Tuesday 9 November 2010

Socialising the CIPD Annual Conference


  I’m not at the CIPD annual conference today as I’m presenting tonight at the HR 2.0 track at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

But I sent the CIPD some inputs on the conference this Summer and thought it might be worth reviewing how things have progressed in the conference this year.

So, I wrote:

1.   You could do with social media being on the conference agenda.  This is one of the biggest trends impacting organisations now and HR / the CIPD are still well behind the curve.  Ideally you'd have one or more sessions on quite early, followed by the tweet-up etc to drive interest in this.

-   Social recruiting / social learning

-   HR supporting social media in the business

-   Another opportunity would be a session with a bloggers panel, like SHRM did in 2009 when they woke up to social media.

How have they done?  Well, they’ve got Charlie Johnston from Cisco presenting what should be a great session, and CIPD  staff are talking about 2.0 in the exhibition but that’s it.

And yes they are following up with an event on ‘web 2.0 recruitment’ shortly afterwards, but this agenda needs to be included in the main event as well.


2.   And you could have some practical workshops on using social media as well as sessions during the exhibition - how to use Twitter etc

Not included.


3.   You might want to proactively invite some more bloggers to attend as press rather than waiting for them to apply (and feeling that you probably won't be interested).

I did get a press invite to the conference this year – the first time I’ve not had to push for one – so a big tick for this one.


4.   The tweet-ups have been fine, they'll continue to grow.

… as you can see from the booking list… (I think there were only about ten of us last year).


5.   You could have some twitter stream displays up - like you did at HRD a few years ago (I don't think this was very successful then but there are more people tweeting now).  And perhaps even some displays up as a backchannel during sessions, particularly those on social media.

Don’t know – hopefully someone will comment and let me know…


6.   If you see the conferences as a way to engage with your membership rather than a revenue generator (which is what most of your members think you this of it as!), you want to live broadcast some of the sessions too eg the keynotes, particularly those presented by Jackie et al, and any focusing on social media again.  Don't charge for access!

Not being done (but perhaps it was asking a lot!)


7.   You need to do something to get the conference attendee community sites working better.

Don’t know…


8.   Use interactive devices to involve the audience - eg Spotme / Crystal Interactive.  What are those devices people can wear which ping when you get close to someone with similar interests to you.  Some of those.

Doubt it!


9.   You need more CIPD people to sponsor use of social media too.  You've got a lot of people blogging and tweeting but they're not doing it at the conference.  They should be.  And listening to what other people are blogging and tweeting.  And responding to their tweets.

The CIPD has got its fair share of bloggers, although I think including all their blogs at cipd.co.uk limits their creativity.  And there are some ‘meet the CIPD blogger’ sessions in the exhibition (a bit of a strange combination of meet the CIPD, and a meet the bloggers panel).  But I doubt they’ll be doing much blogging or tweeting at the conference.


10.  Building on this point, can't you get CIPD people to actually look at and talk to delegates as they're walking around instead of looking like they're far too busy to do anything as menial as actually talk to their members!  And not hiding away in the speakers lounge.

I’ll need some comments on this…


11.   And this is nothing about social media but all about being social also basic conference design.  Don't allow your speakers, particularly CIPD people (eg your Next Generation HR session) to run out of time for questions!  Nothing turns an audience off like it.

We’ll see whether there’s an improvement here compared to last year….


If you’re not at the conference either and in the absence of video streaming still want to follow proceedings from afar, the best people to follow will probably be Mike Morrison @rapidbi and Charlie Elise @charlie-elise.  The hashtag is #CIPD10.


For more about socialising conferences, see this recent post from Andy Headworth at Sirona Says.



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  1. Hi Jon

    I haven't seen any streaming tweets as yet here - there are some sessions on tweeting etc but I don't know if these count as workshops?

    I'm pulling in all the tweets at http://www.hrzone.co.uk/cipdlive2010

    Also thanks for the mention of my twitter handle - it's charlie_elise (http://www.twitter.com/charlie_elise) or you can have a look at hrzone too on twitter.

    Tweet you later at the tweet up and n #chruchat!

    Best wishes

  2. Hi Jon

    Thanks for your post - some interesting points.

    This year we’ve created a dedicated page which pulls together social media activity (including a Twitter stream). You can find it here
    We've included an ACE Interactive zone at the conference - take a look! It’s got displays of the live ACE interactive page and there's a range of sessions around social media going on there. You can see the full programme here

    We decided to use LinkedIn more this year so there's an open access CIPD Annual Conference Group and there’s been a mixture of speakers, exhibitors and visitors joining in the conversation.

    We've also got three members of the team at the event encouraging and supporting social media activity – including buying some drinks at tonight’s tweet up!

    A step in the right direction I think!


    Chris Mathews

    Digital Marketing Manager

  3. Thanks Charlie and thanks Chris, and thanks Charlie for sending the twitpic of the twitter stream as well.

    Yes, things are definitely going in the right direction. But you compare this to progress in things like Connecting HR, and I think there's a lot more than could be done.


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