Thought Leaders: 800 is Better than 1 | HR Fishbowl

recruitfest-logo-1487265Joe and Jason, the guys over at the TalentAnarchy, sparked a good debate the other day about the role of Twitter and Social Media in (HR) Conferences; people have argued over whether the “unconference” is more effective than the traditional conference; and some have complained about the prominence of sponsors, vendors, and those generally selling their wares at these events. I have my opinions about all of these things, but who the hell cares!? One thing is for sure, though: HR and recruiting people take their conferences seriously (it’s probably because they are rarely allowed to attend them). And when the makers of those conferences start messing with the format, there’s definitely a noticeable rise in prescribed anxiety pharmaceuticals.

Just when you were getting comfortable with the idea of an unconference, / and have gone and started a whole new ballgame. Recognizing the power of broad-based knowledge sharing, grass roots change agency, and melting pot dynamics, these two innovative organizations have gone and made the unconference virtual (and FREE!). The upcoming Recruitfest! in Boston will have live streaming video and a social media feed on steroids that will allow smart people all over the world to experience the conference in all its glory while sitting at their desks, lounging at Starbucks, or running around the house in their skivvies. Yet they won’t just be watching, they’ll be actively participating in the dialogue, influencing its direction, and forcing the agenda to ebb and flow. How freakin’ cool is that!?

One “expert” standing at the front of the room giving a power point presentation just doesn’t cut it anymore, guys. “Thought Leaders” are interesting, but a living and breathing conversation with 100′s of thought leaders is fascinating (when I last looked, over 800 people had signed-up to attend virtually)…and it’s compelling in a way typically unheard of in the business of conferences (SHRM, pay attention). I’ll be in the room in Boston as part of a panel facilitating a conversation around “The Candidate Bill of Rights.” I have passion for this topic – have trouble shutting up about it. But I have a feeling I’ll be doing much more conversing than talking. And that, my friends, is the way a good HR conference should be…

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