This is another guest post by Don Battis. Truthfully, I almost didn’t publish it because, well I’ll let you figure out why. In his own, unedited words, Don Battis…
The Inbound 12 event was a great opportunity to participate
in “the conversation”- just like we all are trying to do on social media. Blogging, tweeting, and posting on Facebook
is fine. But for the most part, it is a one-way street in terms of having a
conversation. If nobody comments, replies, Retweets, or likes then we never
know if anyone is listening. Maybe we’re
just amusing ourselves.
I was excited for the opportunity to meet and talk with some
of the Inbound Marketing thought leaders at Inbound 12. To prepare for the
conference, I made sure to stuff a big handful of business cards into my
pocket, and it was a good thing I did!
After the Opening Day Keynotes, where I got to shake hands
with David Meerman Scott, I set out
with the 2,800 other Inbound Marketers, eager to “work the room” and meet some other
Hubspot converts. The common thread for
all was to become better marketers so that we could grow our businesses.
Pete Caputa says
in his collaborativegrowth.com blog, “working a room” at an event can be
tough. It’s hard to introduce yourself
to people and make any kind of meaningful connections. But walk into a that same room with someone
who is already known and trusted, like Rick
Roberge, and you will easily make valuable connections.
Guess who I ran into right after the keynotes, aimlessly
wandering the hallways?
I dragged him with me to hear Mark Roberge’s talk on Paid Media. This presentation was tops on my list that morning,
as I wanted to meet more of the @rainmakermaker family. I already know Mark’s little brother, Matt, who has an online bookkeeping business in Salt Lake City.
We were no sooner seated in our row when Rick asks the man
next to him, “Who are you and what do you do?”
“Why, I’m David Gran. I sell homes near military bases.”
“Oh”, says Rick. “You should meet Don Battis. He has an online pawn shop. You two
might be selling to the same people. Give him a business card.” So we exchanged
cards and talked about HubSpot.
Then the man in the next row turns around to see what is
going on. “Who are you and what do you
do?” asks Rick. “I’m Hoyt Mann. I sell
customer support software.” The man replies.
“Very cool.” Says Rick. “These
guys must need software in their business.
Give them business cards.”
After the presentation, Rick looks up from his phone and
says to me, “Come on we’re having lunch with Arjun Moorthy. He’s HubSpot’s VP of Product.”
Off we go to the lunchroom, which is now crowded with most
of the 2,800 attendees. Rick gets a call
from Arjun who’s never met Rick and is wondering how they’ll find each other in
that crowed room. “Don’t worry”, says
Rick. “You’ll find me. I’m standing next
to Don Battis who’s a tall guy with white hair.” (Yeah, and he should have
added that he was the other tall white haired guy with the LOUD Hawaiian shirt.)
Soon enough, Arjun found us; we picked up our lunches, and
started the search for a place to sit. Arjun
ran into an old friend, Rob Theis, who
joined our little lunch group. Rob is
Managing Director of Scale Venture Partners, an early investor in HubSpot. Rob knew of a small media room next door
where we found a quiet place to eat lunch.
As we all sat at a big round table, we exchanged business cards and chatted
about our various HubSpot experiences. Rick
noticed a man at the next table. He was sitting all by himself with his nose
pushed into his laptop. “Hey you!”
called Rick. “Stop pretending to work
and come join us.” The man came to join
us at our table. It turned out he is a
CBS Chicago reporter doing interviews of the keynote speakers at
Inbound12. Shame on him though, he came
empty handed with no business cards!
Soon Mike Volpe,
CMO at HubSpot, sat down with us. I have
always wanted to meet Mike because I’m a big fan of the Friday afternoon
HubSpot TV. HubSpot TV is the signal in
our office to “crack open a cold one.”
We covered a lot of ground in our lunchtime conversation (sailing,
San Francisco restaurants, Boston bars, Cindy Lauper, etc.) and all of it
related somehow to HubSpot. We all had
different connections with the company and I think we all learned a little
something from the varied perspectives.
Throughout the rest of conference, both on my own and as
part of Rick’s Posse, I came to view the Inbound 12 as an Inbound Networking
event. It is what marketers want social
media to be, a place for word-of-mouth referrals and connections. But it takes a sales person to say “Hello”,
stick out a hand, and exchange business cards to actually connect.
Rick’s blog gives those of us, who guest post and comment, a
way to expand our reach to his followers.
We’re trying to engage with new people and hopefully make new
connections. But even online, it’s not a
passive activity. You need to
So, now you know how to make me blush, but amidst all the ‘Rick’ stuff, Don made a great point. Inbound Marketing works even better if you get your vocal chords involved. Come check out the Inbound Networkers Group on LinkedIn and/or join us at one of our weekly online meetings.