RecruitFest!: The Real Thing


RecruitFest!: The Real Thing

Guest post by Rayanne Thorn, Marketing Director for Broadbean Inc.

I have had the privilege of attending or exhibiting at many HR or recruiting conferences over the last ten years.  I have always loved the experience and actually looked forward to each event.  Well, wait… let me be completely honest.  The first several exhibitions that I was a part of were miserable.  I didn’t like the competitive nature of them, I hated when a co-worker stepped in front of me to talk to a visitor in our booth.  The stepping on toes part left a very bad taste in my mouth.  I am not competitive enough to behave in such a way, I value the perception of the potential client way too much, besides– my momma taught me better than that.

I have always felt that your service or your product should speak for itself.  That the slimy sales tactics so often exhibited in our industry are not only abhorrent but unnecessary; and, thank God, I know there are others with similar feelings as I.  The bad name not only given to recruiting, but in general to those that offer services or products (sales) is often hard to get past.  Most often, those attending conferences are not there to walk the exhibit hall, unless they are picking up a fun little doo-dad for their kids or to take back to co-workers.  They may actually be there to attend an informative session or workshop.  Most likely they are there to network – to visit and get to know others in similar positions or to identify potential clients/ customers and / or partners.

A few years ago, I was invited by Jason Davis of to attend a Kennedy Recruiting Conference and Expo in Vegas – he was looking for individuals in the recruiting community to interview attendees on a flip cam to be shared over the RecruitingBlogs network.  I saw this as an opportunity to expand my network and learn more…  And it was just that.

During one of the breaks, Jason and I had a chance to step away from the hubbub and chat.  He asked me what I thought about the conference, then he asked me what I thought about RecruitingBlogs putting on an un-conference.  What if we were able to present the best parts of a conference? What if we brought some great minds together to inspire new thoughts, to instigate and drive industry-related discussions? What if we were able to just sit together and talk or ask questions about what was on our minds?  To share concerns?

I thought it was a fantastic idea and I wanted in.  In follow-up conversations, Jason indicated that he wanted to do it the following August or September. I was skeptical, I knew how much preparation this would require and I tried my darnedest to convince him to wait for the following spring – there just wasn’t enough time.  Not to be deterred, Jason moved forward and the next thing I knew an invitation was in my inbox for the first ever RecruitFest!.  I should never have doubted.  I, of course, attended that year and the following.  Both events mark two of my greatest conference experiences – the open discussion format, the down time, and the knowledge share was incredible.

RecruitFest! is back once again, and the idea is simple:  give and receive.  An incredible event brought to you by partners in this event: and  There are several sponsors that have popped for this event, as well.  Here’s the thing – there are no exhibitors, nobody will sell you a thing.

The sponsors just have their names in a few places and will probably be mentioned.  It is all about the conversations.  And, isn’t that what is should be all about?   Organic learning.  From the best in the biz.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, check it out for yourself at


RecruitFest 2009 Musings

My Bags are Packed
An Un-Bordered Odyssey 
It’s Not Just a Game Anymore
The Detainment

RecruitFest 2008 Musings

RecruitFest, Part Un
RecruitFest, Part Deux
RecruitFest, Part Trois 
RecruitFest, Part Quatre…, For Pete’s Sake, Part Four


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