Top Speakers We’re Looking Forward to at Inbound14

It’s that time of year again and we at are preparing for another exciting week at Inbound14.  If you’re not already familiar with it, Inbound is probably the most exciting marketing conference of the year.  It kicks off next week at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and will feature inspiring keynotes, innovative talks, educational breakouts, hands-on lessons, and tons of networking.

No matter which track, agenda, or session you choose, you really can’t go wrong at Inbound.  You’ll find something of interest everywhere you look from inbound marketing seminars and keynotes to new product releases and featured training on HubSpot’s software.  Previous keynote speakers have included Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, Nate Silver, and Scott Harrison.

The entire conference will be a blast, but there’s a few particular speakers I really can’t wait to see.  Here is my list in no particular order.

John Jantsch

John Jantsch is the author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, the Commitment Engine, and the recently released Duct Tape Selling.  Duct Tape Marketing should be required reading for anyone in the business and marketing arena.  His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes, was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine.

Mr. Jantsch is covering a session at Inbound14 entitled “What is Inbound Selling? (And Why You Need It Now)” which will define once and for all the ins and outs of inbound selling.  More importantly, it will help outline how any business owner, marketer and salesperson can install an inbound marketing system that helps them attract more ideal clients, build authority and expertise in the market and close more deals.

Any chance he’ll stay long enough after to sign my copy of Duct Tape Selling?

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is an online marketing strategist and author of several books on marketing, most notably The New Rules of Marketing and PR with over 250,000 copies in print in more than 25 languages. His newest book, The New Rules of Sales and Service, was released earlier this month.

Straight from his new book, Mr. Scott will be speaking at a session for The New Rules of Selling.  Sales and service are being radically redefined like never before. With buyers now in possession of unlimited information, online content and social networks are quickly becoming the dominant drivers for commerce. Today anyone working in sales or customer service needs to possess entirely new skills. Unfortunately most organizations are still using traditional selling and service models developed for a different time. In this talk Scott demystifies the new digital commercial landscape and offers inspiring and valuable guidance for anyone not wanting to be left behind.

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is an author best known for popularizing the concept of “the golden circle” and to “Start With Why,” described by TED as “a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”‘. His first TEDx Talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is the 3rd most viewed video on His 2009 book on the same subject, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action delves into what he says is a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision-making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others.

Mr. Sinek is a keynote speaker at Inbound14 and will be discussing “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together and Other’s Don’t.”  Simon will explain what it takes to create an environment in which people work as they were designed – together. It is under these conditions we are at our natural best.

Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah are the cofounders of HubSpot.  They met as graduate students at MIT and their success with the blog, in addition to Mr. Halligan’s experience with marketing in the real world, led them to a conclusion.  The conclusion was the old way of marketing was no longer working and a new approach was needed.  From these discussions they created the theory of inbound marketing and founded the company HubSpot to help other organizations to a marketing revolution.

Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah are joint keynote speakers at Inbound14 and we are every eagerly looking forward to seeing them live.

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist, bestselling author, and speaker. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has written five books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013). All five were featured on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Mr. Gladwell is a keynote speaker at Inbound14.

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Mr. Kawasaki is giving a keynote at Inbound14 on “The Lessons of Steve Jobs” in which he will explain what he learned from Steve about how to create products, build companies, and change the world.  Additionally, he will be speaking at a session entitled “The Perfect Post” with Peg Fitzpatrick, the Head of Social Strategy at Canva.  This session will cover topics including content curation, graphic design, scheduling, and cross-service posting. It will be light on theory and heavy on tactics, so don’t expect the usual bullshit “expert advice” (according to HubSpot).

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is an author, journalist, marketing consultant, and speaker about social media marketing.  His first book, co-authored Julien Smith, entitled “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust,” became a New York Times bestseller.  His blog,, is in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150.

Mr. Brogan’s Inbound 14 talk is on Digital Business Mastery: How to Use Content Marketing and Social Networks to Drive Sales and Run a World Class Business. Content marketing is all the rage, but is it working for you? Social media was supposed to change the world. Did it? Not if you sequence it all wrong. See how just a few changes will help you avoid costly mistakes and deliver enviable results.

Larry Kim

Larry Kim is the founder and Chief Technology Officer at WordStream Inc., responsible for outbound marketing efforts and driving product vision.  He is a writer for Inc. Magazine and a columnist at several featured online publications such as Search Engine Land.

Mr. Kim will be speaking on “How to Win Friends, Influence People (And Double Your Leads) With Content Remarketing.”  You built the content, they came, yet few ended up converting into leads or sales. Now what? This session will cover remarketing strategies designed to DOUBLE the number of conversions generated from your content marketing efforts. Kim will cover insanely powerful audience segmentation, targeting, bidding tactics for the top venues where your customers hang out: YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. He’ll also cover strategies for supercharging brand recall and content engagement metrics.

Shiza Shahid

Shiza Shahid is the co-founder and CEO of the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that advocates at the international, national and local level for policy system changes that give girls access to a high quality education at a community level.  Ms. Shahid went on leave from her job as an analyst at McKinsey & Company in Dubai when she heard that the Taliban had tried to assassinate her dear friend, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out about girls’ rights to education.  The two women went on to found the Malala Fund, of which Shahid is running the day-to-day operations of.

Ms. Shahid is a keynote speaker at Inbound14 giving a talk entitled “There Are No Superhereos, Just Us: My Journey with Malala.”  We are looking forward to hearing more from this inspiring woman about her incredible experiences.


I didn’t intend to slight any of the speakers that may not have made this list because, quite honestly, there isn’t a single speaker I’m not looking forward to seeing and hearing at this year’s Inbound conference.  These are just the speakers that have had the biggest impact on me personally.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Inbound14?  Let us know in the comments below.