INBOUND 2016 Prep: Tips & Insights
Regardless of your industry, your role, and your experience level with inbound marketing, HubSpot's annual INBOUND event in Boston next week (Nov. 8-11) holds a tremendous amount of learning opportunities, networking events, and entertainment solutions.
It can be a bit hectic if you're not prepared. So we've decided to share a few tips and insights from our experienced INBOUND crew to help you navigate and enjoy the show. Heck, we even got a first-timer to chime in. See you there!
Denamico's #INBOUND16 attendees:
Brendon Dennewill, President – This will be my third INBOUND. It's a great way to be completely immersed in inbound marketing, to see HubSpot's take on how marketing and sales is changing – where the puck is going.
Kristin Dennewill, CEO – This will be my third INBOUND event. I think of going to INBOUND as a way to work 'on our business.' Stepping away from the day-to-day at the office gives me a different perspective, and forces us to challenge our thinking and the way we do things to be better. And who doesn't like Boston and "lobstah."
Melinda Rieck, Senior Strategy Manager – I'm a newbie! I've never had the opportunity to attend INBOUND, but have wanted to attend ever since starting to work with HubSpot in 2010.
Amy Weaver, Marketing Automation Manager – This will be my fifth INBOUND experience. I always have a good time in Boston, learn a lot, and come back to work excited to implement new ideas.
What are your expectations for INBOUND 2016?
High-quality sessions, content, and another exciting product release (or multiple releases) from HubSpot's founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.
1. Many, many people. Last year, 15,000 attended, and I presume this year will be even bigger.
2. Education that will help us to better lead and manage our business, and inspiration from people and companies who are doing great work.
I look forward to being surrounded by others who 'geek out' on Hubspot, to bring back and share new insight with my teammates, and to have best practices and strategy learnings to apply in my every day work for increased efficiency and effectiveness.
First and foremost, it's gonna be HUUUUUUUUUGE (how Donald Trump says it). This year I'm really looking forward to attending a couple of agency track sessions now that I'm employee of an agency partner rather than just a plain ol' HubSpot customer. I also hope to hone my skills in some of the tools that I didn't use quite as frequently in previous roles – workflows, A/B testing, and reporting, specifically.
What are your "can't miss" sessions and why?
The HubSpot sessions focused on Sales – how marketing and sales teams align and work together to create exponential success for their company.
The keynote by Brian Halligan and Darmesh Shah, because they always talk about the direction of our industry and the future of sales and marketing. This helps us keep our eye on the horizon so we can plan for things going forward and keep our clients updated on those things as well.
I also attend many of the agency sessions to learn from other successful agencies – their best practices and how to improve our customer and employee experiences.
Building the Data Driven Customer Journey presented by Christopher Penn from Shift Communications – The marketing technology focus and learning new insight to syncing the customer journey with marketing operations will be helpful for our clients.
Anna Kendrick Keynote – I've always admired her social media tactics to come off as an approachable and humanizing despite being a celebrity. That type of strategy could be valuable for some of our clients who strive to reach their audience with a personal and relatable, 1-on-1 feeling approach.
And we mustn't forget Sarah Silverman's comedic performance at INBOUND ROCKS and the indoor pool at the hotel. After intense learning sessions, it's nice to look forward to relaxing and fun moments at INBOUND as well!
Turning Insights into Action: How to use HubSpot Reporting to Optimize Your Marketing Funnel – Since HubSpot announced their reporting add-on at INBOUND15, I've been anxious to dive into it, but haven't had the opportunity. I'd like to learn how to build reports and use them to make better decisions for Denamico and our clients.
Chaos Under Control: How to Organize a Messy Contacts Database to Market More Effectively – Admittedly, I am pretty OCD about having accurate and complete contact information in the CRM.
A clean database with up-to-date records of interactions and opportunities is a powerful tool. I'm hoping to hear tips on list segmentation and lead scoring that will make Denamico's campaigns more targeted and relevant.
Any tips for INBOUND newbies?
There is a lot of high-quality content and entertainment, but you can't do it all. Take it in stride, make sure you get enough sleep, and eat guacamole as much as you can (preferably with burnt toast, as recommended by Tim Ferris).
1. Wear comfortable shoes!
2. It's easy to get overwhelmed, so think about a couple of challenges you currently face in your role and focus on getting some ideas on how to better manage those. You don't have time to learn everything, but if you get a couple of specific takeaways to bring back with you, your time will have been well spent.
3. And introduce yourself to people! The sum knowledge and experience at INBOUND is amazing. It's a special opportunity to connect with people face to face, and you might be surprised at the ways your paths could cross again in the future.
I have heard stories that INBOUND has large crowds, but it looks like they've worked on solutions for lines and signing up for classes, so I feel confident that getting around will be easy. As long as it's not like a trip to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon or going to Costco the day before the Superbowl, I should survive.
Be strategic about lunch; don't assume that you can waltz out to the lawn with 10 min to spare before your next session and you'll be good-to-go. I usually peer out the big windows to see what the crowds are like to decide when to head out there.
Also check the menu boards before you get in line to see if any items have been crossed off (this is especially important if you're at the tail end of the lunch block). The food truck options are ah-may-zing, but there's nothing worse than getting your taste buds geared up for something only to realize the vendor has already handed out the last [insert most coveted food item here].
Have a back-up session (or two) on your schedule in case your top choice fills up or it turns out that it's not as beneficial as you thought it would be.
Hopefully there won't be as big of a problem with sessions filling up this year with the new pre-registration process that HubSpot has put in place. So I guess another tip would be: take full advantage of pre-registration to minimize your risk of missing out on any of your must-haves.
Need some talking points while networking at the show? Download the State of Inbound report to drop some data knowledge.