Last Thursday saw the curtain come down on TruLondon7 (actually it was 8 for me if you include TruNora) and from last week’s attendees it was probably only me, Bill and one or two other stalwarts that have been at every one.
Jobsite weren’t sponsoring this time so I was able to experience the event purely as an attendee and track leader for the first time in a couple of years. And I was also able to see it through the experiences of first time attendee colleagues from the wider Evenbase & DMGT Group like Clair Bush (Broadbean) and Bethan Davies (RMS).
This event seemed quieter than previous ones. I’ll be writing about the takeaways and learning points elsewhere, so here’s what I think about TruLondon itself and how it’s evolved…and where it is now. All views my own, obviously…
The conversations may not seem to change but the people having them do.
There seems to be a (mis)conception that an event like Tru needs to push the boundaries; that the conversation constantly needs to evolve. There were tweets on the timeline along the lines of ‘are they still talking about…’ and regular Tru advocate and track leader Steve Ward had blogged about his frustrations in this respect.
I think we expect too much. Sure, there were a number of new topics discussed but then several tracks last week did contain much of the usual content. A lot of the key recruitment themes that usually get debated at #Tru – candidate experience, social recruiting, social sourcing, should recruitment be part of HR – were out in force again, most of them with the same track leaders as before, but the participants had changed. Different people were having the conversation and new people were grasping these concepts for the first time.
And with different people then the conversation is never quite the same.
There are people that I only get to see at #Tru events, and there’s a strong social side to these gatherings. Whilst we may have online interactions and the odd catch up at other events, it’s TruLondon that brings a group of people together twice a year to share thoughts and ideas and to generally hang out and have a good time. They come from the US and Europe, and further afield. Last week gave me the opportunity to meet Paul Jacobs for the first time…all the way from New Zealand.
It provides business opportunities.
Some of the people I spoke to go to other Tru events. Whether it’s the Nordics or the Baltics, Europe or Asia, there are quite a few people to whom these events represent a chance to develop International contacts, gain knowledge of upcoming global trends and launches, and spread awareness of what they do. It’s developed a sub-industry of its own.
TruLondon is like an academy.
Maybe the greatest strength of TruLondon is to introduce attendees to the conversations that bounce around the intersection of social media, recruitment and HR, sometimes called the people space. As I mentioned earlier, there are many who come to these events for the first time and who leave energised by the ideas they hear and the potential and opportunities that they bring to their businesses.
The unconference format of conversation and sharing over presentation and demonstration enables them to learn from others’ experiences in a wholly different way. It’s more personal and more informal, with everyone helping and giving of their time. It’s like a launchpad for the journey into social business.
It can be random and disorganised, and that can get frustrating, but it’s also part of the charm…you never quite know where the next idea is going to come from.
You get out what you put in.
If you’re going in the hope of finding potential consulting gigs or job opportunities then you may well be disappointed. It’s a global community thing and that is probably the most important point. There are opportunities to be had – I’ve written before how most of the attendees at the first events now have jobs in this space, me included – but they come from being part of a wider network. There are always new people to meet, and old friends to talk to.
The twitter stream may seem quieter that previously, as newbies aren’t quite up to live tweeting yet and the old timers have tweeted much of it before, but this shouldn’t be mistaken for there being nothing to say.
Whilst many of us have ‘moved on’ in terms of what we do in terms of social business, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that there are many who are just starting.
The conversation has a way to go yet.
The most serendipitous moment for me came during a track on video when this tweet popped into my timeline. It’s from a political tweeter, so completely unconnected with the TruLondon conversations, yet somehow sums up why these conversations will be continuing for some time yet…