September was a busy month for me. It started with #INBOUND15 in Boston, followed with meeting my new team in Berlin, followed with a short trip to Zurich to attend the launch party of the new Impact Hub Zurich, and continued with visiting my family in Israel. Three weeks altogether of traveling across three continents.
Since this is my first post in many months, I will get you up to speed with the latest developments. For those of you who missed the news, I am no longer the Impact Hub Singapore’s CMO. I accepted a new position with the global brand, Impact Hub Global, as their new Global Marketing Lead. I still hold a small role with Impact Hub Singapore that involves training the team on hubspot and Inbound Marketing best practices, and, most importantly, to finish the two projects I started when I first joined their team: The Hubbington Post, and the new Website. These two projects are something I initiated and worked on since day one at Impact Hub Singapore, and I’m happy to see it launching soon. Many thanks go out to Alissa Ohl, my colleague, who put so many hours in helping me with these projects. More on this topic in a later post.
My trip started in Boston. I attended the #INBOUND15 conference, and as always it was a well organised event by Hubspot. Over 14,000 people attended the conference, making it one of the most attended marketing conferences in the world. I managed to meet so many great friends there (hello Adelina, Heather, Clara, and Yoav), and also attended some very useful workshops. I particularly enjoyed the “Executive” sessions. I thought they provided the most value to me. All in all, it is a great conference to attend if you’re in the Inbound Marketing field. Definitely worth the price.
#INBOUND15 was exciting, no doubt, but the most exciting part of the trip was meeting the Impact Hub Global Team in Berlin. It was my first time in Berlin (and in Germany for that matter), so in addition to meeting new faces, I was — as a food enthusiast and a photographer — excited to explore the German cuisine and to take some photos.
Meeting the team in Berlin exceeded all of my expectations. They are extremely smart, extremely passionate, respectful, easy going, group of people with great attitude toward work, life, and anything Impact.
The meetings were intense. Planning a roadmap and strategising take a lot of brain-power. Our days lasted for about 12+ hours of thinking and rethinking every piece of our strategy. As intense as it was, I actually enjoyed it. I was pleased we managed to go over the entire marketing plan in such a short time, and generally had a smooth onboarding process.
Berlin itself is a beautiful city. It hosts plenty of restaurants, nice cafes, old buildings that captured great historical stories over the years (great for photography), and it is very affordable in comparison to other cities in Europe (hello Zurich!). I particularly enjoyed walking at the famous Mauerpark on Sundays. It gathered so many interesting people. The most epic moment at Mauerpark, if I were to choose one, was when I listened to Frank Sinatra’s I Did It My Way song sang by a drunk old German man at the park’s stone amphitheatre Karaoke event (see photo below). He sang it in German! He actually did a good job, despite his struggle to keep himself standing straight.
After a week or so of intense work (and fun), it was time to head out to Zurich to attend the launch of the new (third space!) Impact Hub Zurich (and of course some more strategic meetings). The new space looked well thought of. It is very specious, has plenty of light, and looks very conducive to do some deep thinking. If you live in Zurich and are looking to join a community of seriously smart people, you ought to check them out. The launch party was very impressive. Close to 1000(!) people showed up to be part of the event. The Impact Hub Zurich team organised a live DJ, live singing/dancing performance, food trucks, drag queens (yes, drag queens!), and lots of beers (it is Europe after all). I had a great time (and laugh) hanging out with these people.
We returned to Berlin after the short visit to Zurich to continue with our strategic meetings for a few more days before I headed to Israel to visit my family.
My stay in Israel was very short, but I managed to get a lot of things done. One of the events I didn’t expect was to go to a live UEFA Champions League football game. My nephew surprised me with two tickets literally 10 hours before my flight back to Singapore, and I simply couldn’t say no. The most fulfilling event, however, was seeing my parents. It breaks my heart each time I say goodbye to them, and I hope I can make more visits in 2016.
Overall it was a great trip. I have another round of meetings at the end of October, and this time the trip will last five+ weeks. I’ll be in Berlin, Vienna, Princeton NJ (for Thanksgiving), Atlanta GA, and Cambridge MA.