By @SimonCocking

Learn Inbound Inbound Marketing Community whose aim is to help marketers in their everyday job. Buy a ticket to our next event:

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Learn Inbound provides a community built around networking events for businesses or professionals looking to improve their digital marketing knowledge. Through a combination of the inbound marketing events, providing free videos of industry leading speakers and providing valuable content with up to date marketing advice we seek to help marketers stay up to date with a dynamic and rapidly changing industry.

How are you different?

Inbound marketing is all about providing the right solution, to the right person at the right time. Through adding value and solving problems for people so they build trust in your business and position you as an expert in that area. That’s exactly what we try to achieve through our events, videos and how we engage with people.

We never sat down and thought “What can we do that makes us different?”, but the reason we started organising the events is because we felt that there was something missing not being served already, something that we wished to see and were happy to be a part of.

The events we run are aimed to be more relaxed, less formal and have a different feel to the vast majority of events held either in our industry or in Ireland. We hold them in gig venues to create the right setting and atmosphere. They’re held in the evenings when people are free, able to let their hair down and even enjoy a drink with fellow attendees. We focus on attracting a diverse and relevant crowd, where networking has a real potential for people to gain from crossover of skills to peer learning, meeting their next business partner to finding a new investor. And we continually aim at having the very best speakers possible to ensure attendees get valuable and actionable information they can put into practice the very next day and improve effectiveness and efficiency in their day jobs.

Why will the idea do well?

There is a huge and rapidly growing appetite for inbound marketing knowledge and ways to develop a deeper understanding of the dynamic changes that continue to happen within the industry. There’s also a huge shortage of skills in these areas, with employers struggling to meet the demand for people with the required skill sets.

Having incredibly affordable events, with comparable international events being exponentially more expensive, and providing the knowledge shared at those events to an even wider audience through the videos has allowed us to gain a rapidly growing audience and achieve a large number of word of mouth referrals. With our final event of the year we’re now attracting a large number of attendees from the UK and mainland Europe, many of whom are incredibly excited to be visiting Dublin for an event of this nature.

We’ve already put in place a number of plans around our expansion for next year and we can’t wait to share some of them with the community that makes Learn Inbound what it is.

When was the company launched?

The business has been in operation since March of this year. In that time it has managed to build a successful list of events, a catalogue of valuable training materials made available completely free of charge, has managed to encourage some of the global leaders in digital marketing to come to Dublin sharing their expertise and experience and has generated ticket sales throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Seeing the positive reactions of first time attendees experiencing the fun and learning from the knowledge of the events is what makes us do what we do.

It’d be easy to say attracting a high profile name like Rand Fishkin was a big win, but the reality is that it’s all about the community for us and the events succeed or fail based on their thoughts. If we get our jobs right as organisers they’ll have a great time. If we make mistakes, they’ll pay the price for them. The massive positive reactions we’ve had to date, the frequent repeat customers we’ve had and the glowing testimonials that both attendees and speakers have provided are what we consider the real win for us.

What type of people are you trying to attract to your events?

We actively try to attract a diverse group to the events, which provides the most potential for people to achieve results from networking and peer interaction.

While demographic information like gender and age of attendees is obvious for anyone that takes the time to look, factors such as positions within an organisation or the industry in which an organisation operates are also important to us. By attracting a diverse group of attendees, with mixtures of in-house to freelancer and CEO to marketing intern, we provide a wider cross section of points of view and a greater mix of ideas to add to the educational hub we’re trying to produce.

Breaking down the numbers from previous events we have had ~50% of our attendees from businesses with fifty or fewer staff, ~40% from businesses with between fifty and ninety nine staff, ~5% from one hundred to four hundred and ninety nine staff and ~5% from businesses with over five hundred staff. We are currently attracting twice as many director and C-Suite level attendees as we are students and entry level employees, which is something we’re keen to tackle in the future. We are a little happier that we’re reaching a large number of the latter through the release of the event videos and additional supporting material provided on our blog, though we’re keen to do more in this area to really support the provision of educational material in the industry for those without the budgets or option to travel to conferences.

Tell us about your team?

Mark Scully, Siobhán McGinty and I (Paul) do the organising behind the scenes.

>Between the team we have experience of freelance, in-house and agency roles, a wide range of skill sets and more years experience working in the industry than I’m sure any of us would care to admit to in public. We’re all marketers that put the type of information shared at our events into practice daily, so we really started managing events to hold the types of event we really wanted to attend.

We had a clear idea for a style of event that hadn’t previously happened, for an event that combined top quality speakers with fun and relaxed networking and that focused on actionable advice to improve performance or efficiency in jobs that is sadly all too uncommon. Rather than sitting around hoping for it events like this to happen we decided to do something about it and make it happen. With all of us having spent time working at various levels of training in digital marketing we were also keen to see the very best information from leading global experts shared as widely as possible. We were lucky enough to find a number of long term sponsors that shared our views, so together with Moz, SEMrush, Buzzsumo, 256 Media and Next Generation we’ve really been able to hit the ground the ground running..

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

We’re currently working hard behind the scenes, along with the incredibly talented Sheena Oosten and Kieran Daly, to bring some exciting developments to the site for the year ahead.

Having grown out of two venues in less than a year, we’re very aware of the demand for and importance of education and professional development through the events we’re running. At the moment we’re investigating a number of ways to expand on our current offerings, providing even more hands on education and training through the events. The industry changes at a incredibly fast pace, we’re keen to provide the best possible learning experiences evolving at a similar speed.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

I think the whole team would agree in an instant that our smartphones are our most essential bit of kit. There’s a certain look of terror I’d never experienced until I got a low battery warning during an event I was helping to run.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

I’d personally love to have tablets available to everyone in the crowd in order to allow higher engagement with speakers and more hands on tutorials to be viable. If we ever announce a major tablet manufacturer as a new sponsor, be sure to watch that space…

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or @SimonCocking

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