I know. You’re not allowed to have a favorite child. As an employee of ERE, I suppose I can’t have a favorite conference either.
My first SourceCon was September 2015, exactly 7 days after I started with ERE. It’s officially out in the open, prior to my employment with ERE, I had never attended a SourceCon event.
I will never be the same.
Why? The atmosphere at SourceCon is electric. Typically a topic, speaker, or piece of information creates buzz. SourceCon is different. The energy comes from the crowd. Make no mistake, the speakers, topics, and sessions are all top notch at SourceCon. However, the attendees are the heart and soul of the experience.
As day 1 started I was warned that you never know what you might hear from the speaker or the crowd. An hour later, I understood and I was the one saying, “Wait. Johnny Campbell said WHAT?!”
As the day continued I was amazed at the amount of sharing and collaboration. This happened continuously, attendees talking shop in a group or 1 on 1, sharing both challenges and solutions, helping others think through their problems. Heck, even presenters made time for the attendees to meet in a more intimate setting.
There was a networking session at the end of day one but the networking actually never stops. There was SourceCon After Dark, where both attendee and presenter continued to network and talk shop. After Dark was followed by a trip back to the hotel to the late night hack session where the rock stars of sourcing hung out until the wee hours of the morning, sitting 1 on 1 with other attendees, performing sourcing magic and sharing their secrets.
Well after midnight, I retired to my room with the realization that I had been going for 16 hours. Although I should have been exhausted, I couldn’t sleep. Somewhere in my restlessness, I realized that my career’s progression had moved me away from the parts of talent acquisition I loved.
In one day, SourceCon brought me back.
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So maybe I’m not allowed to have a favorite conference, but…