This article first appeared on SourceCon on March 6, 2017.
SourceCon is a week away, and like any great adventure, you need to be prepared. So, what do you need to do to ensure your success while you’re basking in the best that recruiting and sourcing has to offer out in Anaheim?
Don’t Sweat The Shy Stuff
Leave your introverted self at home, because you’ll need all the extrovert superpowers you can muster up. You’ll be in Anaheim to learn things, but the people you’ll meet, and the conversations that you have will be the thing that lasts with you long after SourceCon ends. Do all that you can to meet people (yes, IRL!), have conversations and ask the questions that are burning in your sourcing soul.
There will be plenty of opportunities to walk away from the fray if you are feeling overwhelmed and suffering from sensory and information overload. Run back to your room, and hack out those emails that you need to fire off, hit the gym, or whatever you fancy. But come on back into the fray, because the collective knowledge in Anaheim will be powerful.
You’ll be soaking up a lot of knowledge, and you’ll have access to slides and presentations after the conference, but there will inevitably be bits of information you want to capture in the moment. SourceCon is a working conference after all, and you’ll want to absorb all that you can digitally.
Some specific things you’ll want to pack?
- Extra power cords for your laptop and mobile devices
- Pre-loaded hashtags for #SourceCon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. (And maybe Snap, if you aren’t old like me)
- Business cards are nice, but not mandatory. After all, you’ll be able to source the contact info of the people you meet after you leave, right?
- Comfortable clothes and shoes – you’ll be sitting, standing, and walking, and SourceCon is a No Jacket Required type of Con.
Visit The Vendors & Sponsors
SourceCon has some great sponsors this year, and always a healthy slate of HR tech companies showing off their stuff. Sure, they are there to pitch their products to potential buyers, but you have a unique opportunity to take a closer look at what’s being demoed there. You’ll also have a leg up when trying to pitch the value of taking a further look at products to your boss when you get back.
Don’t forget to check out the Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is where you go to learn and test new products and technologies. Bring your open positions to the Innovation Lab and experiment with new tools and new techniques to find candidates. Companies like, AmazingHiring, Aevy, Brilent, CareerBuilder, Clinch, Data Miner, Dice, Shane McCusker’s Facebook Search Tool, RestlessBandit, Workable, and more will be waiting and willing to help you find candidates. You can also catch sourcing legends, Ronnie Bratcher, Dean Da Costa, and our special guest Marvin Smith in the Innovation Lab to help guide you through the Lab.
And lest we forget, vendors and sponsors are essential pieces that allow SourceCon to be what it is.
Let Loose after Dark
Let’s be honest here. In Anaheim, there are no kids and no spouses. When the conference day ends, grab some dinner with the attendees, and enjoy the AfterDark festivities, whether that is nerding out at the SourceCon Hackathon, or just catching up over drinks, this is time well spent.
One thing I see at some conferences I attend is people attending with team members from their company. In an of itself, this is great, because it shows that companies are willing to invest in sending full teams to SourceCon to learn and to be able to catch multiple sessions.
However, where I see a potential pitfall often, is that those who come together stay together. Meaning, they sit together at the conference, at the lunch tables, at dinner, and at any events, they check out while at the conference. Go and explore, meet new people, and then come back and collectively share each of your experiences. You’ll be glad that you did, and how much you each have to download to one another when you spread across in zone formation.
Throughout the conference, there will be plenty of volunteers on hand to answer all your questions. Whether you need to know where the loo is, want to know how to find the session that you want to attend, or just want to explore the meaning of sourcing life with the likes of Steve Levy, you’ll always have someone to go to. Just find someone in the special shirt and ask.
You’ve read it before, that there are no cliques at SourceCon. And lest I mislead you, I was terrified the first time that I went. Some of the people attending and presenting have more collective knowledge in their brain that I will likely ever possess. But they are all willing to share that information. When we elevate each other, we elevate the profession’s credibility and value. You’ll find mentors, new friends, and colleagues willing to share what they have learned over the years. All you have to do is walk up and do something like comment on their Star Wars shirt – it’s just that simple.
Enjoy Anaheim. I’ll see you there!