Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Register Here

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.
Register Here
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

9 Non-Awkward Ways to Break the Ice at INBOUND 2017 (or Any Conference!)

By Katie Coelho

9 Non-Awkward Ways to Break the Ice at INBOUND 2017 (or Any Conference!)

Being that I've made the trip three times, I’ve had enough experience at INBOUND that I feel I have a few tips to share - for first timers or seasoned veterans.

There are tons of articles on how to network at events, but INBOUND is so different, I feel like none of the articles I’ve read are applicable. You may not grab the business card of everyone you meet, but conferences like this are not about that.

What I’m suggesting is that you stay open to meeting as many people as possible, take home some great pieces of information (a free Website Throwdown at the IMPACT booth is a great place to start), and, overall just have a great time.

So, what are some real ways you can break the ice this year at INBOUND without feeling awkward, you ask?

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

First, I’d like to get this out of the way: Yes, last year was a bit tense with the election and with former first lady Michelle Obama's keynote this year, it might be tempting to talk politics, but steer clear of it. Just sit back and wonder what her arm work out is like any other day:


Ok, let’s get to it... Here are a few tips on how to break the ice at #INBOUND17.

Tips for Breaking the Ice at INBOUND 2017

1. Connect on Social Media Ahead of Time

Why break the ice in person when you can do it online?

There is a Facebook Event and even a hashtag for solo attendees (#INBOUNDsolo) dedicated to helping people connect before, during, and after INBOUND 2017, so take full advantage of them." 

The Facebook Event has a few posts in it already, but it could be the perfect opportunity to start a post of your own, or connect with others that posted.

By pre-connecting with a few people, it may be easier for you to meet up with them at the event and connect with others they may be traveling with/met.

It can’t hurt, and it’ll take 30 minutes of your time TOPS.

2. Ask About the Agenda (& the Big Stars at INBOUND)

There’s a lot going on at the conference, so you may want to ask someone about the agenda, or that day’s keynote speaker.  

Out of all of the people attending the conference from all over the world, you’re bound to find someone who loved The 40 Year Old Virgin or The Big Sick just as much as you do - which is great, because you’ll have a buddy for INBOUND Rocks with Judd Apatow.

This years keynote speakers and spotlight speakers include:

  • Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama
  • Author & Researcher, Brene Brown
  • Actor & WWE Superstar, John Cena
  • Chief Brand Officer of Uber, Bozoma Saint John
  • Chef, Restauranteur, & Author, Mario Batali
  • and More!

3. Expand on the Session You Just Attended

Immediately after a session, everyone is itching to take a quick break and meet people, so why not talk with your neighbor about the session you both just watched?  

Ask them what their thoughts were on the key concepts shared and how you can both apply those to your daily activities when you get back home.  

Even if the other person isn’t as interested in sharing, it gives you a chance to digest and verbalize your thoughts about the session.

Another opportunity for discussion: ask where everyone is going next. You may find someone that is heading to the same session, opening up the perfect opportunity to chat it up while taking a walk to find the next room.

4. Skip a Session

Yes, it is a conference with a ton of great sessions, but sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break and head to a common area, like Club INBOUND.  

Here, you’ll always find others like you taking a break, checking their email, or scoping out the booths.  

This is the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation, especially since you’re going to be hanging out in the same location for a while. Plus, it’s a lot quieter during sessions at Club INBOUND than it is when everyone is there for happy hour.  

Club INBOUND is also where you can get some HubSpot swag, or check out the vendor booths.  

Companies that have integrations, content creation programs, and full service inbound agencies have their booths set up here.

This year, IMPACT is doing in-persona Website Throwdowns! All participants get a free t-shirt, drawstring bag, shot glass, and could even win a $500 Amazon gift card or website redesign! Reserve your spot here; they’re going fast!

Whatever you do at Club INBOUND, there’s always a lot of great people around.

5. Food Reviews

I had to include this one because I love food and usually think about my next meal as I’m eating one.  

There are so many options for lunch at INBOUND (basically a food truck fest, just for us) it can be hard to choose. Ask for opinions and thoughts from others!

Happy hour is also a great spot to jump into a conversation or start one about your drink of choice.

6. “Where’d You Get That Swag?”

Conferences and free stuff go hand-in-hand. If you see some sweet swag, ask where they got it. Because you won’t only get free stuff, but it’ll open up the conversation nicely.

I mean, everyone loves free stuff they don’t really need.

7. Borrow/Lend a Charger

It sounds so simple, but everyone is using their devices constantly, and it’s such a simple way to open up the conversation.

8. Look for People Outside the Conference

During INBOUND, it’s hard to avoid attendees outside of the conference - they’re everywhere in Boston… which is great for meeting new people.

There’s bound to be several people at your hotel, which you can catch the shuttle or a cab with.. And even a few of the devoted ones who schedule runs/workouts during the week before the day starts!

9. Try a Tacky Marketing Pickup Line (or Two)

I like funny people, so I couldn’t resist these pickup lines as my last tip:  

  • “Did it hurt?”  “...when you fell from the top of the funnel to the bottom?”
  • “You must have great SEO because you just showed up at the top of my list”
  • “If you were a facebook post, I’d like everything about you”
  • “Ever wonder why lead generation is so important? Because I’d like to generate whatever leads me to you.”

They’re so terrible, it’s funny, and I’m sure you’ll get the person you’re talking to more comfortable --- or maybe it’ll backfire, in which case, I didn’t suggest this.

Whatever way you break the ice at INBOUND 2017, just get out there.

With over 19,000 expected to be in attendance, there’s so many people to talk to and connect with, get as much out of it as you can! 

P.S. - We're sending 19 people up this year so come see them by the booth or reserve your Website Throwdown during the week!

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.


Careers in Inbound
Published on September 11, 2017

Recent Articles

HubSpot Pricing: Your Guide to Everything HubSpot Costs for 2023
November 20, 2022 • 13 min read
Track These 5 Inbound Marketing Metrics to See Better Results
October 31, 2022 • 7 min read
Measuring the Invisible: How To Track Your 'Trust Index' [+ Template]
September 7, 2022 • 8 min read
Can HubSpot Help My Retail Business Grow?
July 31, 2022 • 4 min read
Get More Out of HubSpot Reporting With a Third-party Tool
July 9, 2022 • 5 min read
4 Keys To An Effective HubSpot Strategy in 2022
April 22, 2022 • 6 min read
Using They Ask, You Answer in Customer Service
April 1, 2022 • 5 min read
Is The HubSpot Free CRM Actually Free?
February 18, 2022 • 6 min read
Ultimate List of HubSpot Pros and Cons
January 8, 2022 • 20 min read
How To Optimize Your Marketing Automation Workflows With HubSpot (Tips)
November 12, 2021 • 11 min read
Top 13 Inbound Marketing & HubSpot Solutions Partner Program Agencies for 2022
October 29, 2021 • 8 min read
HubSpot Sales Hub: 18 Things Every Sales Rep Should Know How to Do (+ Videos)
October 28, 2021 • 5 min read
INBOUND 2021 Recap: Takeaways, Speakers, and Lessons Learned
October 25, 2021 • 7 min read
Need a HubSpot Admin? Here’s How to Find and Hire the Right Candidate
October 22, 2021 • 5 min read
How to Get Sales Reps to Use the HubSpot CRM
October 18, 2021 • 4 min read
HubSpot and Data Privacy: How to Collect Contacts the Right Way
October 4, 2021 • 4 min read
INBOUND is Fast Approaching, Google Leads are Syncing, and Workflow Actions are Placeholding [Hubcast 275]
September 23, 2021 • 4 min read
How to Know When You’ve Outgrown HubSpot Sales Hub Starter
September 23, 2021 • 4 min read
How to Get the Most Out of Your 2-Week HubSpot Free Trial
September 13, 2021 • 5 min read
CMS Hub Starter, business unit add-on, and Stephanie does email validation on a giant database [Hubcast ep. 274]
August 27, 2021 • 3 min read
How much HubSpot do I need?
August 17, 2021 • 4 min read
New HubSpot CMS Hub Starter Tier Released for Growing Businesses
August 6, 2021 • 4 min read
HubSpot CRM review (updated for 2022)
July 27, 2021 • 8 min read
5 HubSpot Sales Hub Tips for Assignment Selling
July 23, 2021 • 7 min read
Custom email nurture reporting, a map hack, and are pop-up forms a thing of the past? [Hubcast 273]
July 22, 2021 • 3 min read