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Chicago HUG: chiX & a 2018 Recap

Sarah Corley
#Events, #HubSpot
Published on November 30, 2018

Diagram's Sarah Corley recaps the Chicago HubSpot User Group event, chiX, and recaps the 2018 HUG year.

Chicago HUG: chiX & a 2018 Recap

Throughout 2018,  the Chicago HubSpot User Group has learned so much about customer success, the new HubSpot Flywheel, aligning as an Inbound business, and why customer experience should be the heart of your company. We’ve also held some unique events like a Live Website Throwdown featuring our very own HUG members as experts and even a professional headshot clinic. 

For the last HUG of 2018, Stephanie and I had something special planned for the Chicago HubSpot User Group. One of the best ways to learn is from each other. That’s we wanted to be the first-ever HubSpot group to put on a brand-new event, chiX—an evening of short, powerful industry-related talks from fellow HUG members.

Local HUG members applied to speak on a variety of topics: video marketing, sales, design & development, inbound marketing, social media, diversity and inclusion and leadership. The caveat? Each speaker had only 6 minutes to present on their topic. 

Below is a quick recap from each selected speaker:

Chris Salvi
Video marketing
“Let’s Be Real: People and Video”

Chris Salvi, co-founder of Salvi Media, gave incredibly useful tips for businesses who are getting started with video. He shared the statistic that video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. He talked about how attention spans are continuing to shorten which means that videos should use fast cuts and attention to lighting is increasingly important to keep your audience engaged.

Emma Sepke
“The Simple Campaign That Transformed Our Sales Process”

Emma Sepke, digital marketing Specialist at Protexture Insurance Agency, shared her personal triumph by creating a pricing campaign that produced the highest email click-to-conversion rate for her organization. Does your business have its pricing on your website? It’s 2018 and it’s time to be transparent and help about your business’ products, services and pricing.

Dennis Kardys
Design & Development
“Creative Problem Solving with Design Thinking”

Dennis Kardys, Diagram Design Director, shared the importance of Design Thinking as a method for creative, collaborative problem-solving. Design Thinking imposes structure onto problem-solving by dissecting the process of identifying problems and coming up with solutions, and breaking it up into independent stages of: empathy, definition, ideation, prototyping and testing.

Emily Hauptle
Inbound Marketing
“Email, Marketing Automation and Your Marketing Strategy”

Emily Hauptle, Laughlin Constable’s marketing automation manager, started out by sharing an interesting email marketing fact: email marketing is 40 years old, but only 5% of marketers call themselves experts. She shared the importance of using five foundational elements of a successful program, and how your marketing automation should align to the buyer’s journey. In email marketing, cluttering your messaging means that you won’t get through to your target audience. Her takeaways? Focus on the customer first and don’t be afraid to get personal in your emails.

Kirsten Agnello-Dean
Social Media
“Social Media: The Inbound Way”

Kirsten Agnello-Dean, freelance Social Media Manager, shared specific examples of how to create content using the inbound methodologies to give your audience information that’s helpful, informative and delightful. She asked, “If your company branding was stripped away from your social media sites, how would I be able to tell that it was still your brand?” Kirsten focused specifically on Instagram and shared some resources to help business up their game on The Gram.


Blake Kelley
Diversity & Inclusion
“Don’t You Forget About Me: Being an Inclusive Business”

Blake Kelley, Marketing Automation Manager at TopstepTrader, distinguished that diversity is the full range of ways a person can identify and inclusion is the environment created to leverage diversity. It's imperative to have both because no matter how diverse a team is, if the different voices aren't heard then a business will not benefit from the diverse viewpoints. Blake shared how TopstepTrader has been working to remove the barriers of trading through their diverse and relatable social ads with a campaign called, Ladies Be Trading.


Carlye Wycykal
Work in Progress: A New Definition of Success”

Carlye Wycykal, marketing manager and group fitness instructor at Chicago Athletic Clubs, shared her own personal journey of defining success. She talked about how leadership isn’t just a job, but it’s a lifestyle. Leading is a willingness to be vulnerable, seek failure and understand humility. These traits foster new ideas, encourage growth and allow for the status quo to be challenged.


This mini-INBOUND event was a huge success with a huge audience turnout! Allowing HUG members to learn from each other is something that Stephanie and I will continue to prioritize as the Chicago HubSpot User Group leaders.

We have some awesome events planned for 2019. Our first HUG of features Dan Gingiss, author of Winning at Social Customer Care. Mark your calendars for January 23, 2019, from 6-7:30 p.m. at TechNexus. RSVP and landing page are coming soon.


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