The Session Types at INBOUND – Know Before You Go

Written By Sean McGauley
August 18, 2023

If you’re like me, you’ve been glued to HubSpot’s INBOUND.com reading everything you can get your hands on about the speakers, the sessions, the experience, and what to expect from this year’s conference!

Heck, I’ve even started crafting my perfect agenda already.

I try to do this every year now before attending the event. I like to go in knowing as much about the event as I can to maximize the experience. This was a major lesson I picked up on my first year attending the event. 

I remember feeling underprepared for my initial journey to the conference. I had no idea what to expect and I figured I would just show up like any other conference and the experience would find me…Of course, in some ways it did – I ended up learning a ton, filled a notebook with takeaways, and had a blast. But, it also left me with a feeling that “Next year, I want to get more out of this experience.”

Think of it this way:

  • INBOUND is a massive conference that attracts more than 70,000+ global attendees. 
  • The conference is just a few short days of learning, but there is a LOT packed into those days.
  • Many sessions now require advanced registration.

To make the most of your conference experience, it pays to do your homework. 

Today’s INBOUND homework lesson is about the session types and stages. Not every session is the same. HubSpot has put a lot of work into crafting a variety of programming for attendees to enjoy. 

Main Stage

The Main Stage of INBOUND

INBOUND Main Stage Description: The Main Stage! The biggest stage at INBOUND. For some conferences, the main stage is the spot for the big opening and closing keynotes for each day. At INBOUND, the main stage is delivering the fire all conference long! Each day of the conference includes a mix of What’s Next and Spotlight sessions delivered throughout the day, meaning there’s almost always something great happening on the main stage. 

Session Types on the Main Stage: Attendees will find two of the event’s most exciting session types taking place on the Main stage: Spotlight sessions and What’s Next sessions. Spotlight sessions feature talks from icons, legends, and thought leaders that promise to inspire and motivate. What’s Next sessions provide valuable insights from speakers who will cut through the noise and discuss the emerging trends shaping our world.

Must-Attends on the Main Stage: Because the spotlight sessions include a lot of the big names you likely have seen throughout the INBOUND promotions, and because we’ve taken a closer look at the spotlight speakers already, these are a few of the What’s Next sessions that have caught our eye:

  • The Future of the Ad-Supported Internet
    • Kavata Mbondo, Director, Ads Privacy and Regulations, Google
    • Wednesday, September 6th 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
    • The greatest story never told about the internet is how it is funded. The web is overflowing with things people find relevant, useful, and entertaining. And in the US alone, the internet’s contribution to GDP has grown to $2.45 trillion – with ads playing a big part. While users expect brands to reach them with relevant and helpful online experiences, they don’t want to sacrifice their privacy. Google will discuss the future of ads, the intersection between privacy and AI, and how to balance privacy and economic growth so that everybody thrives: people, small businesses, and publishers alike.

       

  • Preparing for the AI Boom: The Perspective of a Futurist
    • Sinead Bovell, Founder, WAYE
    • Thursday, September 7th 1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
    • Dubbed “the A.I. educator for the non-nerds” by Vogue, Sinead Bovell is “changing the narrative of who should be talking tech.” Get Sinead’s straightforward take on technology and the future in this session exploring the exciting possibilities and concerns of an emerging AI-powered future, focusing on how to adapt and when to resist.

       

  • The Future of Media
    • Boye Akolade, TheFutureParty; Brad Wolverton, HubSpot; Brian Morrissey, The Rebooting; and Lauren Zoltick, Stroyblocks
    • Friday, September 8th 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
    • HubSpot’s Senior Director of Content Brad Wolverton hosts a Future of Media panel session. 

HubSpot Heroes Stage 

Speaker on the HubSpot Heroes Stage at INBOUND

HubSpot Heroes Stage Description: For all things HubSpot, you’ll head over to the HubSpot Heroes stage at INBOUND! Here, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the product from developers, connect with HubSpot Academy Professors, and hear success stories from HubSpot customers.

Must-Attends on the HubSpot Heroes Stage:

  • The State of HubSpot: How to Best Achieve More with Less
    • Jonathan Burge, New Breed; and Peter Caputa IV, Databox
    • Wednesday, September 6th 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
    • Join us for the unveiling of the first-ever State of HubSpot report. You’ll gain insights into the trends, priorities, and challenges of 1,000 revenue leaders using their CRM to navigate change, leverage AI, and forge customer connections to drive profitable revenue. Attendees will learn about how high-performing organizations are leveraging HubSpot to drive profitable and efficient growth, where to focus your budget and CRM investment to maximize your impact and gather insights from practical use cases for navigating rapid change and technology transformation.
  • Meet ChatSpot: Your AI-Powered Sales & Marketing Assistant
    • Jennifer Stone, HubSpot; and Dylan Sellberg, HubSpot
    • Thursday, September 7th 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
    • Work smarter with ChatSpot, the AI-powered sales and marketing assistant tailor-made to grow your business. Join this session to see how ChatSpot powers your HubSpot CRM with generative AI technology to increase productivity and get deeper insights that help your company grow better.
  • Mastering Accurate Conversion Rates with HubSpot
    • Audrey Mattoon, Mainstay; and Brian Kreutz, RevPartners
    • Friday, September 8h 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
    • This session offers a solution to the challenge of setting up accurate conversion rate reporting for marketing pros, salespeople, and executives. By creating a process for frequent and detailed updates across various parameters, the reports will deliver human-proof results and impress management. Set it once and forget it!

Festival Stages 

Festival Stages at INBOUND

HubSpot Description: Festival stages are a unique way to take in a session at the conference. These open-air stages are located on the show floor. These sessions are designed so attendees can freely come and go while also taking in the sponsor booths and networking areas. HubSpot suggests that it’s a great way to mix things up on the show floor – network, visit some booths, and then change it up with a Festival stage session.

Must-Attends on the HubSpot Heroes Stage: Festival stage schedule TBD.    

Lawn on D Stage

Lawn on D Stage at INBOUND

HubSpot Description: Another un-stage from HubSpot! This one is even outside! HubSpot describes the Lawn on D stage as both a vibrant gathering place for exchanging ideas and making connections; and a place for scheduled and spontaneous programming like guided group meditations and yoga. 

Must-Attends on the Lawn on D Stage: Full Lawn on D stage schedule TBD.

  • Lawn on D: Find Your Flow! Yoga Mini-Sesh
    • Nicci Micco, Mamava
    • In this 15-min session, yoga instructor and head of marketing for Mamava, Nicci Micco, will lead you through breath work and moves that create conditions for flow—the state of feeling joyfully immersed in whatever you’re doing. Join this session for a feeling of reset, clarity, and embodiment. Anyone looking for a rejuvenating reset is welcome. No yoga experience or special clothes required.

An Overview of the Session Types of INBOUND

With a whopping 14 session categories, it’s essential to take a quick look at what each type is designed to offer. There are differences in the length of the session, the focus of the content, and some require pre-registration, while others don’t – there’s a lot going on. 

So, let’s get a lay of the land and a brief understanding of each session type:

  1. Experience: Elevate your conference journey with experiences like yoga, wellness sessions, and the captivating “open mic” sessions at the iconic Lawn on D. These informal, slide-free moments might just lead to unexpected insights, as peers step onto the stage to share impromptu gems.
  2. Education Session: Fuel your knowledge with 45-minute Education Sessions, where reservations are required due to limited space. These power-packed sessions are the heart of INBOUND, offering a deep dive into enlightening topics that spark inspiration.
  3. Deep Dive: Plunge into a topic with the Deep Dive sessions, offering a more intensive exploration in just 45 minutes. Reservations are required as these how-to-oriented sessions promise to leave you equipped with actionable takeaways.
  4. Fireside Chat: Join engaging 30-minute Fireside Chats where no pre-registration is required. While the name might not involve actual flames (Trust us – Boston in early September – you won’t want to be anywhere near a hot fire!), these discussions among speaker panels are sure to spark thought-provoking conversations. 
  5. Lecture: Experience 30-minute Lectures on a variety of informative topics presented in a traditional lecture format. There is a mix of sessions that require pre-registration and some that do not. Make sure to double-check the agenda to see if the Lecture you’re interested in requires it.
  6. Podcast: Delve into 45-minute Podcast sessions, no registration needed. While I wasn’t able to find complete details on the INBOUND website, these sessions could potentially find their way onto HubSpot’s podcast!
  7. HubSpot Products: Maximize your HubSpot knowledge by exploring the HubSpot Product sessions. This is another session type that comes in all different session types, lengths, and registration requirements. We recommend referring to the agenda for session details.
  8. What’s Next: A glimpse into the industry’s future with thought-provoking livestreamed sessions that focus on upcoming trends and advancements in the field.
  9. Livestream: Can’t be physically present? Fear not! INBOUND offers extensive livestream coverage for remote attendees, enabling you to catch the action from afar. Refer to the agenda to see which sessions will include a livestream.
  10. Spotlight: Unmissable keynote sessions, the Spotlight category promises to bring you the day’s most impactful and inspiring talks.
  11. Debate: Witness industry titans go head-to-head in riveting debates, tackling burning questions like email strategy and the ideal work week. Let the sparks fly as experts engage in insightful conversations.
  12. Registration: The registration desk is your compass throughout the event, ready to assist you and keep you on track. Open throughout the full event.
  13. Networking Meetup: Forge connections at the scheduled Networking Meetups, designed to cater to the diverse communities and interests of INBOUND.
  14. To Be Announced: HubSpot has aces up its sleeves, with surprises yet to be unveiled. Keep an eye out for unexpected sessions like the Festival Stage experiences that are still to be announced.

See You At INBOUND!

It’s obvious – I can’t wait for INBOUND! And with a diverse range of sessions and session types on the Main Stage, HubSpot Heroes Stage, Festival Stages, and the Lawn on D Stage, it’s easy to see why.

This is a massive conference, but by taking the time now to do your homework beforehand will help you navigate the packed agenda and take full advantage of this incredible event. 

Whether it’s exploring the show floor, connecting with fellow attendees, or soaking up knowledge from expert speakers, INBOUND offers the perfect platform for growth and networking. See you there!

More Resources to Help You Prepare for INBOUND

Sean McGauley

About the Author

Marketing is more challenging than it’s ever been - but, I’m committed to finding new and creative ways to succeed. By day, I’m a digital marketing enthusiast with a passion for connecting brands with their target audience. I have over a decade of experience in creating and executing successful campaigns with a proven track record. I specialize in Strategy, Copywriting, SEO, and social media marketing - always staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies. By night, you'll likely find me adventuring with family and friends. I enjoy nature, photography, mountain biking, fly fishing, and trying new foods. I want to connect with other like-minded professionals to learn from and work with.