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Inbound 2017 - Reflecting On My First Visit

by Barney Brown Posted on 02 October 2017

Inbound is now in its 6th year and it’s probably fair to say; this year may have been the best.

It was certainly the biggest, with over 21,000 attendees from across the globe.

HubSpot have developed a winning formula in support of their industry and as a user conference, it has a unique proposition.

Bringing together the concepts of inbound and content marketing, Inbound 2017 provided a bewildering number of keynotes, networking opportunities, presentations and sessions, aimed at 3 key sets of people:

  • Agencies & Content Producers
  • Customers
  • Technology Partners

In my blog before attending, I wrote about wondering what I would gain from the experience.

To be fair, having never attended previously, I had no idea what to expect!

Given the keynotes that had been lined up though, I had very high hopes.

I went with some goals already in mind, but didn’t know exactly how these would pan out.


Arriving via a red eye from Seattle, I picked up my hire car and drove to the BCEC (Boston Convention & Exhibition Centre).

I suspect I was the first person to arrive on Tuesday.

Luckily, this gave me an opportunity to get my bearings in what is a pretty gigantic venue.

The exhibit area was really well laid out. Everyone had the same exposure, regardless of where they were sitting and the stands were really spaced out and not overly grandiose.

Breakout sessions took place everywhere in the BCEC and also within the Westin Hotel.

So, over 3 days, what happened?

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Keynotes

Put simply, they were all exceptional.

HubSpot Leadership and Guest Speakers delivered the highest quality talks.

Sometimes inspirational, sometimes funny, but all were entertaining and informative.

It’d be wrong to pick a highlight from so many, but to hear Michelle Obama, in person, is a once in a lifetime experience.

An honourable mention must go to Mario Batali too, who was another speaker I especially enjoyed.

Technology Vendors and Marketers have a lot to learn from the hospitality sector, in terms of customer experience and delighting your customers.


Learning

As a Webinar Vendor, our technology is developed to help marketers produce engaging video content, that helps deliver leads and nurture people in the Sales Funnel.

It’s clear video is a hot topic for HubSpot (“Video is the new text” was a key quote from Brian Halligan). So, helping marketers produce video, in the form of webinars, seems to be a good space to be in right now.

Sessions covered just about any topic you could be interested in. Too many to attend, too difficult to choose between!

But, the ones I attended certainly gave me actionable and specific ideas and practices that we intend to put in place at WorkCast.

HubSpot’s future release plan for products certainly looks interesting to us as a user.

The improvement in sales tools and new modules around communications and customers, is especially exciting to us.


Networking

This was a key area for me.

Making contacts within HubSpot and their partners, is key to WorkCast’s strategy.

And this year, I believe we made some really important connections.

WorkCast has a number of great opportunities within the HubSpot partner community and with HubSpot directly.

Our proposition and product offering resonated well and it’s clear that WorkCast has a chance to really transform the way webinars are managed and delivered, as part of the Inbound and Content ecosystem.


Fun

Keynotes, evening entertainment and networking parties delivered plenty of fun opportunities.

You’ve got to be prepared to break out of your comfort zone and talk to people you don’t know.

But, given everyone is in the same boat, plenty of people are prepared to chat!


Review and Conclusions

As events go, this is the best I’ve visited as an attendee, rather than as a sponsor or speaker.

The opportunity for WorkCast at the next Inbound, is threefold:

  1. Become a Sponsor - There are definitely leads to be gained
  2. Submit a Paper to Present - WorkCast definitely has insight it can deliver around Webinars, Video & the Content Ecosystem
  3. Partner - WorkCast has a wonderful opportunity to be a very unique connect partner to HubSpot. We will be working extremely hard to be in the spotlight next year

So, signing off here; Well done HubSpot, an absolute triumph!

I’m on the flight home writing this despite being exhausted, so Inbound 2017 must’ve been good!

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Barney Brown

By Barney Brown

Barney Brown is WorkCast's Chief Commercial Officer. He co-founded WorkCast in 2008 alongside Chief Operating Officer, Stewart Kibby. WorkCast has grown rapidly since 2008 to become a first class, award winning Online Event Platform with many of the World's leading brands as customers. As a webinar and webcasting software pioneer, Barney has been instrumental in shaping the products over the years that users experience today. When he's not visiting WorkCast's valued customers and offices in the UK and overseas, he'll be found supporting his beloved Arsenal FC.

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