It’s been exactly 2 years since the first #truLondon, which took place in Canary Wharfe on the 18′th November 2009.70 people attended the first time, mostly dressed in suits, (me included), crammed in to the top floor of Barclay’s tower. It was only supposed to be one event, and this blog was only supposed to run for three months to promote the event.
On that day, some of those there realised the real difference between attending a conference and an unconference. The biggest realisation came for the Track Leaders, who for the first time got to actually speak to the attendees, rather than being stuck behind a lectern and in front of a Powerpoint presentation. The attendees got in their stride, and enjoyed the chance to discuss their own views, ask questions and set the agenda for themselves. We also had two global visitors, Geoff Webb, who was integral in the launch of #tru, and Jill Ellswick, who at the time was considering a career in recruiting.
I’ve always had a vision that I wanted #tru to be global. In 2009 most people were still trying to work out how to make the social networks work for them. In recruiting terms, the talk was very much about how Twitter might be used for hiring, and LinkedIn was very much the recruiting channel. There was no talk of Facebook, after all, this was very much seen as a personal channel, and whilst employer brand was mentioned, it didn’t really feature outside of the digital agencies. Blogging was also on the agenda for the first time, with a track lead by Andy Headworth. Looking back, there were quite a few blogs that sprung out of that track, something that has continued to be a feature of #tru.
The second #truLondon in Feb 2010 was much more of an international affair. I think that we were all a bit surprised to see that the hashtag had taken a life of its own after the first event, with people continuing to post long after.Since first signing up for a twitter account in March 2009, I had always looked to connect with a mix of disciplines around the people space, as well as people from outside of the U.K. I’m a big believer that we all share the same issues, even if we are recruiters, vendors, work in H.R, for job boards or in digital marketing. We also share many of the same problems whether we are based in the U.S, U.K, China, Canada, really anywhere. Social media provided the channels to connect good people, and I wanted to carry this approach from the on-line through to the off-line via the events.
Two years on, we are just about to host the 21′st event (the 19′th and 20′th were in Johannesburg and Cape Town), teaming up again with Rob Van Elburg and his unique #Recruitment Industry Dance Event #RIDE, which will be attended by over 15oo recruiters. On the 2′nd December we will be hosting our first event in Australia, partnering with the Australasian Talent Conference Social Media event. I’m excited about this venture because we will be running #tru immediately after the conference. Trevor Vass and Kevin Wheeler have managed to put together a fantastic line up including Richard Cho from FaceBook, Carrie Corbin from A.T. & T, Lance Brolin from Sears, as well as Paul Jacobs and some of the best names in talent attraction from the region. The #tru event gives attendees the opportunity to see the speakers in a conference format, then ask the questions and discuss the issues in person. It’s an idea I’m looking to repeat when the opportunity arises. #Tru will be a continuing evolution, both in terms of content and format.
Looking back, I’m proud of what has been achieved over the last 2 years. Having hosted events in 3 continents this year, we are achieving the vision of being genuinely global, with events already planned for India, Singapore, Finland, Hungary and Orange County, USA as new destinations for the first half of next year. The best thing about #tru has been seeing others connect, there’s been business deals done, friendships made, products developed, projects launched, graduates mentored in to jobs and more.
Thanks everyone who has been a part of the last 2 years, it’s been a great experience. I’d be glad to hear your experiences, and hope to meet many of you over the coming year.