As any busy marketing or sales professional of a small company will tell you, the idea of going to a four-day marketing conference is not high on their priority list. That morning while doing my last-minute list of 25 todo’s before setting off for the airport, I couldn’t help but feel like this whole trip was going to be a big waste of my time. I know, not the best attitude!
Luckily, I’ve been to enough events like this to know that once I got there, I would be glad that I made the effort to go. Not only was it a highly recommended conference by my fellow Ashburn HubSpot User Group (#HUGS) members but Inbound requires you to pre-register for all the sessions you want to attend over the course of the conference. Basically, I already knew and was excited about what I would be learning.
But nothing could have prepared me for the magnitude of Inbound 2019 hosted by HubSpot at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) in Boston, MA. There were over 26,000 attendees at this event completely filling up the BCEC and overflowing into the Westin and Aloft Hotels’ conference rooms. The event featured over 250 speakers including inspirational keynotes, renowned authors and famous business owners like Alexis Ohanian, Elizabet Gilbert, Tara Westover, Jennifer Garner, John Foraker and Chip & Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame. They had happy hours, breakout sessions, meet and greets, lunch trucks and snack stations, high-end entertainment, high tech demos, interactive corporate sponsors, large screens and loud music. If you were unimpressed, uninspired or bored than you do not have a pulse.
I obviously didn’t have the time or the bandwidth to attend all the sessions, events, shows and activities that were offered at the conference but here’s a high level review of my highlights, takeaways and re-dos.
Chip & Joanna Gaines, Co-Founders of Magnolia and featured on the TV Show “Fixer Upper.” They’re exactly like they appear on TV - real, genuine, honest, smart and very funny! Also, grateful and humble about the success they achieved and the positive impact they’ve had on Waco, TX. Truly inspiring!
Marcus Murphy, Digital Marketing and LinkedIn Expert. He’ll love that I called him an “expert.” He is seriously funny but also had some very practical tips on improving your LinkedIn profile and engaging more people on LinkedIn. Secret to generating more leads on LinkedIn… content that starts conversations.
Jay Schwedelson, President and CEO, Worldata. Fastest talking presenter at the event but well worth the effort to keep up with him. I thought I had a pretty good handle on email marketing techniques and campaigns, but Jay’s data driven research convinced me that we need to relook at some of the traditional email marketing techniques. And of course, test everything!
Dani Buckley, General Manager, LeadG2. I need her presentation slides ASAP! Dani outlined the process for building a Sales Book for your company or clients and then literally, just as the name of her session promised, helped us build a Sales Play in 30 minutes or less. My hand cramped in this session and I filled up my camera with pictures of her slides. Just so much good practical and timely information for me.
Gabe Wahhab, Co-Founder and President, MAXG. Almost didn’t go to this session because my sales brain is not wired for analytics. However, Gabe anticipated that many of us in the audience might have some leftover “math anxiety” from our childhood. He managed to make analytics interesting, relatable and useful. The key to understanding analytics is to make sure you’re asking the right questions!
- Data is now running the world. Start using it more to help your business and your clients run their companies more effectively.
- Never quit, no matter how impossible your dream, just never stop trying to achieve it.
- Biggest marketing fallacy – people only unsubscribe because you send them too many emails.
- The Flywheel is a real thing!
- Create content that starts conversations and ultimately builds community.
- Start small and build from there but most importantly get started now!
- Test everything!
What I’d Do Differently Next Time:
- Go to the Pre-Conference Partner Session! (Total rookie mistake.)
- Go to a few more Nighttime Activities! (Too busy visiting friends and family in the area, next time I’ll extend my trip to include a weekend to visit with them.)
- Forget about the tchotchkes on the exhibition floor! (Instead take more glamour shots and videos at the fun interactive stations.)
- Network more … (Some of the best insights I got, came from random conversations with other attendees.)
- Bring my books to the event to have the authors sign them. (Although, true confession, most of my books are now on my Kindle.)
- Make sure my iPhone battery can hold a charge! (Argh, technology!)
And one final high note to wrap up my first-timer tale of #Inbound19, a special shout out to our Client Account Manager (CAM), Leia Dudek, who encouraged us to attend and then offered us the assistance to make it possible. Our one-on-one meeting with you at the HubSpot Village was indeed a highlight. In fact, I’m already enrolled and ready to rock the eight-week Fall Sales Lion HubSpot Training Class! Thanks for the education and inspiration, see you next year at #Inbound20.
Click here to learn more about all the exciting new features Hubspot announced at the conference! And if you want to learn more about how Inbound Marketing will help you attract more quality leads, contact us today.
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