May 2016 I attended what was then known as HRN – HR Tech Congress in Paris. What a show it was. Thousands of delegates and hundreds of vendors. This was a production, an event, not a conference. Business leaders speaking about business issues, not HR Leader talking about HR issues. This was different. It was an experience, and it was awesome.
May 2018, and this time I’m basking in the Las Vegas sun at Aria Resort and Casino for the renamed Unleash event. In only its second year stateside, there were several thousand delegates and a couple hundred vendors.
Marc Coleman and the Unleash team have the delegate experience almost down pat in my opinion. From the registration, event app, speakers, sessions and vendor floor it all clicked. I’ve never been a vendor at this event but based on the feedback I heard from numerous vendors they’ve almost got this perfect as well.
Unleash much like ATC are huge supporters of the HR Tech Start Up Scene and it was great to see ATC Innovation Lab winner from a few years back VideoMyJob shortlisted as a finalist and place second to Clickboarding for best Start-Up at Unleash18. Hoping to see a few more HR Tech companies come through the ATC Innovation Lab to take on the global stage such as Unleash Events.
This year I spent most of my time on the vendor floor. It was great speaking to companies like Infor, SumTotal, TalentGuard, WePow, Emplocity, AppLearn, and Robot Vera. Sure there were the usual suspects there, but definitely far more variety to what is served up here in Australia.
Session topics focused primarily on Technology, Diversity and Inclusion, Recruitment Marketing, and yes Machine Learning and A.I. Much like ATC’s Innovation Lab, Unleash Start-Up Stage was hectic as Start-up after Start-up got the opportunity to Pitch to investors and buyers. What a great opportunity for them. Well done to Anna Ott for putting on a great Start-up show.
Why Aussie HR and TA Leaders should attend one of the three Unleash events (heck all three if you can and ATC as well)?
- The speaker line up is tight. The Unleash team secure fantastic keynote speakers, speakers who don’t talk HR or Talent Acquisition. They talk about the issues CEO’s are talking about. Sure the session topics are more aligned, but again the speakers are on-point. You will learn, and you will be inspired.
- It’s time to wake up and smell the roses people. There’s more than just Page-up, Workday, SuccessFactors and Taleo. I had not heard of any of the above mentioned companies before heading to Unleash Vegas and damn was I impressed and can’t wait to see more and maybe provide the odd lead or two. If there’s opportunity in Australia for them, there’s opportunity for Australian HR Tech over there. Just ask VideoMyJob!
- You may get tennis elbow from all the drinking you do, but you get to catch up with good people. Familiar faces and new faces. Heck I almost shed a tear when after several years of Facebook and Twitter interaction I finally met Lars Schmidt and Robin Schooling in person. Both Unleash and ATC certainly solidify the strong community we have in this industry and I’m stoked to be part of it.
Is it much different to ATC? Actually, the format is pretty much the same. A couple of key notes followed by breakout sessions. A Start Up scene similar to Innovation Lab, and a pretty relaxed, and engaged environment. Unleash is on a much large scale which allows for the production.
Will I get back to another Unleash event? Hell yeah, and I’d love to go with a whole bunch of fellow Aussies next time. If your employer won’t pay for you, save up your pennies and claim it as a tax write off. And if you can’t afford to get to Unleash, then get yourself to ATC in June.
You’ll do yourself a favour, whether it be a career opportunity through networking, development through learning, or business improvement through technology these events will inspire.
Cover image: Stan Rolfe
Talent Acquisition (TA) is on the cusp of a new wave of innovation and the 12th Australasian Talent Conference will be shining the light on it – say hi to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Find out more here.
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