ERE Expo 2010: My biggest takeaway so far? Losing it all by going all in.

I already mentioned it's the first time in nine years that I've been to an ERE Expo and mercy I've been missing out.

Through thick and thin, these ERE kids know how to put on a recruiting show with streaming video even. Sweet. (Lou Adler in the video pic below.)

The charity poker game Monday night was a huge success -- raising over $7,000 for Haiti relief via the ERE Foundation.

Besides having fun playing Texas hold 'em for a social cause, my biggest takeaway was losing it all.

Yep, losing it all by going all in. That's what kept happening over and over again -- the minimum bets went higher and higher and the night got later and later and everybody kept going all in, busting some and making others rich.

And you'll never win unless you go all in.

And that's what's happening at the ERE Expo in San Diego. From the buzz about more hiring coming, recruiting folk getting a booster shot in their departmental arms, vendor exhibits overflowing into the hall lobby, startups returning to the HR/recruiting space -- it's a pleasure to see faces awash in optimism.

John Zappe from highlights it well here.

Granted, it's still fits and starts, but growth is catching on and we've been hearing it at since last October/November, and Jonathan Goodman and I have heard more of the same on the ERE expo floor yesterday.

I'll talk more about some of the sessions I saw and conversations I had in my next post, but in the meantime I'm all in.

(I'm going to keep beating that theme so hold on.)

This morning Kat Drum, Global Employment Brand Manager at Starbucks Coffee Company (@starbucks and @starbucksjobs and FB Starbucks), rocked the main session with social media recruiting presentation and how Starbucks is all in with the social media magic.

I tweeted at the end:

I don't like coffee, only chai lattes, but that's not the point. Whether it's your recruitment strategy or your marketing strategy, you've got to be all in on social media and many other new old school activities as well.

Because no matter the size of your firm or your marketing budget (and by gosh you better have one), you're competitors are going all in fighting for market share.

Onesie-twosie marketing pitches per year while wading in the mosquito-ridden referral pool isn't going to cut it.

You will loose customers and top talent and you will loose big.

Listen, I get it. Growing a business is hard work. Some will get the hot cards while others will fold.

But you've got to go all in no matter what. Like us and our team and the many HR suppliers we work with and our collaborative partners at TalentCulture and the ERE and so many more.

All you need is a little luck, a little love and a great poker face. You'll never win unless you go all in.

(Speaking of charity poker and other social cause marketing, check out this Starbucks Love Project video promoting AIDS in Africa awareness. Very cool.)

Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!)

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