The Alliances Lounge was a collaboration haven for Alliance Pros
(If you missed our pre-conference blog, get it here)
HR Tech World Congress – October 27-28, 2015
Paris – fashion, fine cuisine and HR Tech. A fantastic combination all rolled into one amazing event: HR Tech World Congress at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris. This year HRN didn’t disappoint the buyers – tons of great content from case studies, panel presentations and inspirational speakers. Add to that an amazing expo of top HR Tech suppliers and it was a buyer’s smorgasbord.
With 3500 delegates this year, that’s 65% larger than last year’s event in Amsterdam and it felt even bigger having moved to Paris. Despite long faces in the long registration lines (tip: register the day before, lines were 10 mins max) it was smiling faces everywhere I looked.
So besides being in Paris, what was really new and exciting? The HR Tech Alliances Lounge!
Day 1 – The Lounge
For the first time ever at any HR conference anywhere in the world, HRN created a special area just for the Alliance professionals to meet up. HR Tech Advisor, in partnership with HRN, helped create a unique agenda consisting of panel discussions, workshops and speed dating sessions.
As co-hosts of the Alliances Lounge, Larry and I were swamped on the first day running the alliances lounge. Overall it was a great success! We had 61 people sign up for the program, and many others joined in after hearing about it as the day progressed.
Industry Leader Keynote Panel
The day kicked off with a fabulous panel consisting of Jeff Pulver, VP Alliances in EMEA for Workday, Dave Mortell, VP Global Alliances for Cornerstone and Rogerio Albelo, EMEA Channels and Alliances Director at PeopleFluent. They shared great information about what they look for in a good partner and their partner application process. The audience asked many questions and got their answers, even to the hard ones like “what types of solutions are you looking for right now?”
“The Keynote panel confirmed our suspicions that finding a ‘common client’ is by far the best vehicle to start a viable partnership in HR Tech. Despite a lot of talk about the ‘need for innovation’, it was clear that bringing additional revenue streams to a partner – through a common client – was a quicker path to partnerships.” – Jake Zahradnik, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Alliances at Video Recruit.
After the panel we had the first of two speed dating sessions which went very well – there were over 36 one-on-one sessions scheduled via the special web scheduling app that we purchased for the event. Many new connections were made, follow @HRTechAlliances for coverage of any resulting press releases and announcements!
“We have at least 4 concrete follow ups from the Networking Meetings.”
Reto Ruegger, Founder at SoftFactors
Best Practices Workshop
After lunch we held a best practices workshop led by HR Tech Advisor’s Larry Cummings with expert Alliances guru Andrew Simmons, PeopleFluent’s VP of Global Alliances. Supporting from an evaluation and delivery viewpoint was Jeremy from HiveTechHR. Andrew shared his thoughts on how to maximize the Alliances best practices being shared in the custom handout that Larry created for the event. When asked for alliance guidance Larry says “we don’t disappoint, we are true Trade Show Concierges.”
“I appreciate the open dialogue from the panel speakers you invited and the opportunity to hear their thoughts on partnering.”
Linnéa Liljestrand, Head of Channels & Partnerships at Benify
More Speed Dating!
We finished Day 1 in the Alliances Lounge with one last set of speed dating sessions. These 20 minute sessions were a sure way to create opportunity and not leave a meetup to chance. My thoughts: those who plan for success have a much better chance of achieving it.
“HR Tech World Congress brought to us growth opportunities on a global scale. Market entry opportunities into Russia, the Far East, etc.”
David Beausang, Head Of Sales and Marketing for CohreHR
David feels it’s a fundamental model in the HR and payroll space to grow through partnerships, and would have been surprised if a few big opportunities didn’t surface at the conference.
What did the Alliance Pros Think?
Of the 112 alliance/partnership professionals with whom we connected at the show, many provided some very helpful feedback; here are some additional highlights:
- “The event was awesome – very busy and a good opportunity to meet other software vendors as partners & integrators.” Esther D. Manou, Workday Alliances Manager for France.
- “Easy interface to schedule meetings” Walter Hueber, CEO at Cammio.
- Daniel Haider, Head of Sales, Channels and Partnerships at Benify “I have connected with various people based on the HR Tech attendance, both from the alliances event and also from the fair itself. So overall it has been good.”
- Caroline Boyre, Alliances Manager, Corporate Strategy & Global Development at CEB “I like the collaborative idea – networking & getting together to share best practices.”
- Jeff Pulver, VP, Alliances EMEA at Workday “It’s an interesting idea and a good community to share best practices, etc.”
One of the partners in the HRTechAlliances.com endeavor is ASAP (Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals), led by president and CEO Mike Leonetti, CSAP, who commented on the new educational offerings at the conference:
“This was a great event for alliance professionals looking to learn and grow in the HR Tech community. We’re proud of our certification programs and the professional credibility and results it brings not only to the individual, but also to the alliance teams within our member companies. Our partnership with HR Tech Advisor is helping to educate the vendors and the HR departments that there is a group committed to their success.”
Day 2 – The Expo
With 120 exhibitors/sponsors, we spent most of the second day canvassing the expo hall to find more alliance directors to invite to the next event, since many did not know the Alliances Lounge even existed, or that they should have been invited to it – it was like promoting a secret club!
The testament that the Alliances Lounge was a much needed offering came when I approached one of the booths and chatted with the vendor’s CEO about the Alliances Lounge – he thought it was a great idea but wanted me to leave their booth so he could get back to selling to the prospects walking by! (a key reason why the Alliances Lounge was created)
And as usual, HRN had some fun surprises in store for their delegates – from slo-mo booths to half-naked men dressed in traditional French Pacific Islander garb looking more out of place than me wearing a yellow hat with streamers and holding a rugby ball!
In summary I feel the event was fantastic and since it will be in the same place next year I believe it will be even more effective and you will see that reflected in the social media coverage.
We sampled the 54 exhibitors that did both Vegas and Paris – most said Vegas was weak for buyer traffic and heavy for partner traffic, and Paris the opposite! Certainly HRN’s admission policy keeps the ratio tilted toward the buyer, but I’m confident the Alliances Lounge helped make a very positive difference for the HR Tech community with even more improvements to come. Vive La Différence!
Special Supplement: #HRTechWorld Coverage on Twitter
This year’s Twitter stats are outstanding (see table below) with a reach of over 8 million! Thanks to our partner HRmarketer, they have shared their event report with everyone where you can see who said what about who! Here’s a snippet of some of the action:
|Stats computed using Twitter data from Sep 26 – Nov 11, 2015 using a fabulous new tool called Insights from:||Top 4 @Mentioned The Most w/ #HRTechWorld||Top 5 Who Tweeted The Most w/ #HRTechWorld|
|Richard Branson (1235)||The HRIS World (312)|
|Total Tweets: 15,923
Total Reach: 8,133,994
|HRTechWorld Congress (492)||HR Inspire (245)|
To see their full
|Josh Bersin (438)||HRCurator (189)|
|ambrosia vertesi (359)||THW Research Network (181)|
|… 40 more (click for full report)||kategraham23 (168)|
|… 39 more (click for full report)|
Special Supplement: PhotoGallery
Day 3 – The Catacombs
Like the clip at the end of the credits for a Marvel movie, this blogger’s trip to Paris ended with a strange twist… with a 2.5 hour wait in line to visit the infamous Catacombs. The Paris catacombs are a 200-mile network of old caves, tunnels and quarries – and much of it is filled with the skulls and bones of over 6 million dead Parisians from the late 1700’s. It was a short but fascinating tour, I recommended you visit it after your next HR Tech World Congress.
See you next fall in Paris!