This year’s annual HubSpot conference, INBOUND, took place September 26th – 28th in Boston, MA. The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) played host to over 21,000 marketing and sales professionals from almost every industry imaginable, from all corners of the globe. Attendees looked for inspiration, education, and creating connections to transform growth in their respective businesses over the three-day conference.
Through inspiring keynotes, innovative talks, educational breakouts, hands-on lessons, and tons of networking sessions, this year’s INBOUND experience, was a truly remarkable and extremely busy one.
The challenge of maintaining attendee engagement, continuously sharing important information and maintaining organization at a conference of this size over multiple days can seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, with the rise of emergent technologies, keeping attendees on point, on time for their respective sessions and engaged throughout the event has become much more manageable.
FMAV was in attendance at this year’s conference and we thought we’d share the top four technologies we saw utilized to inform and engage the attendees at #INBOUND17:
Social Media Walls
Social media is much more effective if you find a way to engage with your audience. Animated social media displays have become an increasingly popular way to highlight attendees’ contributions at events. Highlighting great social media photos and comments on a social media wall to increase social media engagement is a benefit to any event.
HubSpot showcased an enormous social wall at INBOUND this year, a massive digital chandelier styled screen positioned in the middle of the busiest room at the conference constantly running social posts from attendees. This is a true indication that social media has become such an important engagement tool at events. Thousands of social posts were displayed on the social wall for all to see which allowed attendees to share their experiences which created a fantastic engagement platform for attendees.
Here’s a prime example of how social media created a connection with one of many attendees at this year’s conference. Alex Plaxen from Little Bird Told Media was called out by name by Inbound host Mark Jeffries in front of over 10,000 attendees on the main stage in response to a tweet from Alex earlier in the day.
Thanks @Markjeffries1 for the shoutout! My @INBOUND main stage debut! #INBOUND17 pic.twitter.com/MmTdaDefLQ
— Alex Plaxen (@APlaxen) September 26, 2017
Inbound 2017 was scattered throughout hundreds of rooms throughout the BCEC and digital signage was an extremely important tool used over the course of the conference to keep attendees informed on where things were located when sessions began, and who had access to what.
Digital Signs were strategically placed throughout the BCEC to answer frequently asked questions like where an attendee could find their badge or the time and location of an upcoming keynote speaker. Education sessions and room details were displayed on digital screens located at the entrance of each breakout room which kept productivity high and confusion to a minimum.
The importance at charging stations at today’s events has become clearly evident. The average event participant carries 2.5 electronic devices with them and inevitably one of those devices will need to be charged.
There were over 21,000 attendees at INBOUND17 and the very thought of attendees trying to hunt down and huddle around any open power outlet in hallways or meeting rooms to keep powered up would have caused chaos.
By deploying charging stations and lounges throughout the convention centre, HubSpot created a convenient, collaborative, and premium atmosphere for attendees who needed to keep their devices charged in a secured environment which allowed them to stay connected and engaged during the event. “I was delighted to hear so much positive feedback from the many HubSpot customers I met with throughout the conference regarding the charging stations in the lounge areas. It gave attendees the flexibility to safely lock and charge their phone while they napped in a hammock or bean-bag or attended various learning sessions that took place during the conference,” said Nora Edmonds, Senior Customer Success Manager, HubSpot.
The Inbound17 Event App
There are a lot of details to keep in mind when you are planning a larger event. From important messaging through push notifications to accessing session schedules, social media gateways, and speaker information, the list can seem endless.
The INBOUND 2017 app was a fantastic information tool for attendees by allowing them to build and manage their agenda for the week, network with other attendees, navigate throughout the event, and get important information about all the activities throughout each day.
INBOUND 2017 was an absolute blast. This truly is an incredible gathering place for marketing and sales professionals to come together to celebrate and collaborate on everything that is Inbound Marketing. Boston is an amazing city. The conference center is world class and HubSpot created amazing experiences for attendees through embracing event technologies to ensure this annual event (which has seen tremendous growth year after year) was organized, kept attendees engaged and well informed.