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CIPD Show: Is it Worth Going?

CIPD Show Is it Worth Going

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We'd like to find out your thoughts on whether you feel, based on past experience that the show is worth attending. Are you in it for the networking opportunities, the transfer of learning, access to great speakers or simply the assorted freebies! Share your thoughts by posting your comments.

Best Wishes,

Annie Hayes, HR Zone Editor

Replies (5)

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By User deleted
26th Sep 2006 14:07

From my experience half the people at the CIPD Conference are there on a jolly and speaking to people they seems to be mainly funded by local or public authorities. Having worked for a number of years for private sector companies the cost of attendance for one person is more that the budget I have for the whole of my department.

With regards to the exhibition I go every couple of years to get an update to find out what is on the market place. I can prove that the exhibitions can have a positive effect. A couple of years ago I was attending the CIPD HR software exhibition. I was speaking to an exhibitor and said that he couple not help me as I was looking for a T&A system for use by mobile staff. Something that did not appear to exist at that time. From my conversation his organisation developed such a soluation able to work from the employee’s mobile phone.

If you are genuinely speaking information the exhibition is well worth it. I have come away from them with ideas that I had not thought of for issues I was dealing with or about to deal with.

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By User deleted
26th Sep 2006 11:46

I'm never sure that exhibitions are a good idea, because, strangely, we feel the same way about following up people as Keith does about getting their calls! We ask if we can call, we do so, and people are a) rude b) they forgot they ever met you c)dishonest - they don't say they DON'T need your services and as a result, the whole sorry experience continues.

I went to CIPD some years ago to hear Michael Porter speak and it was excellent, but to some extent I agree with Keith and find delegates generally consider it a chance to have a knees up - not to do business.

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By mike morrison
26th Sep 2006 16:30

As the saying goes - if you think it will be worthwhile it will be

If you think it will be a waste of time it will be...

Certainly the conference is now (way)overpriced when looking at the changes to the HR & L&D market over the past 10 years.

Buying a set of the recordings can be worth while.

Spending time going round the exhibition during the main conference sessions is great - the suppliers are more relaxed, you can build great contacts and has been mentioned you can see what the current 'trends' appear to be.

I usually visit the exhibition once every 2 years (too much travel from 'south for one day)


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By kluxon
26th Sep 2006 08:11

I have been for the past couple of years but am not going this year.

My purpose in going previously was primarily to network with senior colleagues from a wide range of industries and to listen to the keynote speakers. The Keynotes are usually excellent and offer a fresh and thought provoking take on some of the major issues we as a profession face. I think it is almost worth investing the time just to be challenged in this way once a year! The problem is of course to take that challenge back to the workplace and do things differently.

The networking opportunities are harder to find, at least of the right quality, you really have to work hard to get to the right events and meet the right people. If you are prepared to put the effort in before and during the conference then you can meet some interesting people. But at a senior level there are better more focused networking events.

On the downside the exhibition is less useful. Whilst you ca see lots of exhibitors in a small timescale unless you are very disciplined you will be plagued by semi cold calls for months to come. I am sure some people must do business at these things….just I have never met anyone who has. The number of “freebies” you see scattered around the rubbish bins of Harrogate is amazing.

My other concern would be that it appears that some people use the event as a bit of a reward / jolly along the lines of you have worked hard go and spend a couple of days in Harrogate. Whilst in itself this may be great for the individual I think it means that some people approach the conference in a different mind set. I have overheard many people saying they have “done” the conference in an hour or so and are going shopping!

So in summary I would say go once in while, listen to the keynotes, work hard at networking but don’t expect it to solve all your HR problems.

PS....Anybody know why the conference is always held in half term week? Always struck me as an odd week for our profession to meet.

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By Harvey Bennett
09th Oct 2006 11:41

I can speak both as a conference delegate and as an exhibitor.

As a delegate, I have found the Annual Conference like the proverbial "curate's egg" - good in parts. I think you have to very picky about what you attend; some of it seems to be a re-hash of previous years; some of it can appear to be a PR opportunity for the speaker's organisation. That said, there are nevertheless some really good ideas that come from the speakers platform.

The main conference is expensive, and it's rather nice if funded by your employer. In my last corporate role, I'd send one person and get them to present to the team on the presentations when they returned to work. This focused the mind on listening and summarising, rather than 'the jolly'.!

For value for money, the fringe presentations are generally very good, and free. That includes exhibitors showcases/taster and the early-evening events at local hotels.

As an exhibitor, I find the event is well organised and yes, we do business from contacts made at Harrogate. However, we appreciate honesty from our visitors (for example, don't ask us to follow up by phone and then snub our calls), and if you don't want us to call, just say so. If you're a student and just want info, ask and it shall be freely given. You could be our future customer!

Harvey @ Stand 101, Hall B!

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