In spite of my best efforts to get this published sooner, I just couldn’t. At least the first part of this post is about 4 weeks late. As most of you may know, the month of October was a busy month for us with two conferences, which we attended as exhibitors.
HR Technology Conference and Expo – Las Vegas, USA
So this was in Vegas after all. Needless to add, the conference was very well attended and the Expo hall was extremely busy. I am pretty sure that this year’s Expo saw the maximum number of HR vendors. When I look back at those few days in the Expo hall and think about it, it still amuses me as to how many HR products and services/solutions are there in the market right now and how many of them are new.
We had a larger booth this time around and we partnered with OfficeWork Software Solutions and Ingentis. As an Exhibitor, the conference experience was average for us – largely due to booth placement. In a large conference like this one, which boasted an attendee strength of about 3000 and a vendor strength of about 150, the expo hall layout is very critical to drive traffic to a booth of a new product or a new brand. This is not so much of an issue for well reputed brands and companies.
- Cloud solutions continue to crowd the market
- More and More point HR solutions are mushrooming around, which will make it extremely challenging for customers to strategize their HR landscape & prioritize their HR system enhancements. This also means a very confused HR marketplace. This also means more opportunities for HR strategy consultants
- Mobilizing HR solutions is finally no longer frowned upon and on the contrary has become an assumed future state for many companies
- However, there is a huge gap in what the customers really need and what the customers are being made to believe on what they need. I am hoping that this will be the area where Cogent can focus on, if we want to continue to play in this space
- Ingentis org.manager has a huge potential to be back in the competitive space in the North American market because of all of the above
HRT Europe – Amsterdam, Netherlands
HRT Europe is growing from strength to strength over the past few years. I have been witnessing its growth firsthand for the past three years and it is amazing to see what the organizers have done with this conference & Expo. All credit should be given to Marc Coleman, the founder of HRN Europe and his team for having such an ambitious vision. In such a short time, the conference has become a critical stop in the tour map of exhibiting HR vendors. In 2015, they have plans to do three different versions of the same.
Overall, the conference was well produced and the Expo hall was better managed. An easily maneuverable hall with lot of opportunities for exhibitors to connect with participants. Although the number of attendees was less than 50% that of the HRT US’s, the quality was slightly better.
We partnered with Ingentis here and our theme was “Golf”. Puma sponsored out outfits and all of us were proud to be wearing the wonderfully tailored outfits, looking like pros.
- Surprisingly, European customers are opening up more and more towards cloud solutions
- Mobile HR solutions are a couple of steps behind what the US customers are exposed to, but that actually doesn’t mean much because there seems to be less confusion in the European marketplace (in contrast to the American HR marketplace)
- The European customers are traditionally a little more conscious & cautious before they adopt new technology, compared to their American counterparts. The change cycle is certainly longer. But what I am seeing now is a drastic change (for the better). There are more future looking customers scouting for the best HR solutions for their landscape
With HRT Europe, we thus finished our conference season for 2014.
This has been the first full year for as an exhibitor, after we launched our Mobility practice. The kind of experiences this year offered will act as an important stepping stone for us as we start laying out our conference plans for 2015 and more importantly, these experiences will actually help us develop our go-to-market strategies for our overall Mobility practice.
Here’s looking forward to a varied conference season in 2015!