HubSpot's INBOUND 2014 conference wrapped up yesterday in Boston, ending a week of events punctuated by higher-than-anticipated attendance and the company’s announcement that it would be launching a new sales platform. It includes a free CRM and what the company calls a “sales acceleration product” called Sidekick.

Sidekick Debuts

Sidekick, a rebranded and updated version of HubSpot’s Signals tool, is a browser extension designed to provide support for sales reps to help them move more quickly. It can either be used by itself or with other CRMs. It’s already available for use, but the new CRM is set to launch to existing HubSpot customers in early 2015.

The HubSpot CRM works with multiple types of email providers from Gmail and Google Apps, to Outlook and Apple Mail, among other features. It’s designed to make it easier to automatically track emails, calls and data, freeing up salespeople to focus on other tasks.

“Far too many sales reps still sell exactly the same way they did a decade ago,” HubSpot’s CEO Brian Halligan stated in a written release. “The HubSpot sales platform is designed to drive more sales instead of driving people crazy and to deliver a more relevant, timely and effective sales process to potential customers while making it significantly easier for sales reps to do their jobs.”

Success in Numbers

In addition to the launch, organizers viewed this year’s INBOUND 2014 as a success. “We’re really pleased with the turnout,” Elijah Clark Ginsberg, a marketing specialist with HubSpot, told CMSWire.

The turnout, in fact, exceeded the company’s initial goal of 8,000 attendees, moving into the 10,000 range. “We haven't dug into the data yet to look at attendance and session feedback,” he said, “but based on what we've heard in the halls and on social, [author] Malcolm’s [Gladwell] keynote was phenomenally popular.”

Where People Flocked

Ginsberg told CMSWire that other popular sessions included:

  • Anum Hussain's session "Stop Marketing, Start Hacking -- How to Launch & Grow a Business Blog in 2014”
  • Matt Heinz's "25 Email Marketing Hacks & Best Practices That Will Double Your Response Rates”
  • Paul Roetzer on "The Metrics that Matter: How to Build Performance-Driven Inbound Marketing Campaigns.”

This was the first year that the event was held in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. “As is always the case with events this size, I mean, look at the Apple keynote livestream, there were some technical wrinkles that needed to be ironed out as we went. We're really looking forward to getting everyone's feedback and applying it towards next year,” said Ginsberg.