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Partnerships, collaboration, and new technology seem to be the themes of HubSpot’s annual conference, INBOUND 2023, Sept. 5-8 in Boston. Conferences allow marketers to get out of their day-to-day habits, environment, and responsibilities. This makes it easier to take in new ideas, get creative, and meet new people.
Here is our guide to navigating this year’s INBOUND 2023 conference for attendees so you can get the most out of your ticket.
Making the Most of the Inbound Agenda
Be sure to register for limited-seating sessions
Don’t be shy and don’t be late. If you haven’t already, be sure to register for sessions that have limited seating. They filled incredibly fast last year, and it was hard to get in if you didn’t pre-register. Historically, you could show up to a session 15 minutes early without pre-registering and get in just fine. It’s hard to say how it will go this year, so it doesn’t hurt to save a seat in advance.
If needed, rule out what will be live streamed
You want to get the most out of the live experience. So, you could first rule out visiting any sessions that will be live streamed online (unless of course you want to see one of the speakers live, in person).
Prioritize by role/business need
We recommend prioritizing by need: your role, your department, your business. You can search the agenda for topics related to your needs. Don’t be afraid of getting an outside opinion, either. Ask your coworkers and others what you think would be valuable. Again, snag reservation-only sessions right away.
When in doubt, pick based on the speaker
Sometimes you’ll want to attend two or three sessions that are happening at the same time. If you can’t narrow down the session by your individual need, look into the presenters. Search online for any other presentations or speaking engagements. Check their company and experience to see if it matches what you need. Sometimes the speaker, their anecdotes, their insights go beyond what’s listed in the session overview.
Use your own calendar to organize your agenda
Block off sessions on your own calendar. INBOUND has its own app where you can save sessions, too, but sometimes it was tough to navigate. Consolidate as much as you can to avoid bouncing between the INBOUND app, their agenda page on the website, and your own calendar.
Take notes with going back home in mind
During the sessions, don’t try to be a courtroom stenographer. It prevents you from staying present. Capture the key information and recommendations the speakers make, and try to engage with their session as much as possible–connect what they’re saying to how it might work for you; connect what you heard two sessions ago to this session; make notes about who to follow up with on your team. It’s easy to fall into a trap of writing everything you can, but try to avoid it.
This is important because this level of engagement will make it easier to actually practice the convention preaching.
INBOUND is full of attendees who aren’t interested in networking. They want to learn, hang out with their coworkers, and check out Boston. That can make it hard to network, but there are ways to do it.
Look ahead of time for people looking to connect
Check out Facebook, LinkedIn, industry websites, or other forums and websites for people looking to connect at INBOUND. You could find job seekers, solo attendees, companies hosting “open-house” like events, and other opportunities.
Use INBOUND’s “Experience” page to find opportunities
Go in with a clear intention for networking
You will meet a lot of great people at INBOUND, and it’s worth it just to chat with someone new. When you’re meeting and hanging out with new people, have a clear intention of what you’re looking for. “I’m a marketing manager, and I’m looking for someone who has their CRM locked down.” “I’m looking for someone who knows the financial industry.” Make your intent part of your introduction about yourself and what brought you to the conference.
Go in with something to contribute
If people are attending INBOUND looking to learn, provide fellow attendees some clear ROI you’ve provided to your company, share your expertise, help someone navigate software you’re familiar with. Make yourself useful and you will grow your INBOUND contacts and connections faster.
Checking Out Boston During Inbound
The history, the location, the food and entertainment–there is no shortage of great experiences in Boston. Your post-session itinerary might be harder to pin down than your plan for the INBOUND agenda. The conference also has comedian Hasan Minhaj taking the stage at 6:30 p.m. for Thursday’s INBOUND After Hours.
Make dinner reservations now
There are many nationally recognized restaurants and local favorites. Just like the sessions, start what’s in demand and make the reservations you can. TripAdvisor, Eater, and TimeOut can give you a host of ideas. Bostonians will be your best source. When in doubt, there is nothing wrong with wandering around Little Italy and stopping at what catches your eye.
Pick the need, then make the plan
What is your intention after the sessions are over each day? Team building? Team appreciation (letting your people just hang out)? Recapping the day’s sessions? Truly exploring Boston? Identify what you want to accomplish (or not accomplish) and you can start ruling out neighborhoods and possibilities.
The Most Important Step: Apply What You Learn at Inbound
Applying what you learn at INBOUND starts before you arrive. If you have a clear idea of your marketing gaps and needs, your attendance will be focused. You’ll move from questions to solutions much faster.
While you're there, take notes based on action and minimal-viable implementation. “What do I need to do just to get this started?” is a question you could ask yourself a lot while attending INBOUND. You’ll hear a lot of in-depth information and learn about complex systems and processes. Keep asking yourself what the starting point is to try something new.
See You at Inbound 2023
StoryTeller will be attending INBOUND 2023. If you’re attending, we’d love to hear from you. As a HubSpot Platinum Partner that has attended this conference since it first started, we’d love to help you create your personalized agenda.
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