#SoulerSymposium: Forging offline bonds for brands, influencers

By Sam Brake Guia October 22, 2019

Top brands and influencers embraced the chance to do something rare last week – create, connect and network in person.

The inaugural #SoulerSymposium took the social media relationship offline for five days against the unforgettable backdrop of The Ranch at Rock Creek, a five-star luxury Relais & Châteaux ranch in Montana’s Big Sky country.

The exclusive event brought together 50 top content creators like Alysha Nett, Liris Crosse, Klarity, Broderick Hunter, Michelle Savage, Darren Moulden, Mackinzie Dae, Reza Jackson and Dalilah Muhammad, along with 25 brands including Diesel, Samuel Hubbard, Swet Tailor, Treehut, Magnus Alpha, Hip and Bone, Pursoma and many more.

Over nightly cocktail hours, group dinners, live music and entertainment, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the most influential people in the world and discuss issues pertinent to the influencer space.

Jeff Bullas and Natalie Zfat headlined the opening night’s Influencer Marketing Panel followed by an audience Q&A. Shannon Vaughn of Pursoma hosted a panel discussion on digital wellness and anxiety in the influencer space on night two, telling the story of how her personal story led to its founding. 

Vaughn said the event offered the unique opportunity to network directly with potential spokespeople.

“I’ve always had a hard time finding people who would authentically be involved in the process and who used the products as part of their lifestyle …  the opportunity to connect directly with influencers in a non-sales-y environment, that was appealing to me because then we could have face to face conversations, and for a company that promotes digital wellness, this was the perfect opportunity for us to connect in a non-technology environment,” she said.

“This week at the ranch gave the brands and tastemakers who attended the time to explore our interest together in a beautiful and natural setting.”

Influencer Reza Jackson said the ranch event offered a great opportunity to meet brands and other creatives in his field. “The intention was to forge relationships with brands and other creators to create amazing content and also talk about my full-time work, and I’ve gotten to do all those things in this amazing setting,” Jackson said.

“I’m left super impressed, and have a feeling I’ll be thinking about it when I go back home.”

Souler, the e-commerce platform which invites top influencers to curate stores of their favorite premium-to-luxury brands and products, hosted the debut event to further relationships in the growing social media space.

Souler Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder George Manley said the working retreat foregrounded the need for an ecommerce community that encourages meaningful in-person connections between brands and influencers.

“These in-person connections fuel the understanding of brand and product, which allow Souler influencers to be authentic and successful merchants. This same connection allows the brand representatives to understand the soul and the brand of each influencer, who will then become part of that brand story. I am so proud to be part of a community of such talent, diversity, and professionalism,” Manley said.

Noted digital entrepreneur and keynote speaker Jeff Bullas agreed, noting the importance of connecting makers, creators and influencers. “The online world is one thing but the offline world is where the real magic happens,” he said. “Many relationships and ideas were started and nourished in one of the most stunning places on the planet.” 

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company