Subscription Box Basics

Sub Summit 2024 Recap

July 08, 2024 Julie Ball
Sub Summit 2024 Recap
Subscription Box Basics
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Subscription Box Basics
Sub Summit 2024 Recap
Jul 08, 2024
Julie Ball

In this episode, we share the highlights of Sub Summit 2024. While everyone will have a different experience based on what sessions and events they go to, we thought you might want to hear a little behind the scenes of what we got into!

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we share the highlights of Sub Summit 2024. While everyone will have a different experience based on what sessions and events they go to, we thought you might want to hear a little behind the scenes of what we got into!

Links mentioned:

Support the Show.

Julie:

Hey, everybody, and welcome back to Subscription Box Basics, the podcast. I am your head coach, Julie Ball, and Renee is here with me today, your marketing coach, and we are going to do a recap of Sub Summit 2024. We actually got back, what, over a week and a half ago, but unfortunately I got sick when I got back. And so I finally have my voice back and we're able to record this episode. So last episode, you'll find our live podcast. Definitely after you listen to this one, make sure you go back and listen to that one. But Renee, let's just do like. In a timeline order, let's just talk about our experience from Sub

Renae:

Summit. Sounds like a plan, and I am so happy you have your voice back and we can chat. I know, right? As we start to talk about day one it was a roll wind trip, but it was so fast. So awesome. Yeah. So let's dive into day one. This year, Subsummit started on a Monday, and for the first time in a couple years, we both arrived on a Monday. I know in years past, we had come the day before, but the day before for us this year was during Father's Day. So we both arrived Monday morning. You got in a little earlier than me because my flight was delayed, but then I eventually showed up Monday afternoon, early afternoon, and was there just in time for us to experience the experts bar with Subly. And should we talk a little bit about that?

Julie:

Oh, for sure. Yeah, that was so It was such a great experience and it was so fun and it was so impactful. Let's paint the picture. So Subly is a software for subscription box businesses. They are our number one choice. They're our go to software and who we recommend. And over the years, we've gotten to know them and their team. And they decided at this year's sub summit that they were going to create this experts bar. The inspiration behind it is kind of like at the Apple genius bar, you know, how you can get professional advice from Apple workers and Apple experts. And so they took that concept. And just inserted it into the subscription box we're on. So we were lucky enough to be invited as Subly experts to help mentor people at the event. And it was really cool, you could register in advance or you could just drop in and chat with someone. And these people, I call them Subly experts, but they're not, it's not necessarily that we're an expert in the software. But there were experts from so many different fields. What would you call it? Like niches and different things that they're they're good at. So, for example, web design and development, maybe someone was really good at inventory. Someone's really good at marketing or growth. And so we were able to be a part of the suddenly expert team. And it was so fun. We got to talk to lots and lots of people, but specifically on the first day, we got to talk with Karen Willis. Shout out to Karen. She's starting a subscription box for flight attendants. And then we also, another highlight was talking to Sam from NuvaBox, who is creating this box for people who are transitioning from high school to college life, like you're on your own for the first time, and this box and community and experience is there to help you understand how to handle that new life that you're in charge of that, you know, your mom or dad's not in charge of anymore. So some of those meetings were definitely highlights from the day. What did you think about the experts bar?

Renae:

Oh, I was my favorite experience of sub summit was probably the time we spent with. Each individual box owner during that expert bar. It was, and like you said, meeting people we've known before and met before, like Karen, who was at our box besties retreat. She's way back and OG Sparkle Hustle gross subscriber when you started that. So we We're able to get to see her and catch up, but also help her develop her box because she's still in pre launch. And then to tell we met a lot of newbies that we had never met before to like Sam, who ended up, we got to meet him multiple times throughout the time, the event too. So that first little day was such a great snapshot shot of what the expert bar looked like for us on day two. And then you were able to spend a little time there day three too, but I loved it. I would, would 100 percent do it again. It's what you and me thrive off of because we were able to give some of our advice, but also be in their corner cheering them on or encouraging them or being there for them. So I it was a highlight experience for me during the what did it end up being? 36 hours. I was, I was in Dallas, but it was, yeah, you had

Julie:

my favorite. You had such a whirlwind trip. You were like in and out of there so fast, but the experts bar was definitely a highlight to like, and that's, it was so cool to see the collaboration over competition. Cause all these people that were volunteering their time to be experts at the Subli experts bar, you know, they, some of them were coaches. Some of them, you know do things similar to us. And some of them might have other skill sets. And it was just so cool to see them all brought together. Like, Liam Brennan was there from Buster Box. And Lo Hickson was there from Passion and Growth. Sierra Stokeland was there from Inventory Genius. And then there was a handful of other guys that did website design, development, marketing. Like, it just felt very community and, like, group centric. And I loved that.

Renae:

I couldn't agree more. So, right. So, and then, so that's how we started our day one and then we were able to go to the opening ceremonies, right? So that was such an awesome experience as always. It's fun seeing Chris chambers be the MC and the founders do a fantastic job always with their opening ceremony. And then should we talk a little bit about our, the first keynote that we heard? Oh,

Julie:

yeah, definitely want to talk about Nancy because this is one of those speakers that as soon as we saw her on the schedule, we marked her down as a must see. So I know that you, like, have been talking about Nancy Harhut for years. So Nancy was one of the keynote speakers, and she was supposed to be there It wasn't it last year too, but she got sick So we were so bummed out She talks about the psychology of consumer behavior, and it's kind of like She, she said, people do weird things and I get to study why they do them. And I was like, oh, that's, that's so good. That's so good. And so she talked about six different tactics. I'm not going to go through the whole thing. She has a book if you want to read more about her studies and, and what she finds. But it was six tactics to help someone to actually convert on a website. And she talked a lot about scarcity. She talked about urgency and one of the highlights was, like, Renee and I were so excited. She talked about the idea of urgency using a countdown clock. And guess who she put on the big screen in the keynote speech? Was none other but SparkleHustleGrow. com where we had a countdown clock. She had a screenshot of the website when we ran it. And I think Carol at SparkleHustleGrow still uses a countdown clock for urgency. But it was just such a treat to see it as the example on stage with Nancy.

Renae:

And unscripted, you didn't know it was coming. It really, you saw it and you're like, Oh my gosh, that's my website.

Julie:

It was so fun. But she's just so brilliant. And I actually got one of her book, her copies of her books. And so I'm just about to start it and I cannot wait to dive in, but we'll have to link her website

Renae:

yeah. And anytime, like you said, anytime she speaks, we listen because the first time I remember hearing her was when they hosted the virtual sub summit and I was just blown away by some of the tactics and, and she continues to just drop knowledge bombs every time she speaks. So we got an opportunity to, to hear her a little bit on day two also. And she's, she's just brilliant. So definitely worth checking out. So after we heard her. We were able to escape a little bit to our room and go freshen up. And then we were co hosts of the first timers meet up during the welcome reception. So we had this idea that we were talking to the sub summit team about, and we love just again, being cheerleaders for people being there for people that we know and have been at events before where you don't know anyone. And we really wanted to alleviate that stress and Connect people at the beginning of the event. So with the sub summit team, we came up with the idea of a first timers meetup and kind of were there to facilitate it for them. And it really went off without a hitch. They, it was a great meeting spot. We met great people and they really facilitated conversation amongst themselves and, and really kicked it off. So that was, A really cool experience to be a part of also, and hopefully something that people who attended were able to feel a little more comfortable throughout the rest of the event because they met people and got to meet us.

Julie:

Yeah, it's interesting because I thought that it was going to be more like us, you know, taking people around and showing them where things are or like. Helping them meet someone specifically, like, Hey, if this is, if you're from the Northeast, go here. Or, hey, if you have this type of box, go here. You know, trying to, like, group people together. But it wasn't like that at all because everyone was just so excited to meet other people. And so what it felt like, it almost felt like we just got to work the room. Like, there was all these people and we just got to walk around. Welcome them there, ask them what their goals were from sub summit, and, you know, help make introductions and say, Oh, you need to meet this person. And it was so much fun, and I'm really grateful that they did that, because I do remember going to events where I feel alone, and I don't know how to break the ice sometimes, or if I'm feeling introverted. And so this was just a really great opportunity for all of the first timers. So thank you. Big shout out to sub summit team for letting us be a part of that. After that, we just grabbed a group of friends and went and had dinner right at the hotel. It was super fun. And then after that, we went to the founders reception, which is something that the sub summit team puts on for founders and speakers. And it was just so great have a drink and talk with some other founders of subscription boxes. We got to hang out with some old friends like Liam Brennan and Katie of YearCheer, but we got to meet some new friends, too, like Josh from PlateCrate. So, we really had a nice time. Again, a shout out to SubSummit for putting on such an awesome day one. So, moving on to day two. We went straight to the Expert's Bar in the morning, again, to put in a couple hours of volunteer time to help other box owners to answer questions, and it was such a treat. Thank you to everyone who visited us there or played a part in that. And thank you to Subly for creating such a cool environment, such an impactful concept.

Renae:

Yeah, and I think a lot of people That signed up for the expert bar. When they first signed up, they knew what times we would be there, but didn't necessarily know if it would be us. They just wanted someone to talk to. Right. And it was so nice. The people that were put on our schedule. I feel like we were meant to talk to them and they were meant to talk to us. Hopefully we impacted them as much as they impacted us. Cause we're still, you and me, Julie are still talking about each and every one of them and their boxes and the experiences we had with them. So I feel like it was, like you said, just echoing that I'm so happy it was something that suddenly had there. And it was super impactful on us as experts, as well as hopefully the people that attended to get some advice too.

Julie:

Yeah, and if you guys aren't familiar with Subly, I know I explained it earlier, but I'm gonna have their founder, Stefan, he's gonna be on the podcast in the next week or two, so stay tuned so you can learn more about that. So after we put in some time at the Experts Bar on day two, we got a chance to walk the floor. We went to a couple of sessions. And some of our friends and colleagues were on panels. So it was really fun to support them. And it was fun to support. All of the vendors as well. And like I got a chance to talk to a few of them. Specifically I was talking with BoxUp. I do some work on the side for BoxUp with their affiliate program. And so it was really fun to see them in person, be able to take some of my friends and colleagues actually over to the BoxUp booth and introduce them. They just rolled out new custom tape as well. So I was pumped because they had some on site. And the reason why I'm excited about this is because I love custom tape. I think it is a great economical way to brand your box, but I just don't like the water activated tape that everyone else sells it. It can get messy. You have to cut it and then wet it before you can actually seal the box. But Box Up's new packing tape is the self adhesive. Like, it's already got the sticky stuff on it, like regular tape, and it is super strong. And so it was really cool. Like, I know this sounds really nerdy, but I just, like, geek out on good packaging. Seeing all their samples and getting to actually, like, test out the new tape I am super excited about it. So, you know. I'll be sharing, I'm sure, more about that in emails and in social posts in the future, but if you guys are looking for something like that, like custom boxes or custom tape, DM me, so I can give you a special link and you will get either 12 boxes free or there's, there's some other deals and discounts that you can get From box up. So anyhow, that was my little shameless plug for box up. They had such a fantastic setup. After we walked the floor, did a couple sessions, we got to podcast live. Why don't you tell everybody about our experience with the live podcast?

Renae:

Yeah, and like you mentioned, if you haven't listened to it yet, it was the last episode. So definitely go listen to it. We had the opportunity to speak with Katie from Year Chair and we wanted to talk about something that wasn't typically talked about. or, or something you sometimes feel alone in. So we talked about failures and when things don't necessarily go right. And it, it was a super casual conversation, something that we had pitched to Katie. But, but not really rehearsed at all. So when you hear the live podcast, it was a. authentic, organic conversation with her. And I enjoyed it. I mean, anytime I'm in a room with you and Katie, I have so much fun because I love you both so much, but, but it was so much fun to be in front of a live audience and to be able to talk about things. And Reassure box owners and business owners that if things don't go right, you have to have a backup plan and that's okay. Like things aren't going to go right. And you have, you have to be able to pivot and kind of get creative and get scrappy as a business owner. And we had some really good feedback from people that were there live listening and they really enjoyed it. So it was a really good experience.

Julie:

I would agree. She's a really good storyteller. She had a couple of stories that were like, ooh, like, that hurts. I can't believe that happened to you. But look at how resilient you were and look at how you figured it out. And I think that people really relate to that. It's tiring. It's exhausting when you only hear the good stuff and then you feel bad about yourself because something

Renae:

went wrong. Yeah, and in the world of social media, if you're not in person talking or if people aren't being really raw and authentic, you just see the good stuff sometimes. So I think that being a small business owner and a new business owner, sometimes I think it can feel overwhelming too, because you're hearing all these things about growth, growth, growth. So I think it was a reassuring experience for people who were listening to be like, okay, like I'm going to make mistakes. Things going to go wrong, but I can still power through it and keep going. Yeah.

Julie:

Yeah. No, I agree. It's just you don't need to feel alone. And I remember what it feels like when things don't pan out right or when there's a challenge and you're just like you feel so alone. You feel like you're the only one making mistakes and you don't want your customers to feel the impact of it either. And so Katie gave some really, really good stories and good tidbits of like how to pick yourself back up. So I love live podcasting. It's so fun. It's, it's one of those things where I don't feel nervous at all. Like when we go speak on stage, or if we're on a panel or something, yeah, I get some nerves beforehand, but when it comes to podcasting live, it just feels like a conversation.

Renae:

I'm the exact same way. I, and it's funny cause I had a conversation with my girls when I came home, because The fantastic sub summit team sent us pictures, you know, so the girl, I was showing the girls pictures of us on the podcast stage. And they're like, Oh, that's not what I thought it was like. I thought it'd be different. And we were talking a little bit about it, but I said the same thing. It's, it's just like having a conversation and it is, I, I have that feeling when we sit down and talk to, and you kind of forget there's people that are listening and it is not necessarily something that makes me. As nervous as when we get up on stage and talk about other things. I

Julie:

know, right? But the thing is, we're also, what, four years into podcasting, four plus years. I remember being on my first podcast as an Like getting interviewed. And it was the Boss Mom podcast. And I was so nervous. I had notes pinned up, like, taped up everywhere in my room so that I could look off camera, but it wouldn't be super obvious. I was sweating. I was nervous. And now it just feels so second nature, and I love that. if you're, listen to this and you're like, I'm really nervous to podcast or to get interviewed, the first is the worst. You're always going to be nervous. Just, you know, give it a go. But I think podcasting and getting on other people's podcasts is a super awesome growth tactic and a marketing tactic because you're getting in front of other people's audiences. Those people already know and like and trust you. The podcast host. So anyhow, off my soapbox,

Renae:

And if you're not going to do podcasts, you can take that and translate it into doing live videos or doing Instagram stories. It, all those things that you're putting off because you don't want to do it or you're nervous to do it, it gets so much better the second, third, fourth, fifth, hundredth time. So just start.

Julie:

Yep, exactly. Just start. I love it. Okay, so day two the evening of day two is always when they do the Cube Awards. We've talked about this before, but let me just tell you what it's like. We do about, I think it's maybe an hour or so, like a happy hour, cocktail hour type thing. So you get to like meet and mingle and have a drink. And then of course they have the red carpet out. They've been doing this for years. It's such a fun experience. Where you walk along this red carpet to the entry of the Cube Awards area, but they have all of these paparazzi. Like, I think they legit just hire some local actors, and they are paparazzi. They have cameras flashing. They ask you to sign autographs. They're hollering and cheering for you as you go by. It's such a fun experience. So we walked the red carpet and went in to the Cube Awards, and it is such a beautiful place. Beautiful event. They do such a great job. Not only do they honor the best of the best in the subscription and membership world, but they just give us an amazing meal. it's upscale. You know what I mean? Like they've got the linen tablecloths. You could serve a four course dinner. It just feels like a really, really upscale, fun awards event.

Renae:

Yeah. And if you're ever watched the Oscars or the Grammys, and you're like, man, when will I get my opportunity to go to that? If you're in the subscription industry, cube awards is, is that for the keyboards? It's fun. And you can come as you are. There's it's some people dress up. Some people are casual cause they come straight from the conference all day. It is such a. Family reunion, as we always say and a really good experience just to, to feel part of the industry. They make everyone feel so welcome. They honor the best of the best, but it's really a celebration for all. So, and then it always has an after party too.

Julie:

They, they entertain us. They announced the pitch competition winner, they feed us, and then they throw a party for us afterwards. We had a blast, as usual, dancing and hanging out with everyone at the after party, but we didn't stay out to all hours of the night because somebody had to leave at like, What, 4, 3 in the morning for your flight? Yeah, I think my

Renae:

Uber picked me up at 3. 45. I was back in California, back in my home, an hour away from the airport in California by 8. 30 in the morning. So that shows, you know, how early I left. I think my flight left at 6 a. m. Yeah, so it was a whirlwind trip for me. for me. But I'm so glad I went. I'm so glad I got to see you and everyone else in person. And then you had a whole nother day. I was home and then you still had day three. It was crazy.

Julie:

Yeah. It was so weird having a whole day without you, Renee. Oh my gosh. So you left in the morning. I made my way down to the experts bar, I think by like around nine on Wednesday morning. Just put in a little bit more time there and did a ton of networking that day. It was so fun. Got to hang out again with some old friends that I knew like Antoinette from The Ring Boxes, John Roman from Battle Box. Got to meet new people. Anna from Shaker and Spoon. I met her that day. She's super cool. Loved her. And so networking is just really one of the top benefits, I believe, of subsummit. So I used a lot of day three to do networking. And then I was able to sit in on a panel with our friend Sierra Stokeland, who's the inventory genius. But a couple of our subscription box bootcampers were on the panel with her. So they were talking about inventory challenges. And so they, they told some stories about, like, what's their most challenging thing with inventory. But then Sierra did on the fly coaching, like right on stage and it was so cool. So Jocelyn Mizrahi from Dog Mom Lifestyles was up there and then Katie from Year Cheer was up there. There was another panelist on there, but those, the other two, Jocelyn and Katie were up there. Boot campers. So it felt like such a wonderful like mama bear moment that I got to see them all grown up on stage and it was it was a lot of fun. They did such a great job. Typically Wednesday is kind of the slower day because a lot of people are already heading out. But I'll tell you what, spending the whole day there on Wednesday was really, really fruitful. So if you're thinking about that in the future, don't miss that last day. They had a lot of great panels and and speaker sessions, but also there's just a little bit more flexibility in that last day in your schedule. So you can actually pour that into people and, and networking. I was on the app and I was, researching people. I was looking at sessions. That's how Anna from Shaker and Spoon found me. Like she networked and said, Hey, are you still here? I'd love to meet up. And so it's as simple as that. So I would highly recommend, I know you, you had to miss it, Renee, but in the future. If you guys are going to sub summit, don't discount day three, because there's a lot of good stuff going on.

Renae:

And as the event gets bigger and bigger each year, I think that that day three gets more and more important. And I know they used to end it a little earlier and not really even have that many sessions. So I was bummed. I know I was bummed. I had to get home, but But yeah, it was day three is definitely worth sticking around if you can.

Julie:

Yeah. Yeah. So just to recap, you know, a couple of the highlights for me obviously were, and I know for you as well, I was hanging out at the experts bar. It was really great to spend some in time person with the box up crew and just some of the boot campers that we've helped along the years, meeting so many new people, I always go back to. Networking and like that connection is being the biggest thing for me and those relationships go so far So how about you? What were some of your highlights?

Renae:

Same. I think only thing to add to that was I feel like every time I leave sub summit, I have new life and a reminder about why the subscription box industry is so amazing. I think going and seeing people in person and being able to network and learn a little bit and help a little bit. It's a great reminder why you're in the industry. So I think if, if you're going. next year or thinking about knowing going next year and you're looking for advice and to really learn. That's an awesome reason to go. If you're going to network, that's awesome. But if you also just need a little pick me up and just a reminder, I think that shouldn't be discounted either because it really is a great industry and you really do without even trying, you just pick up new inspiration and new motivation to kind of keep going and trying new things. So I think that was, I had a new life. I, Was fortunate enough. I got home Wednesday morning and then by Friday we had a trip down South me and my daughter for one of her gymnastics camps. So I'm just still living a high of like in person events. gives you new life, I think, if, if you're looking for it. So the sub summit team, they, they're always so welcoming. They do such a great job hosting and putting on the best subscription event. And yeah, we, I had a great time.

Julie:

And they already have the waitlist set up on their website for next year. So if you want to be in the loop, go to subsummit. com and sign up for their waitlist. I think they're moving the event back to May next year. I know this year it was in June, but I think they're going to do it in May. And I think they're going back to Dallas. So you guys can stay in the loop if you just go to subsummit. com. Definitely put it on your calendar. This is an event that has been really impactful. Over the years as we have grown in different stages of our subscription box industry world, you know what I mean? Starting out as box owners and then becoming coaches and now like these different directions that we've been taking lately. I think it's just, it, it's a good event for everyone.

Renae:

Even if you're in pre launch or thinking, there's so many people we meet there that haven't even launched yet. So definitely don't discount it. If you're like, Oh, I haven't launched yet. That could be the momentum you need to get into launch. So get on the wait list and still kind of, you have a whole year to think about it, but it's definitely an event Julie and I always recommend. We always try to go to if we Subsummit. com and thank you all for listening. Julie, I, we need to get something on the books. I want to see you again. I know we're so, we're so used to having

Julie:

like a next event. Since October when, when you and I were together for what? Box Besties, Richard. Box Besties, yeah. That was last, last fall, and then we had this on the calendar, but we don't have another event on the calendar. We're going to have to, we're going to have to make that happen.

Renae:

We need, we need something to happen. But yes, let us know if you went to the event. Let us know what you think. If you plan to go or have questions, you can find us on Instagram at Subscription Box Basics, and then tune in next week for another episode, and we'll talk to you soon. Bye. Bye.

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