The events market in the HR space is quickly becoming over saturated. Last week there we 6 HR focused events in London, that we were told about, alone. Ours was one of them. Am I worried? Not at all. Our events are small, micro almost. We offer something no one else does, and at the price we offer it at (£0), we’re never going to struggle to put the right bums on the right seats. The bigger events / conferences may have an issue soon. But that aside, there are a couple of things this week that are really bothering me about this industries events.
The names. I’ll start on the more light hearted rant. Where the hell does this industry get off on these audacious names for pocksy little get togethers? Global this and European that. Summit? Do you know what the definition of “summit” is? ”The highest attainable level of achievement”. When did 40 people, with 80% of them being suppliers, hanging out in the conference hall of a Travel Lodge become the highest attainable level of achievement for anything, let alone Human Resources?
I might just jump on board the crazy wagon and name our next event “The Symposium of Human Engagement Through Telegenic Microcomputer Broadcasting” or as we’re currently calling it, Video in Recruitment. Or maybe we’ll go the other way and call it something completely irrelevant, like “The Rise of the Green Power Ranger”, as at least we’re being honest about the titles irrelevancy.
Sponsored Speakers. FFS! We were asked recently to be involved in an established annual conference and when I looked at the list of speakers, 80% of them were suppliers to the HR market. People with something to sell to the audience very rarely make for credible and useful speakers, that’s just a fact. I don’t blame the suppliers, I blame the organizers to putting money over content. If I was a HRD and I paid £200-£400 to go to a conference to be sold to by 5 out of 10 speakers, I’d want half my money back. Do you know who in-house recruiters want to hear from at these conferences? Other in-house recruiters. People doing the same thing as them (the key word in that sentence is “doing”), experiencing the same issues and have NOTHING to sell to them.
You only pay your TV license for BBC, because the other channels are funded by advertising. These conferences should be BBC or ITV, not both.