Before the rise of social media, these were the conferences you absolutely needed to attend. Now, it’s possible to get visibility, interact or learn something new without physically being at an event. For who says you have to be present to be an HR conference social butterfly? A growing number of analysts, influencers, HR professionals and brands are following this exact strategy.
To show this, we used HRmarketer Insight software to see who, over the last six months, has engaged (socially) with the most HR and related conferences. The results are in the graphic on this page (the numbers represent the total number of conferences they’ve engaged with). More on this later.
First we want to emphasize this: by no means are we advocating that you stop attending events! Heck no. There are a number of events that everyone in the HCM marketplace should attend. What we’re saying is, for all the other events, just because you don’t go doesn’t mean you can’t participate.
When you use this strategy, there are more events your brand needs to know about. But sometimes you don’t know an event is important to you until the day it starts. For example, what if you notice a key competitor or influencer or demographic you are trying to nurture is tweeting about an event you were not aware of? No problem. You can quickly join the live conversation taking place on social.
Welcome to marketing in 2014. Today’s socially driven environment requires rapid decision-making and the ability to quickly allocate capital to emerging opportunities—there is no such thing as a static marketing plan anymore. This includes your conference participation plan. So how do you assemble the list of events you need to participate in?
A good place to start is asking these questions:
Now back to the graphic: The top brands participating in the most conferences include:
Naomi Bloom, a strategic advisor/market influencer/blogger/speaker in the HR technology marketplace, is the top-ranked individual, as she engaged with nearly 30 HR -related conferences in the six-month time frame. That’s impressive not only because of the number but because of what she contributed to the conversations. Same with Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research who engaged with 25 HR-related conferences. Also impressive.
Other notable individuals making the top 10 include Meghan Biro, Bryan Wempen, Jason Averbook, William Tincup and Matt Charney (and RecruitingBlogs).
Out of respect for the companies and individuals shown, we are not publishing the specific events they engaged with— For what it’s worth, as a group, these individuals and brands engaged with 93 unique conferences/events the last six months; we will provide a sampling of the most popular events amongst this group below.
Events Engaged With The Most
Before we get to the list of the top events, here is a quick explanation. For an event to qualify, it obviously needed a unique event hashtag (and to do a good job at promoting it). Also note that for this analysis we chose to include recurring online “events” like TChat and DriveThruHR. These types of events are growing in popularity and are very important information sources for the industry.
The top-20 events (with hashtags in parentheses), in ranked order:
Not surprisingly, the HR Technology Conference ranked No. 1. Not only is this conference one of the most popular events in the industry, but the event organizers do a superb job at social marketing for the event. And the demographics that attend the event are very active on social. In fact, more than 4,000 people engaged with this conference on social in 2013.
It is also not surprising that HR technology and recruiting events dominate the list, while few employee benefits events make the list.
The employee benefits marketplace (including the vendors) has traditionally been the laggard of the HCM marketplace when it comes to the use of technology in marketing. Note to benefits vendors and event organizers: incorporate aggressive social and content marketing into your marketing—with so many of your competitors lagging behind on social, there is lots of opportunity for you to stand out in your marketplace.