This year I’m sad to say the Prominence team won’t be in Fiji for the annual RCSA conference. This isn’t out of a lack of desire to be there, more that we just have too much else on in taking care of our existing clients!
So, with various members of the team having attended the annual conference for the last three years, instead, I thought we’d share our insights on how to get the most out of the two or three days in Fiji.
The biggest complaint we hear is from recruiters who sit through sessions they aren’t enjoying or find to be irrelevant. Some of the best people I’ve heard from have not been the paid keynote speakers or the various vendors who get on stage, but from your peers who are there to share their experiences. Obviously, spend 15 minutes or so planning the sessions you’d like to sit in on, but if something doesn’t meet expectations make sure you have a contingency, or just spend the time networking.
Networking. For recruiters this should come naturally, however when confronted with a room full of competitors or peers, bizarrely most of us tend to keep to ourselves or our existing networks.
The people I’ve met at the RCSA conferences and others like it have formed the mainstay of my professional network, my friends and those I lean on when I need a favour or I’m in need of expertise.
Some recruiters treat the conference as a business holiday, and there is no issue with this at all. However, if you’re going for business with the intention of learning and developing then you’re doing yourself and your agency a disservice if you don’t actively network. There is so much experience at these conferences and a lot of people who are willing to share it. These conversations can truly fast track your business by years. You may find future staff, a buyer, new technology, a partner or an investor. Don’t forget the vendors too, most are more than happy to just talk with you and share their knowledge, generally this isn’t a place where you encounter pressure sales.
My favourite times for networking are during the pre-conference activities (golf, welcome drinks etc) or during the day itself, when there are sessions I’m less interested in (yes, you’ve paid a lot of money, but it doesn’t mean you have to go to every session!). You’ll find others around the resort who are more than happy to grab a coffee or beer. The evening events are a great chance for random conversations, but most people are letting their hair down so why be any different!
It’s not for everyone (definitely not me!) but if you do feel social media inclined then you can also find a few people networking on Twitter. Follow the conference hashtag #rcsaconf and join in conversations of interest.
That’s it from me. Have a great time in Fiji, looking forward to seeing you all at the 2018 conference!