I remember SourceCon 2007 like it was yesterday. Yet, here we are, nearly ten years later, taking a look back at when the magic all began. Everyone that was there will have a story to tell, and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat. At the time, I had been working with Leslie O’Connor and Search Wizards for a little more than a year. I had joined her with some experience under my belt, but still much to learn. Little did I know I had joined forces with “The Master.”
I spent that first year learning more than I ever thought possible (i.e. drinking from a firehose). I will never forget the day that she made the statement, “We are going to put together a conference that is focused solely on sourcing, there isn’t anything like that out there, and there should be.” She said it as nonchalant as you would say “add bread to the grocery list.” I was nervous because of the financial impact this could have, particularly if I screwed up any of the support tasks that were handed off to me. However, I enjoy being challenged, could see the vision and have seen first-hand how she turned a thought into action. I was all in and excited to help and learn more.
The next thing I knew I was being introduced to Earl Mann. If you’ve never met Mann, I will just say this, be on your toes and bring the energy. I don’t think he sleeps! I wasn’t’ surprised to learn that the idea for SourceCon was born over late night cocktails between Mann and O’Connor.
Mann, being who he is, sparked up a thought provoking conversation asking, “If you could do something besides Search Wizards, what would it be?” O’Connor’s response led to Mann stalking her for a week to drive the idea into action and the rest is history.
Enter Rob McIntosh, who killed the sourcing challenges that led up to the big day. The buzz was electric; it was so much fun to watch the sourcing community come alive on social media as they attempted to be one of the challenge winners. I didn’t get to take part in the challenge piece, however being in the role I was in, I was very lucky to see everything else that went into the planning. I won’t bore you with all of the back-end planning details, but the leadership involved made it look easy and I learned a lot. They had a good idea and made it happen, period!
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So the big day came, and the attendee list was diverse. It was obvious that the sourcing community was starving for an event like this. So much talent in one location and everyone was there to learn and share. The content was amazing and the general vibe even more so. I met hopefuls looking to get a break into sourcing, all the way up to thought leaders, trainers, and what I refer to as evil geniuses. I got to meet people I had only heard of, others that I felt like I knew from the work I was doing to place recruiters and sourcers, and so much more.
As if the networking wasn’t enough, the speakers were thought provoking. I recall being exhausted after it was over from so much thinking and processing. I headed home inspired and carrying a stack of notes, wonderful memories and new friends. It is fun to look back at it now and see how far we have all come professionally, the growth that SourceCon has experienced, yet so many things remain the same.
Sourcing is relevant, sourcing is important, sourcing is evolving, and we are a community that shares and learns from each other. I look forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary of SourceCon with everyone this fall.