Fall is my favorite time of year for a few reasons: I love seeing the leaves change, the weather turns from unbearably hot to crisp and cool, and ... INBOUND.
In my humble opinion, INBOUND is one of the most fun marketing conferences out there. It's a robust event that packs a ton of education, networking, and speakers into four days, and it does a wonderful job of covering all the bases in modern marketing. Each year, we send a few of our team members, and they always come back with lots of energy and even more ideas for how we can apply what they learned to our own content marketing.
This will be my second year attending. (It would be my third, but last year I was busy getting married 👰🏻.) This time around, I have a better idea of what to expect and how to get the most out of my time in Boston — and I thought I'd share some of that advice with you.
If you're attending INBOUND 2018, here's a quick guide that should help you as well:
Don't stay in the middle of nowhere. This should be a given, but if you're unfamiliar with the Boston area, it can be easy to accidentally book your stay in a less-than-ideal spot. You're going to want to make sure that wherever you're staying, it's somewhat near the conference so you can make it to all the sessions you plan to attend.
If possible, stick to areas that have a lot of food and drink options, as you'll most likely be eating out the entire time you're there. I recommend scoping out Airbnb or some of the hotels on the conference website to see what best fits your budget and your needs.
If you haven't already, make sure you download Lyft or another ride-sharing app. Your focus should be on the conference, not navigating a (probably) unfamiliar city. When it comes to transportation, do yourself a favor and rely on someone who's familiar with the city and can potentially offer suggestions for where to go while you're there.
This one isn't as easy as you'd think, and not because there's a shortage of fabulous places to eat in Boston. This conference alone brings in some 20,000 people. While not all of them are looking for local seafood specialties on the menu, it's going to feel like it when you can't find a restaurant that isn't already sold out of lobster rolls.
I suggest making a list of restaurants that are known for whatever food you want to try or even making reservations ahead of time. Conferences allow you the chance to enjoy a different city, and that includes all the great food that city is known for.
I'm not suggesting you bring your laptop so you can work while you're there (although sometimes that's inevitable). You just need to make sure you have something handy to take notes with.
Go to your chosen sessions ready to absorb what's being said by taking notes and keeping track of the key points you'll want to explore later. Some speakers will share links to resources that you can jot down. Pro tip: Take pictures of certain slides if you don't think you can write down all the info you need.
INBOUND lets attendees register in advance for sessions, which is especially helpful when you're competing with thousands of other people for seats in certain talks. You can create your own agenda ahead of time by starring particular sessions, and you'll know right away whether any of them overlap because the site tells you if you've double-booked yourself for a specific time slot.
For the second year in a row, our president, Kelsey Meyer Raymond, is speaking, and her session is called "The Secret to Creating Sales Enablement Content That Drives Results for Sales and Marketing Teams." (Speaking as someone who worked on the presentation, I can guarantee that it's one you won't want to miss.)
So head over to the agenda page and start starring the sessions you know you'll want to check out. When you open the details page for a particular session, you'll be able to see a quick summary and key points so you can assess how it applies to your role and what you hope to learn.
There are hundreds of sessions to choose from, so start building your itinerary now to make your attendance as beneficial as possible for yourself and your team. Here are some standout sessions I've starred in case they interest you, too:
"The Secret to Creating Sales Enablement Content That Drives Results for Sales and Marketing Teams" — Kelsey Raymond, president and co-founder of Influence & Co.
"Brands of the Future Will Be Co-Created With Their Customers" — Alexandra Weiss, SVP of marketing at Glossier
"Building a Brand Women Actually Care About" — Molly Hayward, founder of Cora
"Predictive Analytics for Inbound Marketers" — Katie Robbert, co-founder and CEO of BrainTrust Insights, Inc.
"Fashion Meets Female Empowerment: A Fireside Chat" — Rachel Antonoff, fashion designer; and Hannah Skvarla, co-founder of The Little Market
"Leading With Inclusion: How Anyone Can Contribute to Diversity & Inclusion" — Flora Wang, sales engineer at HubSpot
"Automating Your Marketing, Sales, and Service Funnel" — Emily Morgan, principal customer training specialist at HubSpot
"How to Use Social Media to Delight Your Customers (Without Sounding Like a Robot)" — Sophia Bernazzani, blog editor at HubSpot
"Think Like a Startup: Lessons for Women in Tech" — Dara Treseder, chief marketing officer of GE Ventures (a client of ours)
And if you're heading to INBOUND's partner day, make sure you catch this session by one of our clients:
"20 Ways to Incorporate Video Content Into Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey" — Chad Rogers, CRO and co-founder of Lemonlight Media
Natalie Slyman is a content marketing and social media professional. She enjoys reading her favorite blogs, perusing Instagram, and talking about her cats (even when no one is listening).