It’s that time of the year again, folks. HubSpot’s epic annual INBOUND conference takes place from 25th-28th September at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre and 256 will be there to experience it all (yep, especially Michelle Obama’s Keynote), and document it on our social channels. Follow us on Twitter, Insta and Facebook (and uhuh, we brought the Snapchat Spectacles too).
An annual calendar event for 256 as a HubSpot Gold Level agency partner, if you’re unfamiliar with INBOUND, it’s akin to Christmas for marketing professionals. According to HubSpot, INBOUND’s purpose, “is to provide the inspiration, education, and connections you need to grow and transform your business” – and boy, do they deliver.
Last year’s event was attended by over 19,000 people who were treated to three days of inspiring keynotes, 300 educational breakout sessions and some deadly parties – and this year is promising even more.
If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of activities on offer – but fear not, we’ve put together our top ten tips to help you get the most out of INBOUND 2017.
1. Have a strategy and stick to it
Before attending INBOUND 2017 (or any conference you’re heading to), meet with your team to review your sales and marketing performance to date and to set goals for the future. Getting clear on your inbound goals will ensure you attend the event armed with an actionable strategy and enable you to pinpoint which of the 300+ educational sessions will be most valuable to you and your business.
2. Stay in the loop
Don’t miss out on any of the action. Download the conference app to navigate the event and get important information about all the activities, learning and fun waiting for you at INBOUND. Be sure to follow @HubSpot (and 256!) and keep an eye on the #INBOUND17 hashtag to stay up to date with speakers and attendees.
3.Get yourself down to Club INBOUND
Club INBOUND is the epicentre of the conference where you’ll find the HubSpot HQ, Sponsor Showcase and Agency Hub. Stop by to network, check out new products, talk to the experts and blag some free swag.
4. Bring a notepad and fill it to the brim
Four full days of listening, learning, meeting and talking means your brain will be working overtime to absorb all of the information being thrown at it. Don’t fall into the “It’s grand, I’ll remember it” trap. The majority of the presentations will be available for download, but the real insights will come from what the speakers are actually saying.
Take notes and review them at the end of each day. Not only will this allow you to process everything and connect the dots, it will be a great starting point when tasked with preparing a conference debrief for your boss.
5. Get your Crocs out (not really)
Often overlooked by attendees wanting to look their best, comfortable shoes are the single most important item you need to pack. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre is massive. Spanning approximately 516,000 square feet, it is among the largest exhibition centres in the US, meaning you will be doing a LOT of walking. The dress code is business casual so unfortunately for some, but thankfully for most – Crocs are outlawed. Leave the heels and dress shoes in the office, lace up and pack your pedometer so you can feel smug justifying those evening pints and Bostonian grub.
6. Divide and conquer
With so many inspiring speakers to see and lessons to learn, the last thing you want is to be faced with making a tough decision between two great sessions. If there are a few people attending from your team, split up and avoid missing valuable insights for your business. Agree to debrief that evening and share notes over a cocktail at Happy Hour
7. Make everyone you know jealous and go to Michelle Obama’s keynote
Yes, you’ll probably have to wake at the crack of dawn just to get a space in the queue, but if past experience is to be relied on the former First Lady of the US is going to put on one hell of a show. Just to say you were in the same room as her earns major bragging rights. You’ll kick yourself if you miss it.
8. Network like your life depends on it (your professional life, anyway)
INBOUND is the centre of the sales and marketing universe and will play host to some of the best minds in the business for a week. You have the opportunity to meet and speak with key players and decision makers in your industry – grab it with both hands!
Have your business cards at the ready and be sure to have an elevator pitch prepared. After every interaction, make a note of who you spoke to and what you spoke about – this will help you to pen a super-engaging note when following up with a LinkedIn invite.
9. Don’t be extra
With a head-spinningly packed program of events, you’re going to have to be pretty cutthroat about which sessions you attend. No one wants to be the guy or gal manically pushing their way through the crowds and stressing over every lost minute. Golden rule; don’t try to do too much. You (and those around you) will have a much better time if you pick a handful of sessions per day and use any downtime to network; you never know who you might get chatting to.
10. Relax and have a bit of craic
In the midst of such a jam-packed schedule, make sure you take some time enjoy the experience. By all accounts, INBOUND is the most fun and entertaining conference of its kind so don’t be afraid to relax and get involved with the parties organised throughout the week. With comedian Judd Apatow headlining INBOUND Rocks, you’re guaranteed a good laugh!
Meet us at INBOUND
Excited about INBOUND 2017? Us too! Our team will be there – including our Business Development Manager Brendan - and would love to talk to you about how we can help you grow your business using the power of inbound marketing. Contact us to arrange a time to meet up.