This was our third OutBound Conference, and what is now an annual event held in Atlanta. In 2017, we did this conference (the “we” being Mike Weinberg, Mark Hunter, Jeb Blount, and me) we had about 9 weeks to prepare and had almost 400 people in a conference room in a hotel. The second year, 2018, we moved to a larger hotel and gave ourselves a little more time to put the program together, ending up with 600 attendees. This year we had just over 1,000 attendees in a Georgia Ballroom at the Georgia World Conference Center, with a second-to-none production.
There are a few things that make OutBound special.
First, the event is more of a show, a cross between a rock concert and Cirque de Soleil. It’s fast-paced, high energy, with music, lights, and an audiovisual production like no other conference. There is no emcee, and the production has one person leaving the stage and another entering without delay. We believe that entertainment and education result in greater engagement and better experience.
Second, and equally important, is the fact that OutBound is a content-driven conference, which is to say that it is not a pitch fest. The content is practical, tactical, and actionable. All of the speakers delivered real and relevant content for sales professionals. There is a list of speakers from the 2019 OutBound on this post.
My Gratitude for the Audience
What I was struck by at this OutBound Conference was the audience. Because all the speakers were accessible, shaking hands, answering questions, and signing books, we had the opportunity to listen to the audience who were all generous with their gratitude, grateful for the conference, the content, and our commitment to being there with them.
Their gratitude was only exceeded by our appreciation for their decision to come and spend two or three days with us. Most of us who speak find ourselves in a room of people who, no matter how much they enjoy or benefit from the experience, are required to attend. The audience at OutBound chose to participate in this conference, deciding to spend their time and money, taking time away from their families to show up at a sales conference.
The Next OutBound
We are right now nailing down details on the next OutBound Conference, and we are already making plans to make it even bigger, badder, and better than 2019 (which will not be easy). To keep it intimate, we are going to limit tickets to some number close to 1,000, which will likely go on sale this week.
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