October 14, 2014 | Holly Yalove

My Favorite Moments from INBOUND 2014 in Boston


It has been almost a month since Tim Lott and I attended the INBOUND 2014 marketing conference (#INBOUND14) where 10,000 marketing and sales professionals came together in Boston, MA.

Having attended in 2013, I knew it would be amazing and had grandiose plans of blogging every night of the conference.

Well, that was a great plan, but our schedule in Boston was pretty non-stop and there was much to do once we returned to our daily inbound marketing life here in Knoxville, TN.

Even though it was weeks ago, the things I learned at INBOUND 2014 still inspire me every day, and I wanted to share them with you! Here are a few of my favorite moments...

INBOUND 2014 Keynote Speaker: Simon Sinek

Although the speaker line-up this year was impressive, my favorite by far was Simon Sinek. Simon's bestseller Start with Why was the basis of his 2009 TED talk, which has become the second most popular video of all time on TED.com.

His keynote at INBOUND14 was based on his new book Leaders Eat Last and focused on how important biology is to making employees feel valued and inspired.

Simon explained that when your team sees their leaders put employees before themselves, rush toward danger, and "feed" employees first, the culture fostered is one of trust and cooperation.

Great leaders build a "Circle of Safety" that will lead to confident, empowered teams that enjoy coming to work each day.

In addition to an inspiring keynote, Simon led a breakout session where INBOUND attendees could get up close and personal, asking anything that was on their minds.

I asked Simon if we could give him a poster we created for the event, get another signed for display in our office, and a quick selfie to commemorate the occasion!

Other Inspiring INBOUND 2014 Speakers

There were many great speakers at INBOUND, some much better than others. Particularly disappointing was my glue-gun-toting crafting idol Martha Stewart. Her speech was not very "inboundy," and seemed more like an extended commercial for her brand. Still, I give her props for starting the crafting content marketing movement.

The need for courage in business was a common thread, and there were many great points to take home to my Knoxville-based team to share. Speakers pictured in the gallery below are:

  • Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Alltop.com, current chief evangelist at Canva, and former chief evangelist of Apple, who spoke at the HubSpot partner reception about lessons learned from Steve Jobs.
  • Malcolm Gladwell, author of five New York Times bestsellers, who warned his keynote audience that if you have "...a truly revolutionary transformative act, the world will call you a weirdo, and it requires courage."
  • David Meerman Scott, an internationally-acclaimed strategist whose books and blog are geared toward professionals seeking to stand out in a noisy marketplace.
  • Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living and queen of "how-to," who spoke about building a brand.
  • Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, who was the final speaker of INBOUND14. She left the audience in tears with her story of Malala Yousafzai and her campaign for girl's education, which recently made her the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel Prize.
  • Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of HubSpot, who also gave amazing keynotes. Some of what they covered is featured in the next section.

HubSpot's New Feature Announcements

HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan and CTO Dharmesh Shah announced the many new features being added to HubSpot in 2014, most of which were at the request of HubSpot customers.

Some of the highlights for me were the additions of branching logic, anonymous personalization, revenue reporting, attribution reporting, an editorial calendar, a campaigns tool, and my personal favorite, the new HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot Tour and HubSpot Friends

Tim and I have made great professional connections in our years working with HubSpot, but these guys are more than business contacts - they have also become great friends. A BIG highlight of our trip was connecting with old friends and meeting some new ones.

Nick Sal (of HubSpot Academy fame) loaded us up with certification badges to wear proudly around INBOUND. I got to reconnect with my very first HubSpot consultant Adrianne Mayshar, and we finally got to meet our consultant Evan Dean in person.

Our sales buddies and mentors Sarah Posnak and James Stone showed us some of the Boston sights and introduced us to new friends on their team (loving the new CRM, Jeff Swank!).

Sarah gave us a much-anticipated tour of HubSpot, where we were excited to see they have a conference room named after one of our favorite clients, Dr. Robert Cialdini.

In addition to catching up with our HubSpot friends, we got to connect and re-connect with fellow HubSpot customers and #HubPartners (shout-out to Paul Kondo, John Shea, Lindsay Kelley, Tristan Barnum, and Greg Carroll).

I have the date for INBOUND15 on my calendar (September 8-11, 2015) and I hope we can get even more members of our team there next year.

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Holly Yalove

Holly Yalove

As VIEO’s chief strategist and one of our principals, Holly Yalove serves as the head digital and inbound marketing strategy for our clients. She has used her extensive management, sales, and marketing experience to dramatically increase our digital marketing business, helping us become the well-rounded agency we are today.

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