Inbound 2021 went virtual this year just like its previous installment Inbound 2020 last year. The three-day event was bigger and better, to say the least as last year the event of this scale was happening for the first time and there was a lot of confusion among the attendees. By the time they came to know what to do and how to do it, the event was about to end. This year, there was less learning curve as attendees had some idea of what and how things will happen.
This is not an INBOUND minute-keeping blog where you will read who set up which session and at what time. This is more of a ‘what we felt’ kind of blog. So, read on to know how Computan’s managers and team members proceeded with the INBOUND this year and what we learned.
Anybody who attended INBOUND this year knows that the whole event was focused on three major things.
- Content is King
- Customer First
Customer-focused content depending on their sales cycle stage is actually the term inbound marketing is all about that helps you get desirable results from your marketing campaigns. Industry experts and managers from sponsors and leading marketing agencies hosted sessions covering different topics to help companies use their content better, serve their customers better and get more customers.
My Approach at the Event
As a content writer and marketer, I also wanted to make full of the INBOUND event and connect with people across the globe. The sessions were really insightful. They touched the popular sales and marketing trends shared the improved version of those tactics which seemed meaningful just like the inbound methodology’s improvement from the Funnel method to the Flywheel method.
I started connecting with people in the meetups, initiated the chats, and began the conversations with a casual greeting. Then the conversation would lead to sharing professional backgrounds a bit and putting something on the table that is beneficial for both the people involved in the conversation. I followed the good old barter system. I offered them a great backlink opportunity. Since all were connected to HubSpot somehow and some of them were even the sponsors at the event so, they must’ve worked well on their website as Computan does. Assuming the position, I pitched them to utilize our Page Ranks and Domain Authorities to exchange the backlink.
Some of the content marketers I connected to were ready to do it as they understood the idea properly while I had to explain it to other people. On the second day of the event, the session on link building by Monday.com made my work easy as it highlighted the benefits of link building. Session attendees were interested in doing so during the session itself. It was also good to see the tactics they discussed in the meetups and sessions, we were already doing those at Computan but of course, there’s a lot that was needed to implement in our process.
Sajeel, VP Operations at Computan, spent his three days at INBOUND doing networking and building professional relationships, and waiting for Oprah’s session. He is a fan though, well who isn’t?
“I thought INBOUND had its usual insightful lineup of speakers and sessions. One thing I really liked that stands out for me was the Virtual Club INBOUND space. I think that gives a glimpse into the future of what networking events can be like and quite possibly will be like. A person has an avatar that walks around and engages in conversation with people. Obviously, there are ways to enhance it with games to break the ice, improve user-friendliness, control how a crowd is built, include sponsors in that space, etc. I think events will have a space like that combined with an in-person experience in the future.” – Sajeel, VP Operations, Computan
What went smoothly and what had rough patches at INBOUND21?
Accessing sessions, meetups, 1:1 chats, or group chats were easier than before. The virtual representation of the meetups made things more interesting and allowed people to break the ice in conversation. However, if something similar happens in a real-life event that would be awkward. You wouldn’t want to cross people through their bodies or want anybody to walk through you or jump over your head or just sit in your lap by mistake, which happened quite a few times (chuckles).
Nice to have things at INBOUND21
- People could start a conversation or take part in an already going on conversation through chat circles in the meetups.
- The live Q/A session in the last few minutes of every agenda.
- Easy access to agendas, sessions, and chats (attending and creating).
- Even the first-timers could easily find the options to network with other people.
Things that bothered us at INBOUND21
- The sessions were really good, but some of them were pre-recorded so if anybody had any questions, they couldn’t ask.
- There was a point system that ranked the attendees based on the sessions they attended or sponsors they interacted with. Nobody knew what to do with those points. It would be better if the attendees could redeem those points or get a reward in exchange for those points. I scored more than 1000 points and got 36th rank among all the attendees, but didn’t know what to do with it.
- Some of the company logos where the sponsors were getting displayed were ruptured.
- Nothing focused on development or developers. We get that it was INBOUND, but there are a lot of areas where marketers and developers work together. Developers have a significant role to play in RevOps, but there was hardly any session or agenda that was bringing together development and marketing. When our team members created the chat meetings, there was not a single option that remotely related to web development or HubSpot development itself. It would be a nice addition if we could get to see it in the next event. I was looking forward to connecting with a developer to share my marketing ideas and how-to stuff at the backend to implement it but no success there.
How different INBOUND 2021 was from INBOUND 2020?
This year, it was sorted, well-arranged and well managed. Last year, we had a tough time understanding how to use the event’s features. Most of the people didn’t have a clue about that let alone making a strategy around it. Maybe it was because of the virtual nature of an event of this scale or it was simply not as much user-friendly as it should be. INBOUND 2021 was more streamlined. People knew in a few minutes the What’s and How’s and could easily utilize the features to network with other people. And, by knowing what’s happening it was easy to wrap a strategy around it.
Lisa, Customer Success Manager at Computan attended INBOUND event for the first time. See how it felt to a first-timer.
“Inbound21 was a great experience for me, this was my first Inbound event so I wasn't really sure what to expect, particularly as a virtual event. I think the virtual nature actually made it easier to access more breakout sessions and organized talks. It was fun being an avatar and engaging with others either one-to-one or through group chats. The sessions I attended were interesting and thought-provoking. The user-friendliness could definitely be improved with more intuitive controls and instructions.”
Syed Asadullah, Customer Success Manager at Computan also attended INBOUND. He has also arranged conferences in the past. Let's see what he feels about INBOUND21.
I’ve been arranging conferences in the Middle East and have attended a few in the US too. I was not sure about the success of inbound being virtual but to my surprise, it was great to be in avatars and interacting with people. Apart from that, the sessions were interesting, however, it could have been more interactive but virtual has its own challenges.
Nicolas Milanowski, Operations Manager at Computan has shared his take on INBOUND as he has attended the physical ones as well.
"Inbound 2021 was a great experience and an improvement from last year, no doubt. The virtual meetups, being able to walk around a room and join in on conversations, felt very much like the real thing for those of us lucky enough to have attended a live event in the past. The sessions with live Q&A were also a great addition but this time around I did miss the post-session discussion with other people who had attended. Last year that had offered countless opportunities to meet new people which I feel I missed out on this year. If there were a virtual event next year I would love to see a virtual hall with all the sponsors' booths and be able to walk around and talk to people just like a live event! "