Depending On Your Goals And Your Level Of Inbound Expertise—The Answer Is Probably Yes!
In just about month, annual pilgrimage to Boston begins for what has become a religious gathering for everything inbound. Inbound 17 will kick off on Monday, September 25th for partners (the actual conference starts on Tuesday) and the event is full of amazing speakers, killer content and almost everything an inbound pro could want from an event.
For inbound marketing agency owners, all 3,454 of you, the annual event also brings with it the age-old question, “Should I stay or should I go?” When I started attending Inbound back in 2011, there were 300 attendees. Today the event is supposed to bring over 20,000 attendees. Ultimately the decision to attend should come down to what you can get out of the conference to grow your business, improve its efficiency or help you deliver better results for your clients.
If you’re using that as your decision-making criteria, I think the answer should be YES! Here’s some additional thinking on why you should plan on attending Inbound 17 this year.
You Can Fast Track HubSpot Software Knowledge
Inbound offers a ton of opportunities to get smarter around the HubSpot software. There are multiple sessions taught by HubSpot and other practitioners on how to use the COS, how to get better at lead nurturing and how to improve your content strategy using the software and more. If you’re a beginner HubSpot user or even an intermediate HubSpot user the conference is going to drive a lot of value for you.
If you’re more advanced or have specific challenges with the software, there are a lot of people who are happy to help. HubSpot has its own services desk at the conference staffed with HubSpoters who can drill down on your issue, show you how to fix it and give you guidance on the features in the software that do what you need done. Don’t hesitate to take them up on their FREE offer to help.
You’ll Get To Meet Other Agency Owners
If you want to connect with other agency owners, there’ll be hundreds of them there. This is a chance to talk shop to people who are dealing with the same issues you are. Most of them are more than willing to share and most are as excited to meet you as you are to meet them. The community is historically very friendly and helpful.
One word of caution. People don’t generally share all their struggles when it comes to their agency. They might tell you things are going great when they’re struggling. You can understand that, I’m sure. They’re also going to be telling you what’s working. What works for one, might not work for you.
Keep this in mind when you attend sessions from other agency owners. What they’re presenting might only be half the story and it might be exaggerated to make their session more interesting. Be skeptical. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Ask questions to clarify. They should be willing to answer them if they’re being honest.
You Can Explore Software From Other Technology Partners
HubSpot doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to software. There are a number of supplemental tools we use at our shop.
Most of those partners are in attendance too, so it’s a wonderful chance to see what they have, talk to them about the practicalities of using their tool, explore pricing and ask about success stories.
I always like to know who else is using it. If it’s only one or two other agencies, I’ll be more skeptical. If it’s hundreds of agencies, I want to know more.
You Can Grab Tips, Hacks and New Techniques To Improve Results
This is usually a big reason I go to Inbound. I want to help our agency get better. I listen to sessions and think about how to apply that thinking to what we do. I don’t want to copy it, but I might want to apply their approach to our processes. I want to learn techniques that can be woven into what we’re already doing and I want to understand their thinking to make sure it matches ours.
For example, my session is about predicting results from inbound marketing and inbound sales programs. How we do the predicting is what should be interesting and while the tools might be helpful, it’s likely you use different tools and have a different process. That’s ok. I’ve found that learning how other people do similar tasks and deliver similar services helps me think through what we do, how we do it and often I’m able to come up with improvements based on that thinking.
Work On The Business, Not In The Business
One of the biggest challenges for agency owners is you’re constantly working IN the business, taking care of clients, helping team members, paying bills and trying to close new clients. This means you almost never get to work ON the business. This is a problem. The more time you work ON the business and not IN the business the faster you’ll grow. That time focusing on the strategy and high-level improvements that need to be made is invaluable.
By getting out of your office and letting your team take care of all those daily details you’ll be doing something strategic and of high value. You might even crack the code on a challenge you’ve been dealing with for months. If you can’t attend one conference a month for a few days, then your agency is too dependent on you and you need to work on fixing that anyway. This is a great way to find out. I think you’ll be pleasantly pleased with how your team handles things while you’re at Inbound.
You Should Be Able To Grab Discounted Tickets
I know budgets are tight and you still need to travel, stay over, eat and get around town. However, the tickets to attend should be significantly discounted for you and the conference does a good job feeding you while you’re there and making the overall investment limited to travel and lodging. As conferences go, this is one of the best in terms of ROI and Boston isn’t nearly as expensive as some other conference destinations like San Francisco, New York or Vegas.
I’ll be there. In addition to my session I’ll be hosting a lunch for all the Agencies 2 Inbound clients and as always, I’m happy to spend time talking to anyone about anything related to their agencies. One of the main reasons I go is to share what’s worked for us at Square 2 Marketing with as many people as possible. Our culture supports always learning and always teaching and if I can share a couple of ideas that help you do a better job with your agency and your clients—then the entire community of inbound agencies just got better.
I know taking a couple of days off from daily operations at your agency is a big deal. It might even seem like everything will come crashing down if you’re not there. The reality of the situation is you can leave and everything will be fine. Especially given the connectivity provided at the conference. With your trusty smart phone and laptop, your team and your clients might not even know you’re gone.
All joking aside, conferences and especially Inbound 17 provides you with unprecedented opportunities to learn new ways to make your agency better. It provides you with a unique environment where you’re able to talk to other agency owners who are dealing with the same situations as you and it might even present you with some interesting opportunities for your agency that you weren’t even thinking about before you arrived in Boston.
Last year at Inbound, I was approached about selling Square 2 Marketing. While the details weren’t right for us, who knows what amazing opportunities might be in your future if you’re able to attend.
Start Today Tip – If you decide to attend, then you want to optimize your investment in both time and money. Make sure you select speakers who you know. I’ve been in sessions where the speaker is trying to stretch 10 minutes of content into a 45-minute session. I’ve been in sessions where the speaker is trying to sell you on their software. Go where you know you’ll get value. Ask around too. If you’re not sure, ask other attendees if they know the speaker. It’s hard to leave one session and get to another if you don’t plan ahead. Plan your agenda in advance based on who you’re sure is going to deliver a valuable session that’s relevant to your issue and challenges. This guarantees you’ll have a great experience and be in a position to improve your agency on your first day back in the office.
Agencies 2 Inbound – Helping Your Agency GROW BEYOND ALL Expectations!