3 Ways to Deliver Content: As Seen at HubSpot’s INBOUND

HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference is known for its star-powered content overload. Hundreds of sessions with hundreds of presenters and thousands of attendees. This year’s conference like many others was moved virtual. And many of us wondered how INBOUND would create that same feeling of community through their virtual medium. The answer? Through intentional sessions driven by human interaction. 

Our clients continually ask how to increase engagement through a screen. And we can set-up every widget possible to reach that level of engagement. But we also encourage all event planners to think about their content and how it will encourage (or discourage) engagement from their attendees. There are various tactics from a content perspective to engage audiences and many of them we used throughout INBOUND’s event. And what we can say is … it all comes down to delivery.  

Here are 3 styles of content delivery to boost engagement

1. Debates

This year, INBOUND had two debate sessions on the agenda. Both discussed ‘hot-button’ topics in the marketing industry – gated versus ungated content and inbound versus outbound marketing. The session was hosted by a moderator and one representative from each side. A debate- style session is an inherent risk – as it can quickly turn into chaos (I.e presidential debates). However, when executed effectively, debates keep the attendees engaged to see who wins. Each side uses logic, emotion, and other rhetoric tools to sway the audience. Often, these communication styles push the attendee to think about the topic in a new way. 

2. Live Q&A 

INBOUND was filled with Live Q&A sessions discussing every topic imaginable. These snackable sessions were a quick touchpoint with presenters and attendees. Q&A sessions are interactive by nature. These sessions place a subject-matter expert at the fingertips of the audience. On a personal level, Q&A sessions create a deeper connection between the presenter and attendees. Presenters are often seeing the questions for the first time on-screen. The audience watches as the presenter thinks through their response. This simple interaction unites an audience more than an interesting graph. 

3. Tips, Tricks, Hacks 

Have you ever wished for a road map to achieve your business goals? My Cheat Sheet was INBOUND’s take on life hacks. Presenters shared their secrets to achieving success in sales, or personal growth. These sessions were more traditional with one presenter sharing slides. However, it felt more personal for the attendee to know the presenter was sharing their top secrets. There was a level of exclusivity to the content — if you listen to this session, you will have the key to reaching your next goal.  

As we continue to create content for today’s digital world, we must remember the one thing we all have in common – being human. Content that is infused with human tendencies engages audiences far more than a bland presentation. Which content delivery style will you try next?  


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