Check Out The Sessions I’m Attending And What’s New At INBOUND 2020
We’ve all been inside for the past few months. I had to look around for socks just to go to an in-person client meeting this week, so going to a conference sounds like nirvana right now.
Spending two days (Tuesday, September 22 and Wednesday, September 23) with our friends at HubSpot and our peers across the HubSpot community is just what we all need right about now.
And while virtual events haven’t been great, HubSpot and the INBOUND team are going to knock this event out of the park next week, for sure!
Just take a quick peek at the speakers, content and sessions they have planned, and if you want some guidance on how to spend your days, check out my recommendations for the best of the best at INBOUND 2020.
The first thing you’ll notice is the start time. The first session is Tuesday at 6 a.m. ET. I assume this is for two purposes. First, this is late morning or early afternoon for our friends in the U.K., Ireland and Europe, but this might also be useful for early risers on the East Coast in the U.S.
Hop into a session before your day starts. Interesting idea, right? I also noticed that sessions run well into the evening, with the last session starting at 9 p.m. ET. This would be a nice start to your day if you’re in Australia or a nice way to wrap up your day if you’re working in the U.S.
Although this might have changed (while I’m writing this article the early evening sessions appear to have been removed), regardless, HubSpot definitely packed the day full of sessions with 72 planned for the first day. That is a ton of content.
HubSpot team members are running 23 of those sessions. That’s not good or bad, but I find the HubSpot content to be a little self-promotional at times. I do think the ratio of sessions with HubSpot speakers to sessions with outside speakers is well balanced.
Day two has 78 sessions and looks equally rich, with a similar start time and a slightly earlier end time. I’m sure there is a similar blend of HubSpot and non-HubSpot content.
Interestingly, I found over 120 on-demand sessions at the end of day two. It looks to me like these are unique sessions, but with that volume, I might have not noticed that some of the on-demand sessions are rebroadcasts.
But I also noticed that these were removed when I returned to the site, and I couldn’t find any on-demand sessions anywhere on the site at the time this article was written.
Perhaps these were taken down temporarily or put up prematurely, but I would expect INBOUND to return these to the site at some point.
I am extremely impressed with the quality of speakers this year. Perhaps not having to travel to Boston has increased the ability to attract high-end speakers.
Of course, it’s always great to hear from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders at HubSpot, but this year they also have Sandy Carter from Amazon, Bob Iger from Disney, Sasan Goodarzi from Intuit and Van Jones from CNN.
On the breakout speaker side, I am excited to see:
- Ibrahim Ayub, Experience Strategist at PwC
- Eric Martin, Head of Brand Development at Twitter
- Alixandra Nozzolillo, Director of Marketing and Communications at Harvard
- Alon Alroy, CCO and CMO at Bizzabo
- Nicolas Darveau-Garneau, Chief Evangelist at Google
- Kim Orlesky, President at KO Advantage Group Ltd.
- Kelsey Formost, Founder of Magic Words Copywriting
- Hope Horner, Founder, CEO at Lemonlight
- Ryan Longfield, Chief Revenue Officer at Gong
If you want to get up a little early on day 1, then I’d consider this 7:30 a.m. ET session with Nancy Harhut from HBT Marketing: 10 Scientific Secrets That Make Your Content Impossible to Ignore.
Obviously, I like anything with science in the title, and content remains critical for a number of key areas in our engagements, like search, conversion and lead nurturing.
You all know I’m a customer experience fanatic, so at 9:30 a.m., I’ll be going to Dynamic Duo: From Customer Service to Customer Experience with Irina Rosenblit, Director, Agency Partners at HubSpot.
Any additional education around the customer experience is something I’m looking for these days.
Obviously, at 10:30 a.m., the general session with Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah and Chris O’Donnell will be interesting. These guys never disappoint, and I’m interested in the product vision they typically share at INBOUND. Brian is also generally good for some interesting insights into how people buy. This would be a don’t-miss session for me.
For agency owners, at 11:45 a.m., be sure to check out the HubSpot Solutions Partner Network Program Spotlight. This is generally a fairly light session with updates and information related to the partner program, but it’s one that all agency owners should probably check out.
If there is a recorded option, this is one you could watch at a later date, if necessary. I might actually opt for that plan, considering I’m more interested in the competing program with one of the longer sessions (90 minutes): Marketing Deep Dive Part 1: Growth in Turbulent Times: Monetization Lessons From Studying 18,427 SaaS Companies with Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell.
Quick Commercial For My Session
Then, the highlight of the day, an INBOUND debate. It’s one of the new formats this year and one I’m specifically interested in because I’m participating in a classic debate with my business partner, Eric Keiles. Check out INBOUND Debates: Sales vs. Marketing (A Chicken vs. Egg Debate on Which Takes Priority) from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. I’ll tell you why marketing needs to be the priority, and Eric will tell you why sales should be the priority. It will be a debate for the ages, so don’t miss it.
Back To Other Sessions
After this debate, at 2 p.m., I’d consider the session with Eric Martin, Head of Brand Development at Twitter. His session, The New Customer Feedback Management, should provide some interesting insights into how bigger companies are getting feedback from their customers. This is something we’ve worked extremely hard at in Square 2 and something agency owners need to get much better at.
I’d also consider at 2 p.m. the session from Liz Simpson, founder at Stimulyst, on Sales Deep Dive Part 1: 5 Critical Strategies to Influence Executives and Close Larger Deals With LinkedIn. It’s another 90-minute session, but I’ve always felt like LinkedIn provides some untapped opportunities for sales to connect and engage with prospects to support marketing’s air-cover campaigns.
To wrap up day 1, at 4 p.m. I’d head over to the CEO and Founders Meetup hosted by Daniel Marcos from Gazelles Growth Institute. One of the key learning components I’ve always enjoyed at INBOUND is talking casually with other CEOs and other agency owners around their challenges and issues, and how they’ve pushed past those challenges to realize success and growth.
And with that, day 1 is in the books.
Let’s take a similar look at day two next. I’m going to suggest you start the day at a more reasonable hour with the 8:30 a.m. ET session featuring Dale Bertrand, president from Fire&Spark. Google and SEO is a constant collection of shifting sand, and staying on top of what Google is doing is important for agency owners. The End of Technical SEO: How Google’s AI Forces SEO Strategies to Be More Human is a great session to make sure your agency is on top of its SEO game.
At 10 a.m., I’d join the HubSpot Meetup for HubSpot Solution Partners (Business Owners). I’m not sure how HubSpot’s Arden Brust is planning on facilitating this session, but if agency owners are able to discuss challenges and share some of their best practices, this will be a very valuable session.
Every agency owner has had challenging experiences with difficult clients. At 11 a.m., I’m suggesting you check out Karl Sakas’ session, Don’t Just ‘Make the Logo Bigger’: Transform How Your Agency Handles Difficult Clients. Karl does a lot of agency consulting and has a wide variety of experiences that can help you manage clients better.
At 1 p.m., I’m recommending you spend some time learning about the customer experience. We’ve had more and more clients (bigger clients like we all want) talk to us about their CX (customer experience) projects. These are big, meaty marketing, sales and customer service initiatives.
Hearing about Capital One’s CX project is time well spent. Katya Andresen, SVP Card Customer Experience, is going to share An Anthropologist Walks Into a Bank - and Other Thought Experiments for Brilliant CX.
During the 2 p.m. time slot, I’d check out Liz Simpson’s session on Part 2: 5 Critical Strategies to Influence Executives and Close Larger Deals With LinkedIn.
Then at 3 p.m., check out an Ask Me Anything Live Session on How to Slash Your Sales Cycle in Half with Eric Keiles, CMO at Square 2. We’ve been using a number of innovative approaches to sales, sales operations and sales execution that almost always produce reduction in sales cycles for clients. This includes reference reels to remove references from the sales process, co-creation techniques that gets buy-in prior to presenting final recommendations and email techniques that get prospects to act, moving stalled deals through to close.
At 3:30 p.m., I’m joining Ryan Longfield, CRO of Gong, to talk about How Exactly To Sell to the C-Suite. As agency owners we always want to be talking to the CEO and executive leadership. Gong has an interesting sales platform that provides insights that help reps close deals faster. Longfield should have some interesting insights as well.
We’re almost done with the second day — just one or two more sessions to squeeze in here.
For the 5 p.m. slot, I’m going to Ask Me Anything Live: AB Testing, Conversion Optimization and Landing Pages with Khalid Saleh, CEO at Invesp. Testing, experiments and optimization of landing pages are key lead generation improvement efforts that agencies can practice. I don’t think agencies do enough of this, plan for and charge enough for this, and it’s holding back your ability to show results to clients, so I’m hoping to learn a few important takeaways at this session.
Finally, at 5:30 p.m., I’m going to hear Emily Morgan from HubSpot talk about How to Build a Kick-Ass Lead Nurturing System in HubSpot ,because I think most people are focused on new leads or net new contacts, and there is an incredible opportunity to better nurture existing leads to drive more sales opportunities.
What a great way to wrap up the event!
You should pay close attention to which sessions are live, which are pre-recorded and which will be available on-demand.
Some are pre-recorded but will offer live Q&A. If there are competing sessions, you might be able to attend both, if you can find one on-demand after the event.
I believe if you purchase a Powerhouse Pass ticket you will have access to sessions post-event. I’m expecting HubSpot to put on an amazing show, like they do every year. And hopefully, we can all be back together again in Boston in 2021.
Square 2 — Building The Agency You’ll LOVE!