On Wednesday, March 8th 2017 the relaunch party for the Chicago HUG welcomed over 100 attendees! The meeting was full of excitement and enthusiasm as well as a collection of amazing inbound professionals ready to share and learn. Here's what was covered at this first meeting:
Meet Your New Leaders
The Chicago HubSpot User Group is now under new leadership. Deb Monkman of Littelfuse and Stephanie Casstevens of Label Insight are leading the Chicago HUG in 2017 and couldn't be more excited. Deb and Stephanie met on the flight to INBOUND 2016 and were discussing how great it might be to have a HUG out by the O'Hare area. (more on that below). To learn more about me and Deb visit our new leaders page!
How the HUG is Changing
After introductions, we shared what you can expect from this relaunched HUG in 2017. First, the Chicago HUG is now in 2 locations! After meeting at the airport, Deb and I realized how many inbound professionals were in the O'Hare area and how many had trouble sometimes getting to the downtown meetups. We've decided to host the usual 4 meetings downtown and add an additional 2 meetups in the O'Hare / Rosemont area. Our location is still TBD but keep your eye out for a northwest side meetup this summer!
What else? We'll be switching up the style of the meetings from networking followed by an educational presentation to a variety of other formats. We will be trying expert panels, small group discussions, challenges and games, and more. In addition to switching up the presentation format, we'll be having a few traditions that we include in every meeting. Those include:
There are many great Chicago companies looking to hire a great HubSpot user or inbound professional. Instead of tossing business cards around, we are giving people the chance to stand up during the HUG meetings and tell everyone about open positions at their company and what they're looking for in the right person to hire.
HubSpot Tips, Tricks & Hacks:
While the HUG meetings are by no means restricted to HubSpot users, based on our survey of 180 registrants for this meetup, 85% of people at the Chicago HUG are HubSpot users. Knowing this compelled us to add a section where Deb and I share one of our favorite HubSpot tips and tricks and then invite other HubSpot users in the meeting to share a tip or ask a question.
Deb and I will be posting our tips & tricks from the March 8th meetup this week so check back!
We think networking is great! However, sometimes everyone needs a little push to talk to someone new. We're now including a specific networking section at every HUG meeting where we have a dedicated topic and we split into small groups to get to know and learn from each other.
Of course we'll also have swag and prizes at every meeting. Plus, we're looking forward to some possible appearances by a HubSpotter or two as well. Finally, we want to be sure we're including a balance of B2B and B2C content. Why?
All Are Welcome at the Chicago HUG
We asked a few questions on the registration form for this meetup. One of those questions was "are you primarily working in the B2B or B2C space?" Here's what the results looked like:
Based on this, we want to be sure we include an appropriate balance of B2B content. We've gotten lots of feedback that marketing meetups and educational content tend to gravitate toward the B2C side of things quite often. We're making a conscious effort to make sure we focus on real B2B examples and content.
Beyond the B2B marketers, we want to be sure to include salespeople in the future Chicago HUG meetings. The inbound movement is not just about marketers. The way people buy has changed and salespeople have to change to keep up. So, know a salesperson who should attend the next meetup? Be sure to invite them to come along with you!
We're Getting Social
The Chicago HUG is now on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well as LinkedIn. Be sure to follow us and check out the new accounts! Speaking of social, here are some of our favorite tweets from the March 8th meetup:
Planning HUG Content for 2017 - Your Feedback
Deb and I knew we wanted to switch up the style of the meetings but we want the topics covered to come from you - the members. So, we asked two questions on the registration page.
1. What is currently your biggest marketing struggle?
2. What topic(s) do you want to see covered at the 2017 meetings?
We found out some great stuff. In case you weren't already aware, I love graphs. So, we shared the specific breakdown of how people answered these questions.
What is currently your biggest marketing struggle?
The top 3 marketing struggles were lead generation, conversion optimization, and analytics & reporting.
What topic(s) would you like to see covered at the 2017 HUG meetings?
We got so many great topic suggestions I couldn't quite fit them all in the graph pictured below. However, believe it or not, the number one requested topic was sales and the HubSpot CRM. Now, sales included people who requested content about sales and marketing alignment, sales buy-in, and passing leads from marketing to sales. Looking at the top 3 topics requested, they all included HubSpot specific content. People asked for content about the HubSpot CRM, HubSpot software updates, HubSpot tips & tricks, and everything from HubSpot fundamentals to advanced HubSpot tutorials. We're thrilled to bring some unique HubSpot specific content to future meetings and include sales in the conversations! Rest assured, we won't ignore the other topics listed as well including reporting, strategy & planning, SEO, email, content and more.
Based on this feedback, we decided to include the HubSpot tips & tricks section mentioned above at every HUG meeting moving forward. In addition to that, Deb and I will be posting our tip or trick that we cover in the meeting here on our blog as well for everyone to revisit later.
Wrapping Things Up
To end the meeting we brought everyone back together and decided to end with a laugh. I shared one of my favorite marketing videos. I hope to make this a tradition as well because there is no shortage of funny sales and marketing videos out there! Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for our first HUG meeting of 2017. We had a fantastic time and appreciate everyone's patience as Deb and I experienced leading these meetings for the first time. We promise we'll stock extra Corona and 312 for the next one! We look forward to seeing you at our next meetup in April.