Inbound is Coming...How Game of Thrones Can Help You at Inbound 2015
(For Game of Thrones fans and Marketers in general)
It’s hard to believe that HubSpot’s annual conference is less than a month away. The event is a collection of like-minded marketers and thought leaders in the industry that are ready to share the latest tips, trends, tactics and techniques! Last year was my first year and it was a bit of a whirlwind. Certainly, it was extremely helpful, and the sessions were very informative, but it was overwhelming; because I did little to no preparation on my part (oops!). Upon leaving last year, I swore to myself that I would take the time and effort to prepare to get the most out of the event as possible next year. There’s no time like the present to prepare yourself to get the most out of Inbound- and ensure you don’t turn into a Lysa Aryn…(a super crazy lady from GOT.) We've got four major strategies you can pull directly from Game of Thrones to make this year's Inbound your most successful yet.
1. Have a strategy for filling your session schedule.
Just like a bloodthirsty family bent on power and infamy, planning and strategizing for Inbound15 are your closest allies. Consider where your agency is slated to grow, and plan around those goals. You don’t want to be spending your time at Inbound on topics that won’t help you once you return home. For example, if main channels of business for your firm include tech companies and IT staffing firms, it’s best to concentrate on tech trends, thought leaders, and innovations while at Inbound. There will be sessions focused on specific segments that you can attend to expand your knowledge base for existing clients as well as attracting future accounts. HubSpot is great about sharing coursework with the public as they develop it, and you could utilize those resources that to build a list of ‘must dos’ and ‘must sees’. Focusing on these areas help you select the sessions that will help you of grow current retainer business, attract new clients, and possibly expand your offerings.
2. Who do you need to connect with?
In Game of Thrones, warring families learn from their adversaries, and make valuable alliances...some of which don't turn out quite as planned. Fortunately for you, though the marketing industry can be competitive, many firms and individuals in the industry are willing to swap tips and stories you can learn from, with no scary ulterior motives. Inbound is full of like minded individuals that have vast skills associated with inbound marketing, HubSpot, and more! It's important to take advantage of their brainpower and human resources to better yourself and your firm. Start with contacts that you met last year and connect with them. One year can certainly make a huge difference, and swapping experiences and lessons learned can help catch you up to speed and provide insight. A breakfast, lunch or quick coffee during a break could be very informative, and could fill a knowledge gap on the industry.
We all follow blogs and podcasts created by some of the industries brightest stars. At Inbound, it’s possible to seek them out to listen to their lectures or catch them on the vendor floor to network, exchange information, and ask questions.
3. Use down time to your advantage.
In between threat-riddled dialogue and crushing skirmishes, what do the soldiers in Game of Thrones do? They rest up and kick back! You can't be a top warrior (or top marketer) if you don't take some time to enjoy yourself. Boston is such a great city, and the more advance prep you can do before you go, the better. During down times and in between sessions, I always try to find an inspiring spot in the area to create my content, catch up on emails and soak up the local atmosphere. Boston is known for its array of inspiring cuisine, so getting advance reservations at must eat locations to hang with your firm will cut down on wait times and the inefficacies of guessing on the fly where you should go.
4. Get the big picture.
As marketers, it's often helpful to take a page from battle strategists of old, and step back and think about the big picture. It's vital to utilize your plans to the advantage of your agency and your clients to enhance the inbound ecosystem as a whole. For example, you could map out a content creation plan or list before you go to Inbound, and sharpen it at the conference and once you're back at home. When you leave Boston, you'll have a solid plan of action that you can begin to refine on the plane ride home. While you're at Inbound 2015, you will have a clear strategy, goals, and even specific individuals to try and speak to. This type of planning will hold you accountable while you're at the conference, so your actions aren't disjointed. It will also enable you to leave inbound15 with new social media connentions and valuable industry insights.
Inbound 2015 is a great chance to learn about new marketing methods, listen to thought leaders, network, and have a great time in a great city. To make the most of your experience, take a page from Game of Thrones characters and plan your time efficiently and expertly.
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