What to Wear to Hubspot's INBOUND Marketing Conference in Boston
This year, my day job sponsored the Marketing team's attendance to Hubspot's Inbound marketing conference in Boston. And man, did it exceed my expectations as a first-timer (or Freshman 😏). #INBOUND2017
If you haven't heard of Hubspot or INBOUND, in short....Hubspot is 'inbound marketing and sales software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers'. And INBOUND is their professional version of a music festival for marketing and sales professionals, it's hosted at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA. I say 'music festival' because that is what it felt like over the four days jam packed with inspiration, serendipitous networking connections, and educational breakouts that give you that missing piece of insight you needed to level up.
Since I had never been to Inbound or Boston before, I didn't have a plan of attack for selecting my outfits. I'm a huge advocate of 'look good, feel good'. So, you know I had to come correct! Yet, I also didn't want to cross the boundaries of what was 'appropriate' for a marketing conference. I googled, 'what to wear to Inbound Marketing Conference'. I managed to stumble upon a Forbes article from 2014 that I felt was not very representative of my own personal style, a Pinterest board, and one article that sort of fell flat for me.
But, I did discover one major key-- there's A LOT of walking involved.
So to me that says, "I need to have something functionally fashionable". You know, where you still you look good, but not to a point where you're too worried about how much your feet hurt or having to pull up your pants every five seconds. There is nothing more frustrating than being sidetracked while Brené Brown is dropping knowledge bombs because you continuously have to stop and cover your bra straps up since your top keeps shifting. Not that this happened to me, but it did paint the picture.
It's sometimes hard to take on the day when your "support" doesn't "support" you. 😂
The point is-- your outfit selection is not a small matter. Especially when your outfit can sometimes serve as a conversation starter or the first impression people get of you when networking. Although this may not be the case 100% of the time, I wanted to provide a fresh perspective on style at Inbound marketing conference.
OUTFITS FROM INBOUND 2017:
It only makes sense that the first outfit comes from the former First Lady herself, Michelle Obama, during an full house interview with Roxane Gay. Got to appreciate the netting on her floral dress, nice taste. The irony that I'm talking about her outfit, when she even addressed during the interview about how her outfit was always a topic of conversation in the media.
Susan Scott had an interesting play on colors and I like how she tied it all in with her Puma sneakers. Plus, matching accessories.
One thing that I was shocked to see at Inbound marketing conference...sneakers. And lots of them. Fell in love with these camel colored New Balance kicks.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: It's totally possible to mix up sneakers with something other than gym clothes, you can even wear sneakers with dresses. Don't be afraid to break out your favorite pair of kicks.
Even though this art wall caught my attention, I still couldn't help but to notice Jessica Viviano's beautifully colored hair. It was like the miracle baby of red and magenta. And, she wasn't the only one I saw at Inbound marketing conference with a unique hair color. Love how she incorporated bright colors with the more subtle (read: corporate) colors you typically see in the workplace, black and gray. With blue nails to match the shoes and a sweet pair of frames.
Speaking of a sweet pair of frames... I ran into one of the keynote speakers I had been looking forward to seeing at the conference, Piera Gelardi, Executive Creative Director and co-founder of Refinery29. AND HER MOM (it was her birthday that day too 🎂). As I was power walking to a breakout session, I had no idea that the hipster I walked up to from behind would be the Charlie's Angel I saw on the main stage earlier that day. And to think, I almost didn't stop her. So much serendipity at INBOUND and cool moments like this one, another reason I compare it to a music festival.
She's got that Drew Barrymore vibe goin' in her own funky fresh kind of way. Peep game at the red color scheme that radiates through not only her outfit selection, but it even matches her keynote presentation. I see you, Piera! 👀😏💃🏻
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Having a consistent theme may help when it comes to remembering who you are, it's a hunch I have. Think of it as your own personal branding. I could see you on day 2, then run into you again on day 4 and remember you because of your theme. Now, this may only apply to those super detail oriented folks, but hey...you never know.
Might as well keep the red theme going, I stumbled into Stefan and as I explained what I was doing, his co-worker Robert came out and I couldn't help but to giggle. They told me how this was unplanned, which made it even funnier. They came all the way from Sweden, talk about far away from home.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: A splash of color never hurt anyone. If you aren't used to incorporating colors in your wardrobe, this is a safe way to do it.
The crew from the Get Accepted booth really showed up and out with their colorful suits and ties. When I first laid eyes on them, I thought to myself, "I've got to get a photo of these guys." But, their booth STAYED busy with conference attendees. Eventually, I got a chance to snap them, and after talking to the co-founder, Samir Smajic, I found out they too also were from Sweden. Hmm...starting to wonder if there is a trend here with the Swedish... 🤔
When I met Promise Phelon (the CEO of TapInfluence), I didn't realize she was from Texas! During her breakout session, she had me tickled pink from her jokes about how Fenty Beauty was giving her life that day, inspired and ready to conquer with her data about how women and their influence on the market, and just straight up on the edge of my seat. Her mohawk and grommet stilettos says she likes to add a dash of edginess to her corporate style, which is pretty representative of the vibe I got from her. Sharp and very knowledgeable about her subject, with a bit of an edginess.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: One thing I noticed, speakers tend to opt for Stiletto's. But keep in mind, they may not have to walk in those shoes for 10-12 hours straight (maybe more). Some helpful context I'd like to provide as you're planning your outfits for Inbound and you know your feet aren't trained to withstand stiletto's for a long walks across Boston Convention Center for a long period of time
Meet Rod Alvarenga. He obviously was too fabulous for me to pass up. Prada bag and all.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Speaking of bags, it's imperative that you have a bag that you don't mind carrying with you for the whole day. For your notebooks, phone charger, phone, laptop, business card holder, and whatever else is in your Hubspot Inbound marketing conference toolkit. I personally went for a backpack, but as you can see, a backpack isn't the only way to do it.
Thelicia Covington rocking all black and a statement piece; a good ol' Louis Vuitton Speedy 40. Those things are made to withstand almost anything you throw at them, not to mention how nicely the leather ages over time. Like 🍷. As you can see, there are many ways to go when it comes to carrying your stuff over the next few days during the conference.
Another thing I want to touch on....platform heels. The distant cousin of the wedge heel. Nicolette Anderson from Dynasty United caught my eye with her Frye platform shoes. Frye has the kind of leather you know when you see it. Same goes for her posing skills, you can totally tell she competes in fitness competitions.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Platform heels are the alternates to stiletto's. Typically, they provide more support for your foot, thus making them another option if you have the urge to wear heals and you're not quite sure if you're up for the challenge of wearing stiletto pumps all day.
More platform shoes from Megan Hernandez, she actually happens to be wearing one of her clients brands... Aquatalia. And you can find her rings at Kendra Scott.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Yes, you can totally paint your nails any color. Attending to conference, I saw quite a few nail colors. Speaking of nails...
Someone happened to see my nails and asked my if I followed Bozoma Saint-John (the Chief Brand Office of Uber), because she too goes all out with designs when it comes to her nails. This was news to me, especially since acrylic nails didn't dominate the conference as much as shellac nails did. I didn't see her talk in person, but I did watch it through Hubspot's Official INBOUND website where they host some of the content from the conference... and boy, I wish I was there in person to see all that #BlackGirlMagic! She literally was shinin'. ✨ If you can catch it, take a look at her shoes, they kind of remind of the red Dorothy heels from The Wizard of Oz.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Don't dim your light in fear of it being too much for others given the context, there are so many different ways to mix it up a bit. Or a lot!!!
Ahh, Miss Sarah Kim. She put an interesting spin on metallic platform shoes. If anything, here is a trend alert for you. METALLIC SHOES. Two people even asked me if I knew where they could get a pair of metallic loafers. Piera had a spiffy pair as well. My co-worker pointed out her look and I had to agree it was quite refreshing. Plus, I love the color, it's like a regal version of Millennial Pink.
Ahh, Nicole and Miranda. These two were funny together, you can tell they balance each other out. Fabulous 1 and Fabulous 2. These ladies opted for a chic look for Inbound.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: You can show a little leg, I did see a few skirts and dresses that were above the knee. Now, no short shorts, I can say I didn't see anyone with short shorts on.
Although you can't see Daniela, you can see she too opted for more of a chic look for her outfit. That was the beauty of some of the outfit choices, there was variety in the dress code.
And Jessica went for the casual cute look with platform heel sandals and an embroidered button-up with jeans.
Thought it was pretty nice how Vickie's look came together, I'm also biased because I just love the tan/camel color. Loved how not only did her sandals and backpack match, but the water bottle was down for the ride too!
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Flat sandals work. Yes, I saw cute flat sandals all over the Boston Convention Center stepping off to breakout sessions. But, I will note that I didn't really see flip flops. Maybe like...one pair out of the hundreds of people I saw.
Last, but not least, the accessories. Maia McCoy to start us off with Aurora Borealis colored diamond earrings.
INBOUND STYLE TIP: Bold accessories are so acceptable. There was an array of statement pieces outside of the usual recommended conservative jewelry for a professional setting, like small pearls or studs.
Loved how Shannon paired her belt to match her leopard flats. Accessories can really tie an outfit together in a simple way.
Sherron Washington, CEO & Marketing Strategist over at the P3 Solution, got the right idea. Not only did she come through with the accessories, but I loved her term, "Pro Cas". Professional Casual. 😏.
Ikey Greene, another beautiful personality that I met at the Inbound marketing conference. After her layered look caught my eye, my eyes then drifted to her hair-- and I automatically thought, "she reminds me of Spencer from Pretty Little Liars." The same preppy look and style.
And last, but not least, Nick Govani. A spunky look to go with a spunky attitude. Oh, and some ear candy!
Other Things to Keep in Mind:
- Boston weather isn't as cold as you think. Coming from Houston, TX... I thought 63 degrees was going to be cold. Nope, just hot and humid with a light breeze at night. So, I was grateful that I just so happened to pack sandals (I'm a serial over packer).
- No short shorts or shower flip flops. Despite there being 21,400 people in attendance this year, I didn't really see anyone with either of these on. Not to say that it's not allowed, just something I observed.
- Be yourself, but within' reason. If your company requires you to abide by a certain dress code, don't get fired and blame me. 😂 #ImJustSayin'
When deciding what to wear to Inbound, keep in mind that this post represents a small sample of people. Meaning this is not a full representation of every single look that you'll see at Hubspot Inbound marketing conference. I did see quite a few other looks outside of the predominant style that I wasn't able to capture. But typically, people still opt for the traditional business casual.
I wrote this for the first timer with the limited impression of what to expect at Inbound. With the intent to show you that there was bit of diversity in terms of style. Not to mention, I couldn't capture an example of them all.
Hope you enjoyed this dive into the world of fashion at Hubspot's Inbound marketing conference, or at least found yourself inspired. Didn't get your fix? I've got some more posts coming to you from Inbound! Stay tuned.