The Agency Week 2018 Experience
How Attending INBOUND 2018 Morphed into a Full-Week of Agency Events.
I’ve always thought attending the three full-days at HubSpot’s annual INBOUND Conference was an ambitious challenge. But this year, ambition turned into an all-out assault as our team took part in a super-charged week full of agency events. Something we have now coined as Agency Week 2018.
As exhausting it was, our team offered some relief by taking turns attending events, except for my social media cohort (our Digital Strategist, TJ Kelly) and I. Everyday, TJ and I hit the ground running and attended every event, meetup, party and presentation we could find.
Here’s our story…
Agency Automation 2018
At last year’s INBOUND conference, we met the team at Accelo; their software automates operations for our business, as well for many other agencies and service-based companies.
We got to know the Accelo team on the exhibit floor as we shared with them our story of growth, merging and operations successes. At the time, I pitched the idea of a “User Group” for agencies (and continued to hound them for six months after). Accelo’s Founder and CEO Geoff McQueen loved the idea and engaged our team’s help to host and produce the first-ever sanctioned user-group for Accelo, Agency Automation 2018.
The goal of Agency Automation 2018 was to help agencies create efficiencies in their businesses to increase productivity, quality, and profitability.
The event was hosted on Monday, Sept. 3rd, 2018 at Industrious, Boston Seaport. The date and venue were perfectly aligned with Drift’s HYPERGROWTH event and HubSpot’s INBOUND 2018 conference. Both of these events were in Boston’s Seaport and the same week. The timing was perfect, and so was the event.
Agency Automation was held from 6 – 9 pm and guests included many agency owners, some Accelo Users and some not, preparing for INBOUND 2018’s Partner Day. A perfect audience for the event.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, we did have a few last minute hiccups, but regardless, the event went on without a hitch.
The agenda included industry insights and best practices from Geoff McQueen, CEO & Founder of Accelo; I was honored to be McQueen’s featured guest.
The evening started with McQueen presenting on Automation and how Accelo has helped agencies smooth out and better manage their operations. Next, our team hit the floor with the story of our early adoption of Accelo and how automation and has helped prepare for growth and scalability.
After the two presentations, guests lingered around for another hour to share stories and ask questions of both Accelo and the 3 Media Web team.
Overall it was a very successful sharing and learning experience. Getting to know other agencies and sharing experiences with them, is one the of the advantages of learning to grow your agency. Agency Automation 2018 was great for just that, and we hope that everyone took away information that could help with their future growth.
3 Media Web Team Takeaways:
Mike St. Jean, Project Manager:
“It was a pleasure to team up with Accelo to host such a fantastic event. Providing our team’s perspectives and experience with other industry professionals helped Accelo and 3 Media Web demonstrate their collaborative relationship in agency automation.”
Kelsey Whytock, Project Manager:
“I enjoyed listening to Geoff McQueen discuss the benefits that agencies can gain by integrating automation into their everyday processes, and how these benefits have stimulated the growth of Accelo.”
Why We Loved HYPERGROWTH East 2018
On Tuesday, part of our team attended Drift’s HYPERGROWTH East Sales and Marketing Conference at the Bank of Boston Pavillion, an outdoor event venue usually used for concerts. HYPERGROWTH East was an all day, all evening, event that included an amazing line-up of social influencers such as Ryan Diess, CEO of Digital Marketer, Navy Seal Jocko Willink, Decorated Olympian Aly Raisman, and YouTube Sensation Casey Neistat.
All of the speakers were extraordinarily inspirational and motivational, but I will share my favorite three.
Your Brand, Your Character
Ryan Deiss, CEO of Digital Marketer and one of the keynote speakers at the event, is a big fan of HYPERGROWTH. (See his video below.)
Deiss talked about branding and the importance of creating a character in your brand. His presentation was very compelling and full of nuggets, reinforcing the fact that your company’s culture is such an essential part of your character or brand. It’s the tone of who you are.
Justice is not served until change is made
Aly Raisman shared her story of bravery. An Olympian, national hero, and a survivor. Aly shared her compelling story of abuse, survival and fighting back. She is driving conversation and change about sexual abuse in athletics and continuing to take on the organizations meant to protect — not just athletes, but abuse victims in general. She emphasized the importance of speaking out when something is wrong and not just taking a back seat out of fear.
You can overcome anything with persistence and dedication
Casey Neistat talked about what he’s overcome in the face of adversity. The YouTube sensation and entrepreneur shared his past failures as a high school dropout, teenage parent, his fight to avoid homelessness, and how he began filmmaking when he bought an iMac with money he didn’t have and moved to New York City with his brother.
His first video was about an iPod battery and led to the term “viral video” being coined. He later sold a show to HBO with his brother, and eventually went on to create two extremely useful videos for Nike and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty leading to his success today. We all agreed his story was inspirational and the highlight of the event.
3 Media Web Team Takeaways:
Julie Mason, Social Media Coordinator:
On Casey Neistat:
“When marketing your product- don’t shove the product down your audience’s throat, instead, send an inspiring message during your marketing campaign. I particularly enjoyed his example of using all of the Nike marketing budget to travel around the world in 10 days, featuring the countries in which he is running. The message was to “just do it” and go on a crazy adventure.”
On Grant Cardone:
“He made the point that in sales you can’t worry about everyone liking you. He mentioned that you need to hustle when you are in sales. You may have to reach out to some people multiple times before you will make a sale. This might even cause some people to dislike you, but that’s part of the game.”
Sara Spector-Brown, Director of Operations:
“The common thread amongst the presenters of ‘believe you can sell yourself, your product, your company.’ Casey Neistat is a prime example. He went from being almost homeless, working at a burger joint to becoming a huge YouTube celebrity and sought-after film/video/commercial producer.”
Why Did INBOUND18 Rock?
2018 was the second year in a row that Team 3 Media Web attended HubSpot’s INBOUND Marketing Conference (INBOUND18), an event that attracts 25,000 marketing creatives from all over the world.
INBOUND18 started the Wednesday (for Agency Partners, Tuesday) after Labor Day, and included three full days of high-profile speakers and keynote presentations, along with workshops related to digital marketing, entrepreneurship, sales strategy, agency growth, and, of course, inbound marketing.
This year’s keynote speakers included former award-winning novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Former Vice Chair of GE Beth Comstock; acclaimed author and innovator, Deepak Chopra; HubSpot Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah; and Founder and CEO Charity: Water, Scott Harrison.
Other exciting presenters included various entrepreneurs and success stories like Soul Cycle Co-Founder, Julie Rice, and Alex Rodriguez (AROD), to name a few.
3 Media Web Team Takeaways:
TJ Kelly, Digital Marketing Strategist:
“There are so many people. So many speakers. So much energy and buzz all around. It’s impossible not to get swept up in the hype of being in the largest gathering of digital marketing professionals in the world—many of whom are at the absolute top of their game. It’s infectious.1) It’s exciting.”
The schedule moves fast.
“It feels like being back in college, sprinting from one end of campus to the other, hoping you can still get a seat in the lecture hall close enough to the front that you’ll be able to read the professor’s slides on the screen. And there are lots of people skipping class, unconsciously tempting you to do the same.”
“The sheer magnitude of the event is awe-inspiring. 3 football fields (160k sf) worth of main stage/auditorium for keynotes, 6 football fields (354k sf) worth of “Club INBOUND” open space for vendors, food, and recreation space, 82 meeting rooms—pretty much all of which get used for breakout sessions. Not to mention the Lawn on D, the WeWork space, the Podcast Lounge, and some VIP hangouts. It’s massive.”
And this is the big one for me…
“If you’re a full-timer in digital marketing, you might already know 75% of what the talks and sessions cover. Sure, you can learn some of that last 25%. But the real reason to go to INBOUND, in my humble opinion, is to get inspired.
The excitement, pace, and scale of the event, combined with the skill and motivation level of the 24,000+ attendees, create palpable energy that’s hard to ignore. You’ll walk away on Friday exhausted but more fired up than ever to build incredible things.”
The Agency Party with Accelo
Our INBOUND 2018 social highlight of the week, was The Agency Party sponsored by Accelo.
The party (free to INBOUND attendees) was lined up down the street with hundreds of INBOUND folks, waiting to join the evening’s events or shall we say, shenanigans. In the end, over 900 people attended what is now known as the “must attend” INBOUND after-party.
Held at Rosa Mexicano, the food included what I refer to now as “Holy Guacamole.” This was the largest spread of guac and chips I’ve ever seen. Other “delectables” included passed Mexican apps, an endless open bar of margaritas and beer — all topped off with a hopping Salsa Band. This kept guests watered, fed and entertained for the evening, and eventually led to the best of agency dancers strutting their stuff on the dance floor.
Our team met lots of other great agency owners and event attendees at the party including people from far across the globe, El Salvador, the Cayman Islands, and Austria. We also mingled with the hosts, our friends from the Accelo team and recounted our great experience and the success of our agency Agency Automation 2018 event.
Summing up Agency Week 2018
Our “Agency Week 2018”, including Agency Automation 2018, HYPERGROWTH EAST AND INBOUND18 proved to be spectacular.
It was great to host our own event with Accelo and experience being on the other side of the stage with the software company that has helped us grow and scale our agency.
HYPERGROWTH EAST was an inspirational breath of fresh air, and our team enjoyed attending and gaining insight and inspiration from the event’s influential speakers.
As usual, HubSpot outdid themselves with the INBOUND ‘18 event, creating an overall positive agency vibe, and making every attendee feel like a superstar.
It was a memorable (and exhausting) Agency Week 2018 overall!
Find out more about our agency week experience: Five Unexpected Lessons I Learned Not Related to Marketing