# INBOUND15 sign

VL at HubSpot’s INBOUND15: A Short List

Virtual Logistics Inc. hasn’t attended HubSpot’s INBOUND since 2013, so we figured we were overdue. The once-a-year migration of all HubSpotters into Boston, MA is a sight to be seen, espcially this year with over 14,000 attendees!
So here’s a quick review of what has been hot, what fell flat, and some notable in-betweens.

If you’re not familiar with HubSpot, it’s an all-in-one marketing and sales SaaS that is both a philosophy of inbound marketing and an inbound marketing tool to win business.

HubSpot is a passionate, energetic company. HubSpotters are much of the same!

With more to offer than any one person could see, do, and experience, here’s a short list of what I saw at HubSpot’s INBOUND15, and my thoughts:

1. The Venue

Upgraded from previous years, HubSpot’s INBOUND15 was held at the BCEC in Boston. Let me translate ‘BCEC’ for you: to say it’s huge is an understatement. I wish I would have brought my pedometer because I’m sure I walked at least 30 km.

A slightly blurry picture of 14,000+ HubSpotters at Club Inbound

HubSpot and BCEC went all-out for this event. It’s likely HubSpot rented the entire building for INBOUND, and decked out every available surface with signage, lights, display screens, and more. The ‘Club Inbound’ was designed as a hub (no pun intended) for HubSpotters to sit, network, and enjoy the experience that INBOUND is. There are plenty of staff to help you navigate the conference. HubSpot even thought ahead and had booked INBOUND events for further networking outside of the venue after-hours. Shuttle buses for those of us who came in from out of town to ferry us back and forth between our hotels and the BCEC were greatly appreciated… until that one night where they inexplicably stopped running at 8 PM instead of the advertised 10 PM. (But that’s what Uber is for, thankfully.)

2. The Sessions

From keynotes to tips & tricks and industry experts, there weren’t a shortage of sessions to attend. The only issue was attending them! With 14,000 attendees, it’s no wonder some sessions were full, but hopefully HubSpot will learn how to manage their conference a bit better in future years. The other issue was trying to decide which sessions to attend; there were over 250 sessions scheduled for the entire conference. Thankfully, HubSpot has promised to post video and slides online.

The sessions I did get to see were mixed. The smaller sessions, like “How Buy Buttons are Reshaping Ecommerce” by Craig Miller of Shopify and “Retention Marketing: The Next Ecommerce Battle Ground” by Steve Deckert of Sweet Tooth were fantastic forward-thinking talks. They outlined trends, best practices, tips & tricks, and plenty more, and were great resources for tools and inspiration. I only wish I could have gotten in to more sessions like this!

The keynote speakers and ‘spotlight’ sessions were a mixed bag. Speakers like Brene Brown, HubSpot’s co-founders Darmesh & Brian were both inspirational and informative. Other speakers were sadly either irrelevant or fell more into the ‘sales pitch’ category of talks. Either way, I gleaned some information and took lots of notes.

Stay tuned to VL’s blog for a more detailed account of the sessions I attended.

3. Networking

This event was certainly designed for networking.

With 14,000+ attendees, you were guaranteed to be seated elbow-to-elbow with your peers. And conversations almost always happened naturally! At INBOUND15, I’ve met business owners, pioneers, data geeks, a marketing professional from Velcro (yes – it’s a company, and it’s based out of Boston!), and quite a few more people from right in our own backyards and from half way across the globe.

Networking was one of the highlights of INBOUND15, and it could easily be called one of the main goals of INBOUND aside from the sessions. The entire event is organized around the Hub of Club Inbound (pictured earlier in this post), and HubSpot and the BCEC clearly worked closely together to organize plenty of (quieter and more private) meeting spaces throughout the entire venue.

One of the meeting spaces for INBOUND15 at the BCEC. Squint hard at the ‘O’ and you’ll see one of VL’s t shirts!

INBOUND15 was definitely an experience, and if you haven’t been and you’re still new to HubSpot, this event is really tailored to you.

This is only a partial review of everything I see and did at INOUND15 — because it’s still going on! Keep tuned to VL’s blog in the coming weeks for my more detailed accounts of some of the sessions and experiences.

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Categories: events, VL news