A huge thanks to David Manaster and Scott Baxt from ERE, along with all of the volunteers, for such a wonderful event. It was my first visit but, hopefully, it won’t be my last. Just in case you missed the fun … here are some highlights:
Kevin Wheeler delivered an informative and timely message to a standing room only crowd at his session “What Will 2010 Bring?” While some of the trends weren’t a surprise – like business growth in China and the emergence of sustainability – it was the way Kevin framed the global dynamic that really was significant. We just can’t look at a single trend and draw conclusions. It’s important to process all of the trends to make sure we’re taking everything into consideration. The takeaway from his session? “Simple is good.”
I really enjoyed spending time at the Career Life Connection booth. Career Life Connection was not only an exhibitor but one of the conference sponsors.
Leanne Chase, president of Career Life Connection, shared with me a special offer for ERE Expo attendees and said that I could share it with you. Just fill out their employer form and get a 3-month board listing. Be sure to check it out along with their blog. Lots of great info about workplace flexibility and balance.
Swag of the Day
Not a lot of swag at this event. I’m not complaining…it is what it is. But I did snag some microwave popcorn from JobTarget One Click for Mr. Bartender.
And, Black & White Advertising had a very catchy piece of marketing collateral called “Recipes for Success!” It not only talked about their services but included actual recipes. Good reminder that well packaged marketing collateral gets read.
The conference was local for me so I didn’t really try out any restaurants, but I do want to give a shout out to The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. It’s a stunning facility with excellent service. And while I think we’ll all agree that conferences aren’t known for their food…the networking lunches and receptions in the expo were pretty darn good.
You Made My Day Award
Kudos to the ERE Foundation and RecruitingBlogs.com for hosting creative after hours activities. Texas Hold’em and wine tasting are far more interactive than the boring old silent auctions that other conferences have settled into. Even if you don’t play cards or drink wine…it’s a way to get people together for networking, which is one of the reasons people attend conferences in the first place.
It’s time for conference organizers to realize that social networking is a key component of the conference experience. Attendees want to tweet, post photos and videos and share their experiences – while the event is taking place. I’ve been to three conferences in the past four months. ERE had the best WiFi accessibility of all . . . but it still needed to be much better.
My suggestion is that meeting planners start paying major attention to this or it will become a huge dissatisfier for attendees, exhibitors, speakers, etc.
All in all, the networking was awesome for me. I saw old friends like Jennifer McClure, Laurie Ruettimann, Mary Ellen Slayter, and Mike VanDervort. And connected face-to-face with friends like Jason Buss, Jenny DeVaughn, Robin Eads, Stephanie Lloyd, Miriam Salpeter, and Sarah White (plus a whole bunch more!)
ERE Expo was a winner on so many levels…I’d definitely suggest considering this gem as you plan your professional development budget. They hold two conferences each year – Spring on the West Coast and Fall on the East Coast to accommodate everyone. Look forward to seeing you there next year!