It’s hard to justify a trip to a conference. Even after the price of admission, there are the usually larger costs of travel, lodging and food. Then there is the time lost where you could have been working on something else, such as billable work.
Why, then, would you want to attend INBOUND 2016?
For those unfamiliar, INBOUND is HubSpot’s annual conference on inbound marketing and sales held in HubSpot's hometown of Boston. It's 3-4 days of keynotes, breakout sessions and celebrations that last year generated a crowd of 14,000+ attendees.
In 2013 I was lucky enough to attend INBOUND with Greg Linnemanstons and Frank Isca. To say that it changed my life would be an overstatement, but it was a major factor that changed the trajectory of my career and life in general.
Here are some of the main takeaways I took from INBOUND 2013, and what you could expect at this year's event.
The Sessions Will Change The Trajectory of Your Marketing Efforts
Let us start with the main reason you would attend INBOUND 2016—the breakout sessions. Looking at the INBOUND website, there are currently 164 different sessions offered. The topics range from leadership and sales, to parenting and the future of marketing technology. They also cover many industries—from law to medical equipment. With such a variety, there is something new for everyone to learn.
When I attended, there were several sessions that were overbooked. It's that popular of an event!
Thankfully, HubSpot responded quickly and scheduled encore sessions for those of us unlucky enough to miss the first runs. This year, they're avoiding that entirely by having attendees sign-up for their preferred sessions beforehand. I left with a notebook full of ideas, strategies, tips and tactics on how to move forward with our inbound marketing strategy.
The Presenters Are of the Highest Quality
The presenters at INBOUND are the best in the marketing world. Aside from the keynotes, which this year will include Alec Baldwin and Gary Vaynerchuck, the sessions themselves are lead by creative, forward-thinking leaders and practitioners in every field of business development.
The most memorable session I attended in 2013 was on selling to scientists by Sonya Pelia. She had excellent data and examples on promoting and selling scientific equipment for Thermo Fisher Scientific through social channels you would not expect, such as Facebook. No one left that room with any doubt that social media works for business to business marketing and sales.
The Energy Will Inspire You to Push Your Company Forward
At INBOUND there is an unyielding sense of community and mission. Everyone there feels like they are part of a movement to improve sales and marketing for the better.
Some people may scoff at this. It's just marketing right? You are just trying to sell people stuff.
I have to object to that thinking. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who want to produce good content, for interested buyers, that can improve their lives or the lives of those they work for, will, in turn, give you more determination to do the same.
When you are part of an orchestra, being surrounded by other great musicians makes the group better musicians. When you are a runner, the excitement and competition of a race with other runners makes you all run faster.
Similarly, when you are in inbound sales and marketing, being with other great inbound sales and marketing people as well as learning from and teaching them, makes everyone better equipped to do their job.
Get Ready to Commit Yourself to Inbound Marketing.
After INBOUND 2016, You'll Be a Convert.
Inbound marketing is a commitment. It takes time building a base of content and offers, promoting them, generating leads and converting those leads into sales. It is a full-blown marathon.
INBOUND is an excellent way to recommit yourself to your inbound efforts. Seeing all the people, feeling the energy and learning about everyone's success stories, as well as their challenges, can give you a big second wind of energy & motivation.
After INBOUND 2013, I had the drive to jumpstart our blog again and create new content to see some new lead generation. It was what I needed to push forward.
There are a lot of reasons to attend INBOUND 2016. Yours are likely not the same as mine were, but whatever they are, it's more than likely you will end the week with a lot more knowledge, connections with new people, energy and a commitment to do the best sales and marketing you can. You might even feel like one plus one can equal three.