Once a year, HubSpot brings marketers, salespeople, and customer success pros together from across the globe to convene in Boston for a week at Inbound. The conference aims to bring together a diverse community of industry professionals to celebrate and promote a more human approach to the way we do business.
It’s become one of the fastest-growing business events in the world because of the unmissable session content and outstanding lineup of speakers. With more than 21,000 attendees, Inbound can be overwhelming—especially for first-time attendees.
The Media Junction team came together to share their best tips for Inbound attendees as you prepare for a few days of learning, inspiration, and connection.
Pack Comfy Shoes
This is not the time to worry about looking cute. There is a crazy amount of walking to get from session to session and time spent on your feet. You can't focus on the information being presented in the session if your feet are killing you - no matter how cute you look!
Bring Your Chargers
There are outlets and charging stations everywhere, so it’s never hard to find a place to sit down (although sometimes that’s on the floor) and recharge your devices. You want to make sure you have the battery life to check in on things back at the office or post your updates from Inbound. You might even consider keeping a portable charger for your phone with you—it can be a life saver!
Download the App
The Inbound app is available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play. It’s chock full of helpful information—everything from maps to help you easily find your next session, information about food trucks, speakers, room change updates, and connecting with other attendees.
Divide and Conquer
If you’re travelling with colleagues, it’s a good idea to part ways and cover as much ground as you can. The more sessions your team as a whole can get to, the more information you can bring back home with you. Try to limit the sessions you attend together to just a few key sessions and speakers.
Talk to the People Around You
Whether you’re travelling alone or with colleagues, there will come a time where you look around and find yourself sitting in a session by yourself. Make sure you’re taking advantage of being surrounded by your peers and strike up a conversation. Everyone there has at least one thing in common just by the mere fact that you're at Inbound.
Have One Take Away from Every Session
You may find yourself in sessions where you think to yourself this really doesn't apply to me but I guarantee you there is at least one nugget of information that does. It might be something as simple as a website you want to check out when you get home or an app you hadn't heard of yet, but trust me, there is something. Try to pull out one key takeaway from every session to bring home with you.
Not every session will give attendees the opportunity to ask questions afterward, but for the ones that do, take advantage of it. These are industry experts speaking—capitalize on the opportunity to learn as much as you can during the sessions. Plus, you’ll be amazed by how many other people in the audience may have the same or a similar question and will approach you after to discuss it more.
Take Care of Yourself
You can only take away so much from sessions if you’re not taking care of yourself by staying hydrated and full. That way you can stay focused on the session and not how hungry or thirsty you are. As you’re heading to sessions, keep a bottle of water and maybe even a quick snack with you. Save time for lines at the food trucks around lunch, and don’t forget about the trucks at the front of the conference center. Everyone flocks to the lawn, where the majority are parked, but the trucks parked out front have great grub too and typically have shorter lines.
The official event hashtag (#INBOUND18) is very active, especially during keynote speakers, but resist the urge to “live-tweet” (or any other platform) everything—it makes it much harder to stay locked in on the session itself and could mean missing good information! By all means, share things that stood out from the session, but consider setting aside a chunk of time or two throughout the day to catch up on your social feeds. Your brain will thank you.
Take Notes with Intention
Yes, it’s important to take notes and document what you’re learning in each session, but try to capture just a couple things that really stand out to you. If you try to get every detail of every talk, it’ll be harder to leave with actionable takeaways. Plus many session speakers will make their slides available to you afterward if you want to go back and review in more depth.
Be Glued to Your Badge
Let me be the first to tell you: keep your attendee badge with you at all times. You’ll have the chance to go to happy hours and events after sessions have ended for the day, but you’ll need your badge to get in. After a full day of sessions and walking around the conference center, you don’t want to have to run back to your hotel to grab your badge because you left it behind.
Connect, Connect, Connect
The sessions are great for acquiring knowledge, but the networking is where the most value is. We have team members that have friendships formed from their first Inbound 7 years ago. Take advantage of the fact that you’re surrounded by industry expert peers—get out and be social! Ask your peers for advice, what their favorite tools are, and get your questions answered that you didn’t get a chance to ask the speaker in your sessions. Just don’t go too hard that you miss the morning keynote.
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to walk away from Inbound with some great memories and actionable takeaways to bring back to your company. While you’re there, stop by and see us! Find us in Club Inbound near HubSpot HQ—spin our wheel and win some sweet swag.