In 2011 I traveled to Boston as a new HubSpot user for two events. The Inbound Marketing Summit and the HubSpot User Group Summit, held at the Boston Sheraton in a ballroom, was the beginning of my love of HubSpot events.
I got to rub elbows with some of the people I already considered legendary. I even got to chat casually with Dharmesh and Brian, and get my first photo with the founders.
Dan Moyle meeting Dharmesh and Brian at HubSpot User Group Summit 2011
And when Chris Brogan tapped me on the shoulder to introduce himself, I was in awe. How did this guy I was following in social and learning from, know me?! Or when Guy Kawasaki took a photo with me and poked fun at my phone case … it’s all because I just showed up.
Guy Kawasaki taking time for a photo with Dan Moyle at Inbound Marketing Summit, 2011
Needless to say, I was hooked.
The following year HubSpot announced they were running their own full event, called INBOUND. Since that first year, I’ve attended all but one. And I’ve had some amazing experiences.
Whether it’s learning from people like Scott Monty, or hearing from Geraldine DeRuiter, or listening to the story of Reddit, the educational value is tremendous. Or if I think about presentations from Michelle Obama or John Cena, the inspiration is amazing. And when I look back on the networking, the magic truly happens in the hallways (and the after parties).
Rand Fishkin and Geraldine DeRuiter posing for a photo with Dan Moyle at INBOUND 2019
So here are a few of my thoughts on making the most of your INBOUND experience.
For one thing, immerse yourself in the experience. Reach outside your comfort zone. One year I connected with a few people who were “solo INBOUND” to meet for lunch and I made friends with future collaborators, one from Hawaii and one from Costa Rica. I learned that sometimes going in with no plan and taking what comes your way can expand your network through serendipity. (Like that time I sat next to Kirsten, who happens to call Dharmesh her husband, and had a lovely conversation.)
Kirsten Waerstad at INBOUND 2019
However, it’s also good to plan for meetings. When I’m in Boston, I also create a meeting link I share with clients or others wanting to meet with me. I’ll carve out 15 or 30 minutes for the meetings, keeping to one area (like the Westin lobby) to be able to maximize the time.
I recognize that I’m an extrovert and all this “people time” is great for me. I also know that I need to recharge, so I can only imagine how important that is for introverts. Make sure you keep time for yourself in the schedule. It could be at the event space, as HubSpot sets up places to decompress. But it could also mean going back to your hotel room for a nap or a shower. Practice self-care.
Finally, I believe the magic happens in the hallways and the parties. I found myself rubbing elbows with everyone from HubSpot executives to developers on the team to David Meerman Scott (who introduced me to his friend Mitch Joel). Ask your HubSpot connections about parties or dinners— often I was invited by our sales rep or channel consultant. Look for events in social media with INBOUND hashtags. Ask around about meeting up folks, and don’t be afraid to “crash” a party from time to time. In the nicest way possible, of course. Follow Wheaton’s Law.
A casual chat with Brian Halligan at INBOUND 2019
While I won’t make INBOUND 2022 in person, I’ll be there in spirit (and virtually). My hope for you, my HubSpot friend, is that you build up memories like I have and consider INBOUND a family reunion. Enjoy, and stay safe!
About Dan Moyle: Dan Moyle, 3x INBOUND speaker and HubSpot Advocate, is a trainer and HubSpot Advisor at Impulse Creative, an Elite Solutions Partner. A blended family dad of two amazing teenage children, Dan and his family call Southwest Michigan home.
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