INBOUND. What started as a small (but mighty) conference with just a few scores of dedicated marketers has recently morphed into a mega event that tens of thousands of people flock to from across the globe.
If this is your first time attending the INBOUND conference, you may be wondering:
- Is the conference right for me and my team?
- What pass should I get?
- Is the virtual conference worth it?
- How do I prepare?
Our team is proud to have 56 years of combined INBOUND conference experience. In this article, we aim to answer all of your questions about getting the most from INBOUND 2021.
But don't just take our word for it. We spoke with Laura Moran, HubSpot’s Director of Global Events Programming & Revenue, about what to look forward to most at this year's conference.
We will keep this page updated with everything you need to know about INBOUND 2021 this year, so feel free to bookmark or circle back!
First, let’s start with the basics.
When is INBOUND 2021 this year?
Tuesday, October 12th - Thursday, October 14th, 2021
Is INBOUND in-person or virtual this year?
You should plan to attend the INBOUND conference virtually this year.
Who is speaking at INBOUND this year?
HubSpot recently announced that there will be more than 100 speakers this year on topics including sales, marketing, and customer success.
Here is a list of big-name speakers who have been announced so far:
- Hasan Minhaj, Host and Creator of Patriot Act on Netflix
- Sarah Paiji Yoo, Co-Founder of Blueland
- Judith Heumann, American Disabilities Rights Activist
- Tristan Walker, Founder and CEO of Walker & Co. Brands
- Tim Stokely, Founder of @onlyfans
- Mike K. Tatum, Demand Generation Manager from Survey Monkey
And the INBOUND team recently announced their biggest spotlight speaker ever: Oprah Winfrey!
Plus we always love hearing from HubSpot's Co-Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.
Who is the INBOUND conference for?
INBOUND is no longer just a marketing conference. In fact, we could argue that anyone with any job in the world can find value in attending INBOUND. However, certain roles and job-focuses will see the most value. These include marketing and sales managers, customer success teams, and HubSpot users.
In general, the conference will focus its breakout sessions on:
1. Marketing Teams:
Help attendees dive into the latest advances in marketing and learn about everything from content creation strategy to the most recent developments in SEO. This track is a great fit for marketing managers, content strategists, writers, and SEOs.
2. Sales Teams:
Show attendees how to take an inbound approach (read: more human, helpful) to sales, including sharing strategies and tactics they can use to close more deals and delight their prospects. This track is a great fit for sales executives, sales operations/enablement, and sales managers.
3. Customer Success Teams:
Educate attendees on how to deliver a remarkable customer experience that places empathy at the core of every relationship. This track is meant to include content that encompasses all aspects of customer success (this includes everything from successful upmarket servicing to customer success and sales alignment tips). This track is a great fit for account managers and executives, as well as anyone in a customer-facing support role.
4. HubSpot Software Users:
Teach attendees how to get the most out of the HubSpot software from your perspective as a top HubSpot user with sessions from helpful product deep dives to case study based transformation stories. This track is a great fit for anyone who uses - or is thinking of using - HubSpot’s software.
5. Marketing/Revenue Operations Teams:
This track hasn’t been formally announced. But based on the timing of some new HubSpot product launches this year, we expect there to be some incredible new content around Marketing Operations.
6. Business Inspiration:
HubSpot always saves some big names for business inspiration.
Pro Tip: Navigate to the INBOUND Agenda page here and segment sessions using the filters. This will allow you to see the sessions that are most relevant to your job role or business.
What INBOUND pass should I get?
There are currently two passes to choose from this year: Starter Pass and Powerhouse Pass. If you just want to see the big names, the Starter Pass is for you. If you’re interested in getting some hands-on education, you’ll want to go with the Powerhouse Pass.
Here are the core differences between the two passes to help you decide:
$149 (price may vary)
Allows access to Spotlight Talent. These are the big-name speakers who provide awesome inspirational, entertaining, and expert content. It does not allow access to Breakout Sessions, which are the hands-on, tactical, and educational sessions
Full access to everything in the digital conference including Spotlight Talent and the Breakout Sessions for hands-on, tactical, and educational sessions. Watch "Debates" where two marketing experts debate a controversial business topic. Plus, get access to "Dynamic Duo" and "Cheat Sheet" sessions.
Great fit for those looking to see big names and big announcements, but don’t want to spend the whole day in sessions.
Great fit for those looking to learn, grow, and be inspired with peers. A fully-immersive digital conference experience.
How can I get more hands-on with the conference?
If you love INBOUND as much as we do, you might be looking for ways to get more involved this year. Last year, the conference team provided a handful of channels for individuals and businesses to get more involved. We expect there to be similar opportunities this year. These include:
- Sponsorship: Directly market to more than 26,000 attendees with a sponsorship package. This is a great way to boost visibility to your brand.
- Community Involvement: The INBOUND Community is a great way to get more hands-on. Last year there was an advisory committee and a Facebook Group. We’ll add new opportunities for 2021 here when and if they're announced.
- Social Channels: We highly recommend following INBOUND on Twitter and Instagram for the most up-to-date information. Follow the hashtag #INBOUND2021, and make sure to use it in all of your conference content as well!
- Podcast: Want to attend Inbound on-the-go? HubSpot is harnessing the power of the podcast that this year. In a recent email they announced, "Head to the beach, the patio, or wherever your heart desires, and tune in to 30-60 min live recordings from some of our podcast partners."
- Meetups: Join meetups to to connect with peers so you can swap ideas and grow your network of professionals
We Asked HubSpot: Is the virtual conference worth it?
Our clients asked this a lot last year. The in-person conference was such an incredible way to network, engage, and learn directly from speakers. Many of our clients wondered if they would get that same experience virtually.
We asked Laura Moran, HubSpot’s Director of Global Events Programming & Revenue for some INBOUND 2021 insider insight.
Q: What is your advice for someone who is hesitant to attend a virtual inbound versus the in-person one?
Jump in, the water is warm! There's no doubt digital events are different than in-person but the experience can be just as valuable. At INBOUND, we've designed the digital event experience with the at-home attendee in mind, meaning we're programming and scheduling content in a way that allows attendees to design a schedule tailor made for them and works with the time they have in the day. Digital events also significantly broaden the audience which means there are more people to connect with and learn from throughout the experience. Last year we had 70K+ registered attendees for INBOUND and this year we're expecting even more from all across the world. That's a ton of people to meet, network with and learn from over the course of just a couple days.
Q: How can attendees get the most out of the virtual conference this year?
A: You control your own destiny. You can dip in and out of content and experiences that are relevant for you. You can create a schedule that works with your personal schedule and revisit sessions and elements of the event you may have missed the first time around on-demand. And, if done right, networking at digital events can be even more effective than in-person. Search the attendee database, learn who's at INBOUND, who's in which networking session and send them a message to connect. No awkward hovering around the bar waiting to sneak a peek at someone's nametag necessary.
Q: What are you most excited about for INBOUND 2021?
I am always excited to hear from our Spotlight and Breakout speakers! We are working on an amazing lineup this year which we'll be able to start sharing with the world soon. In addition to that, we've made some really fun updates to our event platform that allows for better and different engagement between attendees and an up-leveled networking interface that I think will be really exciting for everyone attending! Can't wait to see you all there! If you haven't registered yet you can register for our Starter Pass (for free!) or our Powerhouse Pass here.
How to Prepare for the Virtual INBOUND Conference
To get the most ROI from your INBOUND experience, preparation is key. Here are some expert tips from our team who has more than 56 combined years of INBOUND experience:
1. Decide who on your team is going to INBOUND. (Or advocate to go yourself!)
Marketers, sales reps, customer service, account management, and leadership can all see incredible value from attending INBOUND’s breakout sessions. It’s even a great fit for interns, new staff, or all-star employees who could use some professional development. Anyone who uses HubSpot’s software is going to get a ton of value from attending as well, with new product announcements and trainings at the center of the INBOUND experience.
It’s a no-brainer to advocate to attend virtually this year, with both a free option and a very affordable all-access pass available.
If you’re advocating for yourself to go, here are some tips:
- Send an email to your boss with a goal in mind: I want to attend to learn XYZ
- Remind them that this year, the same value is being offered at a fraction of the cost of an in-person conference
- Frame it as a professional development opportunity
- Offer to compile your learnings and share them with the team as a training
- Offer to take over your company’s social channels for engagement and networking during the event
- Highlight a specific speaker, session, or content track you plan to focus on
- Offer to attend virtually with a great client or customer so you can develop your relationship together and share learnings
2. Buy Your Tickets Early. The Earlier the Better
The paid pass is a fraction of the cost of the in-person conference. But you can still save big by buying your passes early. The full price for a Powerhouse Pass is listed at $149. However, there are usually early-bird and flash sales available at discounted pricing. The best way to get the best price? Subscribe to the INBOUND newsletter email here.
3. Connect with Your HubSpot Rep
If you use HubSpot, looping in your HubSpot representative or account manager is a great way to get more ROI. Let them know you’re attending and that you want to stay up to date. They can give you the inside scoop on sessions, speakers, or networking that aligns with your HubSpot goals. And if networking is key, they may be able to connect you with other HubSpot customers for meetups.
4. Register for Sessions Early
This is much more important when the conference is in-person. But it’s a great idea to register early for sessions. This will allow you to make sure the time is blocked in your calendar for preparation and note taking. Plus, you can connect with the speaker on LinkedIn and Twitter for an early jump on social visibility.
And on that note, it’s a good idea to block off your calendar, especially if you’re using the Powerhouse Pass. We recommend fully committing to the virtual experience by not sprinkling in your work duties. Or, if you simply can’t get away, limit your day-to-day to the beginning or end of your sessions.
The full session calendar was recently released. Check out the INBOUND 2021 Agenda here.
5. Make a Team Session Calendar
At PMG, we usually send a handful of our people to INBOUND each year. One thing that’s important to our INBOUND investment is making sure our team is covering a lot of session bases. We make a team calendar to indicate who is going to what session. When there’s more than one person attending a single session, those two sync up to compare notes and takeaways. If there’s a lot of people attending a single session, we try to spread the love so we can have a wider net to catch new trends, ideas, and best practices.
However, everyone on our team attends the big sessions, like Dharmesh & Brian’s spotlight. Because that’s always a fun (and important) one!
One of the best parts about a virtual conference is the ability to view your session at a later time. If two of your sessions overlap, or a really important customer needs your ear, you can circle back to it.
Here’s a copy of our team’s session calendar so you can use it for your business.
HOW TO ACCESS THE CALENDAR: To make a copy of this document, first open it in Google Sheets using the link above. Then go to File > Make a Copy and you're done! Now you can edit it for your team's registered sessions.
6. Make a Note-Taking Template (Or Use Ours!)
One of the things we’ve learned is that having standardized notes for our team is a game-changer when it comes to presenting and sharing our findings. Not only does it make the information accessible and searchable for everyone, but it allows us to look back on past INBOUNDS.
Our note template includes:
- Attendee name
- Name & date of the session
- Speaker name
- Speaker’s social channels (and contact information if they share it!)
- Session notes & key takeaways
- Session quotes (for easy social publishing!)
- Session screen captures & slide photos (for those summary slides you want to save for later)
We made a copy of our note template in Google Docs so you can make a copy and use it, too!
Here's a copy of our team's session notes so you can make a copy for your team!
HOW TO ACCESS THE DOCUMENT: To make a copy of this document, first open it in Google Docs. Then go to File > Make a Copy and you're done! Now you can edit it for your own team's notes.
7. Determine How You Will Share Findings
What’s the point of going to INBOUND if you can’t share and apply your new knowledge? Everyone who attends INBOUND at our company is responsible for putting together a brief presentation of their most important findings. (That’s where the notes really come in handy!) Use Canva.com for a flashy, easy-to-use presentation template that will really impress your boss.
But there are many other ways to share your learnings. These might include:
- Share quotes on social media, while tagging the speaker for visibility and engagement (Use the hashtag: #INBOUND2021)
- Write a blog post about how what you learned will apply to your business, industry, or customers
- Share your notes with customers who might find them interesting
- Use what you learned to make changes to your own marketing, sales, & customer service practices
- Sync up with other attendees for shared or syndicated content creation
- A video summary of your takeaways
Depending on how or what you want to share, adjusting your note-taking template will help you capture information as you go.
Need to present your session notes to your team? We've got you covered there too! Use this INBOUND 2021 presentation template we built in Canva!
HOW TO ACCESS THE PRESENTATION TEMPLATE: First, open the link above. Then select the purple "Use Template" button. You may need to create a Canva account. But don't worry, it's free! Plus, it's a great marketing and sales tool we recommend everyone use.
8. Schedule Your Networking Early
One of the hard parts about the virtual conference is the opportunity for last-minute coffee-and-chat sessions with new friends can be minimal. So that’s why it’s critical to network early and schedule time for sharing information. Our team usually has a quick connect on exciting new announcements after the virtual sessions. But we also sync up with our clients who are attending so we can share thoughts there, too.
Create a dedicated slack channel so you can share big wins. And perhaps schedule a lunch or dinner zoom that you can invite people to as you meet them! We’re excited about the new networking opportunities to be announced for INBOUND 2021, and we’ll update those here!
Plus, INBOUND's agenda page mentions that they'll be utilizing "Meetups" this year. So you can connect and network with peers. We'll post more about Meetups when they're announced.
Will we see you at INBOUND 2021?
Virtually, of course! We're always excited to connect with new friends and colleagues who are just as excited for INBOUND 2021 as we are. If this is your first year attending, reach out! We're happy to share some tips and advice.
And we're here to help if you need an extra hand implementing a new marketing strategy for 2021 - and beyond. Head over to our team page and get to know us today.
Want to take the INBOUND Success Kit to-go? Just fill out the form and we'll shoot off the links to our team session calendar, session notes, and INBOUND 2021 presentation slides. That way, they're in your inbox any time you need them in the coming months. Plus, we don't believe in spam. (So your email is safe with us.)