Around 5,300 orange-clad inbound marketing fans gathered at the Hynes Convention Center yesterday for the official start of HubSpot’s annual conference, INBOUND.
The excitement in the air for INBOUND 13 was so palpable that it couldn’t even be dampened by the almost Disney World-esque line for passes that greeted attendees. Walking into the Hynes Convention Center, which was bursting at the seams with HubSpotters, you got the feeling that HubSpot may be outgrowing even its own expectations.
Groups of eager HubSpot fans, some wearing matching outfits/costumes, many wearing various hues of HubSpot’s signature orange (the event has to hold some record for the most pairs of orange TOMS shoes being worn in one place), all seemed to be bubbling over with anticipation as the start to INBOUND 13 approached. As MC/HubSpot Inbound Marketing Specialist Dan Sally took the stage to officially open the event, the din of excitement from the packed house in the Hynes Auditorium dropped to an attentive quiet, save for the odd ooh’s and ahh’s of impressed conference attendees (and, rather humorously, the one crowd member who shouted “We want Seth!” at one point, in reference to keynote speaker Seth Godin).
CMO Mike Volpe spoke first and shared some impressive numbers showing how quickly the event has grown in its first three years. Comparing INBOUND to Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, which attracted over 90,000 attendees this year, Volpe explained how INBOUND’s growth is greater when compared to similar numbers from Dreamforce’s first few years.
The first keynote speaker of the week was marketing guru and e-book publishing maven Seth Godin, whose gift for public speaking is only outdone by his clever witticisms and his uncanny ability to drop bold, motivational koans at a breathtaking pace.
For those familiar with Godin’s many books or who follow his highly subscribed blog, many of the ideas presented would sound familiar. However, you couldn't walk away from his talk without an urge to aspire to greatness. His plea to "make art, give gifts, do work that matters, connect, lead, ship, and make a difference," seems so simple and obvious that I'm sure many INBOUND attendees left the talk imagining their next earth-shattering project.
The afternoon’s highlight was the addresses given by HubSpot founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan to the gathered HubSpot army. The dance-filled, troop-rallying talks focused on the call to “Experience Inbound” as well as the unveiling of HubSpot’s new Content Optimization System and its new “Inbound Sales” email tracking service Signals.
HubSpot’s new COS aims to create a more personalized experience for return visitors to a company’s website. Here is the official video announcement for the Content Optimization System:
The event continues today and tomorrow, with keynote talks from Arianna Huffington and Nate Silver (whose Thursday talk is the generating the most buzz at the event), as well as a concert featuring OneRepublic at INBOUND Rocks tonight.
Tickets are still available to be purchased for walk up conference attendees.
Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.