INBOUND 2014 is a time you’ll never forget.
You’ll hear inspirational talks from keynotes such as Martha Stewart, Simon Sinek, Guy Kawasaki, and David Meerman Scott. You’ll witness an incredible performance from singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe. You’ll meet friends and connections, learn about inbound sales and marketing best practices, heck, you could even be deemed “Top Tweeter” on the #INBOUND14 hashtag. Located, this year, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, you’ll be right next door to Boston’s Seaport area and the Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall. You can't get much better than that!
In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know to successfully take on the world at INBOUND 2014. This includes a list of apps you should download before the conference starts, tips on what to wear, advice from people who’ve been to INBOUND in previous years, and much more. Oh, and if you haven’t registered for INBOUND yet, you can do that here.
To begin, let’s go through some key INBOUND terms and definitions:
When you arrive at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, you'll need to get your name badge so you can actually enter the conference. Registration periods open early in the morning and go all day during all four days of the conference. However, the best time to register is Monday morning or afternoon, before Guy Kawasaki’s welcome keynote.
This occasion happens Monday evening, before and after Guy Kawasaki’s welcome keynote. Here, you’ll have a chance to network with folks who just arrived at the conference and make connections early. This is a great time to meet with people since Tuesday through Thursday of the conference will be jam packed with breakout sessions and other events.
These are the big talks you won’t want to miss. During this time, no other sessions or events will be taking place. This year you’ll hear from Martha Stewart, Simon Sinek, Guy Kawasaki, David Meerman Scott, and HubSpot Co-Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. There will also be another keynote announced before September … so stay tuned!
These special classes, presented by HubSpot's Academy team, are for folks who want to become inbound experts. If you’re attending trainings, you get to come to INBOUND one day early and register/check-in before most people get in Tuesday morning. That means you avoid waiting in lines! Here are all the options for training packages:
Inbound Sales ($699): Learn how to sell more, better, faster with Inbound Sales.
Inbound Methodology ($499): You'll learn the fundamentals of how to use inbound marketing to attract strangers, convert visitors, close leads and delight customers.
Inbound Website ($999): Learn how to personalize your website to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time.
Inbound Content ($999): Learn how to brainstorm, use and deliver content to help build a sustainable content machine for your business.
These are talks at various times throughout every day of INBOUND, where you can hear Bold Talks (inspirational), Inbound Experts (about inbound marketing or sales), or HubSpot Deep Dives (digging into the HubSpot product). You must have an All Access or Student pass to attend these sessions.
At 12:30 PM during all four days of the conference, there will be a designated lunch period. During this time, you’re welcome to grab a bite to eat, catch up on some emails, network with attendees, or maybe even grab a haircut down the street. This time is essentially a free period where no trainings, talks, performances, or events are happening.
Similar to your lunch period, breaks are short bits of time where everyone at the conference is in transition. During this time there are no trainings, talks, performances, or events happening.
Surely you hear this word a lot when it comes to conferences or other business-related events. These periods are best spent chatting with other professionals to learn, share, or connect. You’ll find people networking during receptions, breaks, lunch, or Happy Hour. Just remember to bring your business cards so you can stay connected after the conference!
These are breakout sessions about inbound marketing and inbound sales specifically. If you’re interested in learning more about the inbound methodology or becoming a better marketer or salesperson, definitely attend some of these talks.
If you’re a HubSpot customer or if you’re interested in learning more about HubSpot’s software, check out the HubSpot Deep Dive talks. These are very technical and get into the nitty gritty of what it’s like to use HubSpot for your business.
These talks are breakout sessions that are not related to inbound marketing or sales. Generally, they are inspirational, motivational, and will help you become a better professional. You could almost consider these talks to be mini keynote presentations, based on their bold style.
This is the area where you’ll spend most of your time in between keynotes and sessions. Here, you’ll find the Social Media Command Center, the Sponsor Showcase, HubSpot product experts, the Agency Hub, and the HubShop. This area is a great meeting spot — just be very specific about which area you’d like to meet at within Club INBOUND when setting up your plans.
This center, inside Club INBOUND, is the place where HubSpotters are monitoring the #INBOUND14 chatter live. Here, you can discover which INBOUND attendees have tweeted most to the #INBOUND14 hashtag and you’ll get to see HubSpot's Social Inbox tool in action.
Want some INBOUND or HubSpot SWAG? How about a book from a speaker you saw during INBOUND? Well, the HubShop, located inside Club INBOUND, is the place to get it!
Here is where you can find all the INBOUND 2014 event sponsors. Come to this showcase if you want to learn more about other great businesses at INBOUND … or if you like free SWAG. ;-) You can find this area inside Club INBOUND.
If you’re looking to get connected to an agency during INBOUND, the Agency Hub is the place to be. This is also a great place to chat with smart, enthusiastic inbound-lovers. You can find the Agency Hub inside Club INBOUND
This is a social occasion for HubSpot Partners only. If you are not a member of the HubSpot Partner Program, you cannot attend.
These sessions occur in the evenings, revolving around socializing and networking. So grab a beer or a glass of wine, meet some smart people, and unwind after a long day of learning.
Happening at 8:30 PM on Wednesday night, this is where singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe will sing her heart out. During this time, folks usually drink and network while simultaneously listening to live music and rocking out. Learn more about INBOUND Rocks and Janelle Monáe in the sections below.
All good things must come to an end. The closing keynote is the last talk of the conference. After this talk, all attendees will usually trickle out and go home … or stick around and explore Boston for a few more days.
Now that you’re well-versed in some key INBOUND terminology, let’s dive into the details of what you can expect at INBOUND 2014.
What? INBOUND 2014, the world's most remarkable conference for inbound marketing & sales professionals.
Where? The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC); a new, bigger venue! The address is 415 Summer St, Boston, MA 02210.
When? September 15-18, 2014
Who should attend? If you’re a business professional, student, or entrepreneur or any sort, you’ll get value out of INBOUND.
Why should I attend? There are loads of reasons you might want to attend INBOUND such as learning, networking, closing deals, taking a vacation, hearing a great concert, discovering fodder for blog posts, and much more. No matter what your reason, make sure you come to INBOUND with a clear goal in mind — that way you’ll make the most out of your experience!
How much is it? Check out our registration page for details about pricing and purchasing tickets.
Join the INBOUND Conference LinkedIn Group
Join the INBOUND 2014 Facebook Event
Martha Stewart is an Emmy Award-winning television show host, bestselling author, entrepreneur, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and America’s most trusted lifestyle expert. Millions of people rely on Martha Stewart as a source of useful “how-to” information for all aspects of everyday living, which includes cooking, crafting, holidays, entertaining, pets, gardening, home improvement, healthy living, collecting, and organizing. Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (founded in 1996), reaches approximately 66 million consumers across all media platforms each month. The MSLO portfolio includes bestselling books, award-winning magazines, television and video programming, apps, and innovative websites. The Company has a growing presence with 8,500 products in thousands of retail locations, including the Martha Stewart Living line of home-improvement products at The Home Depot, Martha Stewart Crafts at Michael's and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, the Martha Stewart Home Office line with Avery at Staples, Martha Stewart Pets products at PetSmart, the Martha Stewart Collection of home products at Macy’s, and Martha Stewart Clean with Hain. In Spring 2013, the Company entered into a strategic alliance with J.C. Penney Company, Inc., launching products in J.C. Penney stores.
Watch our interview with Martha here:
Simon Sinek, described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. He teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people, with the goal of helping build a world in which people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work. A trained ethnographer, he is the author of the global best seller, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. Sinek has devoted his life to help other leaders and organizations inspire action. He is best known for popularizing the concept of "Why" and for his TEDTalk on the subject, which became the second most watched talk of all time on TED.com. Sinek speaks around the globe and has commented for The New York Times, NPR, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, and more.
Check out this famous TEDTalk by Simon Sinek:
Guy Kawasaki is currently Canva's Chief Evangelist, and previously held that role at Apple. He is the author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, and ten other business books. Be sure to check out his keynote at the INBOUND 2014 Welcome Reception on Monday September 15 at 6pm.
Watch his talk on The Art of Innovation:
David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed strategist, and author or co-author of ten books – three of which are international bestsellers. With over 300,000 copies sold, The New Rules of Marketing & PR is now in its 4th edition, and has been translated into 26 languages and is used as a textbook in hundreds of business schools and universities worldwide. Scott also authored Wall Street Journal bestseller Real-Time Marketing & PR, World Wide Rave, Newsjacking, and the forthcoming New Rules of Sales & Service (Fall, 2014). He also co-authored Marketing Lessons from The Grateful Dead and Marketing the Moon (March, 2014).
Watch his talk from INBOUND 2013:
Dharmesh is CTO & Co-Founder of HubSpot, which now has over 11,000 customers. Shah is the co-author of Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs, a hit that has been translated to eight different languages. He also wrote HubSpot's Culture Code and he authors OnStartups.com, a popular startup blog with over 350,000 members in its online community. Shah is an angel investor in over 40 startups, an active member of the Boston area entrepreneurial community, and a frequent speaker on the topic of startups, inbound marketing, and company culture.
Read his LinkedIn Influencer post about getting the most from conferences:An Introvert's Guide To Getting The Most From A Conference
Brian Halligan is CEO & Co-Founder of HubSpot, which now has over 11,000 customers. Halligan is author of two books: Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead and Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, which is in its seventh printing, has sold more than 50,000 copies, has been translated into nine languages, and hit #17 overall on the Amazon bestseller list. Halligan is also a Senior Lecturer at MIT where he teaches Entrepreneurial Product Development and Marketing and was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011. In his spare time, he sits on a few boards of directors and follows his beloved Red Sox.
See his TEDx talk about Inbound HR:
We have one more keynote coming to INBOUND 2014. Stay tuned for an announcement about the final keynote speaker this summer!
During keynote sessions, you'll be in a large room with the majority of attendees sitting and listening. There are no other events or talks scheduled during these sessions, so you can expect the rooms to fill up fast. If you want to document your experience and take notes, follow the tips below.
Take notes. Most people prefer to do this in 140-character tweets. Keep an ear out for soundbites and get them down as quickly as possible. You're also certainly welcome to document your experience with a paper and pen.
... or don't take notes. Some people prefer just to listen and be present during the keynotes without scrambling to jot things down. That's okay, too!
Bring your phone. If you're interested in digitally documenting your experience, a smartphone is the way to go.
Tweet soundbites and pictures to hashtag #INBOUND14. That way everyone at the conference can see your tweet, and people who couldn't make it to the conference can get a gist of what the speaker is talking about.
Include the speaker's Twitter handle in your tweets. If you're tweeting a quote from a keynote, always be sure to include the speaker's Twitter handle and give them credit. Maybe they'll even tweet you back to thank you!
Get there early. A lot of people are coming to INBOUND, so make sure you get to the keynotes early if you want a good seat!
Leave your laptop in your bag. The light from your laptop will distract others from the presentation -- please be courteous!
Grammy-nominated, soul and R&B singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer, Janelle Monáe will be taking over the stage at INBOUND Rocks this year! Monáe has been on fire ever since she debuted her first studio album in 2010 with the release of "The ArchAndroid." In 2012, Monáe was featured on Fun's "We Are Young," which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In September 2013, her second studio album, "The Electric Lady," was released to critical acclaim. Her top hits include: "Tightrope," "Dance Apocalyptic," "Q.U.E.E.N." and "Cold War,"
See Janelle Monáe's "Tightrope" music video here:
Janelle Monáe and her band aim to entertain, which includes dancing and getting jazzy on stage. This means, others in the audience who are close to the stage will probably start dancing too. Not a big dancer? That's okay, you certainly don't have to dance at all! In fact, you could network by the room's edges and still enjoy a great performance.
Get ready for INBOUND Rocks with this Janelle Monáe-inspired playlist!
You’ll notice lots of people at INBOUND probably came to the event with their coworkers and feel very comfortable staying in this small group of peers. However, one of the greatest things about INBOUND is that there are literally thousands of marketers, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and other professionals just dying to have an inspiring conversation.
Happy Hour, receptions, breaks, and lunch are the perfect time to break out of your comfort zone and start making meaningful connections with smart people just like you. But where do you start? The hardest part about networking during an event is simply breaking the ice. That's where the list of ice breakers below comes in handy.
Keep some of these questions in your back pocket (along with your business cards) when networking sessions roll around — you’ll be glad you did!
Reach out to INBOUND attendees before the conference starts. To kickstart your networking, set up meetings or connect online ahead of time. That way you’ve already broken the ice and exchanged contact information.
Prepare your elevator pitch. Can you sum up what you or your company does in just a few short soundbites? If not, make sure you’re practicing that pitch ahead of time — you’ll be using this quite frequently as you network.
Listen more than you speak. Everyone has a product or idea they want to sell. To get around this "Me, me, me!" chatter, make sure you’re listening twice as much as you’re speaking.
Take every conversation as an opportunity to learn. You’ll be in the presence of some seriously smart professionals, so make sure you’re learning from every single person you meet.
Send a followup message. Once you meet someone at INBOUND, it’s always good to send a quick email, tweet, or LinkedIn message to let the person know you enjoyed speaking with him/her and you’d like to keep in touch.
Check your breath. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who had awful coffee breath? It’s distracting, to say the least. Make sure you double check for bad breath or food in your teeth. You want people to hear what you’re saying, not stare at your face.
We've heard a lot of rumblings about not knowing what to wear to INBOUND this year. We think you should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable -- you know, you do you. Sure, INBOUND is a business conference, but people come ready to have a good time and show their unique personalities, too.
But if you want a guide to more formal business casual, here are some best practices. Feel free to interpret this liberally, dress it up or down, and rock some funky swag ;)
Men/Women: A blazer is a nice touch, but certainly not required. If you plan on wearing a company logo t-shirt, wearing a blazer is one way to make the look a bit more professional.
Men: If you’re going for the standard business casual look, try a pressed, button-up collared shirt -- polos are good, too. You don't need to wear a tie -- however, you get bonus points if you find a HubSpot orange one. And if you rock an orange bowtie? You win the conference.
Women: A blouse, sweater, turtleneck, or sleeveless shirt with a collar are all great options for the business casual INBOUND attendee. Now, the business casual standard is to wear a monotone shirt ... but hey, add a little color or pattern if you want to make your outfit more fun!
Men: Nice trousers or pressed khakis are the norm for a business casual look. Of course, many will also rock a pair of nice jeans. Possibly with a button-up collard shirt? Oh, and you could rock that bowtie, don a sweater vest, and look totally fly.
Sorry, we're getting carried away with fashion here. Rock whatever combo you want.
Women: If you want to stick to the standard business casual look, go for dress pants, trousers, or corduroy pants in colors such as black and grey. Khakis are also acceptable for a business casual look. If you want to wear jeans to INBOUND, go for it -- standard (or colored) denim looks great with everything.
Women: Some ladies will probably be sporting some skirts and dresses if they prefer those over pants. Formal business casual dictates no sundresses, but hey, if the weather's nice I don't see why you can't don one.
Men: You can’t go wrong with leather. The standard business casual look includes formal leather shoes, leather loafers, or leather/suede ankle boots. Boat shoes and sneakers could put you at risk for being underdressed at other conferences, but I'm sure you'll see some at INBOUND, particularly with orange laces. And maybe some bright orange socks, too.
Women: The best option for ladies? Something comfortable! Nice boots, comfy flats, pumps, that type of thing. If you can rock the heels all day and not feel a thing, go for it, but you'll probably be walking around a lot. Just keep that in mind.
Men: Do wear a belt and a wristwatch (if you have one). You can probably pass on the cufflinks.
Women: If accessories are your thing, wear light jewelry with a nice-looking purse or bag.
Men/Women: Professional-looking laptop bags are a nice touch. Makes note-taking easier!
Men/Women: September might get chilly. Do wear a nice jacket, sweater, peacoat, or trench coat if you want to stay warm.
For more ideas, check out the INBOUND 2014: What to Wear Pinterest board.
This map shows a suggested pub crawl route for INBOUND 2014 attendees who are looking to do a little extra socializing, networking, drinking, or exploring the city:
Disclaimer: This "HubCrawl" is in no way sponsored or organized by HubSpot or the INBOUND team.
If you want to attend, use the to organize a time. Once you've agreed on a time, Tweet #INBOUND14 to let other INBOUND-goers know what date and time you'll be leaving. Not only is this a great networking opportunity, but it'll give you a chance to show off your organizational and leadership skills. ;-)
This real-time list building app lets you collaborate and share lists with others. If you're at INBOUND with a group of coworkers, you can use this app to divide and conquer specific tasks and add or check things off as you go. Download Wunderlist as a desktop or mobile app.
Chances are good that you'll be taking notes during the sessions and keynotes at INBOUND. Of course, you can always use a good old-fashioned pen and paper, but if you want something a little more high tech, try Evernote. This app lets you sync notes between many devices. So if you decide to go into one session with just a smartphone, and take notes on your laptop for a different session, all the notes will sync up with each other in one, organized notebook. Additionally, this app is cloud-based, so you won’t have to keep track of a slip of paper or where you put that one particular file on your work computer.
You’ll be meeting a lot of people in-person at INBOUND, so you’ll need a way to store all those business cards and keep track of all those names. With Evernote Hello, you can scan business cards, instantly connect to groups of people, and receive a full history lesson about a person as you prepare for a meeting. This app is a must-have if you plan on doing a lot of networking.
Although INBOUND might seem like a vacation, you’ll still be there to work, learn, and make connections. In order to do this successfully, you’ll need the HubSpot app. Hop into Social Inbox and see which of the people mentioning #INBOUND14 are leads or customers of yours. Then, take it a step further and meet those folks in person! You can even create notes in your Contact Records to let your sales team know you’ve met these people at INBOUND.
If you plan on doing sales prospecting at INBOUND, you’ll want to get the Signals app. This app shows you who opens your emails, when and where that email was opened, what links were clicked in the email, and much more. This app easily integrates with HubSpot and Salesforce and gives you a ton of insight to help you close more deals.
If you haven’t signed up for Twitter yet, or if you haven’t ever used Twitter on a mobile device, you should definitely try it out during INBOUND. In addition to taking notes during the keynotes and sessions, you’ll want to tweet (or retweet) some quick soundbites so you can share what you’ve learned with your friends and coworkers. As you’re tweeting, just remember to use hashtag #INBOUND14 in all your tweets so other folks attending the conference can connect with you.
This app will let you share tweetable, 6-second videos that play in a loop. You can also create stop-action videos very easily by simply tapping your finger on the screen as you film. If you’re a fan of animated GIFs, you should test out this app during INBOUND. Oh, and hashtags also work on this app, so remember to add hashtag #INBOUND14 to your descriptions!
Glympse lets you share your location with people you trust, in real-time, so your friends and coworkers can find you … and so you can find them. This app is also useful if you’re late to a meeting — you can send your friends or coworkers a Glympse to let them know you’re on your way.
Your friends and connections may be at INBOUND, without you even realizing it. The best way to find out is by checking in with Swarm once you get to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC). Then, you can see which of your connections are hanging out nearby.
GroupMe is a great way to coordinate with coworkers during INBOUND. This app essentially allows you to create a private chat room on any device, so you can share quick updates to a whole group about dinner plans, last minute changes, a location to meet up at, and much more. Think of it as your text-based walkie talkie.
Whether you’re just visiting Boston for the first time, or you’re a seasoned Bostonian, the Google Maps app is a handy one to have. Navigate Boston like a pro and maybe even try the HubCrawl we suggested above.
If you want to explore Boston, but need a ride, check out Uber. This app is essentially a taxi service where you can hail a cab from your phone. What’s even better is that your credit card information is stored within the app, so you don’t need to have cash on you in order to pay for the ride. Just request your Uber, tell the driver where you want to go, and give him or her a rating once the ride is over. Simple as that.
Calling all coffee (or tea) drinkers! If you’ll need a serious caffeine kick during INBOUND, check out the Starbucks app. This app will let you see where Starbucks stores are located around the area and, just like with Uber, you can connect your credit card to the app to pay on your phone — no wallet required! Not to mention, you can earn some serious loyalty points if you start ordering your coffees this way.
Need help choosing a restaurant for your dinner meeting? Want to get your hair cut before INBOUND starts? Yelp shares the best (or worst) rated businesses in the area, allowing you to filter down based on your specific needs or interests. You can even see user-generated comments and pictures of the business to help you get a better sense of whether it’s your style or not.
Did you find a great restaurant on Yelp? Now, head over to OpenTable to reserve a spot. No phone call required, this app will let you book restaurant reservations on the go. This is a great app if you’re looking to grab dinner in the Waterfront area, since there are bound to be loads of other INBOUND-goers looking to snag a spot as well.
Dark Sky is a new kind of weather app that will predict precipitation down to the minute. You can get a detailed view of the next 24 hours or a day-by-day summary. If you’re a marketer who likes data visualization, this app is for you. Disclaimer: this app is not free, so if you don’t feel like paying for an app, try The Weather Channel app instead.
If you decide to only download one app during INBOUND 2014, make sure it's our official conference app. This will allow you to plan your schedule, connect with other INBOUND-goers, be notified of any last minute changes, and more! So stay tuned...
Remember, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and there will be tons of photo opportunities at INBOUND! Make sure you download the Instagram app and sign up for an account before the conference. That way you can snap a quick photo, make it look great by adding a filter, and share it through Facebook and Twitter at the same time. This is a quick and easy way to share updates with your audience — just don’t forget to use hashtag #INBOUND14 in the description of your photos so other people at the conference can find them. See what we mean in the example below:
"Bring a surge protector! INBOUND is chock full of marketers multitasking on their laptops, tablets and cell phones and all of these devices need power. Wall outlets in the meeting rooms are few and far between, and if you get to your session and all of the plugs have been taken, you can offer to plug in your surge protector and turn one outlet into 6. This is the best way to make sure your devices are always charged."
― Kathleen Booth, Owner & CEO, Quintain Marketing
"Tweet everything! Leave your notebook at home and do yourself a favor, bring your laptop or tablet. Instead of jotting things down, share everything you learn with your audience. You can always go back and review your "notes" and you are getting that much more out of your experience. PLUS, HubSpot keeps a tweet leaderboard (I held the #1 spot through most of last years conference!) where you can win awesome prizes. Heck, just the bragging rights alone are awesome!"
― Jessie-Lee Nichols, Art Director, Quintain Marketing
"INBOUND is for networking as much as it is for education. Don't be afraid to reach out to your industry peers. You will find yourself making new friends, shooting the breeze, and discussing inbound marketing best practices. Make this a time for building a network of inbound marketers you can share best practices with throughout the year."
― Chris Handy, CEO/Founder, Thinkhandy
"Three words: bring your chargers. You wouldn't want to miss out on a photo op with Martha Stewart, would you? I guarantee that your laptop/phone/tablet's battery will be put to the test with all those brilliant minds in one place. Luckily, there are areas for charging, so you won't miss out on a single note, social media share, photo or bar-hop text.
Download the INBOUND App on your phone or tablet before you even get into Boston. It's basically the mothership for all things INBOUND. You'll have easy access to schedules, bios, notes and more.
Make a game plan with your team. Divvy up the sessions you attend to cover as much as possible. You can have each member take detailed notes, and then touch base and share what you learned after the event."
― Samantha Winchell, SEO Analyst, New Breed
"Do it old-school. Don't take notes on your laptop. Use a notebook and pen to take your notes. It has been scientifically proven that taking notes with pen and paper increases understanding and retention multiple times vs. taking notes on a computer. It has to do with spacial relationships and how the human brain stores and retrieves information. So bring a notebook and a good pen or grab a HubSpot orange notebook, and start writing old school. You will be grateful you did."
― Rick Kranz, President, OverGo Studio
"Take time to talk to HubSpot employees and marketing consultants. Building a more personal relationship at INBOUND provides great context for interactions beyond the INBOUND conference."
― Kevin Barber, Director, Lean Labs
"Make a schedule in advance using the INBOUND app, and be sure to include a mix of keynotes, panels, workshops and networking events. While it's helpful to focus on a particular track, be sure to explore a few new topics too. INBOUND is about immersing yourself in a unique learning environment.
Most importantly — look up from your phone and interact with the people around you. You'll be surrounded by an incredible group of peers, industry experts, potential partners and friends. Take time to get to know the people who make INBOUND such an incredible experience."
― Dia Dalsky, Senior Consultant, PR 20/20
"Since there are so many moving pieces to the inbound methodology, it becomes difficult to master (and stay on top of) the latest and greatest marketing technologies. I like to talk to other HubSpotters about what is most important to them to meet their marketing goals and what hasn't worked in the past.
Trading battle scar stories can either help save you or give confidence to what you are doing with your own marketing initiatives."
―Shannon Vitberg, ROI Marketing Specialist, VitbergLLC
"Spend some time going over the agenda and deciding where you want to spend your time. The time to choose what your next workshop is, is NOT in the few minutes between workshops (it's a cluster!@#$ of people, and moving around the conference space takes time).
Understand that you may adjust your personal schedule on the fly. Perhaps you get sucked into an interesting conversation, or feel like making a stop at a nearby record store (both of these happened to me last year). Be cool with that, yet know which sessions are an absolute must for you.
Get there early so that you can get a seat up front. Be engaged in the workshops and try not to treat it like a crappy college class. Remember, no one is making you attend!
Bring a water bottle and your attention span. Yes, note taking is good, but really you're there to soak up the information and connect with the people around you. So be present and don't spend the whole time on your computer or phone.
I found that about 99% of the material in the workshops I could find online after the event (now that I knew the topic), so instead of taking copious amounts of notes and stressing about jotting down every word the presenter was saying, I kept to writing my top 3 takeaways from each session, and that was it. I spent the rest of my time chatting with the other people in attendance, introducing myself to the presenters (which I highly recommend -- give them a compliment, they are human and are probably nervous that they have pit stains or something. Let them know what you liked about their presentation and pick their expert brains), and in general getting to know PEOPLE and not so much 'information.'
Have a simple way to exchange information with interesting people you meet. Maybe you set up a special Gmail account just for the conference (example: "MBInbound@gmail.com"), so that you can easily connect information and not clutter your already crazy inbox (because you've taken 4 days off of work and your office is going to $#%&). Or bring enough business cards for the important people you want to have one (or two). Or do something crazy like create an Evernote folder that is linked to an IFTTT recipe that automatically takes pictures of business cards and imports them into your LinkedIn (here's an article on making that happen). Just come prepared.
Wear or do something memorable. My team last year wore shirts that piqued people's curiosity, and folks regularly stopped us and asked who we were and what we were about. It was a great, simple ice breaker. Maybe you're 'the guy with the pink mohawk hat on' or 'the girl with the funky banana backpack.' Whatever it is, make yourself a bit more memorable than the thousands of other people around you.
Make relationship building your #1 priority. Again, all the info you're going to be exposed to there can be found online, but you will not have a chance to shake hands and swap war stories with 99% of the people there ever again. So take full advantage of it. Perhaps try and have lunch with one new person each day. Who knows, you could start a relationship that leads to new business for you both! (Which is the real reason why you're there anyway -- to grow your business).
Lastly, have fun. Yes you're there to soak up tons of marketing knowledge, hear presentations from some of the world's best speakers, shake hands with influencers and doers that you drool over online. But it's really just one big marketing themed party with a bunch of internet nerds (no offense everyone). Enjoy it. If you miss a workshop, don't sweat it (the information will probably be obsolete by the time you return home!). The more you enjoy yourself the more people will want to enjoy the experience with you."
― Matthew Bivens, Lead Strategist and Partner, 98toGo
"There are so many incredible sessions at Inbound that it's essential to take more than one person from your organization to the conference. That way you can divide and conquer and attend as many sessions as possible and compare notes.
And don't forget to attend as many social gatherings as possible. Although the sessions are where the majority of the learning takes place, the networking is at least as valuable if not more important."
― Jeff White, Principal, Kula Partners
"Always have a back up session to go to. Sometimes you pick a session because the name sounds perfect but when you get there it's not what you thought it would be. It's always good to have a back up session to hop into on the fly. Or you can use it as a bathroom break because those bathroom lines in between sessions are crazy!"
― Laura Hogan, Marketing Director, OverGo Studio
"INBOUND is not only a great opportunity to improve your marketing skills, but is a great place to meet with quality HubSpot Partners. If you are looking to outsource some or all areas of your inbound marketing take advantage of the chance to sit down face to face with high quality HubSpot Partners that come from all over the country to INBOUND.
I may be old fashion but I feel that you can judge someone's character better when you're sitting down with them face to face."
― Daniel Vaczi, Director of New Business, Adhere Creative
"Be present for the keynotes and sessions you attend. You don't have to be furiously taking notes the entire time. HubSpot makes all the session slides and keynote speeches available to attendees once the conference is over. So sit back and enjoy!"
― Kelly Kranz, Business Operations Manager, OverGo Studio
"Inbound is like a buffet of knowledge and experience. First-timers need to approach the buffet with careful consideration of the many choices, and put together a plan to achieve a healthy balance of learning, finding inspiration, connecting, being entertained, and relaxing with the inbound marketing community. It's all about making thoughtful choices that make sense for you, because just like at a buffet, you'll pay for it later if you try to eat everything!
Don't attend by yourself! Bringing teammates along allows you to divide and conquer, which is the only way to hope to cover all the incredible presentations, keynotes, and panel discussions. And it means you'll have someone you can count on to immediately discuss what you learned, and how it could apply to your business.
Put your guard down so you can meet and connect with as many people as is humanly possible. HubSpot Partners aren't competitors at INBOUND, we're members of a global community taking on the world of opportunities. So throw caution to the wind and get connecting. "
― Greg Linnemanstons, President, Weidert Group
"Plan ahead. Decide ahead of time what to hear, but be flexible if you see something interesting.
Make friends. There are a lot of similar minded marketers at the event and collaboration is unlike anything you'll find elsewhere.
Get ready for next. You'll take away a long list of things you'll want to do when you get back to the office. "
―Shade Wilson, Founder & CEO, Scalability Project
"Pick a few key people you want to meet up with at the conference, these may be prospects, customers, peers or HubSpot reps. Then make appointments to meet up at the conference well in advance and follow up the week before to confirm. This will make sure that you see the people who are important to you and avoid any scheduling conflicts during the event."
― Eric Baum, CEO/Founder, Bluleadz
… or any other devices you think you might need. You’ll definitely need at least one device with you at all times.
These will come in handy! Your phone or laptop battery will die quickly from the aggressive note taking, tweeting, and picture snapping.
If you have a lot of devices that need charging, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring a power strip with you as well. Hey, if you have any extra plugs you could become the most popular person at INBOUND. ;-)
If you’d prefer to take notes on paper, or if you listen better while you doodle, grab a brand new notebook and start jotting away.
It’s always good to have something to write with!
There will be loads of networking opportunities at INBOUND, so make sure you bring plenty of business cards to share with anyone you meet and connect with.
You might be so engaged in what you’re learning or who you’re talking with that you won’t have time to take a break. Put snacks in your bag so you can grab something quickly and maintain focus and energy.
You’ll need this when you go to register upon arrival at INBOUND. If you’ve purchased a Student Pass, you’ll need to bring a valid student ID with you.
Lots of conference-goers will bring some of their company’s promotional gear to help spread the word. Have anything memorable you’d like to share with other inbound-lovers? Bring it along!
This is a great item to pack if you plan on going to a lot of meetings. It’s always nice to thank people for their time, and a handwritten letter or card will help you stand out and stay connected.