On 12-13 of June, I attend the first SourceCon Europe conference, which was also my first SourceCon Conference. I was both excited and curious to go there and to see how such a high-level conference looks like in reality. In this post, I want to share with you the most significant factors that amazed me.
Keynote speakers and knowledge sharing
The keynote speakers are always a deciding factor for me as to whether I attend a conference or not. In my experience, there’s nothing more disappointing that attending an event and having an impression that you wasted your time, especially when speakers present solutions which are outdated or don’t apply at all to your company. You can expect everything at SourceCon, but not this. You can listen to experts who are not only passionate about their craft but, most importantly, hands-on with sourcing tools and trends. To give an example, Balazs Paroczay (Vice President of Global Sourcing at Cielo) elaborated on how sourcing evolved during past ten years and technology implicates sourcing models. Jan Tegze (Author of Full Stack Recruiter and Senior Recruiting Manager at SolarWinds) highlighted why sharing is not only caring, but also an effective method to learn more about recruitment and sourcing. Katrina Collier (Chief Searchologist & Social Recruiting Expert at The Searchologist) reminded us how to write messages which aren’t left without reply. Iker Jusue (Sourcer at ThoughtWorks) gave a great roundtable about sourcing tools.
Of course, I’d love to mention every speaker, but as it’s a bit difficult due to space in this article, so let me give you a link to the full agenda, where you can check for yourself: http://europe.sourcecon.com/agenda/
Atmosphere and organization
Seriously, I was flabbergasted how meticulously everything was organized. I bet most of you know how many things can go wrong when preparing an international event. Chapeaux bas! Especially as this was a conference organized in an entirely new country (and a continent!)
Starting with the city – Budapest is a totally lovely place with ruin pubs and rooftop bars, beautiful art-deco buildings, and delicious lángos, through the venue – the Marriott Hotel with a fantastic view over the Danube River and food that spoiled your palate, and finally – the Welcome Wagon Team! When I entered the hotel, a few people welcomed me with a warm and wide smile, gave me cool swag and answered all of my questions. I didn’t know anyone, but they immediately helped me to feel at home. You couldn’t start a conference with a better mood.
What I liked was the frequency and length of breaks. They happened every three hours starting with delicious breakfast and lasted from 30 to 90 mins. You might consider it as irrelevant, but if you ever participated in a couple of conferences, I’m sure you know how transitory is our attention span and how little time there is usually to catch up and talk to speakers.
Though you’re not able to attend both panels simultaneously, you can receive the presentations after completing a detailed survey where your feedback about the event and speakers is more than welcome. I appreciate that, as it helps the speakers become better and the organizers to calibrate experts for the next conference.
People & networking
SourceCon is an excellent place to meet international technical recruiters and sourcers that come and learn from the best. Possibilities of networking and finding new business and collaborators are enormous. Every speaker is available at your fingertips, and the conversations in the hallways are of remarkable value since you hear an exchange between people with various experience who’re open to knowledge sharing. To give a few examples, I had a chance to chat with Shannon and Vu about organizing such a huge event and with Jan about how to write posts that are attractive to your audience.
Then I had a chance to meet Johnny Campbell in person, after three years of completing my Black Belt Certificate in Internet Recruitment with Social Talent!
And finally, I had a chance to meet new people and see some old friends! Big ‘hi’ to all Amazing Hiring Team, Magda, Adrian, Renata, Kasia, Magda, Natalia, Andrew, Ana, Sjamilla, Tris, Sven, Vanessa, Holly, Federico and everyone with whom I didn’t manage to take a picture.
To put it in one sentence, nothing beats meeting people in person.
If you’re still wondering whether to attend the next SourceCon, I’d love to give you more details. You can ping me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next event takes place in Amsterdam, on 21-22 May 2019. I plan to be there. Are you with me? 🙂