I just got back from the largest interactive media and technology conference, South by Southwest or SXSW for short. It was amazing. The conference was more than nerd heaven.Â It was full of cutting edge technology and start ups and entrepreneurs who are blazing the trails and setting the bar.
I met some wonderful people and didn’t feel obligated justifying to those around me about checking in with geolocation tools like Four Square and Gowalla. My fellow conference attendees felt the same. We talked technology, chatted about twitter apps, and discussed advanced new media strategies for business. I was in heaven.
What did bother me was the lack of HR presence at this conference. Aside from about a dozen recruiters who specialize or work only in the recruiting and staffing industry, I was one of two Human Resource professionals there. I spent a lot of time defending our profession, the industry, and the fact that there are successful HR bloggers and new media addicts who work in the human resource industry doing great things.
They didn’t believe me.
We, the HR and recruitment social media community are strong. I have made life long friendships with people like Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese, Jennifer Miller, Geoff Webb, Bryan Wempen and so many others over the last year. We are thought leaders in the industry who are bringing the HR profession and professional organizations like SHRM often times kicking and screaming into the new media and digital age. That’s the exact reason why events like HR Evolution, TRU Conferences, and RecruitFest were created.
A couple things. . .
- Not only should we be here, but we should be united. Professional organizations like the Social Media Club and Digital Media Organizations hosted cocktail and breakfast events during the conference. SHRM should be doing this especially if we are serious about being business partners vs. purely operational.
- Professional organizations like ASTD, SHRM, and Recruiting Blogs should have booths at the interactive trade show. It’s about building partnerships and relationships with our digital business leaders.
- We should be attending events like theses outside of our own industry or specialty. In 2010, I have said that I will not be attending HR specific events unless I am asked to be a speaker. I will, however be attending events outside of my industry like SXSW and Alternative Energy conferences where Human Resources typically do not have a presence. This is part of my differentiation and education strategy as a HR person and consultant. I go where the decision makers go.
Tell me your thoughts, suggestions, and opinions. What should we do to push the HR industry forward? Are attending events like SXSW the answer?
Read more about HR and Recruiting’s role at conferences like SXSW.