Monday, August 19, 2013

Inbound 2013 Marketing Conference: Day One

My experience: [Travel and Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Conclusions]

So every year, there is a huge conference in Boston. Actually, I'm sure there are a great many big conferences in Boston - but this is the world's largest inbound marketing conference. 5,000+ attendees, world-renowned speakers, the best and brightest in modern marketing from all over with everyone gathered in one place.

2013 will be my first year at this conference and also my first trip to Boston. I will do a post each day to detail what I've learned, what went on, and my impressions and reviews of the various experiences I have.

First: travel and day one.

I did very minimal prep for this event. I've got Evernote on my devices so my notes sync to whatever device I am using at any given time. The Inbound App for IOS and Android is excellent and I am using it to manage my schedule, as well as double-check info about other participants (I am horrible at spelling names). I bought a battery-recharging device so I can keep my phone going at all times. This one came from the airport and is called the mophie powerstation mini.

Though the conference theoretically starts Monday, if you are not a Hubspot customer and not getting a certification in one of their products, you get Monday to yourself! Take some time to wander around the city, perhaps drop in on Registration to get your lanyard/name badge and explore the layout of the building.
This is also a good day to download the Inbound App (if you haven't already), and look though the detailed agenda to find the speakers you would like to see and the topics you want to learn about. Make sure to jump in the conversations that are happening on Twitter and make your presence known!
I did coffee a few blocks from Hynes and allowed myself to people-watch and soak up the feel of the city for a few hours in the morning. You won't get much of that from inside the conference center, so you might as well enjoy it!
As you soak up the city, think a bit about what you want out of this conference. What are you really here to learn? What goals do you hope to achieve while you are here? Spend some time working up a list of things you hope to accomplish. Mine are fairly simple:

1) Learn what I don't know: this sounds vague - but I have a pretty good idea about what I know when it comes to marketing. I know my strengths and some of my weaknesses. One of the things I hope to accomplish is to learn as much as I can about the aspects of marketing that I am completely foreign to, that I have never heard of. This goal is focused on making my education in marketing a little more well-rounded.

2) Take home three actionable items: by the end of the week, I want three plans in action, three proposals forming on paper for my team back home that we can begin implementing ASAP.

3) Find the experts and create a plan for continued education: this is a HUGELY diverse crowd! Speakers and attendees alike have a lot to share. This goal is focused on followup with the right people and forming a few relationships with people who know way more than I do. Cultivating this with a mentor or two or three will help me when I encounter a roadblock in my plans or when I need to bounce ideas off someone who speaks my language, when no one else in the office does.

My secondary goals include exploring Boston, and coming up with 150 or so photographs that I can use to really showcase the experience.

I love the view from the third floor of the convention center. Will spend much time up here.

inbound marketers use their phones.

inbound marketers use their phones. a lot. 

The answer to every question is "more coffee"

Overall, a very good first day! Tomorrow morning is an earlier start, so I'm off to bed! Charging my various electronics too. Heavy use during these few days means my batteries will not last very long.