Its 3 AM Monday, I’m sitting in the Westin hotel lobby (because the bar kicked us out an hour before) fueling my body with a random assortment of jalapeno cashews, cocoa powdered covered granola and sweet potato chips while I watch Mike “Batman” Cohen run Boolean searches on Hiretual and Seekout while simultaneously updating his extensive metrics on a spreadsheet. Cohen calls these searches “sprints,” and watching him work is as mesmerizing as it is mind-blowing. Yes, it’s 3 AM in the morning, but Batman never sleeps.
This is what SourceCon was for me, hanging out with the experts in the field, learning how they combine their preferred methods and tools and rolling into bed around 3 AM. SourceCon, 2019 went well beyond my expectations. Not to say my expectations were low going in, they were merely typical to most conference experiences. As I boarded the plane from Kansas City I wrote down a list of things I wanted to accomplish: shake hands with Dean Da Costa, Susanna Frazier, Shannon Pritchett, and other speakers, grab some swag, take some notes, drink good drinks, have some steak dinners #coproratecardblessed, and call it a success. But c’mon, I hardly expected that I would get the opportunity to pick the minds of sourcing heavyweights Erin Mathew, Dean Da Costa, Jeremy Da Costa, Steve Levy, and co-founder of the seek out, Anoop Gupta. Yet, that’s precisely what I did, because this community–this family–wouldn’t allow me to shake someone’s hand.
SourceCon attendees were encouraged to get on the Whova app and connect with other people who would be attending, those we admire and those that our interests. This was a perfect icebreaker for first-timers, especially solo goers, like myself. I followed Jim Schnyder’s tip on the Whova app and took the MARTA train. It was on the train that I met Shannon Kelly, someone I’ve been following on Twitter for some time but never thought I’d have the chance to meet. Like a nervous groupie, I sat down next to them and worked up the courage to whisper, “Hi Shannon.” While Shannon may never admit it, my “hi” was unintentionally very creepy, but Shannon was cool about it, and we went on to talk SourceCon the rest of the way.
I shook hands with some wonderful Texans from the Texas SourceCon chapter, which taught me how to take Texas wherever I go. You have to clasp your hands together tight and fold the pinky and ring fingers down. This phenomenal group let this stray Kansas Citian into the party; including the wonderful Tangie Pettis who crushed it as a Keynote speaker and introduced me to so many incredible people like Arron Daniels and Monali Parmar who defined my experience at the conference and gave me the confidence that I belonged there.
This community calls themselves a family, and as such, they look out for each other. Everyone brought their specialty to the table and shared it with the rest of us.
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- Greg Hawkes spent time with me during Peer-to-Peer round tables and taught us time-saving automation tools like Multiple URL
- Erin Matthew’s went over tips & tricks for incorporating videos in pitches to candidates, and she explained how insurance companies and infomercials influenced her methods for creating personalized emails and utilizing tools such as Loom to create her videos
- Susanna Frazier broke down her method for streamlining Deans 600+ extensions, increasing speed and efficiency
- Keynote speaker, Angie Verros, gave some great subject line and email content with her “give me a 1, 2, 3” method or using Adele’s track “Hello” for a parody message, sharing how she uses humor to differentiate her messages in a crowded inbox, ultimately increasing her response rates
- Holly Mallowes, another keynote, shared her fantastic 12-step process to becoming a better and more productive Sourcer
And there were so many more tips and tricks I couldn’t wait to get back and implement in my processes.
My first experience at SourceCon introduced me to a community with an open-source policy and the practicing philosophy that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats,’ and I haven’t met a group that does it better. This conference superseded my expectations. I walked in, expecting a T-shirt, and I walked out with an extended family. I can’t wait for the next reunion. See you in Seattle!