What a fantastic event.
HRevolution 2011 took place over the past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia and at least for me, was the best of the three HRevolution events we have put on thus far. And certainly as one of the members of the HRevolution organizing committee I could be accused of having a biased opinion. I freely admit it - I am biased. So if you don't want to take my word for it, connect with any of the 130 or so people that attended, keep an eye on the Twitter stream for the tag #HRevolution, and read some of what are sure to be dozens of reflection blog posts that will be posted in the next few weeks.
I am not so biased though as to suggest that somehow HRevolution is better than other events, be they large and traditional major conferences like SHRM, or the many other 'Unconferences' that one can find these days. But I do believe HRevolution is different, and really kind of unique in the space, and really quite special. The level of commitment, passion, engagement, and enthusiasm for this event, at least for me, surpasses what I have seen and experienced for any other event in our extended industry.
Attendance at professional conferences and events can be driven by many reasons - some are attended for specific learning opportunities, some for the chance to meet and network with one's colleagues in a professional community, and some simply are used to re-charge and energize and hopefully re-ignite passion for one's career. I think HRevolution succeeds as an event because it offers attendees all of these things. Intelligent and insightful session leaders, relevant and engaging content, a format that encourages connection and engagement, and finally the chance to spend time with 130 other folks as passionate as you are about the worlds of Human Resources, Recruiting, Talent Management, HR Technology, or whatever precisely matches your interest.
After the event one of the attendees Bonni Titgemeyer tweeted the following:
It is a fantastic and interesting question, and I think gets to some of the core or the essence of why so many people feel so passionate about the HRevolution event.
Particularly for first-time attendees, the event can be seen as a bit of an enigma. It kind of looks like a 'regular' conference - we were in a large, professional conference center, there was an excellent catered lunch and a General Session room and smaller breakout rooms; some of the sessions had elements of more traditional presentation formats. But other sessions had attendees standing in front of the room holding up posters of cartoon characters and rap stars, and as Matt Stollak and Dawn Hrdlica-Burke both observed, the F-Bomb was dropped sort of casually and reasonably often during the day. But contrast that to the big-brained Josh LeTourneau exploring the depths of complex Social Network Analysis, a topic and conversation to challenge your ideas about talent management to their core.
So is HRevolution a phenomenon, movement, or a cult?
I am not sure. Maybe it is all three. For a small event, the HRevolution manages to be a collection of different, complementary, and interesting elements, and to me, that is why it really is unique and special. Maybe the event is anything the attendees want it to be.
Lastly, many, many thanks for all who attended, presented, supported, and come toghether to make this event what it is.