Fordyce Forum 2012: What Is a “Working Conference?”

Conferences are designed to be formal gatherings for learning experiences. Typically, they are a couple days in length and consist of sessions led by speakers that often resemble college lectures with some networking opportunities weaved in between the sessions.

Expectations when attending a conference usually include learning some new skills and hopefully having a few things to take back to work and apply to be more efficient, effective, productive, and so forth. Unfortunately, what often happens is that most lessons go in one ear and out the other, because when you sit for several days and simply listen to lectures, everything starts running together and ultimately not much (if anything) gets changed when you get back to the office.

We don’t want that to be your experience with us. So we proudly present to you the 2012 Fordyce Forum: a “working conference.”

So just what the heck is a “working conference?”

Well, let’s start by thinking about what you do when you are working. When you work, you are smilin’ and dialin’. You are marketing to potential clients. You are developing relationships with existing clients. You are selling candidates on your opportunities. And you are closing deals and making placements.

Having spoken with many of you over the last year, I know there is more than just monetary cost associated with attending the Fordyce Forum — or any conference, for that matter. There is also opportunity cost — the time you spend away from your desk to come learn from your peers. The deals you could be making; the clients you could be meeting; the candidates you could be screening.

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We know that when you go to a conference, a lot of this activity slows down and even stops while you are attending sessions and networking. Even though you can slip out to take a phone call or plug into the event wifi to check emails, activity slows down while you are ‘conferencing’ just because you are being pulled in several directions, many of which are away from your work productivity.

We know your time is valuable and that’s why we decided to try things a little differently this year at the Fordyce Forum. Not only is the location (Dallas, TX) new, but pretty much everything else is as well. We want your time with us at the conference to be well spent — and so we’ve developed a new format that we are calling a “working conference.” What this means is that you’ll be attending a conference — but you’ll also be working. We’ve replaced general sessions with focused workshops during which you will be participating in group and individual activities, learning skills, and developing plans that you can bring back to the office and immediately put to use. So essentially, you’ll be working as you learn, and learning as you work.

Busy doesn’t necessarily mean productive. You can be extremely busy and highly unproductive at the same time. With our “working conference” format for the Fordyce Forum, it is our goal to make the time you’re ‘busy’ conferencing with us as productive as possible, too. We hope you’ll take a look at the agenda and make the decision to join us in Dallas June 7-8 to learn and network with us.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, and, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.