I’ve been attending networking events for the online recruitment sector since 2001.  They have been a staple in my annual calendar, and have been an invaluable part of what I do.  Because I live 400 miles away from the throbbing metropolis, (the big smoke, that Laandon town) they have given me the opportunity to meet clients and collaborators face to face and in person.  Last year, 2010 saw an explosion of events for our industry, with social media as the very welcome catalyst.  There were conferences, unconferences, tweetups, meetups, networking events, speed networking events, and award ceremonies, including the 10th anniversary of own National Online Recruitment Awards.

Each event has its own reward for attending, which has to be balanced against the investment in the ticket price and/or getting there plus accommodation.  And that’s not forgetting the time spent away from the office.  If you’re clever, you can combine these visits with meetings of your own with clients and potential customers.  This year sees no sign of the number of events waning.  In fact you could pop up at a number of events every month, if so inclined.  Great for those outgoing regulars who speak at every opportunity, or make a new sale each time, and great for those just entering the business, needing to top up their knowledge.

However, if you feel the need to be selective, and are looking the very most bang for your buck, I can heartily recommend Bill Boorman’s #TRULondon Unconference on the 16th to 18th February.  The 16th features a special event for professional recruitment sourcers, #TRUSource, and the evening of Thursday 17th has the original Recruiters Network event, run by Louise Triance of UK Recruiter.  The meat in this sandwich for me however, are the open discussion tracks on the 17th and 18th.  In these, the full gamut of issues relating to the world of online recruitment are discussed and debated by some of the foremost thought leaders in our industry.  Last year, I found it to be the most surprisingly illuminating conference I attended, and I wasn’t the only one.  I’ve been to several of Bill’s events since, and collaborated on #TRUNORA in November, and all have had the same open and frank exchange of views that get my tiny brain excited.

I have no real idea what to expect from #TRULondon this year, but I’m looking forward to being surprised again.

Stephen O'Donnell is a lifelong recruiter, internet enthusiast, fadgadget and peripatetic writer.

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