INBOUND18 Attendee Success Tips

INBOUND18 Attendee Success Guide

Hubspot’s INBOUND Conference is the largest inbound marketing conference in the world, bar none. Every year, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah put on a SHOW, backed by hundreds of Hubspot employees, and INBOUND has grown to a mega-conference. This year, more than 21,000 attendees are expected to be on site. Getting the most out of the show requires some advance preparation. For first-timers (and forgetful repeat attendees), here are a few suggestions to enhance your INBOUND experience.

1. Stay hydrated. When you think Boston, you think cold – but it’s really not, not in September. However, the Boston Convention and Expo Center is a massive, dry-as-a-desert facility due to air conditioning. You won’t notice you’re dehydrated because you’ll think it’s nice and cool. Drink water copiously. As the US Army expression goes, if you don’t have to use the restroom frequently, you haven’t had enough water. Consider bringing or buying a reusable water bottle on site.

2. Bring COMFORTABLE SHOES. You will be walking a TON. Like, miles and miles. See this picture?

Boston Convention and Expo Center

This is the Boston Convention and Expo Center. If you walk around the inside once, it’s basically a mile around. One lap = one mile. Now realize you’ll be walking back and forth dozens of times and you can easily clock 20 miles in one day. Walking to and from sessions, hotels, the works – you’ll be putting a lot of strain on your feet.

3. Bring a light jacket. Boston in September could be hot as the blazes or disturbingly cold. It’s New England – anything is possible.

4. Bring a portable power strip and power banks. Outlets aren’t always nearby and you will burn down your phone battery being social. I’m partial to the Anker 20,000 maH power brick. It weighs as much as a small brick but will keep a tablet and smartphone charged all day. I also carry a  Tessan power strip, which I love. It’s a friend-maker – bring it out and make friends.

Be aware that some devices may be restricted if you’re traveling from overseas due to various travel bans, so check in advance.

Also, don’t forget your device cables. Bring 2 of each.

5. Arrive with a BURNING question that you ask everyone you meet. What one question MUST you get answered in order for the conference to be worth it? If you don’t have a burning question, you’ll enjoy the show but you won’t get the most out of it.

6. Plan your sessions in advance. Got that burning question handy? INBOUND has a CRAZY number of sessions and you need to register for them in advance. Take the time to plan your agenda carefully – there are 317 sessions to choose from.

Be sure to register for Trust Insights CEO Katie Robbert’s session on Predictive Analytics for Inbound Marketers!

7. Party responsibly. If we speakers are doing our jobs right, your brains should really hurt by the end of the event. You want to get the most out of the event, so pace yourself when it comes to entertainment options. That business-changing insight you’ve got a burning question about may happen on the last day of the event, and you want to be sober enough and awake enough to catch it.

8. Bring earplugsI always travel with ballistic earplugs. They’re great for reducing that screaming baby on the airplane to a dull roar, and priceless for major events like INBOUND. Loud convention centers and concerts and parties are awesome… for a short while. Enough loud noise will tire you out. Bring a bottle of earplugs and you will end up much less fatigued. If you plan to attend any of the major parties or go out to eat at the local restaurants, you’ll want earplugs in your kit.

9. Bring business cards. Lots of business cards. INBOUND will host upwards of 21,000 physical attendees this year.

10. Bring space. As in, pack lightly so you have room for all the fun stuff the various exhibitors have to offer. The people at the office or at home love a good souvenir.

11. Bring a day pack/bag. There will be times you won’t want to lug around heavy luggage or a full laptop case. A small messenger bag will fit the bill perfectly. I’m personally a fan of the Osprey Nano, but any small bag or pack will do.

12. Bring healthcare preventative measures. As stated above, INBOUND attracts upwards of 21,000 physical attendees who eat together, stay in the hotels, party together, shake hands, and share the same air, water, and physical proximity. Bring hand sanitizer packs, wash your hands frequently, and consider purchasing an NIOSH-approved N99 face mask, especially if you’re arriving by airplane or other form of mass transit. Consult your physician/qualified medical practitioner about taking a multivitamin and/or other immune-boosting supplements.

13. Participate in pre-show activities. INBOUND offers great pre-event activities like Twitter chats and networking, which gives people a chance to meet, ask questions, and discuss favorite topics well in advance of the show. By the time we all arrive in Boston, we’ll have our tribe.

Disclosure: All links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. Trust Insights earn a small but non-zero fee if you buy something.


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