#HRTechConf Perspectives

In this post, I'd like to share other's perspective on this week's HR Technology Conference & Expo.

My feet were confined to a 10x10 patch of carpet for most of the daytime hours, so check out these dispatches from those who got around. Then I'll add analysis from my more stationary perspective of the show.

From the private equity perspective:
Who Will Be the Sponsors of HRTech 2015?, by Charles Bedard of Ephor Group

From the cynical perspective:
What I learned at #HRTechConf, from Laurie Ruettimann

Reporting and commentary:
John Hollon at TLNT.net offers Weekly Wrap: At HR Tech Chicago, A Surprise and a Great Debate, and John Zappe's piece cross-posted on ERE.net and TLNT.net, Not Mind-Blowing, But "Gee Whiz" At HR Tech Show's Awesome HR Session.

Perspective from the 10x10 patch on the show floor:
After abandoning the idea of exhibiting under our software and services brand (HRmarketer.com of course!) beginning in 2009, this year marked the second year we've set up shop to distribute our hard copy publication we call the "HR Vendor Phonebook." In our digital age, it's a throwback to the desktop or bookshelf reference. It still has its strong fan base. (Note: the idea of a marketing firm serving Human Capital vendors but who does not sell to HR taking out exhibit space was creatively revisited this year by our peers at the Fort Worth-based marketing firm. Who can object? Starr Tincup = Free Beer!)

In exchange for the complimentary Phonebook, we ask for contact and budget information from the Expo hall attendees. It's the oldest marketing play in the book. Information in exchange for Offer.

Green sheets vs. white sheets:
So who made up the 2,500 people reported to be at the show?

Eschewing the lead retrieval systems common to these trade shows, we collect detailed information the old fashion way. We use pen and paper. HR professionals working in a company who influence or make buying decisions complete an order form which includes a budget survey. Everyone else, vendors, consultants, investors, those in transition, get the other form sans budget survey. In short, white sheets for working HR professionals; green sheets for everyone else.

Our tallies? Lots more green sheets than white sheets. By a factor of 2 to 1. Unlike other HR conferences, the HR Technology Conference brings a more evenly distributed mix of people - at least to Expo hall (many also wearing the green "expo-only" badges).

To my mind, that's neither a good nor bad thing. It's just a fact of this conference. Investors scope out emerging trends and look for those who need capital. Independent consultants in a position to help their clients make buying decisions (often technology related) come to learn about the various offerings being presented. It's a broad-based community for sure.

The Twitter Perspective:
The Tweet Streams get bigger and better every year. Of all the Tweeps tweeting from the show, one stood out to me. Tim Sackett has a strong, consistent, if sometimes snarky point of view. He's both an HR leader and a blogger on FOT.

Here's Tim's Monday dispatch looking back on HR Tech. Jobvite: Take Your Hiring Managers' Excuses Away...

Here's a random sample of Tim's conference Tweets...
Tim, great to meet you… I was the tall dude in the 10 x 10 with surrounding by stacks of vendor directories :-)