In case I didn’t mention it enough I’ve just been to Kiev. I know I mentioned it enough as I even made a video - a reflection of how committed I was to the event. I never do video.
I hadn't been east for a while, Poland last year to hire developers and whilst I have been to many central and eastern European countries, I hadn't been to Kiev before, giving me the opportunity to learn new things.
Things I learnt in Kiev...
Kiev is further east than your brain (ok maybe just mine) thinks it is. The giveaway is that Tel Aviv is nearer to Kiev than London. Kiev this felt the most Russian of the eastern european cities I have been to. I know, no surprise but you could sense this was a country looking to be something on the global scale but conscious that things at home are not as simple as they would like.
Apart from the opportunity to post more vehicle “What DANGERFIELD does” tweets [here] complete with a more local 4x4, I was in Kiev to give the opening talk for the IHRC2018 [here]. This was the second year of this event, bigger than the last and over-subscribed. If I’m honest I expected something less sophisticated, less well attended and being completely open, less professional.
It is a well-organised event, small but with an audience that wanted to be there, absorb the information they heard, challenge that information and put forward excellent questions. I know that might all sound patronising, not my intention, more of a challenge to what I suspect is a common misconception based on LinkedIn posts that Eastern Europe is made up of low-level cheap labour and it clearly isn’t.
As a speaker what more could you ask for? I’d swap questions I can’t answer for silence any day along with genuine friendship and enthusiasm for the lost art of recruiting.
Maybe it’s a timing thing but it was easy to make comparisons between this little event in Kiev and the mega event that was Unleash in London. Don’t get me wrong, I thought bits of Unleash were really good but in places, it lacked heart. Yes, the target audience is different but that heart is the thing that makes the difference between good and great.
As it’s you and me here and I’ve always been pretty straight with you, it’s also making me worried about #truManchester which I am organising on 26th April 2018 [Full details here].
What if we can’t capture that same heart?
It’s been 8 years since #tru last came to town and we have 14 or more of the best speakers/knowledgeable bods in their field. I’m also proud to say we have some people doing their debut in public event like this, deliberately so as we need to shake things up a bit.
An Unleash, an IHRC hrc and a #tru are making me think about what I do next.
I love events, the analogue nature of meeting people in ‘real life’ as well as the opportunity to be on stage and talk about me. It’s why I organised my shop for partners to showcase their tech, have a chat, face to face and maybe why when we went online attendance was a fraction of the real-life shop.
I think though I have always been pretty clear, events allow me to engage with potential clients as well as my peers, so whatever I do next needs to deliver on that as well. I’m excited about RecFest [here] and whilst I’m not speaking I’m looking forward to a great day and have been promoting it to everyone I can.
So what I'm thinking I do next, to hit the middle road between big extravaganza events and the smaller online failures is to copy an idea from the past. Back in the 1950’s and 60’s managers used to pull together up and coming bands and tour them on a shared bill to smaller venues. The good bands rose to the top, the others died away.
What do you think? Get a mobile shop, fill it with vendors and speakers and take it on the road, 10 days, 10 venues across Europe...
I’m off to look for a minibus... you coming?