Impressive. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I’m asked, “So how was Inbound?” Inbound is Hubspot’s annual inbound marketing university, party and phantasmagoria all rolled into one.
From the vastness of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) to the tightly focused educational breakouts to the seamless logistics—something usually not given much thought by attendees until something goes wrong—Inbound 2014 was impressive.
If my one suggestion is “get more food trucks,” then for me, the overall logistical experience was a success. Though the lines at the trucks were long, getting fed was never a problem inside the BCEC at the food court.
The choice to use the Pentagon-sized BCEC for the venue meant that it never felt overwhelmingly crowded even with 10,000 other attendees buzzing around.
And despite the large numbers, I was only “locked out” of one class and was able to find a back-up class quickly.
Charging centers, coffee stations, and the open bars were nice touches, especially when I heard “He wants a Haw-poon IPA”. Even checking my suitcase at the BCEC on the day of my flight out was simple and painless.
The best part of Inbound is getting to meet people, whether it’s a partner that has flown 26 hours from Australia or the folks at other agencies who are more than happy to share marketing tips and just talk shop.
Intense. Captivating. Theatrical. If you’ve ever seen a Simon Sinek TED Talk then you know the guy can bring it. He didn’t disappoint in his keynote “Why Leaders Eat Last.” Sinek obviously set the bar high for speakers such as Malcolm Gladwell and the somewhat curious choice of Martha Stewart.
Malcolm was what you’d expect if you’ve ever read one of his best sellers—able to link seemingly disparate stories together while using obscure historical references to bring his message around.
Martha was what you’d expect if you’ve ever seen her on TV. Though she’s forgotten more marketing than I’ll ever know, Martha’s clearly more comfortable when she’s in her element—making veggie smoothies with the MC and a relaxed on-stage Q&A interview.
Because of my afternoon departure, I unfortunately missed the final day’s talk given by Shiza Shahid.
The Big Hubspot News
Hubspot co-founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan made a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure video entrance (though with a British phone booth time machine) before even stepping on stage to discuss the company’s latest offerings.
The biggest news was the launch of the new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, which for our agency, was particularly timely. We’ve been shopping for a replacement for the last several months and really like the intuitive features of the Hubspot CRM.
Other cool new releases include:
- Branching logic in Workflows
- Content Calendar for organizing the content schedule
- Email Optimizer catches send errors and optimizes timing of sends
- Anonymous Personalization personalizes content based on a visitor’s location, device, or referral source
- Attribution Reporting identifies which content, channels and campaigns are influencing conversions
- Social Inbox suggested streams tailor recommendations for monitoring
- Campaign Wizard helps organize campaign assets in one place
If you’re a marketer, salesperson, business owner, or just plain curious, plan your trip to HubSpot Inbound 2015 right now. If it gets any more popular, they may have to put a limit on the number of tickets sold or move it to the desert a la Burning Man. And if this year is an accurate predictor, 2015 will be even bigger.
Did you attend Inbound 2014? Tell us what you think!