Thoughts on the OutBound 2018 Conference

Today was day one of the 2018 OutBound Conference, a conference I founded with my friends, Mike Weinberg, Mark Hunter, and Jeb Blount. The idea to produce this came to me while I was sitting in a conference and saw the Inbound Conference advertisement on some social site I can’t recall. What got my attention was how much buzz there was around inbound prospecting methods when, in my opinion, outbound is faster, more certain, and more necessary than ever. Because my peers shared my beliefs about outbound, it wasn’t a very difficult decision for any of us to put the pieces in place.

In 2017, the biggest room we could get on the dates all four of us were available could accommodate 400 people. We knew there would be an appetite for improving outbound, but we didn’t know that we would sell all of the tickets in approximately ten weeks. This year, we moved to a larger location, The Omni at CNN, and we sold 600 seats, the maximum we could fit in the International Ballroom while still giving people tables so they can take notes. We also added a second day of training and invited Deb Calvert, James Muir, Shari Levitin, and Larry Levine to run training tracks.

What I took away from conversations with attendees is that the appetite for outbound has grown over the intervening year. There seems to be a greater sense of urgency to put the right skills and tools in place to help accelerate opportunity creation. I noticed a lot of people taking notes when I explained the difference between opportunity creation and opportunity capture, and a number of people shared with me that they hadn’t thought of sales as falling into those two categories.

There were more women in attendance, and people flew in from places as far away as Australia and India to be here. And that to me is the most interesting thing of all. While all of the presenters speak to sales organizations who require their people to be in attendance, in this case, the attendees chose to be here, they chose to seek out content to help with outbound, and many paid for the event themselves because they recognize the power of outbound to allow you to control your own results.

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