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Getting Your ROI from HubSpot’s INBOUND 2023

Join SmartBug at INBOUND 2023

July 31, 2023

By Nicki Kamau

If you’re trying to prepare for INBOUND to get the most you possibly can out of the conference, you’re in the right spot—and you might enjoy reading what could be considered the prequel to this article, “Here’s How You Can Prepare for INBOUND 2023.” If you’ve already read it, these next few sentences might sound familiar:

You’re heading to INBOUND! Whether it’s your first time as an attendee or you’re a seasoned veteran sponsor from the great Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), this article will have something for you. 

As a nine-time attendee (two of those being virtual, five as a sponsor) looking forward to year 10, for me, going to INBOUND is like going home. Keep reading to learn from what I’ve experienced over the past nine years about what to prepare ahead of time and what to pack to make sure you get the most out of your week in Boston among the HubSpotters.

Join SmartBug at INBOUND 2023


Identify Your INBOUND 2023 Goals

Without even trying, you’ll likely acquire some swag from HubSpot partners, merch from the INBOUND shop, a blister or two, and a new friend. But let’s circle back to your original goals for what you want to bring back from INBOUND.

Why are you personally attending INBOUND? Are you going on your own accord to learn everything you can from the live sessions? Is your company sending you with one sole purpose, or do you have deliverable requests from colleagues who aren’t able to attend? Is your mission to connect with like-minded INBOUNDers to create a trusted collaboration network? Are you going to use the “trade show floor” (formerly Club INBOUND) to source new technology and services to improve your marketing ROI? 

Likely, your goal is a combination of several of the above, meaning you’ll need to create a hierarchy of importance. Clearly defining your intentions with your team will ensure everyone feels the ROI when you return to your office after INBOUND.


INBOUND 2023 Goal: Learn

If you’re attending INBOUND with the primary goal of pursuing professional development or improving your marketing programs with new strategies or skills, try to identify specific questions you want answered and build your schedule around that. For example, “How can I get our company to rank on page one of Google search for [your desired search term here]?” 


Find the Experts

Once you’ve identified your questions, comb through the INBOUND agenda and identify the sessions that will answer those questions for you, in this case with topics such as search engine optimization (SEO), artificial intelligence (AI), paid search advertising, and so on. It might also be useful to review the INBOUND sponsors ahead of time to see if any of their services can help you in either answering your question or solving your problem.


Create a Plan

Make a goal for yourself for the Friday after INBOUND to review what you have learned. Taking the time to sit down and recap the answers you’ve found to your question will help you with the next step: creating a minimum of three actionable new strategies to try or learnings to apply to your next campaign. Here’s our article on lessons learned from INBOUND 2022 as we plan for a successful event this year.


INBOUND 2023 Goal: Network

Maybe you’re looking to land a new job, hire someone, or connect with other smart marketers for future collaboration. Whatever your networking goal is, the strategy to achieve it is the same: Be social. 

Chat with the person behind you in line for coffee. Get to a session early, sit down next to someone, and introduce yourself. When you see someone taking a selfie, ask if you can take the picture for them. And attend all of the after-hours events you can! If you don’t make the effort to meet new people and make meaningful connections, you won’t grow your network. 


Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Getting the conversation started is the first step, but knowing what you’re going to talk about is the next. It would be helpful to know and practice your elevator pitch before heading to Boston. 

That pitch will change depending on your networking goal. For instance: 

  • If you’re looking to land a new job, your pitch should include your current skill sets and what you’re looking for in a new career and at a new company. 
  • If you’re looking to hire someone, make a list of all of your favorite things about your company so you can pitch your company’s employer brand. 
  • If you’re wanting to connect with someone to collaborate with them, you still need a pitch! Let them know what kind of projects you work on, and how you’d like to interact. 


Reach Out to Follow Up!

Make a goal to follow up with your newly connected INBOUNDers within one week—and provide them with something valuable. Whether you’re introducing them to someone else in your network, sharing an article you read, or something else that will help them in their day-to-day goals, adding value to that follow-up communication will make you stand out. And don’t forget to drop in a memorable note like, “We met in line for lunch at the Bon Me food truck on Lawn D last Tuesday,” because who knows how many Sarahs they met at INBOUND.


INBOUND 2023 Goal: Sell

If you are going to INBOUND to sell, I know you’ve already determined your goals for the number and quality of connections at the event, and you already know the importance of following up. My tip here is to make things memorable and personal in your follow-up. And if you need to prioritize whom to reach out to, here are some tips for further qualifying your trade-show leads with inbound marketing

The people you’ve talked to have just been with 10,000 other INBOUNDers for four days and might need some help placing your face. I suggest responding with a video message through Vidyard—reps who use video in prospecting, relationship-building, and sales emails see five times higher open rates and eight times higher open-to-reply rates.

Bonus: If you’re a sales rep who needs some help pushing past the fear of using video in your sales cycle, these tips are for you.


INBOUND 2023 Goal: Buy

If you’re looking for some new martech to add to your stack or an agency to partner with as you grow your business (Hi! We’re right here!), look no further because the sponsors at INBOUND are top-notch. Prepare for your conversations by prioritizing who you want to talk to and booking meetings with vendors ahead of time when possible.

Whatever your goals are while you're at INBOUND, don’t forget to take a minute to breathe in the energy around you and learn as much from the small experiences as you learn from the sessions. 

Stop by our booth right in front of the main stage and at RollWorks ABM Lounge during INBOUND to say hi. I can’t wait to see you there!


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Topics: HubSpot, Event Marketing, INBOUND