When you’re on a lengthy plane ride and everyone around you is coughing up their germs, you start to craft a ‘why am I doing this’ post in your mind. In this case, prior to arrival in London, I opted for a 12 AM EST coffee, yanked out the laptop, and jotted down some reasons.
First, some context. HR Tech Europe takes place later this week in Amsterdam. After a stop in London to visit a great new vendor partner, we’ll continue on to Amsterdam for the conference. It will be our first time attending HR Tech on this side of the pond. Having frequented the US version for many years (my team literally just got back from Vegas 11 days ago), as well as IHRIM, SHRM and others, we basically know what to expect. After all, you can only throw so many nuances at the attendees. Or so we think. Anyway, onto the reasons we decided to be here:
- It’s time to get up close and personal with the international HR Tech market. There’s a game of Pac Man going on in the US. HR Tech vendors are gobbling up market share by selling and implementing a good chunk of the large companies that had let their systems go stagnant. We’ll be elaborating this topic in a separate post in the near future, but for now we’re curious to see what the landscape looks like outside our borders. It could be very important for understanding the future of our industry.
- We’re hoping to be surprised. Again, it is tough to really mix it up at these conferences, but we’re hoping the Euros (as they’re called at the Ryder Cup) prove us wrong. Having indirectly planned these by virtue of my work on the IHRIM board, I know that it’s tough to stray from the format: key note, expo hall, smaller sessions, lunch break, expo hall, sponsored nighttime events, rinse, and repeat. So maybe something earth-shattering will happen. Or maybe it won’t.
- It will be a nice climax to the “year of the conference.” In order, we’ve had a presence at:
- LEHRN – Minneapolis in March
- IHRIM – June in Anaheim
- SHRM (national) – June in Orlando
- HR Technology Conference – October in Vegas
- HR Tech Europe – October in Amsterdam
In addition, we were present at 3 vendor conferences. It isn’t a long a list as some, such as analysts, might have, but it was sufficient to listen to the 2014 predictions be spoken about and demonstrated upon. We’ve even been able to determine which of those have been delivered upon, and what’s outstanding. We must see this through to the end (though regrettably we won’t be at the Australian iteration in November). Not to mention we’ve had some fun along the way.
4. Personal note: I missed Europe. This has been my longest stint off of European soil since I first set foot in Spain for my year abroad. Specifically, it has been 6 years since I did my book tour in Barcelona. It’s such a comfortable continent that has been calling me back for some time…so long in fact my phone is much thinner and smarter.
5. Market confusion is universal. While there are some things we hope to learn, in looking at the vendor list and session agenda, there’s some pretty good similarities to other conferences we’ve attended. We value any opportunity to provide the insights we’ve gained by staying close to the marketplace, and helping clients make informed decisions about their technology choices.
However you slice it, we’re pumped to be here. We analyze the HR Tech Industry, but we aren’t “analysts.” We provide services to software purchasers and sellers, but we don’t consider ourselves as a “vendor.” We understand the HR mindset and discuss HR practices with our clients, but we aren’t “practitioners.”
We at Hive Tech HR are just a company to that hopes to learn a lot, and impart knowledge where we can here in Europe… oh, and to stay germ-free.