Monday 5 April 2010

Connecting HR tweets again!

   If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll understand some of the problems Gareth and I have experienced getting the best mix of people to attend Connecting HR (the London HR tweet-up) last week.  But if you were there, or if you’ve scanned the Twitter stream (#ConnectingHR), you’ll understand how valuable getting this right mix has been.

So for our next tweet-up (still provisionally scheduled for 24 June), we’re keen to get the right mix again.  This post describes my current thoughts about how we might best do this, and it would be great to know your views (confirmations or challenges).

But firstly, here’s the issue.  Many of the most prominent users of social media are consultants / suppliers.  Perhaps as a group, we’re just a little more focused on the opportunities it provides for personal branding and marketing?  And for similar reasons, we also tend to be some of the most proactive in taking up networking opportunities like tweet-ups.  It’s a problem because we want suppliers present at the event (particularly those who are high profile users, but also others who will bring more in-company practitioners along), but we don’t want it to be ONLY suppliers!

Last week’s tweet-up was probably about a third suppliers, a third in-company practitioners, and a third journalists / CIPD / other, which I think worked well.  But we only got to this by some fairly un-social actions (telling suppliers who had booked – albeit not meeting the conditions in the booking form - that they wouldn’t be able to attend).  This time around, we want to arrive at the same type of mix, but without having to be so unsocial.

How about this idea?:

  • We ask suppliers to book on the event, but explain this booking is only provisional until nominated to attend by a practitioner.
  • We transfer the booked suppliers into a list of options that appears in the practitioners’ booking form.  We ask each practitioner who books to select one supplier they would most like to attend (this could be made compulsory or left optional).
  • Once a supplier has been nominated by a practitioner, we remove them from the list of options (so they don’t get nominated twice) and confirm their booking.


It’s a clearer system of nominations than last time (when we asked suppliers to identify who they would be bringing along) and should ensure we don’t need to delete any confirmed supplier bookings.  It should mean high profile suppliers find it easy to attend (as they’ll quickly get nominated) but also gives all other suppliers the opportunity to attend as well – they just need to get a practitioner who will nominate them to book and attend as well.


What do you think?- would this work?  I’d be very interested in other ideas – particularly any that would provide the same outcomes without being quite so complicated….



Photo credit: Nicola Mondino



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  1. Fuck me Jon.....are you a Lib Dem?

    Seriously, I think this makes some sense although I fear it will play into the hands of the larger suppliers and avoid those niche organisations that could add so much.

    Plus, I think the practitioner community has a lot of work to do to get behind this and drive attendance.

    Not many answers, lots of questions, but I'll be there....if I'm still allowed!

  2. Hi Jon - the HR Tweet-Up was a very good event with lots of energy and ideas - more than most conferences I have attended. However I think only a small proportion of HR people actually bother with Twitter. Twitter is just not of interest to everyone, however I think there are lots of HR people who would find it beneficial, fun, informative if they gave it a go. So I think we should spend some energy on tempting more HR people on Twitter. For info, here's my attempt- Are you a HR Twitter Virgin?

  3. Thanks Andy, and thanks HRD! I guess it's safe to come out of the closet now and admit some Lib Dem sympathies!


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