Sunday, August 25, 2013

Inbound Marketing Conference: Conclusions

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

On my first day in Boston (travel and day 1), I wrote about a few goals I set for myself in attending this conference. They were:

1) Learn what I don't know
2) Take home three actionable items (by the end of the week)
3) Figure out who to follow for continued education
4) Photograph the experience and showcase my time in Boston

Great success! I have achieved each of my goals. In a nutshell, having these goals helped me to focus. If you let yourself, you can get dragged every which way, swirling with no rudder in an endless eddy of marketing STUFF.

I realized I didn't know very much about inbound marketing - and how it differs from "traditional" or outbound marketing. The conference had some humor which served as great education as well:

Learning a bit about the differences helped me to determine where I can focus moving forward in my education journey - specifically in what I could apply to my industry, as I work in a non-profit chamber of commerce in a relatively small market.

My to-do list actually ended up being 9 items that I can start moving in the next week. Three stand out as something I can implement almost immediately that will start things in the right direction:

  1. Create a series of blog posts/FAQ page for sales to use as a resource and for potential members to find on their own.
  2. Place all Govt. Affairs content on the website/blog and NOT in an email! Just email links with bullet points and an invitation to JOIN the cause.
  3. Brainstorming session to determine "personas" among the membership, then a survey to the entire membership with an incentive to respond (giveaway, big time sponsorship, etc)

Figuring out who to follow to continue my education in inbound marketing was pretty simple. Just look to the speakers of the conference! I will definitely be following Seth Godin more closely as we move forward - and I've discovered a stream of Arianna Huffington's posts and her Google+, where she posts things that resonate with her. These resources will help me keep tabs on some of the issues that BIG organizations are looking at. She spoke a bit during her keynote about Burnout being the disease of our civilization, which really resonated with me.

As far as photographs go, I've placed my collection of images on my Google + Page.

My overall recommendation: If you do marketing, go to this conference. Hubspot runs a great event. You will learn a lot. You will have things you can apply to your business, no matter your industry or profession.

If the $1500 price tag is too high for you (I work at a non-profit with no budget for these kinds of things), they have a program called "Hustle" which allows you to get your ticket for free if you can convince a few other people to pay full price for theirs. I even went so far as to stay with a friend in Boston so I didn't have to pay the $200/night for a hotel room either. My total expendature, including airfare, food, public transportation, was less than $500. Well worth every penny, even if I had to pay it out of my own pocket (which I thankfully didn't).

I am looking forward to next year!