Everyone knows that HubSpot's annual Inbound event is the crown jewel of inbound marketing events and conferences. With fantastic speakers and lots of great events, there's no better place to gather the latest insights into marketing trends and new ideas.
This year's Boston-based event is set to host some not-to-miss speakers (Michelle Obama! *squeal*) and the president and co-founder of Pixar, Dr. Ed Catmull, along with HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.
This year our managing director Craig and our marketing director Jonathan are heading off to Boston to represent Struto at the event. While undeniably jealous, I managed to swallow my envy and caught up with them both to ask them what they're most looking forward to, what they're hoping to take away from the event and what they predict might be covered.
On the Road to Inbound 2017
So, you're both going to be heading off to Inbound 2017 tomorrow. Anything you're really excited about regarding this event?
Craig: Well I've been attending Inbound since 2012, so I've seen quite a few events over the years. They're always good for combining a balanced blend of educational content, entertainment and inspirational thinking, which I always look forward to experiencing.
Jonathan: I'm looking forward to quite a few things actually, including the chance to get in some networking and catching up with our industry fellows, see what the competition is up to and seizing the opportunity to take in some inspirational insights from thought leaders. You never leave an Inbound event without being challenged in your thought processes and ideas.
Another opportunity Inbound events always afford you is the chance to see how far the industry has come, spot new niches developing and to see where your business's strengths may lie so you can make strategic decisions about where your business might be moving.
You were both at last year's event. What do you think HubSpot will need to do to top last year?
Craig: Honestly, it shouldn't be too difficult for them to top last year's event. Unfortunately, the Inbound 2016 conference took place right in the middle of the unmitigated disaster that was Trump's election process. As a democrat state, the mood in Boston was understandably bleak, which definitely could be felt by those visiting. So, I think this year will certainly be more positive.
Jonathan: These events are always great, but I think to top last year's event HubSpot will need to make some exciting new announcements relating to their tech. Another challenge they'll have to face head-on is balancing their events and speakers to cater for both veteran attendees such as Craig and myself, while still catering to the thousands attending who are new to inbound marketing.
What new trends and topics do you predict might make an appearance? Anything you're hoping to see covered?
Craig: I think account-based marketing (ABM), artificial intelligence (AI) and video will be some of the key items covered this year. The ABM should be interesting, as ABM is often traditionally associated with a more out-based marketing approach, while HubSpot has always stuck to what I'd call very "inboundsy" messaging. I think they'll spin the ABM piece with an inbound touch, but I'm keen to see if their software tools will be shaped and tweaked to facilitate ABM more efficiently.
Jonathan: I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot of the tech developments like machine learning and AI. I'm also keen to see how far sales enablement has come since last year, and the latest thinking on that.
Which speakers are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
Craig: Definitely Michelle Obama, without question. Pixar's Ed Catmull is another interesting choice for me. One of the speakers I am very interested in seeing is Bozoma Saint John, Uber's Chief Brand Officer. Uber's taken a couple of nasty PR knocks over the last while, and it'll be worth hearing what she has to say and how they're finding their way through it.
Jonathan: Unquestionably Michelle Obama, and of course guys like Marcus Sheridan and Paul Roetzer, are always worth listening to. Brené Brown is good to listen to as well, and I see Google is also speaking at a couple of events. They never fail to present something worth listening to and taking note of.
There you have it, straight from our guys before they head off. If you're going to be at Inbound 2017, why not look them up and say hi? We'll be updating our social feeds with fresh snippets from them as well, so check that out to see what's happening.
Otherwise, if you'd like to learn more about inbound marketing trends for this year, have a look at the official HubSpot State of Inbound 2017 report, or get in touch with one of our experts for a quick chat.