2014 was my first trip to the Marketo Summit – and it did not disappoint! The Summit had some of the best keynote presentations I’ve ever attended, and the skills that I acquired were extremely useful and applicable to my day to day work. I had gone into the Summit hoping to get some answers to questions I had and to see how other companies were managing similar programs (life cycle, scoring, webinars, content, etc.) in Marketo. The session speakers were very knowledgeable and were easy to connect with.

To this day I still refer back to the things I learned at last year’s Summit and the best practices have stuck with me ever since. For Marketo users who haven’t been to the Marketo Summit before, I definitely recommend going. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your first trip to Marketo Summit:

Select Sessions in Advance:

Look at the agenda well in advance and start deciding which sessions you want to attend. There are a ton to choose from and some of the ones you want to attend may overlap. It’s nice to have a list of sessions prepared in advance because space can fill up quickly, so if you already have an idea of where you need to be from session to session, you can guarantee yourself a seat. You can find the agenda here and the speaker sessions here (the dates and times for the sessions are not yet available). The Summit sessions have also been organized into different tracks, that way you can select sessions based on the track that best suits your needs or goals (filter by ‘Series’ when viewing the sessions).

Arrive Early for the Keynotes:

In 2014, Hillary Rodham-Clinton was one of the keynote speakers and the line to get into the session was massive. The second keynote was delivered by now former Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez and Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer, GE. The messages shared during both sessions really made the audience think and I found them very relevant to many of the things we as marketers deal with, or have encountered on a regular basis. You want to make sure you arrive early because you don’t want to miss a single second of these sessions.

Get Social:

Not surprisingly, there are a ton of opportunities to expand your social network at the Marketo Summit:

  • Tweet from the sessions and from the expo hall
  • Instagram the fun
  • Use the Summit hashtags – #MKTGNATION

By using the hashtags and tweeting from sessions, you’ll gain more Twitter and Instagram followers, allowing you to connect with even more people at Summit. You might get a chance to meet some of them in person, but if not, it’s another connection to have. These are people that you find might be the ones replying to you with advice or a solution if you have a Marketo question that you tweet out from the office months after Summit is over.

Take Your Certification Exam:

With sessions running all day, every day, it’s easy to complete your certification exam during the Summit. The space is already set up for the exam, it removes some of the hassle of having to find the time to travel to a site, or take it online and find someone to supervise. This year I plan to take my exam as early as possible so that it can be crossed off my list and I don’t have to worry about it while trying to squeeze in sessions and other events.

Attend the Events:

Marketo has done a great job at making sure people have fun at the Summit. If running is your thing (and even if it isn’t), consider registering for the 5k Marketo Fun Run on Monday morning. Last year there was a great turnout for the run and it was a beautiful morning to be outside along the water. The run is free to attend, but there’s also an opportunity to make a charitable donation when registering.

It’s also worth planning to attend the launch party and the gala event. The events are a great place to connect with other Marketo users that can become valuable members of your network.

Be Prepared with Essentials for the Day:

You want to make sure you get the most out of your Summit experience, not spend it tethered to an outlet, or running back to your accommodations for something. Suggested items to bring during the day are a portable charger for your cellphone or tablet, business cards, and perhaps a couple of pens, light jacket, and a bag to carry some of that swag from the expo floor.

Have you ever been to the Marketo Summit before? If so, what are some additional tips that you would recommend to someone who is attending for the first time? Please feel free to share your advice in the comment section below. PS: Perkuto is exhibiting at the 2017 Marketo Summit. Stay tuned for more info!

you can follow Lindsay at @lindsaybkhan