Social Media and Events Manager, Malia McGovern, recently attended INBOUND 2019 hosted by HubSpot in Boston. Read below on her experience and some tips on how to conquer a conference alone.
Conference – a formal meeting for discussion
INBOUND – a badass experience full of learning and networking
For years, INBOUND has been on my dream board. After attending, I now question why it took me so long to go. It was, by far, my favorite conference that I’ve ever attended to date.
Going to a conference alone can cause anxiety. With INBOUND fresh on my mind, I decided that it would be helpful to share a few tips that will help you thrive at #INBOUND20 and other future conferences.
Not with your outfits, though. I promise that you’ll want to be casual after you look down at your watch and realize that you’ve hit over 10,000 steps. INBOUND is essentially the time to break out a pair of sneaks and your favorite t-shirt dress. INBOUND is also a time that you can start thinking on how to stick out with your personality and voice. INBOUND is not the time for you to be afraid to sit next to someone that you don’t know. You never know who you will be sitting by, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. Who knew that I would go to a conference alone and come out with great friendships? When you get out of your bubble, you could meet a new friend, business partner or client. The opportunities are truly endless.
Yo, this isn’t college anymore. Don’t be afraid to sit in the front row. Something to remember: these speakers don’t know you, so you won’t get picked on. When you sit front row, you’ll be able to see the slides better and understand what the speaker is saying. Plus, you never know if they’re giving a free book away. Sitting up close allows you to have better eye contact with the speaker, ask questions first and be fully engaged without distractions.
Take the dang notes! Back in the day, I was the student that said I didn’t need notes because I would remember. Yeah, I was wrong. Especially at a conference like INBOUND, you’ll be blown away by how much information you’ll absorb. Not only was I taking notes on my computer, but I was also utilizing my phone and notebook to make sure that I didn’t miss a beat. I realized that taking notes allowed me to accurately jot down the speaker’s name and contact information, which has turned out to be extremely helpful. Don’t just take notes to take notes, though. Be intentional with the points you write down, as your notes will be the only source of information that you have when you leave.
There was never a moment at INBOUND that I wasn’t smiling or crying from laughing. INBOUND allowed me to think more about my professional career and since I’ve been back in the office, I have already applied advice from every session that I attended. I walked away from Elizabeth Gilbert’s session feeling like a badass. I didn’t want to leave Katie Couric’s spotlight, as I felt empowered to take on any challenge thrown my way. From Chip and Joanna Gaines, I learned that anything is possible. I had no expectations about INBOUND, but I walked out feeling so grateful for the overwhelming amount of knowledge that I received.
If you love to network, engage in crazy conversations, learn new ways to succeed and ultimately feel like the most badass version of yourself – sign up for the 2020 INBOUND conference here. You won’t regret it and if you do, you can reach out to me personally.