I recently got back from one of the biggest marketing conferences: INBOUND 2022. Although this was my sixth INBOUND, I was super excited to attend in person after 3 years. And this time, I wasn't alone but was accompanied by Reaz Sabbir (Sales Manager, webdew).
Although it's impossible to list everything I learned in just one post if I had to sum it up in three simple points, here are the main messages that caught my attention:
- Community means connection
- Data doesn't do the job alone
- Social good is good for business
With these three truths in mind, let's recap some of the biggest takeaways from INBOUND 2022. But before that, let me give a quick idea about INBOUND.
What is INBOUND?
A rapidly transforming business landscape calls for new and innovative ways of reaching customers who will always need access to personalized support and solutions. But how does one connect with customers in this new age?
Well, you don't have to look too far!
If there's a group of people who know how to innovate, cultivate relationships, and provide consistent value to customers, it's HubSpot partners. There are thousands of solutions partners across the globe working to help companies grow better by building meaningful connections.
HubSpot partners are the best example of a community of people who understand how to innovate, build relationships, and consistently deliver value to consumers. And INBOUND is just the right platform for that!
INBOUND is an annual event hosted by HubSpot that unites thought leaders from over 161 countries across marketing, sales, customer success, and revenue operations.
Hosted in Boston, Massachusetts, this three-day event connected thought leaders from all over the world. And the cherry on the cake was, this time, it was organized in a “hybrid mode.” One of the many reasons I love INBOUND so much is because it's all about connection, sharing experiences, and learning from others.
Couldn’t attend the event in either mode? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. The three days long conference was jam-packed with sessions on marketing, sales, and everything in between. I have compiled a summary of all the sessions that I attended so you can benefit from all the insights shared at the event.
So, let’s get started!
If you could catch this year's INBOUND Spotlight, you may have heard all about "The Crisis of Disconnection." Yamini stated in her keynote that people, systems, and data are disconnected, and businesses are "grasping for growth." Not only her but almost every keynote session of the event was based on the need to be connected.
Read on to find out the highlights from the sessions I attended!
VIP Dinner: September 6th, 2022
HubSpot kicked things off in style, and why not? After all, we were all meeting in person for the first time in three years.
So, we started the INBOUND journey with a warm welcome party packed with local bites, drinks, and live music, open to all attendees with a VIP pass.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue gave a live performance making the event even more enjoyable and memorable. We had a great time, and this VIP Dinner got the INBOUND 2022 experience off to the right start.
Day #1: September 7th, 2022
Although we were a little exhausted from the journey, we were still really excited about the sessions for the day, especially the keynote by the brains behind HubSpot. Besides, we also got to visit different booths and connect with some really wonderful people.
Optimizing for customer connection: Yamini Rangan
Yamini Rangan discussed her six-month listening tour to discover what is holding organizations back from growing and what HubSpot can do to change it. She shared the shocking statistic that "disconnected data and systems" was the largest source of misery for marketers in all industries.
And it made a lot of sense. After all, the longer we spend fixing data and connecting systems, the less time we have for clients and their problems. Overall, the focus was all on the need to have connected data and a connected community.
Anyone who attended this session could tell how driven HubSpot is to help businesses and how much work they have put in to come up with the concept of "Connectivity."
Why community matters now more than ever: Dharmesh Shah
Dharmesh Shah spoke about his experience with the personal and professional advantages of being a part of a community as an introvert, considering people as dots that make graphs (yes, we all know his love for graphs, frameworks, and not to forget, the dad jokes).
He spoke about how community connects the dots and is a major part of value-led growth. So, he introduced an IDEAL framework for building community: Identity, Diversity, Engagement, Action, and Learning.
I really loved how he shared his life journey to give us insight into why he is so passionate about connecting.
Besides, he also introduced Connect.com, the online community for growth professionals. Looking forward to having some engaging discussions over Connect.
Building a connected customer experience: Stephanie Cuthbertson
Stephanie Cuthbertson spoke about one of the solutions to the problem of "Disconnectivity." She describes HubSpot as a connected platform and applications in a central system across all departments with a user-friendly experience.
According to her, a single accurate source of truth is what we all need to do our job right. And she is right!
She covered grounds on everything around new connected experiences. From connected applications and platforms to marketing campaigns, and from customer journey analytics to crafted data management and connected payment platforms, she covered it all. I personally really enjoyed this intriguing session by her.
The seller-free economy: Marcus Sheridan
A highly sought-after international speaker, Marcus is well-known for his unique ability to excite, engage and motivate audiences. And this session was no different. Keeping up with his high-energy style and interactive presentation approach, Marcus spoke about the Seller-free economy.
He highlighted that it's the buyer who is in control, and it's high time businesses start to recognize it and let go of the old-age belief that they're in charge. He also emphasized that trust is the fundamental key to any business, and the strategies should be focused on trust-building.
Overall, he did a fantastic job walking through some real-life examples and tactical takeaways. His take on where sales is headed and how marketing changes that, was truly insightful.
Fortunately, I got a chance to talk to him and ask for a few tips. And I wasn't disappointed at all.
Networking with ZoomInfo
We first visited the ZoomInfo booth, and it was great to hear their growth story. ZoomInfo is a global leader providing go-to-market intelligence solutions. It was really fascinating to witness the enthusiasm from the ZoomInfo team in how they can solve business challenges.
Catch-up with Click-up
The next one in line was ClickUp, and we have been using it ever since the pandemic hit. This all-in-one productivity tool brings teams, tasks, and tools all in one place. So, it was really nice catching up with the ClickUp team in person and getting some inside tips on productivity.
Day#2: September 8th, 2022
Day 2 was all about attending more sessions and networking with people!
3 Things holding you back from doubling sales this year: Amanda Holmes
Amanda Holmes is the CEO of Chet Holmes International (CHI), which specializes in helping companies worldwide double their sales.
The focus of this session was on defining the core story by keeping the audience in mind and creating the dream client list! She shared practical, actionable sales tips and resources on doubling sales.
So, if you don't know what's holding your sales back this year and want an actionable sales and marketing strategy to close out the year, you may pre-order her new book, "The Ultimate Sales Machine."
One thing I liked the most about her session was how incredibly positive and insightful it was!
Hard-won lessons on starting and growing a community: Sam Parrish and Dharmesh Shah
Sam and Dharmesh discussed communities Dharmesh built, including how HubSpot practically started as a community. According to Dharmesh, there would be no HubSpot without the community.
Further, they emphasized how copywriting is the most underrated skill for anyone. The core messages of this Inbound 2022 session are:
- Identify the skills you need to learn.
- Make the connections you need to make, even as introverts.
- Life is short; figure out a way to really dig in.
Rebuilding our connected future: Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Goodall is a world-renowned ethologist best recognized for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. She is an author, the creator of the Jane Goodall Institute and its youth initiative, Roots & Shoots, as well as a UN Messenger of Peace and an honorary member of the World Future Council.
This enlightening session, hosted by Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot, was to get Goodall's insights on how to make the world a better place and what it means to have genuine hope.
According to Goodall, "Hope is about action - not just wishful thinking." So she urged people to empower younger generations to select and take action for the causes that are most important to them. All in all, this was a very inspirational and eye-opening session.
Visit to booth Wistia
Providing video services ourselves, me and Reaz was really excited to meet team Wistia. For those who don't know, Wistia is an all-in-one video marketing platform. We had a blast learning about their company and how they help businesses leverage their video content to create better brand awareness.
Chat with Qwilr
We also met team Qwilr. Honestly, I haven't heard of them before, but thanks to INBOUND, I got to know just how amazing they are. Qwilr helps businesses create impressive and intuitive sales and marketing proposals. It was great meeting with such an energetic and enthusiastic team.
Meeting team Integrate IQ
Another interesting group of people we got to meet was team Integrate IQ. As their name itself implies, their focus is on integrating systems with sales and marketing data. Again, it was a great interaction around how they help businesses unlock the power of reporting and automate business functions.
Day#3: September 9th, 2022
The last day at INBOUND, to be honest, went by too fast! But, we were way too excited to attend the session by former United States president Barack Obama, and it was indeed a delight.
How your business can use video across your customer journey: Chris Lavigne
This workshop provided an interactive framework for creating highly impactful videos and bringing them in front of the right audience at the right point as per their buyer's journey. Chris Lavigne, the speaker of the session, stated that videos bring a significant difference in three core marketing goals - Acquisition, Adoption, and Brand.
The overall purpose of this session was to help businesses figure out where video can fit into their existing buyer journey, where to focus their creative team, and how to scale and assess the impact of video on their business.
I found this session super insightful and super interesting. Creating videos as per the buyer's journey makes so much sense, and I feel businesses could really profit a lot by following this.
Community, culture & building paths for each other: Barack Obama
President Obama discussed how technology, specifically the smartphone that is in everyone's pocket and is available in even the most distant regions of the world, has contributed to the fact that our nation is now even more divided than it was even ten years ago. According to him, this has "accelerated the feeling that we are occupying different realities," which led to the division of communities.
Exceptional and inspirational, as always, he was the perfect choice to close the event.
There you go, folks! That was all about my experience and key takeaways for INBOUND 2022. I had a fantastic time catching up with fellow HubSpotters, and networking with industry professionals.
As always, INBOUND 2022 kicked off with the HubSpot Spotlight, packed full of the latest improved product offerings from the CRM platform. Although, every update, every session, and everything about INBOUND 2022 linked back to the core message of the conference: connected community!
Really excited about the beta updates and seeing them overcome the disconnect issues. And saying that I'm already excited for INBOUND 2023 would be an understatement.
Want to know more about HubSpot and how it can help you grow your business? Feel free to reach out!