So far, it's been a 17 hour day for me - and I'm still going, though a little more slowly than I was earlier.
Today was the start of real classes/lectures/talks/keynotes and the first day that most of the 5,300 registrants showed up in the building.
Perhaps I am just picky - but in chatting with a few people over drinks and appetizers during happy hour downtown, it seems the consensus is that some of the speakers just are not used to public speaking.
It isn't so much that their content sucks - it probably doesn't - but that their delivery somehow jumbles up the message in a way that makes it difficult for the audience to "get it."
I sat in on 7 lectures today, from the keynote by Seth Godin to non-profit marketing to how advertising will save the world to the annual product announcement keynote by the Hubspot cofounders.
Three of those talks were inspiring, informative, and everything I had ever hoped for.
The rest left me either confused, nonplussed, bored, or some combination of the above.
Seth Godin is great. A dynamic speaker, he managed to touch on themes from nearly all of his books without once sounding like a sales pitch or an author. He simply came across as an expert - and rightly so.
A lot of the topics I heard from today are designed to get people thinking about WHY they need to give up the old ways of "traditional" or "outbound" marketing, in favor of the new "inbound" marketing. We spent a lot of time learning about transparency (it's coming for you, so you might as well embrace it), as well as the strategy behind content and context marketing, mostly in the long term.
The talk I took the most notes from was from Hubspot's very own Mark Kilens. He talked about the "Pillars of Delight" and focused on how "customer satisfaction" isn't good enough anymore. We need to go way beyond satisfaction to create long term relationships with our clients. We need to delight them in such a way that they become our biggest (and thus most valuable) assets.
He talked about how your clients should be your best sales people. He also touched on a topic that is very important to me personally - and one that Seth Godin is always talking about: Employees come first.
Delighted, empowered, happy employees will go above and beyond for every customer because they truly believe in what the company is about. They believe not only in the product/service, but in the WHY that motivates the company as a whole and the WHY behind each product/service.
I see a lot of organizations in Flagstaff that get away with treating their employees like crap because they have a readily available source of cogs they can plug into the machine of their company.
Low skill jobs = low level of investment in employee = high turnover.
This message came across loud and clear from multiple speakers today: Focus on your employees.
Some resources I will be looking into soon:
the book "Start With Why"
the movie "The Naked Brand"
of course, the Hubspot platform and the tools that come with it.
Time for bed! Up and at 'em in 5 hours for another full day.
free portraits today: "there is no excuse for a crappy LinkedIn picture"
beautiful Keynote stage
charity: water "Waterwalk" area has people carry 40 lbs of water to get a feel for what undeveloped nations go through for the simple necessity of obtaining water each day
Cool area in "Club Inbound"
Meeting authors during happy hour on Boylston St.