Want to get the most out of INBOUND 2018? We've compiled a list of tips that will help you network, navigate and learn your way to an unforgettable experience.
INBOUND is in its 6th year and the event doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With over 20,000 attendees gathering in Boston annually for this experience organized by HubSpot in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre, it is one of the largest marketing events in the world.
Given its sheer size and magnitude, INBOUND can seem like a lot to chew on for the unfamiliar attendee. We've put together a list of tips and tricks to help you get the most of your time at INBOUND.
We also include an infographic at the bottom at the bottom of the page so you can easily save these tips and share them with the rest of your team.
1. Confirm All Registration Info
It's the tiniest details that are typically forgotten. Double-check all your team's registration info, accommodations and flight schedules. Regularly check your inbox for the latest INBOUND 2018 updates. If you've used Bizzabo before, you're in luck. INBOUND 2018 is using Bizzabo's event registration platform to handle their attendee's registration information.
2. Touch Base With Existing Customers
Before the conference starts, reach out to contacts through your database to find out if any of them are intending to attend INBOUND as well. Regardless of whether their prospects, customers or people you'd like to network with, use INBOUND as a channel to build current relationships, refresh old relationships and establish new ones too!
In the spirit of INBOUND marketing, nurturing a valuable relationship with your customers is just as important as finding new ones.
3. Solidify Your Goals
INBOUND is filled with high energy, tons of amazing sessions and thousands of amazing connections to make. It's easy to get lost in the event and forget your original objectives for being there in the first place.
Articulate specific goals before the event starts and develop specific metrics to keep track of your goals throughout the event. INBOUND will be fun, but achieving your goals will be even better!
- Find X potential business partners
- Find X potential customers
- Attend X sessions a day
- Attend x networking events
- Get x hours of sleep before the next jam-packed day
4. Debrief After Each Day
INBOUND is a huge event. A single person cannot possibly be at every session and connect with everyone on their own. That's the beauty of it. Regardless of how tired your team is at the end of each day, gather everyone up for a quick debrief of the learnings and sharing of reflections on the activities from the event. It's best to grab everyone while everything is still fresh in their minds.
As a bonus, consider sharing notes via email or a Google Doc. You can even write a blog post recap. Check out this example from a previous INBOUND.
5. Plan After-Hour Events
Even though the sessions in the INBOUND agenda might at a certain part of the day, there are plenty of more experiences to take in afterwards. Don't waste the few hours you have resting in your room or taking a nap.
Take advantage of Boston's bustling nightlife and look out for evening events hosted around the area by exhibitors, sponsors or other attendees. Many past attendees have mentioned that the best networking moments were done after the event day when people are more relaxed.
6. Align Objectives Within Team
Now that you've set your goals and prepared the necessary arrangements, it's time to check if your team are looking to achieve the same objectives as you. It's time to see if your personal goals are aligned with the team's overall goals, and whether your teammates might have overlapping objectives to help each other achieve them.
There's a lot to be done at INBOUND. You can't do it alone! (Source: INBOUND)
7. Devise a Session Game Plan
INBOUND has over 200 sessions throughout its event days, there will definitely be sessions you wish to attend that clash with others, as well. Not to mention, some sessions are held really far apart, so remember to cater sufficient time to get from one to another.
"Check the map against your session schedule as soon as its available. When I attended [INBOUND] in 2017, I completely filled up my schedule without checking the map and wound up spending all of my time between sessions making a mad dash across the building to get to the next one in time."
—Kaylynne Hatch, Marketing Manager, Inflow
8. Standardize All Processes
How should your sales team collect lead information? How should your other teams deal with possible prospect information? How should session notes be taken to facilitate efficient sharing?
These are just three common examples attendees face. Miscommunication is bound to happen, but you can minimize this by establishing a standard procedure for common tasks and allowing your teammates focus on their own goals and objectives on the ground.
9. Generate Buzz on Social
The INBOUND methodology is all about creating content that brings value to your customers. With 20,000+ attendees and lots of great press, INBOUND is the perfect opportunity to leverage social media to boost your reach.
- Use #INBOUND2018 when posting to jump into the larger conversation
- Tag @INBOUND on Twitter and Instagram to get in front of the INBOUND team
- Post pictures, quotes from sessions and videos (like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live) to bring more dimensions to your content.
It's not enough to just physically be at INBOUND and learning from others. In the current digital era, your network should be aware of your attendance there as well. People might want to network with you just as much as you wish to network with them.
10. Shoes, Snacks and Smiles
There's so much to get out of INBOUND 2018, the list is potentially endless. But none of it can be achieved, if you aren't at your best. Remember to take care of yourself and prepare simple stuff to keep your energy and morale high throughout the event.
It's the small things like wearing comfortable shoes, having a stash of snacks in your bag or just taking the time to consciously appreciate the spectacle of it all.
Wrapping Up : How to win at INBOUND 2018
We've covered many aspects to your preparation for attending one of the world's largest marketing conferences, and we've attached a quick infographic below to summarize all these points for you as well.
Just remember to have fun and enjoy your INBOUND 2018 experience!
Bizzabo will be exhibiting at INBOUND 2018. Drop by and say hello!