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In Preparation for LinkedIn Talent Connect

It is hard to believe that it is that time of year again – that is, time for LinkedIn’s annual Talent Connect conference in Las Vegas from Oct 15-17th.  Last year was my first time at the event and in a word, it was awesome.  However, in retrospect, despite my level of preparedness, I think I was still a bit of a deer in the headlights due to the sheer size and awesomeness of the entire conference!  Having “been there done that” a year ago, I feel a bit more prepared heading into this years’ conference.  For those attending for the first time, and in the spirit of Las Vegas, here is my Top (lucky) 7 List of things to do in preparation/advance of Talent Connect:Talent-Connect-Banner

  1. Plan your track: The LinkedIn website has a detailed overview of all the sessions being offered.  For the concurrent sessions, you really should have a plan of attack.  You need to determine what specific areas are of key importance to you.  If you go there and just “wing it”, you may not get as much out of the sessions.  I strongly encourage you to take a look at what is being offered and at the very least, plan a 1, 2, 3 strategy.  That is, pick your top three sessions and whittle down from there.  The pace of the event makes it difficult to make multiple mid-stream adjustments.
  2. Tweet & Re-Tweet:  If you are not on Twitter, there is no better time to get started!  Many of the attendees tweet at the conference providing nice little note-taking nuggets from their sessions.  Often, you are able to attend one session while also gaining valuable info from someone tweeting from another session.  I can tell you this, whatever sessions Jennifer McClure attends, you will be sure to get lots of great info from her Tweets – you should follow her!  You can follow the conference hashtag: #intalent for all the info from the Twitter feed.  Last year, I found that by Tweeting from #intalent, not only was I able to make some great connections, but it was also a great way for me to “take notes” and maintain a digital diary of key info.
  3. Reach out in advance to your network – work your LinkedIn network to see who is going.  Reach out to those 2nd and 3rd degree connections to arrange an in person meeting.  There are many opportunities during Talent Connect to meet up – whether it is at breakfast, after the sessions end during the day, or during the evening parties.  Regardless, the opportunities are there; however, if you don’t arrange some things in advance, you may be disappointed to find out people’s schedules are full already!
  4. Reach out to your account manager – if there is anyone else you are looking to meet up with, whether they are in your network or not, don’t hesitate to reach out to your LinkedIn account manager.  I have dealt with some great folks at LinkedIn over the years, and all have been very supportive in helping me reach out to anyone attending that I wanted to meet with.  They are a great bunch that really gets the value of this conference and the value of connections.  Believe me, when they say they will make it happen – they will!
  5. Arrive on Monday – while the meat and potatoes of the conference starts on Wednesday, LinkedIn offers some awesome (product related) sessions on Tuesday.  To maximize the value of the conference, make sure you arrive on Monday so you are ready and rested to start in on things on Tuesday.  I was a late(r) arrival on Tuesday last year and I really regretted it – of course, part of that problem was me being an East Coast’er misjudging just how long it takes to get from Halifax to Las Vegas (it was my first time!).
  6. Pimp your profile – take advantage of this session that is offered to you as part of the conference fee.  It is a great opportunity to improve, polish, etc. your profile as well as to get a professional picture taken that you can use on your profile.  Word of warning – the lines can be long for this, so plan ahead and book an appointment when you get there.
  7. Bring back action items – trust me, when I tell you that you will have a lot of ideas to bring back to your company/practice after Talent Connect.  Make sure you take notes during the sessions and when you come home; be prepared to take action on things you have learned.  This is not a “pie in the sky” conference; you will learn and take away tangible, practical advice/learning’s that can be applied IMMEDIATELY!

I will be tweeting from Talent Connect next week, so if you are interested in finding out more about what occurs at the conference, you can follow this blog and/or follow me on Twitter at @hr_scottboulton for updates.

Image courtesy of LinkedIn.com

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9 Responses

  1. Great post Scott!

  2. Great tips, Scott! See you at Talent Connect!

  3. Thanks for the shoutout Scott! I’m definitely looking forward to attending Talent Connect next week!

  4. Great Stuff…I must get some teenagers to teach me how to Tweet. 🙂

  5. Most welcome Jennifer. See you next week!

  6. Ditto – great tips! I was a first time attendee last year as well and these are certainly things that will make the experience a great one! I especially like your advice on sessions – I’ve spend time going over not just the session topics, but also the speakers – if two topics are of interest, the speaker might sway me one way or another – it is*SO* hard to choose, there’s great info! And, the Pimp my Profile is a must – great advice to book an appointment, they do fill up fast, but I received great feedback last year! See you all tomorrow! 🙂

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