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Twas the Last HUG Meetup of 2017

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 8, 2017 3:06:43 PM / by Stephanie Casstevens

On Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 the Chicago HUG welcomed over 50 attendees to TechNexus for our last HUG meetup of the year. Founder and CEO of IMPACT Branding and Design, Bob Ruffolo, shared a presentation on why "People Need to See Their Future at (Your Company Here)" since so many of our HUG members are hiring and looking for great inbound professionals in the Chicagoland area! 


Twas the last HUG of the year...

'Twas the 6th of December, when all through the room
Every pizza had arrived and was ready to consume.
The stockings were hung by the podium with care,
In hopes that our HUG members soon would be there.


The tables were set up with chairs all around,
While check in began for professionals of inbound.
As Stephanie welcomed the member with cheer
Deb and Sarah reminded them to grab a beer!


When out from the elevator arose such a clatter,
They sprang from the room to see what was the matter.
Away through the hallway they flew like a flash,
They whipped out their phones and turned on the flash


Though the city was chilly there wasn’t yet snow
But they saw their guest speaker, Mr. Bob Ruffolo!
As he walked through the doors bringing winter wind in
Steph guided him up to the Chicago HUG kin.


As the evening began we recapped this past year
You could feel the excitement in the atmosphere.
We said “get out your tickets!” and began to call
The winners of prizes both large and small.


First, books. Then gift cards and HubSpot apparel.
We sang raffle numbers like words in a carol.
Then it was time for a special declaration
Sarah Corley is rising above her station


That’s right, she’s our new HubSpot User Group leader
Stephanie was so excited for you to meet her.
If you’ve been paying attention then you’ve seen her around
In person, recap blogs, and her Tweets abound.


After Sarah’s hello and brief introduction
We began the main part of the production
As many members have asked for help and advice
On hiring inbounders and paying their price.


We figured we’d bring in the best guy we knew
To share with you lessons of hiring people who
Are “A players” only and would get the job done
And on keeping those people for the long run.


Bob had 7 main lessons he did convey
He taught about vision and leading the way.
And we tweeted his lessons fast as we could type
Now we understood the hype.


As Bob wrapped up his talk and questions were asked
He responded with examples of IMPACT’s past.
The audience applauded and thanked Bob for coming
The networking began and conversations were humming.


We finished up pizzas and sipped the last of our beers
Before saying goodbye, happy holidays, cheers.
As the room emptied out and we packed to leave
We said our farewells to twenty seventeen.


It was a year full of seven fantastic events
We learned so much about the HUG represents.
We learned and we networked and we had a great time
And I’ve officially run out of words I can rhyme.


So with that I thank you all for a fantastic year
Enjoy the holidays, grab some wine or a beer
I look forward to seeing you in twenty eighteen

WOW I can't believe I made it all the way through that. If you're reading...I can't believe YOU made it all the way through that! I hope you enjoyed my silly little holiday poem. If you prefer a more in-depth recap of what we covered at the December 6th HUG I've got you covered there too. 

What You Wanted in 2017 and How We Delivered

We kicked off the meetup by sharing some fun stats from 2017. According to HubSpot, there are 160 HUGs worldwide with over 5,000 members globally. There were over 600 meetups hosted around the world in 2017. For the Chicago HUG specifically we hosted 7 meetups in 4 locations! We held a panel with 5 HUG members and welcomed 3 guest speakers as well. Overall we grew attendance about 30% since 2016 and plan to keep growing so bring your co-workers (not just marketing - sales, customer success, developers, etc. are all welcome!) to our 2018 HUG meetups! We'll have content for everyone. 

We also wanted to take a look back at what you wanted to learn about and how we delivered. Based on our survey at the beginning of 2017, the highest ranking topics you wanted to learn about were:

  • Sales and Marketing Alignment/Enablement/CRM
  • HubSpot Software Updates
  • HubSpot Tips & Tricks
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Content Strategy
  • Workflows
  • Recruitment/Hiring
  • SEO

After a look back at 2017, we've covered all but one of those topics (which will be covered in 2018!). In March at our kickoff meeting Deb and I shared our favorite HubSpot tips and tricks. In April we did an entire meetup dedicated to workflows. In June we had our pillar content strategy workshop with HubSpotter Justin Champion and in August we had our reporting meetup with HubSpotter Jeffrey Russo. In October we had two meetups: one was an encore of Stephanie's INBOUND session about sales enablement lessons for marketers and one was an amazing INBOUND recap panel with 5 of our HUG members! Finally, in this December meetup we covered recruitment and hiring! All that's left to tackle in 2018 is SEO! Of course we'll be sending out a survey to get your feedback and thoughts on 2018 topics as well. 

What We Learned in 2017

We spent some time sharing what we learned as leaders and also having our members share what they learned at the HUGs in 2017. When a member shared what they learned they were offered the choice of a gift card prize (because it's the holidays and we wanted to have some fun gifts for our members!). 


As leaders we learned that our HUG is no longer just marketers! Inbound is no longer just inbound marketing - it's the entire Inbound methodology and that includes the entire customer journey. This means salespeople, business owners, developers and customer success team members should be joining us at the HUG in 2018! Speaking of which...

Looking Ahead to 2018

First, I'd like to introduce your newest HUG co-leader, Sarah Corley! She will be taking over for Deb Monkman in 2018. Sarah has been a huge contributor to the HUG throughout 2017 and has written some amazing HUG recap blog posts as well! I'm so excited to work with her in 2018 and she's already got some amazing plans in motion for next year!

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 9.56.54 AM.png

When I asked Sarah how she wanted to share our plans for 2018 with the members she summed it up perfectly by saying: 

"We all know that HubSpot is a great marketing tool. But it’s also a great sales tool and a great tool for web designers and developers. We’ve got a lot of special things lined up for the 2018 and we want to diverse the topics to include all three areas that HubSpot covers while still bringing in experts."  

Other events include, a live website analytics throwdown using your websites, several guest speakers from HubSpot and HubSpot Academy, a special luncheon for advanced HubSpot users and networking events for HubSpot developers and designers too. We also want to bring you back out to the suburbs!

We're thrilled to announce our first guest in 2018 will be HubSpot's MK Getler! I'm thrilled to have MK joining us because I saw her presentation at INBOUND 2017 and couldn't wait to bring her to Chicago. Her session description should be enough to get you as excited as I am: 

"So you've got INBOUND on lock down. Social Media, blogs, landing pages, eBooks, and case studies all dominate your website. With these core assets in place, how do you differentiate yourself and make your business the next household name like Uber, AirBnB, Amazon, or HeadSpace? Two words: Customer Service." 


HUG email_Jan. 2018 (1).png

People Need to See Their Future at (Your Company Here)

Finally, it was time for our guest speaker! Bob Ruffolo, Founder and CEO of IMPACT Branding & Design, came to share with us his lessons on recruiting and retaining top talent. His lessons were a hit to say the least!




Stockings and Raffle Prizes!

We of course had to give away some prizes as it is the season of giving. Congrats to our stocking and raffle winners! We hope you enjoy your prizes. Thank you again for an amazing year - we'll see you in 2018! 




Topics: HUG Meeting Recaps

Stephanie Casstevens

Written by Stephanie Casstevens

One of two leaders of the Chicago HUG, Stephanie is the marketing manager at Label Insight and has been using HubSpot for 5+ years, attended 4 INBOUND events, and has 8 HubSpot certifications. Stephanie is a Carthage College graduate and photographs weddings in her spare time.

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