The Growth Spurt Team’s Official #INBOUND Recap

Written By Jessica Bell
October 3, 2023

Our squad is back from the conference, buzzing with excitement to dish out the latest insights we’ve gained!

For those unfamiliar: INBOUND stands as HubSpot’s yearly three-day extravaganza, drawing business moguls, marketing mavens, and sales gurus to dive into workshops steered by top-tier professionals and engage with the vibrant HubSpot community. As an added perk, there’s a sprinkle of awe-inspiring talks featuring the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Derek Jeter, and a comedy set by John Mulaney that kept the crowd pumped up this year!

HubSpot's INBOUND Conference in Boston

This year's INBOUND conference undoubtedly proved to be a week filled with enlightenment, networking prospects, and unforgettable moments. Our team certainly immersed themselves in all of it. Here’s a glimpse of what a few of Growth Spurt’s team members had to say regarding their event experience.

 

 

Growth Spurt Principal Tony Paille

Name: Tony Paille 
Title: Principal
Organization: Growth Spurt 
Find Tony on LinkedIn 

Which new HubSpot feature are you most excited about?

“Of course the big updates, like Commerce Hub are amazing. But I always love the little updates that make your life a lot easier, but fly under the radar. I’m really excited about conditional properties, which will be available to all Pro+ customers.

Conditional properties will allow HubSpot admins to define what properties should be displayed and be required based on the value of another property. These rules will be triggered when users make edits throughout the HubSpot CRM to contacts, companies, deals, tickets, and custom objects.

Here’s an example:

In your state/province dropdown property, you have all of the US states and Canadian provinces as available options. You can create a condition that if the user selects the United States as their country, they only see US states in the state property. If they select Canada as their country, they only see Canadian provinces.

I’m excited to explore all of the different use cases with our customers.”

What session left the most lasting impression on you and why?

“My favorite session this year was “Online and In-Person Event Marketing: What’s Working Now!” led by Jay Schwedelson of Outcome Media. It was packed full of actionable takeaways. Here are just a few:

  • Emails promoting webinars that do NOT include the word “webinar” in the subject line have a 27% higher overall open rate
  • Webinars promoted as being 30 minutes long or less have a 31% higher show-up rate
  • When every third email sent focuses on real content instead of registration promotion, the following send has a 37% higher open rate

Apparently, I’m way late to the Jay Schwedelson party. After the session, I was buzzing! I told all of my INBOUND friends how amazing this session was, and everyone was already a fan of his. More than one person told me, “When Jay’s on the agenda, I never miss his session.”

He has a podcast called “Do This, NOT That: Marketing Tips with Jay Schwedelson,” and it’s a must-listen. I crushed every episode in the week after INBOUND.”

What key lesson or insight has had a significant impact on you?

“The thing that stood out to me the most is that no one wants to talk about what downstream impact generative AI is going to have on inbound marketing. I don’t know if it’s because no one quite knows we all want to bury our heads in the sand, or we just don’t think it will be significant.

There were loads of sessions on generative AI but more on how to use these tools to scale your content efforts. I’m more interested in understanding what the increased competition for keywords and the changes in user behavior are going to have on driving organic search traffic back to our website and what we should do about it.

Should we be investing more in social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube? Should we be trying to optimize our content for ChatGPT? I didn’t see any thought leadership on this topic, and I’m not totally sure what that means.”

What was your favorite piece of swag?

“HubSpot’s Oscar Robles gave me a cool HubSpot dad hat for being a HubSpot User Group leader that I’ll be wearing a lot this year.

The swag seems to get weirder every year as businesses try to find new ways to stand out. On the last day of the event, when all of the sponsors were trying to dump all of their leftover swag, some guy ran after me, asking if I wanted a pack of bandaids. I politely declined.”

What would be some advice you would give to a newbie at INBOUND?

“Get out of your comfort zone and meet people. Sit down with people on the Lawn on D at lunch, go to the parties, and make dinner plans. The INBOUND community is full of brilliant, caring, amazing people, and if you’re not taking every opportunity to get to know them, you’re just not getting the full INBOUND experience.

Despite the agenda being pretty packed, try and do at least one fun thing while you’re in Boston. It’s an incredible city full of sites and rich history.”

Did you have any enjoyable experiences while you were in Boston?

“Every year, I make it a point to get to Boston’s North End for a fior di latte pomodoro pizza and a root beer from Regina Pizza on Thacher St. The place has been family-owned since 1926, and they have the best pizza on the planet.

After that, we took a short walk over to Mike’s Pastry on Tremont St. for cannolis. That’s the North End one-two punch!”

Is there any additional aspect of your INBOUND experience that you’d like to share or highlight?

“If you’re a HubSpot user, you have to go to INBOUND. If you’re serious about inbound marketing, you have to go to INBOUND. If you want to be a part of a welcoming community of sales and marketing professionals, you have to go to INBOUND.

I owe a lot of the success I’ve had in my career to the lessons I learned and the people I met at this great event.”

 

 

Sean McGauley from Growth Spurt attending INBOUND

Name: Sean McGauley, CIP
Title: Digital Marketing Strategist 
Organization: Growth Spurt 
Find Sean on LinkedIn

Which new HubSpot feature are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about the new SMS features in HubSpot. HubSpot’s said that this has been a top request for a while, and now it’s finally here!

Now you can seamlessly send and receive text messages within HubSpot, and what’s even more exciting is that you can incorporate these messages into your HubSpot workflows. This means you can automate and streamline your communication with customers, making it more efficient and effective.

In my opinion, the ability to manage text messages alongside all the other powerful HubSpot tools in one place is a game-changer. It simplifies the way we can connect and converse with our customers – improving customer relationships and driving stronger connections.

What session left the most lasting impression on you and why?

My favorite session was “9 Ways to Generate More Response Using Behavioral Science” with Nancy Harhut.

Nancy’s session focused on how in marketing, it’s crucial to understand that your customers and potential clients have natural, automatic, and instinctive reactions hardwired into them. These are the ingrained responses that all humans tend to have. By considering these principles of behavioral science, you can boost engagement and encourage more favorable responses to your marketing campaigns.

What key lesson or insight has had a significant impact on you?

I always enjoy hearing from HubSpot’s co-founder, Dharmesh Shah. His keynote session this year was excellent and talked about the big elephant in the room – generative AI. AI was a topic found all over the INBOUND agenda this year and I loved this gem from Dharmesh: “My mission is to have you fall in love with a future version of yourself empowered by AI.”

Speaker Quote from Dharmesh Shah

To me, this means marketers need to embrace new technologies and use them to become even more irreplaceable at work.

What was your favorite piece of swag?

Right now, I’m wearing my fancy new HubSpot User Group sweatshirt that was given to me by Oscar Robles at the HUG Leaders meetup. This will be my favorite swag until it inevitably gets stolen by my wife like many of my comfy sweatshirts.

What would be some advice you would give to a newbie at INBOUND?

Prepare to take lots of notes. You’ll be “drinking from the firehose” with all of the lessons and best practices, but taking time to jot things down will help you make sense of it all when you’re back at the office digesting it.

Bonus tip: it seems like a no-brainer, but drink plenty of water! Trust me, you’ll need it!

Did you have any enjoyable experiences while you were in Boston?

I had my first experience with Taiyaki, a Japanese fish-shaped cake, commonly sold as street food. At Boston’s Taiyaki – NYC, they’ve turned the famous fish-shaped cake into an ice cream cone, packed with all of your favorite flavors, toppings, and drizzles. I became an instant Taiyaki fan!

Is there any additional aspect of your INBOUND experience that you’d like to share or highlight?

Whether you went to INBOUND this year and are looking to keep the learning going; or, you missed this year’s conference and are looking to catch up on everything you missed – the best next step is to join your local HubSpot User Group. It’s the best way to tap into the excitement of INBOUND all year long.

 

 

Jessica Bell attending INBOUND


Name:
Jessica Bell, CIP
Title: Digital Marketing Strategist 
Organization: Growth Spurt 
Find Jess on LinkedIn

Which new HubSpot feature are you most excited about?

If I had to choose, I’d say the tools for advancing CRM capabilities. With these tools at our disposal, we can craft highly personalized functionalities and experiences for each client.

What session left the most lasting impression on you and why?

I absolutely loved the session title, “BELONGing: The Intersection of DEI & Customer Experience,” with Shonnah Hughes, VP of Global Salesforce Alliance at CGI, and Dan Gingiss, CEO at The Experience Marketer. During this session, Shonnah and Dan make a case that DEI is more than just an HR concept; it’s about building products and services with your diverse customer base in mind and being inclusive in your marketing.

What key lesson or insight has had a significant impact on you?

Understanding that the world is constantly evolving. Especially for marketers. The landscape in which marketers operate is subject to shifts driven by technological advancements, changing consumer behaviors, societal trends, and economic fluctuations. These changes have a direct impact on how businesses connect with their audience, promote their products or services, and ultimately drive growth.

Adapting to these shifts allows marketers to stay ahead of the curve, remain relevant, and meet the ever-changing needs and preferences of their target audience.

What was your favorite piece of swag?

At every conference, I make it a goal to collect as much swag as I can for my fiancé. We both agreed that the personalized bag tags from the VIP section were amazing and perfect for our upcoming honeymoon! 

What would be some advice you would give to a newbie at INBOUND?

This year, I was a newcomer myself! The top tip I can offer is to seek advice from someone with prior experience attending the conference. My INBOUND experience was incredibly smooth as I proactively asked my boss, Tony, about expectations, essential items to bring, appropriate attire, and more. It truly helped me feel thoroughly prepared for the event.

Did you have any enjoyable experiences while you were in Boston?

The quick answer… YES! During our trip, our team explored local parks, indulged in fantastic dinners, and savored desserts. Personally, my highlight was enjoying a pizza from Regina Pizza on Thacher St. I swear one piece was the size of my head!

Is there any additional aspect of your INBOUND experience that you’d like to share or highlight?

KEEP GOING! If you can, try to attend every year. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

The Growth Spurt team at INBOUND

Jessica Bell