HubSpot’s 2015 digital marketing conference, #INBOUND15, is coming up September 8–11 in Boston, MA. Are you ready? We sure are!
Several members of #TeamVital have attended a few years in a row now, and we thought we’d gather together our advice for all you inbound marketers out there who are gearing up for #INBOUND15. Whether it’ll be your first time or you’re looking to maximize your time better on your second or third trip, take these tips from our team and get the most out of this dynamic, awesome, 4-day conference.
If you’ve been paying attention you’ll note that this is totally the year of comedy at INBOUND. Hubspot has announced special guests that include Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer and Marc Maron — and these are more than just comedians. Aziz is currently on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list for the 10th week in a row. Amy Schumer is killing it with her Comedy Central show and a box office hit movie. And Marc Maron is arguably the father of the modern podcast.
Cool, so comedians with some marketing expertise are coming — but what about the top names in digital marketing?
Does the name Seth Godin ring a bell? If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’ve read at least one of his books (Tribe, Purple Cow, Permission Marketing…) How about ThinkUp‘s Anil Dash, Marketing Profs‘ Ann Handley, and Copyblogger‘s Brian Clark? If you’re in the digital marketing or content marketing world, you know all about these people. These are some of the inbound marketing thought leaders we follow on a daily basis. Their keynotes and sessions are some of the ones we’re looking forward to the most.
In addition to great keynote talks, we Vitalians really love to attend the HubSpot Partner Track sessions. These sessions feature other successful HubSpot Partner businesses, who share their inbound marketing best practices, success stories and education failures. These are incredibly helpful for inbound marketing pros.
We asked our inbound Vitalians what tip they’d share with someone going to INBOUND for the first time. Here are our gems of advice, collected lovingly, just for you:
Plan out your days in advance—and make sure to have some backup sessions lined up as well. If you’re a Partner, you’ll definitely want to spend some time in the Partner Forums. No matter where you end up, come energized for a jam-packed day!
— Halie Olszowy, Inbound Consultant
seats fill up fast in popular sessions, and you don’t want to be the dude standing in the way back constantly changing postures to get comfortable. Plus, how can you take notes on your laptop if you’re standing? Know what talks you want to see, and make moves to be there ASAP. This advice can also be applied to Lunch Time (Food Truck lines are super duper long if you arrive late).
— Chuck McMahon, Content Manager
If you find yourself in a talk that isn’t helpful to you, get up and leave and jump into another one. There are simply too many great talks happening everywhere to sit through one that is not what you thought it would be.
— Chris Getman, Director of Inbound Marketing
Be inspired but also take actionable notes. Come out of INBOUND with definitive things you want to try and get started on them immediately after the conference, when they’re fresh in your mind. Second: Snatch up any extra food truck tickets if you can — people sometimes leave them lying around, and at INBOUND, there IS such a thing as a free lunch (or two).
— Doug Ridley, Inbound Consultant
Research the Presenters
Have your day planned by researching the talks and who is giving them, otherwise you’ll end up scrambling and wander into a room full of nobodies talking about Myspace pages. Knowing who is presenting will also come in handy when it comes time for Q&A. If you know the background of key presenters, you’ll be able to ask them better questions.
— Jesse Rand, Creative Director
Know Your Surroundings
I haven’t been to INBOUND yet, but am excited for my first experience this year. Some advice I can offer is — for any Boston conference, it’s key to know where the good lunch and dinner spots are near the convention center. I’ve heard that Babbo is a good affordable pizza place, and the nearby Legal Seafoods has a nice rooftop deck.
— Sarah Brady, Inbound Marketing Manager
Connect and Share
Bring lots of business cards — the joint will be crawling with other interesting people in the biz with whom you might want to connect. And attend stuff you can write about on your own blog later — and then be sure to actually write and publish those posts while they’re fresh in your mind. The speakers will love you, attendees who took less-stellar notes will envy you and those who missed the session altogether will appreciate getting to benefit from what you’ve learned.
— Alex Shaffer, Project Manager
This year’s official event hashtag is #INBOUND15, but some individual sessions might have their own. Using the right one can get more eyes on your insightful tweets and allow others interested in those sessions to follow along (I used the app Notegraphy to make my tweets more visual — see graphic). Using event hashtags is important not only to increase visibility to those interested, but it also allows people uninterested in the conference to mute the hashtag — this might save you from an unfollow if your conference-related tweets are too much for your non-marketing followers.
— Crystal Paradis, Content Strategist & Copywriter
Map it Out
Pre-conference prep is key. Download the conference app before you make the trip into Boston. Have a backup plan for when seminars are full. Make sure you have a map of the conference center so you know how far apart the seminars are, so you can plan whether you need to wear your running shoes or if you can grab a cup of coffee in between talks. (Bonus tip: make sure to wear comfortable shoes!)
— Julia Ahumada, Director of Brand Strategy
Agencies: Attend Partner Tracks
For CEOs and Marketing Directors, the Partner Track talks were by far the most helpful last year. If you’re not a HubSpot Partner with access to these events, become a client of ours in the next week and we might be able to throw a Partner Pass your way. Book your hotel room NOW — last year many of the surrounding hotels were sold out.
— Zac Gregg, President and Co-Founder
Key #INBOUND15 Links
For reference, here are some key links to keep track of:
We can’t wait for #INBOUND15! Will you be there? Will you be following along?
Let us know, and we’ll add you to our “Pumped for #INBOUND15” Twitter list!