Every year, marketers from around the world head to Boston for HubSpot’s INBOUND conference. In 2012, there were 2,500 attendees. In 2013, that number over doubled to 5,500. In 2014, there were 10,000 employees. And last year, at INBOUND 2015, there were over 14,000 in attendance!
HubSpot is expecting INBOUND 2016 to be the biggest INBOUND yet. With that many people, preparedness is key to making the most of your time in Boston.
After attending the last 3 conferences, we figured it was time to share some of what we’ve learned from those experiences to help make your time at INBOUND more enjoyable. Read on for our 25 tips for a great INBOUND experience.
- Make your schedule - This year, HubSpot is allowing attendees to pre-register for sessions. You’ll want to make sure you’ve registered or you might not get a seat. Head here to get started.
- Make your schedule accessible - Either add your schedule to your calendar or print it off and bring it with you, but make sure you have your days mapped out.
- Divide and conquer - Your time is limited and great sessions will happen during the same time slot. Plan with others from your team - split up and go to different sessions to cover the most ground.
- Set up a shared folder for notes - Many sessions are recorded, but you learn more when you take notes. Use Evernote or Google Drive to organize those notes ahead of time.
- Let people know you’re going - Make plans to meet up with your HubSpot Channel Consultant or Account Manager. Use the designated hashtags on twitter to connect with others who will be attending.
- Make dinner reservations early - There will be 15,000 marketers in Boston that week and we’ll all be hungry. Along with Boston’s famous seafood, the North End has plenty of authentic Italian restaurants - highly recommended.
- Cast your vote (or fill out your absentee ballot) - INBOUND kicks off on Election Day, so be sure to submit your ballot before the conference begins. #EveryVoteCounts
- Schedule out any marketing tasks - Use an automated marketing platform (we can recommend a good one) to schedule out any blog posts, social messages, and emails for the week.
- Turn on your out of office - Keeping up with email is near impossible when your schedule is jam packed with inboundy goodness. Even though wifi is available pretty much everywhere, let people know you’ll be out of reach.
- Pack your INBOUND bag - You’ll want a bag to carry your computer, notebook, pens, etc, But, don’t make it too heavy - you have a lot of walking to do.
- Bring a reusable water bottle - You’ll want to stay hydrated and quickly hit the water and coffee stations in between sessions.
- Pack a jacket - With an average low of 40 and a high of 54, it’ll likely be a bit chilly out. Bring some warm clothes!
- Bring an extra sweater - The sessions can be chilly.
- Bring your chargers - It’s a long day, you’ll take plenty of notes and still want a charged phone for the Seaport parties.
- Don’t forget your business cards! - You have the opportunity to do a ton of networking. Make sure you’re prepared.
- Pack your comfortable shoes - Casual atmosphere + a conference center that’s over 516,000 square feet + 12 hours on your feet x 4 days = pack comfy shoes. You’ll want to leave the 4-inch heels and wingtips at home.
- Check in - Head to the BCEC early, get your badge, and check out Club INBOUND - There are booths with integration partners, HubSpot product demos, and it’s a great place to network.
- Get to lunch early - For lunch last year, you were able to choose from the best food trucks in Boston. With so many attendees though, some food trucks will sell out faster than others and lines can get lengthy. Get there early.
- Know where to go to find snacks - There are several spots around the BCEC for snacks. If you need a quick bite between sessions, head here: http://www.inbound.com/blog/food-findings-at-inbound-2016
- Get out of your comfort zone - You have the opportunity to meet thousands of inbound marketers from all over the world. Introduce yourself, and find out what they’re doing and exchange ideas.
- Get involved - Every year, HubSpot partners with a charity to help raise awareness and funds. This is a great chance to get involved with a worthy cause.
- Don’t miss happy hour - After sessions wrap up, head to Club Inbound for drinks before dinner or parties.
- Explore Boston - Last year, we went to Harpoon Brewery and caught a game at Fenway Park. There’s so much to do in Boston, carve out some time to check out this awesome city.
- Have fun, but get a good night’s sleep - Pace yourself. Don’t party too much the first night. Each day will have lots of learning, avoid missing something important in a session by getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Don’t miss your flight! This one is self explanatory.
What did we miss?
For those of you who have been to INBOUND before, what are your top tips? Let us know in the comments.
Can't Make It to Boston?
We've got you covered! Join us for our recap of INBOUND 2016 on December, 7. We'll share the best of what we learned from our time in Boston. Hope you can make it!