It's not every day you get to meet and listen to the CEO of a multi-million dollar company in a small intimate setting. That's what I was able to experience on March 3rd, 2015 in Naples, FL when HubSpot co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan spoke at our local HUG (HubSpot User Group) meeting.
I'm an entrepreneurial minded person so I was excited to listen to Mr. Halligan talk about running a successful business, marketing strategies, and future trends. Pretty cool stuff if you're a marketing nerd like me!
It was a small gathering of about 35-40 people, including some that drove from as far away as Sarasota and Boca Raton to take part in the question and answer fireside chat.
The event kicked off with mouth-watering appetizers and scary networking. This gave everyone a chance to meet each other and chat with Mr. Halligan one-on-one. The room was filled with marketers, business owners, and marketing agencies--all eager to hear the CEO speak. I normally hate networking, I have both an introverted and extroverted personality if that's possible. In networking situations I go into introvert mode, but I felt pretty comfortable meeting the other attendees as we had a love of inbound marketing and writing in common.
The chat started with prepared questions from our very own Rachel Begg, of whom joined Mr. Halligan in the front of the room. The questions ranged from future marketing trends and company culture to Brian's orange wardrobe and his funny Twitter photo. After the panel questions, the floor was opened up to attendee questions which were fantastic.
One comment that sparked my competitive drive was his answer to a question on what advice would he give to small marketing agencies. "Put the pedal down, step on the gas, and grow! Right now is a fantastic time to start and grow a business," he said. "Technology has made it so easy to build stuff, whether it be software, websites or businesses. Now is one of the best times in history to feed that entrepreneurial drive." Obviously this got my juices flowing.
Another interesting comment was when he was asked about hiring and retaining talent. Mr. Halligan mentioned that developers/programs are one of the most in demand and powerful careers out there. They are the builders of the future and HubSpot competes with the powerful tech firms of California's Silicon Valley to hire and keep this type of talent. He also said the second most in-demand talent is marketers. Not average marketers, but talented customer-centric marketers. This caught me a little by surprise, but I was thrilled to hear it!
My head was spinning with ideas as I drove home. I couldn't wait to get home and scribble down some notes. I know that our team is filled with the exact people that Mr. Halligan said are the most important cogs of modern and future business. It got me excited to stomp on that gas pedal and send this marketing machine into the stratosphere of success. Helping companies grow and become remarkable lead engines is the key to success, and after listening to HubSpot's CEO talk, I'm even more confident that this train is on the rails to success!