INBOUND 2017: 10 sessions we don't want to miss

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It’s that time of the year again! Inbound 2017 is just around the corner and our team is excited to travel to Boston for HubSpot’s annual conference for some learning, networking, and some great parties.

What is INBOUND?

INBOUND, HubSpot’s flagship conference, has grown from attendance of about 2,000 in 2012 (its first year) into one of the largest marketing conferences in the world. More than 19,000 people from 92 different countries attended last year, and it's expected to be even bigger this year.

INBOUND provides powerful keynotes, lessons and breakout sessions led by marketing leaders and celebrities alike, along with networking opportunities for marketing professionals from around the globe. In the past few years, INBOUND attendees have heard from big names like Serena Williams, Amy Schumer, Gary Vaynerchuk, Trevor Noah and Alec Baldwin. This year will feature keynotes from Issa Rae, Mario Batali, John Cena, Rand Fishkin, Michelle Obama, Brene Brown and more.

This will be my first year attending the conference. And because there are literally hundreds of sessions to choose from at INBOUND this year, I reached out to a few more experienced HubSpotters (my coworkers) to find out which sessions they were most excited about and why.

Here are our team’s top 10 session picks for INBOUND 2017:

Kelly’s picks


Session pick #1: Flexibility is the Future of Feminism

Anna Auerbach - Co Founder and Co-Ceo, Werk, @annaauerbach
Annie Dean - Co Founder and Co-Ceo, Werk @anniedeanzait

Bio: Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean are the Cofounders and co-CEOs of Werk, a marketplace of flexible leadership-track jobs focused on keeping women in the workforce and on the leadership track.

Session description:

Companies and economists have overlooked flexibility as a solution to keep talented women in the workforce. We need to adapt workplaces to reflect the needs of a modern workforce. Our research shows that by creating and implementing meaningful, strategic flexibility, we can increase the number of women CEOs in the fortune 500 from 5% to 25% in 20 years. We'll be closer than ever to equal representation in leadership across every sector-public and private.

Why Kelly’s interested: “As a business owner, understanding methods for creating strategic flexibility is extremely important, and I'm excited to learn how to employ these ideas in order to keep women in the workforce and mentor women for leadership positions.”


Session pick #2: Top 10 Facebook and Twitter Content Promotion Hacks

Speaker: Larry Kim - Founder, WordStream, Inc. @larrykim

Bio: Larry Kim is the CEO of MobileMonkey, Inc. a provider of chatbots for mobile marketers. He's also the Founder of WordStream, the World's largest PPC management software company.

Session description:

Learn unusual tips, strategies, and processes for getting 10-100x more value from paid ad campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Taboola, Pinterest and other networks, including how to drive exponentially more traffic to your content and convert 3-5x more of those clicks into leads and sales - for less than $50 per campaign. You'll take away critical insights into how the algorithms of paid social media advertising really work, focusing on the best ad features, all released within the last 12 months.

Why Kelly’s interested: “Social media advertising is a key element of what we do for clients at Jaxzen. It’s a realm that’s constantly evolving and i look forward to gaining insights into how the algorithms of paid social media advertising function and which ad features are most important to utilize.”

Parker’s picks


Session pick #1: The Future of Marketing Automation: Messaging and Bots

Speaker: Kipp Bodnar - CMO, HubSpot @kippbodnar

Bio: Kipp Bodnar is the Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot, where he sets HubSpot’s global inbound marketing strategy to drive awareness and demand for HubSpot’s inbound marketing and sales products.

Session description:

Consumers can't wait anymore. They want to interact with your business when and how they want to in real-time. These consumer demands make it harder than ever to deliver a great experience. Messaging and chat bots are rapidly becoming a required part of a great marketing strategy. Learn best practices and pitfalls of getting started with messaging and bots as well as how to evolve your go-to-market strategy to become real-time at scale.

Why Parker’s interested: “Marketing automation (and automation in general) is going to play a bigger role for marketing teams everywhere. Understanding how to use it (and specifically how to use it without annoying everyone) is a critical skill. Seeing how to integrate bots and chat will be a really interesting component of how we automate more for future prospects.”


Session pick #2: The Science of Sales Development

Speaker: Carole Mahoney - Founder, Unbound Growth @icarolemahoney

Bio: As the founder of Unbound Growth, Carole has helped entrepreneurs and salespeople increase revenue by 98%, deal sizes by 34%, and reduce the sales cycle with scientifically proven sales training and coaching.

Session description:

Research shows that 60 billion a year is spent on training, yet within in an hour people lose 50% of it, 70% within 24 hours, and 90% in one week. Join Carole as she shares her scientific research into sales development and how to predictably improve sales performance and stop wasting money on training that doesn't stick. Scaling customer success isn't a matter of trial and error. You don't have to figure out on your own how to develop self-sufficient sales record breakers - science can help.

Why Parker’s interested: “Sales Development is quickly becoming an extension of the marketing team, and understanding that is critical. If leads aren't followed up on in an appropriate amount of time, it can sink your marketing program.”

Lindsay’s picks


Session pick #1: Bold Talks: Storytelling, Radical Vulnerability and Inclusion

Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D. - President & CEO, Exceptional Leadership Institute @SistahScholar
Brett Trapp - Creator, Blue Babies Pink @BrettTrapp
Amal Kassir - Speaker/Poet, Book A Muslim @amalthepoet

Session description:

Rather than one 45-minute presentation, Bold Talks include three quick, powerful sessions that inspire and educate. In this Bold Talk, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever will discuss the necessity of diversity in business. Brett Trapp, host of the popular podcast Blue Babies Pink, will give a talk on vulnerability. Finally, Syrian-American international spoken word poet, Amal Kassir, will cover the art of storytelling and how successful companies are doing it today.

Why Lindsay’s interested: “I've loved Bold Talks at Inbound in the past because of the variety. It's a good way to get a few short, insightful talks in one session. These topics in particular pique my interest because of their increasing importance for content creators. Because of the clutter of marketing messages we all encounter constantly, writers have to be more personal and inclusive to be able to connect with readers.”


Session pick #2: Conversions in a Landing Page-Less World: How New Technology is Changing the Way we Buy

Speaker: Purna Virji - Senior Manager, Client Training, Microsoft @purnavirji

Bio: Named by PPC Hero as the #1 most influential PPC Expert in the world, Purna specializes in SEM, SEO and future search trends.

Session description:

Our digital purchase behavior has been changing rapidly. We're reaching a point where the landing page is becoming irrelevant as new technology changes the way we buy. In this session based on in-depth research, Purna will explore messaging commerce, artificial intelligence and conversation as a platform.

Why Lindsay’s interested: “This year I’ve heard lots of people speculate about how marketers can continue to convert visitors without defaulting to landing pages. I’m interested to see what will take their place in the inbound marketing strategy of the future, and whether/how we can still get the same kinds of results without them.”

Carrie’s picks


Session pick #1: Adventures in Emerging Channels: What we learned from a year with Medium, Podcasting, and Live Streaming

Speaker: Meghan Keaney Anderson - VP of Marketing, HubSpot @meghkeaney

Bio: Meghan is vice president of content and product marketing at HubSpot. Together with her teams, Meghan is responsible for the company's blogs, podcast, and overall content strategy as well as the company's product launch campaigns.

Session description:

If you're looking to experiment in new channels and formats, let this session give you a head start. In the last couple of years, HubSpot has developed content strategies across a collection of emerging channels including messenger apps, medium, podcasting, and live streaming. When we started, we didn't have much of a guidebook. Today we've learned a great deal about what works and what doesn't. We'll cover that experience and the staff and resources we needed to pull it off.

Why Carrie’s Interested: “In keeping with an Inbound mantra, Always Be Learning, I think there's a lot of value in exploring new channels for marketing opportunities and learning from those pioneering before you. Podcasting, video, and publishing platforms like Medium are all part of the ever-evolving way we consume content. If you want to keep up with digital marketing, you need to know this stuff. Plus, MKA is great.”


Session pick #2: Demystifying AI: What It Is and What It Means for Your Business

Speaker: Mimi An - Principal Research Analyst/Manager, HubSpot @HubSpotResearch

Bio: Mimi is a Principal Research Manager at HubSpot. Mimi produces long form market research content that features data backed stories. Previously, Mimi worked in corporate strategy and market intelligence at Intel and served as a market research consultant at Forrester Research.

Session description:

Are you curious about AI but find articles on the topic to be too technical to understand or too broad to be useful? Attend this session to get a breakdown on AI, the most well-known technologies in today's landscape, and some use cases for marketing, service, and sales.

Why Carrie’s interested: AI is the future for a lot of businesses and will help change the way we do marketing for our clients. There's a lot of high-level/broad info and in-the-weeds technical articles out there—and I'm looking to find a way that machine learning/AI will impact marketing automation in the future and how our agency can be early adopters.

My picks


Session pick #1: Bold Talks: Harnessing Fear, Fulfillment, and Inner Fitness

Mary Poffenroth - University Lecturer, San Jose State University @MaryPoffenroth
Chris Plough - Founding Partner, ExponentialU @chrisplough
Tina Lifford - Award-Winning Actress, playwright, and founder of The Inner Fitness Project, The Inner Fitness Project & OWN's Queen Sugar @tinalifford

Session description:

In this Bold Talk, San Jose State Lecturer, Mary Poffenroth, will have a session on harnessing fear as a tool for success. ExponentialU Founding Partner, Chris Plough will discuss finding fulfillment in business, and Inner Fitness Project Founder, Tina Lifford will explain how perspective can be used to improve quality of life.

Why I'm interested: I've always been interested in the power of perspective, and I like learning about different ways people motivate themselves and overcome fears. Although this talk isn't explicitly about marketing, I'd like to see how these concepts could be applied in my career and in my life.


Session pick #2: 7 Copywriting Tactics, Proven by Psychological Research, that Grew HubSpot Sales by 243%

Speaker: Scott Tousley - Senior Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot @sjtousley

Scott Tousley is a Senior Growth Marketing Manager at HubSpot who helped grow Sales Products revenue by 243% in 2016.

Session description: 

How do you break through the noise to capture your customers' attention? Learn copywriting secrets from Scott Tousley, Senior Growth Marketer at HubSpot, who helped grow HubSpot Sales Products revenue by 243%. You'll learn how HubSpot leverages psychological research to understand the behaviors of their customers. You'll walk away with 7 copywriting frameworks to help you generate more leads, nurture leads into customers, and turn customers into promoters.

Why I'm interested: I'm interested in the session because it delves into psychology and provides some proven frameworks that have worked for HubSpot. Copywriting is something I'm always looking to improve on and I do a lot of reading, youtube watching and podcast listening about psychology, so i'm excited to check this one out.

Inbound 2017 promises to be a great learning experience, and we’re looking forward to learning new concepts and sharing them with you as we apply them to our own projects. If you’d like to learn more about what will be happening at Inbound this year, check out the Inbound 2017 site, or follow along with us on Twitter. 

Need help picking an inbound marketing partner? Download our guide to learn what to look for.