selling through a difficult economy, in this session, Gillian Utesch and Sam Kates will talk about the ways their sales team is changing their thinking and shifting their actions to approach new ways of selling.
Meditation
We care for more than just your sales health, we want you to be healthy in mind, spirit, and body! Have you used your time at home to get your daily yoga and meditation in? Or maybe you just want to try yoga or meditation for the first time? Either way, we’ve got you covered! Join us as our friend and respected yogi, Roni Wright, guides you through a peaceful and relaxing yoga or meditation session.

If you select this breakout session, we encourage you to have your yoga mat and exercise area ready in advance.

3:40 - 4:05pm

3:40 - 4:05pm

Breakout Sessions (Round Two)

Navigating Sales in the New Climate
Direct selling has become complicated in a volatile business environment. What sales tactics should we shift to when old tactics no longer work? How do we need to reposition ourselves when budgets shift? What markets present the best opportunities now? How do we measure success in this new environment? In this breakout, Johanna Gottlieb and Sam Kates will chat about these questions and more and they share how they are shifting their sales strategy and the changing world of tactics and tools they are using to move the needle on sales.
Embracing the New Normal (Supplier Session)
Many suppliers are adjusting to a new kind of normal with operational challenges like we’ve never seen before. In this open dialogue, Brandon Mackay, CEO of SnugZ USA, will field questions about a variety of topics as they manage this new environment such as managing inventory, cash, working with distributors, and a look at how this might change our businesses for the long term.
Not Revolution: Evolution! (Expanding Your Services for Greater Client Loyalty)
Many of us are using this time to expand our horizons and reimagine our purpose but it’s also a daunting task to think of “reinventing” oneself. Through her journey from a pure promotional products company to an agency, Janie learned that the diversification of your product line and services is more an evolution than a revolution. In this session, Janie Gaunce wants to take the mystery out of “reinvention” and “transformation” by sharing ways that you can expand your business and shift your model by simply adding more services beyond promo. Learn how expanding your horizons and making small adjustments can create lasting relationships with clients.
Sustaining Values Through Difficult Times
Regardless of whether it’s the coronavirus or the economy, most of us will face a business crisis at some point, and navigating a crisis with authenticity toward our values is one of the most humane aspects of entrepreneurship. How do you handle difficult choices like handling layoffs with employees, or considering terms with clients who are struggling, all within the constraints of your own creative limitations? How do you adhere to values of sustainability when there is now all this pressure around budget cuts? In this session with Sarah White and Denise Taschereau with Fairware, we will talk about some of the real-time challenges many of us are facing and how to adhere to the values that give us the strength to handle tough choices.
Alternative Resources for Revenue
Some clients immediately halted spending, while other clients started spending in different categories. Suddenly, a Wild West of options emerged, and where new opportunities weren’t apparent, some distributors found a different way. Join us as we chat with Chris Ferriter about the types of opportunities that have presented themselves to the SoBe team and how their business has pivoted to embrace the new business environment.
Seated Yoga & Mindfulness
We care for more than just your sales health, we want you to be healthy in mind, spirit, and body! Have you used your time at home to get your daily yoga and meditation in? Or maybe you just want to try yoga or meditation for the first time? Either way, we’ve got you covered! Join us as our friend and respected yogi, Roni Wright, guides you through a peaceful and relaxing yoga or meditation session.

If you select this breakout session, we encourage you to have your yoga mat and exercise area ready in advance.

4:05 - 4:10pm

4:05 - 4:10pm

Break

Hit the washroom, stretch your legs, grab a drink and get ready for “cocktail hour”, networking and our closing session.

4:10 - 4:20pm

4:10 - 4:20pm

Raise Your Glass!

At every skucon event, we cap the day's education and networking with a cocktail hour and skucon at home is no different! Angie and Cola Svec have a weekly video series called "Above the Bar” or “ATB.” They will show you how to ignite a swagtastic experience with the official "skucon at home" signature drink! We will share the necessary provisions so you can make your cocktail right along with the Soul & Swag mixologists, or grab your favorite concoction so we can raise a glass and imbibe together!

4:20 - 4:35pm

4:20 - 4:35pm

1-to-1 Networking

Just like at our conferences IRL, we want to provide an opportunity to connect, face-to-face, for real-time engagement and the sharing of ideas! With our 1-to-1 networking session, you will meet multiple people through a person-to-person experience. And just like at any exciting in-person event, you’ll meet new friends, run into old friends, and, above all, take a moment to share more about yourself and your business with peers and colleagues.

Over the course of 15 minutes, you’ll be matched with 5 different people. It will be fast, fun and dynamic!

4:35 - 5:00pm

4:35 - 5:00pm

Positioning During a Downturn

Positioning - the art of deeply understanding who your true competitors are, what customers you can win and why, forms the bedrock of your company’s go-to-market strategy. In good economies, strong positioning can often mean the difference between rapid vs. anemic growth for companies. In a downturn, it can increase the chance that a new business will survive. In this keynote, April will share how to sharpen your positioning to ensure your value proposition resonates with customers grappling with a shifting operational and financial landscape. We will also discuss how your value proposition may need to shift to align with changing customer priorities and how best to make that switch.

5:00 - 5:05pm

5:00 - 5:05pm

Closing Remarks

Stay tuned for Mark and Catherine’s special, closing remarks as we recap an eventful, informative day amid a wonderful time with friends!

Giving Back

We chose United Way Worldwide for our charity partner because the impact of COVID-19 on our industry is truly global. From our supply chain to the commonsku community, skucon at home unites all of us, globally.

Your support for this event allows us to make a donation to United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.

United Way Worldwide's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund supports communities by helping local United Ways respond, and by ensuring people get accurate information. These funds will help families and people in need access critical information and services like food, shelter, and more through the United Way network.

For more information on United Way Worldwide's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, visit: www.unitedway.org/recovery/covid19

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should attend skucon at home?
Everyone! Distributors and suppliers (in any role!) who want to connect, learn and re-energize alongside other progressive, like-minded pros.
How is skucon at home different from skucon?
skucon at home takes the energy, education and connections from skucon and applies it in a virtual environment. Much like our in-person events, you’ll be able to network with distributors and suppliers, listen to keynote speakers, attend breakouts, and of course, receive some amazing merch. And you don’t need to hop on a plane to attend skucon at home.
How is skucon at home different than other virtual conferences?
Unlike other traditional webinars you’ve attended where you listen to a speaker with limited abilities to interact, we will be hosting this virtual conference on a platform that allows you to interact and learn from attendees and have meaningful conversations, entirely online.
Where will the virtual conference be hosted?
We are using a virtual events platform called Hopin. After you register, you will receive an email with a link to create your Hopin conference profile.

Please note: you are required to create a Hopin profile in order to log in and attend skucon at home.
Why are you asking for my home address?
We’ve partnered with Numo to provide the first 500 attendees that register for skucon at home a limited edition gift pack. We are asking for your home address so we can mail your skucon at home gift in advance of the event (North American addresses only. Priority will be given to commonsku customers). If you do not wish to receive a gift to your home, you can leave the home address field blank.
I can no longer attend, can I get a refund?
Since the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to charity, we will not be offering refunds. All sales are final.

SPONSOR

We’ve partnered withNumo to provide the first 500 attendees that register for skucon at home a limited edition gift pack (North American addresses only. Priority will be given to commonsku customers).