About skucamp

skucamp is not your typical promotional products conference.

It’s a community, a think tank, a creative-fest, a jam session, and a business bootcamp all rolled into one very full, action-packed day.

Hosted by commonsku, skucamp is a one-of-a-kind experience led by entrepreneurial leaders, industry mavericks, and outside experts.

Over the course of 2 action packed days, you’ll think alongside some of the most progressive pros in the business, learn high-impact lessons from the trenches, take a deep dive into building a successful agency, reinvent your brand, and scale your business for growth.

Over the years, skucamp has moved from Palm Springs to New Orleans & Pittsburgh. And now, we’re rollin’ into Brooklyn with a uniquely designed event tailored to the magic of the Ace Hotel in Boerum Hill.

Embrace the new revolution of branded merch and we’ll see you in the borough!



Mark Graham, Catherine Graham and all of your friends at commonsku

Ps. skucamp sells out quickly so don’t sleep on BKLYN!

Meet Our Speakers

Hear from some of the promotional products industry's most passionate and creative personalities. Walk away inspired and ready to tackle the year ahead.

Schedule

When designing the program for skucamp this year, we reached out to the skummunity who shared their greatest business challenges with us. We incorporated these topics into our curriculum for skucamp 2022, from operations to leadership, to scaling, supply chain, and peer-to-peer learning related to the commonsku app, this year’s topics were chosen by you!

12:00 - 4:00 PM

12:00 - 4:00 PM

Registration in The Stoop @ Ace Hotel

6:00 - 9:00 PM

6:00 - 9:00 PM

Opening Party, Welcome & Dinner (The Atrium @ Ace Hotel)

6:30 - 7:30 AM

6:30 - 7:30 AM

Run and Walk Club

Come join us as we do the famous Brooklyn Bridge run to get ready for an incredible skucamp! Meet in the Ace Hotel lobby.

7:30 - 8:45 AM

7:30 - 8:45 AM

Breakfast (The Studio @ Ace Hotel 2F)

8:50 - 9:00 AM

8:50 - 9:00 AM

Welcome to skucamp 2022!

9:00 - 9:40 AM

9:00 - 9:40 AM

Embrace the Struggle: A Modern CEO Mindset

Michael Scott Cohen
Michael Scott Cohen | Harper + Scott

Building a company of any size is a challenge, but leading a company through seasons of peaks of growth and plateaus of stagnation is one of the hardest lessons leaders learn. Moreover, it’s true what they say: it’s lonely at the top. In this session, Michael Scott Cohen will share how to lead through uncertainty, salvage your sanity, lock arms with like-minded leaders, and embrace both failure and success as the only path to growth. If you are struggling with growth as a leader or grinding through the complexity of change with your team, join us as we talk about the honest anchors that keep you grounded and how to turn uncertainty and struggle into an entrepreneurially advantage.

9:40 - 10:20 AM

9:40 - 10:20 AM

Be Nimble. Be Human. Be Different

Juice Marketing works with some of the biggest brands on the planet: Apple, Google, Amazon, Boeing, the Yankees, the Giants, the Seahawks, Bumble, and more. Over the past few years, their growth has skyrocketed. In this session, founders and business partners Lee Fine and Robert Lederman will share their experiences of how they have balanced the tension of growth with the investment in ops and infrastructure while expanding their services beyond merch to some of the most in-demand clients today. From internal restructuring that respects your team’s talent, to expanding your service to adopt a far bigger reach (and market share!) of services, the Juice leadership team will share how their business has changed, how their perspective has changed, and the lessons learned along the way. Join us for a down-to-earth talk about how two leaders transformed their business from a merch businesses to a people business, and beyond.

10:20 - 10:50 AM

10:20 - 10:50 AM

Break (The Studio @ Ace Hotel 2F)

Stretch those legs, grab a coffee, high-five a new friend, etc.

10:50 - 11:30 AM

10:50 - 11:30 AM

Marketing to the Microniches

Marketing in the past was based on volume, frequency, and voice, but marketing to today’s savvy buyer is about connection, authenticity, truth-telling, transparency, and conscientious selling. In this panel of mavericks who have made their name in authentic marketing, we’ll explore the new vision of aligning mission and purpose with sales. We’ll chat about marketing to the microniches, whether that’s a vertical that values design or an audience that demands sustainable options. Join us as we explore how to fine tune your marketing to meet the high demand of authenticity and trust.

11:30 - 12:00 PM

11:30 - 12:00 PM

Build It, Break It, Built It Again: Adopting a Growth Mindset

When Joe Sommer started his business in 2013, little did he know that over the next several years he would climb from slogging it out as a solo salesperson to over $10 million in revenue with 30 employees, an entirely remote company, commonsku’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020, and recognized 4x as one of Inc 5000’s fastest-growing businesses. Through those years, Whitestone Branding built, destroyed, and rebuilt much of their original vision, infrastructure, processes, and market strategy. In this session, Joe will share the critical components that helped galvanize their business toward continual growth. From setting goals to tracking and measuring growth, auditing your processes, revising comp plans, and developing leaders through a strong infrastructure, join Joe as walks through the stages of growth and the mindset to embrace to cultivate a growth-oriented culture.

12:00 - 1:00 PM

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Lunch (The Studio @ Ace Hotel 2F)

1:00 - 2:00 PM

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Building Stronger Teams Through the Enneagram

Vrindavin Rao
Vrindavin Rao | Illuminate NYC

Every team is unique because each individual possesses unique strengths. Some are perfectionists, others are accommodating; some are more expressive, while others on your team are more quiet and intuitive. Understanding the complexities of individual motivation and behavior is crucial if we are to create strong, collaborative teams. In this session, Vrindavan Rao will help create a framework for you to understand your team by exploring how the Enneagram reveals three unique ways by which individuals engage and work with others. Join us as we explore how to discover your team’s unique energy and how understanding your team’s energy leads to stronger collaboration, healthier working relationships, and respect for the uniqueness of every member of your team.

2:00 - 2:40 PM

2:00 - 2:40 PM

Growing Your Business Through Strategic Partnerships

Russell Bird
Russell Bird | The Promo Addict Inc.
Jocelyn Bird
Jocelyn Bird | The Promo Addict Inc.
Jill Stults
Jill Stults | Bagley
Deron Stults
Deron Stults | Bagley

Every distributorship is led by a balance of partnerships. If not formal business partners, at least partners in expertise: some leaders are more focused on ops, others on sales, but in almost every distributorship there is an interdependent relationship of the internal and external. Jocelyn and Russell Bird with The Promo Addict and Jill and Deron Stults with Bagley both lead businesses through a partnership model. In this session, we’ll talk about the importance of balance and focus in leadership. We’ll chat about the new role of business development and support and the importance of strong internal ops and mostly the strength of appreciating each other’s value. Whether you have a partnership model or not, the lessons from these leaders on working well together and growing through partnerships will be invaluable!

2:40 - 3:10 PM

2:40 - 3:10 PM

Putting the Learnings into Practice Inside commonsku

Catherine Graham
Catherine Graham
Aaron Kucherawy
Aaron Kucherawy

Catherine Graham and Aaron Kucherawy lead us through how to apply all of the track learnings from marketing, team development and supply chain management inside commonsku. This will set the stage for what all of you ask us for the most, the sharing of best practices of how your fellow peers are leveraging commonsku.

3:10 - 3:20 PM

3:10 - 3:20 PM

Break (The Studio @ Ace Hotel 2F)

Stretch those legs, grab a coffee, high-five a new friend, etc.

3:20 - 3:50 PM

3:20 - 3:50 PM

Roundtable

3:50 - 4:30 PM

3:50 - 4:30 PM

Forecasting for the Future with Supplier CEOs

David Nicholson
David Nicholson | PCNA
Dan Pantano
Dan Pantano | alphabroder prime
Jonathan Isaacson
Jonathan Isaacson | Gemline

Over the past few years, suppliers have navigated turbulent waters and as our supply chain slowly strengthens, new challenges emerge. The leaders of three of the industry’s largest suppliers --PCNA, alphabroder prime, and Gemline– will join us to take your questions and discuss the state of the industry now and their perspective on the future including topics regarding the new challenges for our supply chain, the impact of inflation on our industry, plus the possibility of a recession and how to shape our decisions in light of it. And always optimistic, we’ll also explore how these suppliers are innovating with product, tech, and process despite the headwinds, and reflect on they keys to their success in the era of a new economy.

4:30 - 5:10 PM

4:30 - 5:10 PM

The New Priorities of Today’s Modern Distributors

Jill Haspert
Jill Haspert | Foxtrot Marketing
Mitch Freed
Mitch Freed | Genumark
Zac Fowler
Zac Fowler | INM Group

How has a leading distributor’s business changed in a post-pandemic world? How have the new complexities in selling changed infrastructures and comp plans? What metrics do modern leaders measure to drive growth? And how do we prioritize leading our businesses when everything commands our attention, now. In this open mic session with the community, we’ll answer these questions and more as we spend some time sharing a glimpse inside the minds of today’s leading distributor CEO’s. Come prepared, not only with your questions, but with your contribution to the discussion as well!

5:10 - 5:30 PM

5:10 - 5:30 PM

Closing Remarks

6:45 - 9:45 PM

6:45 - 9:45 PM

Closing Party (@ Union Hall, Meeting in the Lobby @ Ace Hotel)

Celebrate the close of skucamp with old and new friends. Dinner, drinks, bocce and more! We will be meeting in the Ace Hotel lobby at 6:45 PM

7:30 - 9:00 AM

7:30 - 9:00 AM

DIY Breakfast

Distributor Field Trippers are on their own for breakfast. We recommend "As You Are", the Ace Hotel’s restaurant on the ground floor for something quick and tasty.

Optional activities for Distributors

9:00 AM

9:00 AM

Pick-Up from the Lobby @ Ace Hotel

10:00 - 1:00 PM

10:00 - 1:00 PM

Tour of Chocolate Inn & Education

Join us as we unpack the magic of a special factory experience exclusively for skucampers at Chocolate Inn! Just hop on the bus and we’ll take care of the rest!

1:00 - 2:00 PM

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Lunch (provided by Chocolate Inn)

2:00 PM

2:00 PM

Board Buses for Return Trip to Brooklyn

3:00 PM

3:00 PM

Arrive in Brooklyn (Ace Hotel)

6:00 PM onwards

6:00 PM onwards

Distributor Dine Arounds (various cool restaurants around Brooklyn)

Ace Hotel Brooklyn

252 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States

skucampers can take advantage of special room rates by booking here.
Rates are as follows (rooms available while supplies last):

  • Queen - $239/night
  • Small - $259/night
  • Medium - $269/night
  • Double - $299/night

Sept 19-21, 2022 (2 night minimum)
Taxes excluded

Additional benefit:

skucampers DO NOT pay the additional $25 Destination Fee which the hotel charges regular guests.

If you wish to stay additional nights at the Ace Hotel

  1. Please use the booking link to book your 2 nights: Sept 19-21
  2. Please email your confirmation to Kate Archer, kate.archer@acehotel.com, to have your reservation extended
  3. The same discounted room rates apply to these nights only:
    Sunday Sept 18, Wednesday Sept 21 and Thursday Sept 22

Photos

skucamp brings together an eclectic group of movers and shakers in the promotional products industry. All of our events celebrate community, education and fun. Here are some photos from our past skucamp in Palm Springs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is skucamp designed for?

skucamp is designed for the owner, C-level manager, or senior-level staff within a supplier or a distributor. If you are on the upswing of your career and are making waves in your organization, you should be at skucamp.

How much does skucamp cost and what’s included in my registration fee?

skucamp registration is $995 per person.
Your registration fee includes all workshops, entertainment, gifts, drinks and meals. Travel to/from Brooklyn and hotel costs are not included.

Included meals:
Sept 19th - dinner/drinks
Sept 20th - breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner

What is the schedule?

We will be releasing the full schedule towards the end of April. However, here’s what you can expect from a timing perspective.


Monday, September 19, 2022
Arrive in Brooklyn ~ 12 PM - Registration & Opening Party

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Full day of programming followed by our famous Closing Party

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Suppliers depart Brooklyn

9 AM ~ 2:30 PM - Distributor Field Trip to Chocolate Inn
We have designed a special supplier factory experience at Chocolate Inn. Distributors can depart Brooklyn later that evening or stay another night and participate in our famous skucamp dinner dine around.
* This is an optional experience for distributors attending skucamp.

What do I wear at skucamp?

skucamp is very casual… funky casual if you will. Dress for comfort, leave the formal suits and gowns at home. Air conditioning indoors may make it cool for some people so dress accordingly. Evenings may be cooler so bring a layer for any outdoor events.

Is there a required vaccination policy at skucamp?

No.

That said, we are closely following all NYC city and state guidelines as it pertains to vaccination and mask mandates.

We recognize that this situation is very fluid so much can change between now and skucamp in the Fall. With that in mind, we will adhere to the policies of our venue, The Ace Hotel as well as our venue partners in Brooklyn.

Is there a cancellation policy on my skucamp tickets?

Yes, we will issue a refund (less a 10% fee) if you cancel before August 1, 2022. We will happily transfer a ticket to a colleague for no fees at any time.

There are no refunds after August 1, 2022.

What should I pack?
  • Laptop and/or tablet (for the classes/workshops)
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Running shoes & workout gear
  • An open mind ready to embrace learning and adventure!

Be sure to leave some room for all the amazing skucamp merchandise you’ll receive! Here is our gift collection from skucamp Palm Springs to give you a sense of the wonders that await you :)

How do I book my hotel room?

We have special rates available for all skucampers. All the information on booking your room can be found here.

What costs are excluded?

Travel to/from Brooklyn and hotel accommodations are excluded.

How is skucamp different from your other events?

Each of our events is designed with different themes in mind. Many people will attend all events as they all offer something unique.

skucamp is a business planning boot camp for executive-level distributors and suppliers to plan their year ahead.

skucon focuses on high-level education and inspiration for any role, distributor, or supplier. skucon is hosted in January.

commonsku University is an education session for distributors and supplier customers of commonsku to learn how to use the platform more efficiently held at the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas and virtually throughout the year.

When should I arrive/depart?

We encourage you to arrive around 12 noon on Monday September 19 so you are checked in and registered for our kick-off party that evening.

skucamp ends after our closing party on September 20th (late).

skucampers depart Sept 21.

What are the main rules for skucamp field trip?
  • Visitors/Contractors may enter the manufacturing area with only suitable clothing and footwear. No open-toe shoes, flip flops, or sandals, shoes with rubber, nonslip soles are preferred, and no pockets above the waist.
  • All jewelry is prohibited, including watches, chains, rings, ankle bracelets, and any exposed piercings. Only plain wedding bands are allowed (no stones).
  • Visitors/Contractors exhibiting visible signs of illness will be prevented from entering the areas in which food is handled, processed, or stored.
  • Hairnets are required in the manufacturing or food storage areas, and must completely cover the hairline and ears.
  • If you are not clean-shaven and have either a beard or mustache a beard guard is required.

*If you would like to read the entire terms and conditions, please read this form. Don't worry about signing the form now as this will be handled upon arrival at Chocolate Inn on Sept 21st.

Presenting Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Association Sponsor