It’s that time of year again!
This September 3-6, over 24,000 people will meet in Boston for the annual INBOUND event hosted by HubSpot. If you’re serious about digital success, then you don’t want to miss out on this.
INBOUND 2019 is one of the most exciting marketing events of the year. There’s a reason why it’s becoming one of the fastest-growing business events in the world.
More than 250 speakers from various industries are coming to provide their insights. Expected speakers this year include:
- Jada Pinket Smith: World-renowned actress and host of red table talk.
- Alexis Ohanian: Co-founder of Reddit and Initialized Capital.
- Sal Khan: Founder of Khan Academy.
- Elizabeth Gilbert: Best-selling and critically acclaimed author.
- And many more! Take a look at the complete list of speakers.
If you’re reading this, chances are you will be attending. That’s great! The question is: are you prepared? With 250+ sessions coming this year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. What do you choose? How will you gain the most value from the experience?
We’ve been attending INBOUND for the past couple of years, and continue to learn new ways to make most of the week. Take a look at some of our best tips in our guide to INBOUND 2019.
Why Attend the Conference?
Hopefully, you’ve already bought your ticket to INBOUND 2019 by now. If not, what are you waiting for? It starts in 3 weeks! Here are the top reasons to attend the conference:
- Brand new business insights. INBOUND offers world-class educational sessions that could forever change how you do business. We’re talking about workshops from some of the top leaders in marketing. Get ready to skyrocket your success with new marketing knowledge!
- Inspiration. Some of the biggest names in the world have attended INBOUND over the past few years. Spotlight speakers from the past include Michelle Obama and Alex Rodriguez. After listening to what the biggest names in marketing have to say, you’ll leave the event with newfound determination and mojo to step up your game.
- Networking. At INBOUND, professionals from all over the world are all united by one thing: their passion for inbound marketing. Who knows? You could be one encounter away from a life-changing partnership!
- Social media marketing. Thousands of people will be using the trending hashtag #INBOUND19 this year. Businesses can leverage the event as a way to boost their awareness on social media.
Before the Event: How to Prepare INBOUND 2019
Here’s a checklist of what to prepare for your trip:
- Book a hotel near the event: Coming from far away? Make sure that your company has booked a Hotel or AirBNB near the conference. This is even more vital if you’re not familiar with the Boston area. INBOUND makes it easy to book nearby.
- Finalize travel plans: The New Perspective team is located in central Massachusetts, which means that we don’t have to book a hotel! If you’re close like us, make sure you know how your team is going to get to the venue each day: bus, train, carpooling? Plan this in advance!
- Pack a portable charger: Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with 24,000+ attendees for a charger. Make sure to invest in a portable charger so you don’t run out of battery.
- Business cards: INBOUND 2019 represents a significant opportunity to network. Prepare your business cards in advance so you’ll have them on hand to give to potential partners.
- Dress appropriately: While this may seem like a no brainer, many people come to INBOUND dressed in t-shirts and flip flops. A pleasant appearance goes a long way when it comes to networking, so make sure to look the part!
During the Event: Your Guide to INBOUND 2019
Your company will be investing in food, transportation, and accommodation for the event. Your job is to maximize your time to ensure that you get the best ROI possible. Here are the five steps to being productive at INBOUND 2019:
I. Define Your Objectives for the Conference
What do you plan to get out of this event? How will this conference get you closer to your business goals?
Maybe you’re trying to grow your network of collaborators. Or you want to educate your team on the latest marketing tactics.
Here at New Perspective, we value educational and professional development greatly. That is one of the reasons we love attending INBOUND each year: It helps us learn new things and stay on top of marketing trends.
II. Plan Your Sessions
Time is running out: the event is a few weeks away, and popular sessions will be fully booked soon. It’s crucial that you plan out your agenda before traveling to Boston. Here’s how to plan your sessions for the event:
- Analyze your challenges: Discuss your company’s current problems with your team. Are you struggling to grow organic traffic? Looking to improve your video marketing? Identify your main challenges so that you can pick the right sessions.
- Browse the INBOUND 2019 agenda: All the future sessions are available on INBOUND’s official site. Take your time to examine each one, and click ‘interested’ on sessions that could interest you.
- Do research on the speaker: Research each speaker and company in your list of interesting sessions. Browse their LinkedIn page, company website, and reviews from past clients. How credible is their business in the industry?
- Pre-register your sessions: Sessions fill up quick. After doing research, claim your seat as soon as possible by pre-registering online. There’s nothing worse than waiting in a standby line, not knowing if you’ll ever get in.
III. Plan Your Schedule
With so much to do, it can be tempting to pack every minute of your schedule with sessions. But don’t forget to plan in some time for lunch and other breaks!
The mid-afternoon schedule usually includes a block with fewer sessions. Take this time to get something to eat, answer emails, and process everything you’ve learned during the day. You could also meet up with other attendees or explore outside the convention center.
INBOUND 2019 can be a gold mine for opportunities if you know how to network correctly. Let us show you how:
- Show up early: As the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Make sure to show up first to every session you attend. With fewer people around, it will be easier to have a conversation with other attendees.
- Pre-networking: Before going to the conference, research potential partners that will also attend. Try to reach out to speakers or attendees on social media before meeting them in real life. Having done your research on the company also makes it easy to come up with conversation topics.
- Talk to everyone next to you: Put yourself out there and start a conversation with anyone near you. How you do this depends on the context—for example, if you’re eating lunch near an attendee, you could ask them a question like “How are you enjoying the conference so far?” If you’re sitting next to them during a session, you could ask them, “What brings you to this session today?”
- Forget the sales pitch: You don’t need to pitch your product or service within the first few minutes of conversation. Start by keeping everything light and fun; businesses are more likely to connect with you later if they enjoyed their discussion with you.
- Give, don’t take: When networking, don’t think about what you need or what you’d like to ask for. Instead, think about what you can offer to the people at the event. What benefits will they get from your collaboration? What challenges or issues can you resolve for them?
- Follow-up: Getting business cards and contact information is only half the battle. Make sure to send out emails and connect with people you’ve met on LinkedIn after the conference. When you reach out, bring up something you discussed together in person.
V. Save Energy for the After-Parties
After a day of sessions you’ll probably want to head back to your hotel room, rest, and maybe get some work done—but not so fast! Your day isn’t over yet! The after-parties, both those hosted by INBOUND and by companies at restaurants nearby, are great ways to meet other attendees in a more relaxed setting and make some great connections.
INBOUND Rocks is usually the highlight of the after-party scene with stand-up comedians wrapping up Thursday’s show. This year, Chelsea Handler and Jaboukie Young-White are coming to the stage.
Get out on the Town!
Don’t Spend All Your Time at the Convention Center—September is the ideal month to visit Boston. Use INBOUND 2019 as an opportunity to visit the capital city of Massachusetts!
Things to check out in Boston include Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Boston public garden. Check out Boston’s official tourism site for more information. Want a preview of the sights? Take a look at this video for a drone’s eye view of Boston!
Let’s Get Started!
There is so much value to be had at INBOUND 2019, but you get out of it what you put in. If you take this advice and come prepared, you’ll be in for a great convention that provides real value for your company.
Going to INBOUND? We’d love to see you there! Reach out to us to schedule a time to meet.