When you pack for a trip, most people think of every possible circumstance you’ll encounter.

Will there be a pool? Grab that swimsuit and sunscreen.

Planning to go to a fancy dinner? Don’t forget the fancy duds.

But when you’re going to a recruiting conference on a business trip, you pretty much know what to expect. Buttoned down shirt or blouse. Dark jeans or trousers. Or maybe even t-shirts and flip-flops.


You also pack your conference expectations.

  • What are you going to learn, do you need to take notes?

  • What are you going to see, will the food be any good?

  • Do you have business cards, what’s your Twitter password again?

  • Even more importantly, whom are you going to meet?

That last one is the number one benefit quoted in our post-event survey from the latest Talent Brand Summit. The people brought the most value. Which isn’t too surprising, considering that there are only about 1,300 people in North America with a true focus on employer branding and recruitment marketing. Oh, there are likely more than that, but they have random or obscure job titles, or they simply aren’t publicly active social connectors.

And as rare birds, we need others familiar with our flock for support, advice, and let’s face it, career opportunities. We need people who have our backs.

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Thanks to our mentorship committee, each attendee was matched with their day one table mates base on their experience, industry, and who they wanted to meet at the event. Pre-event introductions helped warm up the conversation, and so did some friendly competition.

But what will you take back to the office?

Our Summit scribes took detailed notes during all six roundtable discussions, including the Tools and Tech session where attendees shared both their favorite, and not-so-favorite recruiting and recruitment marketing technology vendors:

  • Applicant Tracking Systems

  • Candidate Relationship Management Software

  • Recruitment Marketing Automation

  • Landing Page Creation Software

  • User Generated Video Creation Tools

  • Social Amplification and Employee Advocacy Tools

  • Creative Agencies

All of this was wrapped up and shared back shortly after the event, so those “What did you learn” discussions with your boss now come with an easy reference document. It also comes with a network of helpful people who have been where you’re headed, and can share what’s worked for them. (If you’re not a TBA member yet, you can fix that)

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what attendees had to say about the experience.

What else did they like? We tried out a ‘Choose your own adventure’ roundtable topic on the second day. Similar to an unconference, we got suggestions from attendees and facilitators took the top six topics to individual tables at the event. These were the top challenges and issues for employer brand practitioners, in addition to the scheduled topics on the agenda.


Attendees picked their topic, and some even went outside to soak up some of the Spring Texas sun. This was rated the second favorite thing at the event, so we decided to bring it to our upcoming Summit event, as the last roundtable each day.

It’s time to pack that suitcase again, this time for London, England.

We’re taking the Summit international this Fall to bring together our peers, our mentors, and our friends across the United Kingdom and Europe. To learn from each other, build connections, and of course, do something completely new and uncharted. Join us.

About the author:

Bryan Chaney is a global talent branding and attraction strategist. He’s worked at IBM, Twilio and currently leads employer brand for internal recruitment at Indeed. Bryan has worked in recruitment, technology, and marketing, providing him insights into the marketing of hiring, the importance of technology and the buying process that candidates make when applying for jobs. He’s a co-founder of the Talent Brand Alliance, a community for employer branding and recruitment marketing professionals. As an international keynote speaker and trainer on the topic of recruitment and talent branding, he loves to travel. The Huffington Post recently named him one of the Top 100 Most Social HR Experts on Twitter and you can follow him at @bryanchaney.