Rayanne Thorn is the head of marketing for Dovetail Software. An industry veteran, she’s led marketing for a host of successful HRTechnology firms.
Review the sessions/speakers as soon as you can. Follow or connect with the speakers on social media to determine whether or not you will truly benefit from attending their sessions.
With the same scrutiny with which you review sessions / speakers, you should review exhibitors and create an Expo Hall plan. Plan to visit 2-4 vendors who sell similar products to gain some understanding of the differences, prepare questions you need to have answered. Check out the content distributed by the vendors you are interested in to determine the connection between marketing and sale, tech and leadership.
When visiting the booth, Ask if they use their own product. Ask about their own culture and employee turnover. DON’T do a detailed demo in the Expo Hall. Request a detailed demo once both you and the vendor are back home where you will not be distracted the lights and noise of the Expo Hall. You can make preliminary decisions about which products to demo, so that when you return home and are back at your desk, you have a plan for product reviews to best benefit your organization.
If a worthy product / tech information / marketing collateral is provided, hang on to it, take it back to your office – don’t toss it in your hotel room. This collateral is far more important than any swag being given away in an Expo Hall. If you want branded yoyos or pens, attend local networking events that are are more affordable than the most important tech conference in HR. This conference is about learning and gaining a greater understanding of the technologies which support HR and recruiting practices. It’s not about a party or many parties.