As HubSpot’s INBOUND 2015 conference is quickly approaching, our excitement here at SmartAcre is building. I have been fortunate enough to attend INBOUND the past two years. Several of my colleagues are going to INBOUND for the first time and they had tons of questions for me. I put together this list of their questions to help them – and hopefully you as well.
*Note: I’m not a part of HubSpot’s event planning team. My insights reflect INBOUND 2014, and conference logistics are subject to change year to year.
HubSpot put together an #INBOUND15 packing guide to help you know what to bring. I agree with their tips. After spending my college years living in Boston, the weather can change quickly. This time of year is really nice during the day but can get cool and windy at night. The good thing is that you will spend most of the day inside the convention center. One of the nice perks of INBOUND is they offer a free coat / bag check. This is great if you don’t want to lug around your laptop or warmer clothes with you all day.
The most important thing to bring with you is your business cards. You will meet tons of interesting and talented people that you should connect with beyond the event.
If you plan on using your phone, tablet, or laptop throughout the conference you will want to bring your charger and extra battery chargers if you have them. There are 10,000 attendees and only so many outlets. People will huddle around the outlets as their devices lose their charge. Bringing an extra battery pack is a great idea if you have one. An extension cord or power strip will also allow you to charge while being courteous to others.
There is free wifi throughout the conference center. The connectivity is usually decent, but there are certain times and locations that you may lose a connection. The speed isn’t the fastest but good enough to do basic web browsing without much of an issue.
INBOUND 2014 set the bar high for conference grub by bringing in food trucks for lunch. There is a wide variety of vendors to chose from and INBOUND attendees have a voucher that is good for a free meal. The only downside is that the lines get long quickly. It can take well over 20 minutes of waiting in line if you don’t get there early.
The first night, h’orderves and drinks are available during the networking event after the keynote. On other evenings, snacks and refreshments are served in the lawn area.
You will need to enter the email you registered with along with your confirmation number. You can also use HubSpot’s website app to build your schedule. Hubspot’s blog offers some excellent advice on how to plan your INBOUND agenda and what the different tracks mean.
There is no issue getting into any of the keynotes since the main halls are huge. If you want a closer view you will have to get there early. If not, there are large screens that make it easy to see the speakers.
Keep in mind that many of the smaller break out sessions will have fire code capacity limits around 200 to 250 people. If there is a particular session you want to go to, I would recommend going there directly, scanning your badge, putting down your stuff, and then going to the restroom if needed. They will let you back in if your badge has already been scanned for that session.
If you are going to INBOUND for the first time, expect to be blown away. The speakers are inspirational and will challenge the way you think and react to situations. The breakout sessions offer tons of practical tips you can implement right away. My advice is to try to stretch your comfort zone and talk to as many people as you can. You may also want to start implementing as many ideas as you can while you are there or soon after. After a week you will probably be back to your usual routine. So, take action, be bold, and change yourself and the world for the better.