The breakout sessions are the most valuable part of Summit for me. If you're able to come back with 5-10 actionable items from sessions or speaking to vendors, I consider it a win. Like someone mentioned above, you have to be careful in choosing your sessions, but I find spreading out across a variety of topics and focusing in on the Champion sessions has been a great approach.
Really nice to hear that the champion sessions have been useful! We've all had such awesome feedback on them, it's going to make us all try super hard next year to present good content. I know I personally am going to be lobbying to get the session recordings back, I feel like I missed so much because there's just so many sessions running in parallel.
Personally I (mostly) skip the keynotes now, unless there's someone speaking I think I'll find really inspiring.
Agree, the breakout sessions are key, and the champion sessions were great! I basically skipped the keynotes. Honestly, I would much rather Marketo spend the money on recording the sessions than paying big names to speak.
Thinking more broadly, what I really took away from Summit was an understanding of how larger orgs manager their Marketo instance and teams. My team is experiencing some growing pains right now as we try to scale up our marketing campaigns. It was great to learn from big companies to see how they do it.
Breakout sessions can be so invaluable, especially at the end asking questions. If you only have experience at 1-2 companies / with 1-2 set ups, it can be helpful to see how other people are doing things or what new ideas are out there.
If you have any MarTech, meeting up with your existing vendors or seeing what other ones are out there is a great use of time. It's especially helpful if you're re-evaluating existing tech or want to purchase new tech soon.
Champion Booth / Marketo staffed booths can help you find the right resources to help you get stuff done when you get home. Champions can show you their set up and answer difficult questions or make recommendations. Marketo booths can get you access to the right people to answer your questions or give you more information. They had a booth this year where employees were giving evaluations on your deliverability. You have to sign up in advance, but it gave me a chance to see how we're doing and more importantly, have an expert compare that to others that she's been evaluating. #FreePerks
Networking is valuable, Marketo admins are in high demand and you never know who is going to tell you about your next role or who you meet who is going through the same things you are / already went through them and can be a valuable asset to you in the future.
From an event point of view, Marketo puts on a great show and has innovative ideas. My company is so impressed that we've 'borrowed' a few ideas from them for our own Summit!