I got tagged in a conversation on Twitter yesterday regarding the hashtag for an event that was taking place. Seemingly there was a volume of tweets and activity surrounding the event but not enough of any real value. More ‘I’m here watching so and so speak’ rather than specific insights on what was being shared at the conference.
Next week, I’m attending HR Tech World Congress for the third year running as a member of their blog squad. The organisers, HRN, take a lot of time and effort to create a team of people with diverse interests and specialities to share what’s happening at their event. It’s a broad church so there are people with different backgrounds in recruitment, analytics, learning etc. They provide resources, make introductions and outline the sort of content they hope the blog squad will share. It’s not dictated and we’re free to write about our highlights and reflections how we choose. There’s no stated expectation to tweet although unsurprisingly, many of us do. And what you’ll see from next week’s event isn’t just a flurry of tweets across the two days (although I’m fairly sure there will be a storm of these via #HRTechWorld). There will be links to books, videos, research, presentations and more. There will be tips on the latest technology. There will be shiny new tech to go and look at courtesy of inside opinions on the disruptHR zone. By filtering other people’s tweets and blogs, I even managed to curate a ton of useful resources from HR Tech World Spring in London back in March, and I was at home with tonsilitis at the time! But none of this happens by accident.
Sure, some attendees will tweet. And some of them might even blog. But the organisers aren’t leaving that to chance. They understand that by assembling a team (bloggers assemble!) there will be a volume of decent content that shares a slice of the event they have painstakingly put together.
Regular readers will know I am involved in lots of backchannel type activity and I take my role at these events seriously. Live tweeting and blogging isn’t for everyone. As agreed with a couple of my PLN yesterday, using tweets as a form of note taking then reflecting and potentially blogging afterwards in a more considered way is what works for me. It doesn’t – and frankly, shouldn’t – work for everyone. If some attendees want to sit and listen or write notes in a notebook, that absolutely has to be OK. You need to pick people who this type of activity does work for, who enjoy it, and who are ideally passionate about the topics being covered at your event. Give them some guidance, give them some support and great sharing should follow. But it takes time and effort to make that happen.
See you in Paris (or online) next week!