Did you miss out on inbound this year? Did you go but didn't get what you expected out of it? Or maybe you went and it ended up being everything you wanted it to be! Whatever the case was for you, after attending Inbound for the first time this year, I picked up a few tips along the way to help everyone get the most out of their Inbound experience:
Related Blog: Lessons from #INBOUND15: Six Inbound Sales Tips
Arrive a couple days before the conference to enjoy the city, especially if you’ve never been before (like me). I thought there would be an opportunity during the conference to get out and explore but there wasn't much extra time. I’m glad I was able to have a mini vacation before the conference and fall in love with the city. Take a walk along the Charles River, go to a Red Sox game or visit the Isabella Gardner Museum!
Fuel your Brain
I (wrongly) assumed breakfast was provided at Inbound. Coffee was in abundance, but unless you wandered around Club Inbound in search of the one person passing out breakfast bars and juice, you were not getting breakfast. I only scored a juice one morning so I’m glad my coworker thought ahead and packed enough breakfast bars to share.
Do your Research
I spent a considerable amount of time reading through each class title and description, but looking back that time would have been better spent researching the speakers. I ended up in a lot of classes that had little to do with my job or the business I work in. This is a mistake that probably could have been avoided if I did a little research on the speakers to understood what their specialties and industries were. Then I could decide if their session would be a good fit for me.
I didn’t catch on to this at first but, the spotlight sessions were the place to be. Take a break from learning more about SEO or website design and get some big picture inspiration from these talented individuals.
Make New Friends
I thought networking would happen a little more naturally at Inbound. Hanging out with 14,000 people you’ve never met is a little intimidating and networking doesn’t happen unless you make it happen. Make an effort to comment on how absolutely freezing it is or how excited you are to see Amy Schumer when waiting in line or sitting in a class.
Tweet your Heart Out
Everyone’s doing it and you’ll want to get in on the fun. So if you don’t have Twitter on your phone (I may be the only person at Inbound who didn’t?) download it immediately before attending.
Keynotes were my favorite part of Inbound and I talked to a few people who missed out on some great ones because they had stayed up too late the night before. While it’s great to be social and have a little fun (see #1 and #5) don’t forget the real reason you’re there and get to bed at a reasonable hour!
At some point you have to stop stressing about missing a session or trying to choose between two sessions scheduled at the same time. Do what you can.
If you find yourself with no class on your schedule and nothing to do, wander into the nearest class. Take a seat in the back and you might be surprised what you learn.