Monday, April 30, 2007

Flipping the funnel on Conference Vendors

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One of the Microsoft bloggers i read frequently is Heather Hamilton, she is one of their Staffing Managers. Heather always has great posts on recruiting in today's world (especially some of the challenges or advantages that organizations like Microsoft recruiters have to deal with), trying to get a job at Microsoft and quite frequently some fairly funny shares like this video.

I was just catching up on her recent postings and found this one titled 'Vendors and conferences and flipping the funnel' that provides an example of how corporate bloggers are using their blogs. Heather posted that she was headed to a recruiting conference in San Diego and that in the days before the conference she was getting a lot of marketing and offers from vendors who were going to be at the conference exhibiting their products and services. Sound familiar?

So what makes that different? She knew she wouldn't have time to visit all the vendors and goes on to complain about the amount of noise around new technologies, products services etc. in the recruiting market. So just like any sane blogger who uses their blog as a communication tool, she left the following message on her blog:

"I will reserve three fifteen minute time slots to talk to three vendors exclusively. You can pitch your product, ask me about recruiting at Microsoft or get fashion advice. First come, first served. Drop your name and contact info into the comment section and I'll contact you offline to make arrangements to meet."

How many takers? One. You can find him in the post's comments.

Before i go to conferences, i scour the blogsphere for attendees that I might be interested in meeting. Normally setting up a Google Blog search for that purpose in addition to setting up news alerts on factiva to see if companies are launching products, key speakers are presenting etc. Doing this i always manage to schedule good meetings- with people who are engaged not just coming by to the booth to pick up conference schwag. I didn't attend this recruiting conference, but if i had i would have loved to get some fashion advice from Heather.

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